Klassen, Pauls named to Arts Hall of Fame

Jim Pauls
Jim Pauls (g’56)

Carolyn Klassen (g’66) and Jim Pauls (g’56) have been selected as the 2023 inductees for the Tabor College Arts Hall of Fame.

“We’re thrilled to honor the achievements of Tabor Arts graduates,” said Dr. Greg Zielke, Tabor arts director and Hall of Fame committee member. “Carolyn and Jim are perfect examples of living out our mission and using their gifts and talents to further Christ and His kingdom.”

The ceremony is set for Saturday, Sept. 9, in the Shari Flaming Center for the Arts.

A decorated pianist and organist, Klassen spent nearly 30 years behind the keys. She taught music courses and accompanied choirs at Garden City Community College for 29 years. She also gave private piano lessons for 15 years. Klassen was highly sought after to play for professional music productions.

She facilitated a government grant to purchase Apple computers for the community college, developing the Finnup Computer Piano Lab. Her service in the Garden City community included the Piano Teachers League, the Southwest Kansas Community Concert Association, and the Piano Festival, which is entering its 40th year.

Carolyn Klassen
Carolyn Klassen (g’66)

Carolyn and her husband, Tom, met at Central Christian High School in Hutchinson, Kan. They both attended Tabor College, and she graduated with a degree in music education. They were married on June 5, 1965, celebrating their 50th anniversary before she passed away on Dec. 30, 2015.

A longtime music educator, Pauls began teaching in 1959-60 when he was invited to start a music program in the elementary and secondary schools at Berryton, Kan., near Topeka. Other teaching stops included three more schools in Kansas, Haysville, Goddard, and McPherson.

He resigned from McPherson in 1987 and continued to direct adult and youth choirs at First Baptist Church in the community. His wife, Lorene “Rene” (Toews, fs’54), also was an educator and served as Director of Christian Education at the church. Pauls now serves as an accompanist at two Methodist churches in Canton and Galva, Kan.