William “Bill” A. Tew, Jr.
William “Bill” A. Tew, Jr., 85, passed away on Wednesday, March 22, 2023. Bill was born in Durham, North Carolina, and grew up in the towns where his father served as a Methodist minister. He was a teacher, a church musician, and a performer. Bill began teaching, a career of more than 35 years, at Warwick High School in Newport News where he taught general music, male chorus, girls’ chorus and Acapella Choir. He later taught at Tabb High School and then switched to elementary schools in York County.
Throughout his life, Bill was a church musician. He directed a choir or played the organ in some denomination almost every Sunday until his retirement. His longest tenure was at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church where he served as organist and choir master for almost 30 years. At various times, Bill sang with the Peninsula Civic Opera including the role of Fegan in Oliver and the title role in the Marriage of Figaro. He enjoyed Gilbert and Sullivan and sang with Euterpian Productions, the Norfolk Savoyards, and anyone else who was doing one. Bill always encouraged his high school students to join the choruses in the shows he was in. He was also a shape-note singer with a group in Kentucky.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents. W. Alton Tew, Sr., and Clara Mae Respess Tew.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Anne Shelby Griffith Tew.
A memorial service will be held at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church on Sunday, April 16 at 2:00 p.m. Following the service, a reception and visitation will be held at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be to the Peninsula SPCA (https://peninsulaspca.org/), Operation Smile (https://www.operationsmile.org/), WHRO (https://whro.org/) or Virginia Living Museum (https://thevlm.org/).
Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.