Herald DemocratSeptember 2, 2012
Sherman TX Herald Democrat
September 2, 2012
Former Denison Dance Teacher
Lillian Imparato, dance
teacher to many young students in Denison and Sherman in the fifties, sixties,
seventies, and eighties, passed away peacefully at Oak Park Manor in Claremont,
Calif., on Tuesday, August 28, after a long battle with Parkinson's/Dementia.
Lillian moved with her young son to Denison in 1951 to join her
brother, Fred Zuercher, and his family in North Texas.
Left to right : Jeff Emerson, Gretchen Holmes, Edward Imparato, Jr.
Featured in Ad for Ashburn's, DHS Yellow Jacket (annual), 1960.
Courtesy of Jim
She opened Lillian's
School of Dance to teach ballet, toe, tap, ballroom and later baton. Her annual
Christmas Dances for her teenage ballroom students almost rivaled those of the
Each of Lillian's dance recitals had a unique theme and she
designed everything. Lillian bought the glittering yardage for each unique
costume in large bolts, cut them for each student and put them in a bag along
with the each student's measurements for the mothers to sew or to have
She later designed and built an enlarged teaching studio and
home on Edward's Drive in Denison. She took her students to many local and
national activities as well as a cruise. Her baton corps, the Denison Twirling
Twenty, appeared in many local events as well as Ted Mack's Amateur Hour on
Lillian was the Prima Ballerina of the San Antonio Civic Ballet
when she graduated from high school. She married a young Army Air Corps flight
instructor, Edward Imparato, soon after graduation. Her Lieutenant husband left
two weeks after Pearl Harbor for the South Pacific. Two weeks later, she drove
herself to the local hospital across snowy Utah roads from the military post on
her husband's birthday for the birth of their son, Edward Jr. (Edward Sr. later
became one of the youngest full colonels during World War II, serving on
General MacArthur's staff and piloted the first U.S. airplane to land on
Japanese soil after the surrender. They were separated after the war.)
Lillian traveled whenever she could. When her son was stationed
in Germany, she visited the towns of her German/Swiss heritage as well as her
son's Italian heritage. She attended the Oberammergau Passion Play and had
lunch on the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy in Naples harbor.
Imparatos and Nancy Reagain
29 July 1999
In retirement, Lillian took up painting and became a certified
instructor of the Alexander Painting Technique and taught classes at art stores
in Texas and Oklahoma. She also worked for a time taking care of her brother
Fred and members of his family shortly before their deaths.
In 1998, she moved to Simi Valley, Calif.. She was a member of
the Simi Valley Art Association and participated in several art shows. While
there, Lillian was happy to meet the former first lady, Nancy Reagan, at a book
signing at the Reagan Library.
Lillian was married to the late Dr. Ray Coonrod and later Carl
Waltz of Denison. She is survived by her son, Edward Imparato, Jr., of Los
Angeles and daughter, Darlene Knox of Walnut, Calif.
Lillian Imparato was a valiant, resourceful, and energetic woman
and a loving mother. She will be missed.