Patricia Medley died Aug. 20, 2019. She was a resident of Butterfield Trail Village in Fayetteville. She was born Oct. 17, 1927, in Springfield (Conway County), Ark., to Walter and Grace Duncan. Showing musical talent early, she graduated from Morrilton High School in 1945 and attended Arkansas Tech, (now Arkansas Tech University), in Russellville as a piano major. She was married to Staff Sgt. William (Bill) Medley in Morrilton on July 12, 1946. She and Bill celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary just before his death in July 2018.
Following his discharge from the U.S. Army, together they graduated from Tech with associate degrees, and then graduated from Tulsa University with bachelor and master's degrees (in piano performance) in 1951. She was a member of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity, for women, which awarded her the "Ring of Excellence" in performance, their highest award. She and Bill later studied with the eminent Pierre Luboshutz and Genia Nemenoff in New York and Maine.
Their teaching careers, combined with playing two-piano concerts, continued as faculty members at Arkansas Tech and Mississippi College for Women before entering the concert field full time for 10 years. With a home in Fayetteville, they traveled extensively, taking with them two Baldwin concert grand pianos, playing more than 1,000 concerts in 48 states and seven Canadian provinces, including the Northwest Territories. They resumed their duo career in 1963, playing and teaching at Parsons College, Fairfield, Iowa, and later at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A highlight was a successful debut at the Town Hall in New York City in 1964. She and Bill were composers and authors of "The Medley Way," a course of study for young piano students, published by the Hal Leonard Corp. They also composed solos and other pieces that still are available today. They traveled to Australia in 1982 to showcase their music.
Awards to the two were the "Master Teacher Certificates" (highest teaching recognition) from the Music Teachers National Association (1992) and Piano Teachers of the Year (2006) by the Arkansas Teachers Association. Arkansas Tech honored them in their "Hall of Distinction" in 1967. The latest award is that of "Fellows," 2013 by the Music Teachers National Association.
She was a member of Chapter BH, P.E.O., (Philanthropic Educational Organization) serving as president 1996 to 1998. She was state chairman of P. E. O. International Peace Scholarship 2000 to 2002. She was honored at the International Convention in 2014 for her 50-year membership. She was a member of First United Presbyterian Church. A gourmet cook, she was featured in "A Taste of Home" magazine in January 1998, and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, June 2003.
Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Bill; a son, Matthew; and three brothers, William (Bill) Duncan of Fayetteville, Ark., Griffin Duncan of Fullerton, Calif., and Dr. Conley Duncan of Decatur, Ala.
She is survived by her son, Michael of Vancouver, Wash.; her sister-in-law, Juanita Duncan and her niece, Dr. Georgena Duncan, both of Fayetteville; also surviving is a large number of other nephews, nieces and former students.
Memorials may be made to the "Matthew Medley Scholarship" at Mount Mercy University, 1330 Elmhurst Dr. NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402.
A duo-memorial service honoring Bill and Pat Medley will be held on Saturday, Aug. 31, at 11 a.m. in the First United Presbyterian Church located at 695 E. Calvin Way, Fayetteville, Ark.
Condolences at www.beardsfuneralchapel.com.