William Appel obituary

Contact: Deanne Puca
Headshot of William Appel.


William Appel, Western Michigan University professor emeritus of music, died July 7. He was 85.

Appel, of Portage, Michigan, joined the WMU faculty in 1965 and retired in 2001 after nearly 36 years of service to the University. He began his career as director of opera and a voice teacher, was an assistant professor, associate professor and ultimately professor of music at the University.

He taught voice and choral studies at WMU and was director of the Opera Workshop. He came to the University after a professional singing career that included 30 roles in some 300 performances of opera and musicals.

Appel was active throughout Michigan operatic circles, serving as director and general manager of the Opera Association of Western Michigan in Grand Rapids and as stage director for Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra operatic productions.


A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 28, at First Presbyterian Church, 321 W. South St., Kalamazoo. A private burial in Mountain Home Cemetery will be held at a later date.


Memorial gifts may be made to Habitat for Humanity or to WMU's School of Music through the WMU Foundation. Make a memorial guestbook entry online.