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Lillian Imparato


Herald Democrat
September 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 Sears.

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 Rainbow Girls.

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 completed.

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 national television.

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
Herald Democrat
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.




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