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Donald E. Spieth
September 28, 1941 ~ September 1, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
Donald E. Spieth, 81, of Bethlehem, passed away suddenly in his home on September 1, 2023. He was the husband of Llyena Boylan, with whom he shared more than 23 years of marriage. Born in Muscatine, IA, he was the son of the late Edward and Hazel (Brei) Spieth. Don earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of lowa, and studied conducting with Sixten Ehrlich at The Juilliard School. He came to Bethlehem in 1967 as a National Teaching Fellow at Moravian University, and founded the Moravian University Orchestra that same year.
Don soon became a fixture in the greater musical community of the Lehigh Valley. He was the Music Director of the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra for more than two decades, and led highly acclaimed New York performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Through the years he also served as guest conductor for a number of orchestras and ensembles, taught on the faculty of several Lehigh Valley colleges and universities, and led the LVCO in two studio recordings. A review in The New York Times once said, "The Orchestra, led by Donald Spieth, played energetically, precisely and sweetly." He collaborated with celebrated artists from Emanuel Ax and Joshua Bell to Sarah Chang and Lang Lang, among many others. Don loved attending and participating in live classical music. Most recently, he was an artist-in-residence in music and conductor of the Moravian University Orchestra and the conductor-in-residence at Central Moravian Church since 2007.
Don was a lifelong University of Iowa football and basketball enthusiast, a member of the Rotary Club of Bethlehem, a voracious reader, and an avid golfer. Don loved his family and was extremely proud of his sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Survivors: In addition to his loving wife Llyena, he will be remembered by his sons Shawn Spieth and his wife Christine of Dallas, TX, and Stow Spieth and his fiancé Tina Guerrieri of Schwenksville, PA; grandchildren Jordan Spieth and wife Annie, Ellie Spieth all of Dallas, TX and Steven Spieth and wife Maeve of Austin, TX; great-grandson Sammy, great-granddaughter Scout; step-daughter Alexis Boylan and wife Micki McElya of Cambridge, MA and stepson Gabriel Boylan and wife Christine Smallwood of Brooklyn, NY, and their sons Lonnie and Damon.
Services: A memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, September 16, 2023, in the Sanctuary of Central Moravian Church, 73 W. Church St. Bethlehem, PA 18018. Don's arrangements are entrusted to Cantelmi Long Funeral Home, Bethlehem. A memory tribute may be placed at www.cantelmifuneralhome.com.
Contributions: In lieu of flowers, contributions in Don's name may be made to the Moravian University Orchestra, 1200 Main St. Bethlehem, PA 18018.