CWO4 Abraham “Iggy” Ignacio

He was born Feb. 8, 1922, in Honolulu, Oahu, territory of Hawaii as a teen, "Iggy" was a member of the Royal Hawaiian Band, Honolulu Junior Symphony, Honolulu Symphony, A’ia Plantation Band, VFW Band, Shriners Band, Army Legion Band and Farrington High School Band.

After high school, he was employed at Pearl Harbor as a civilian laborer. He was a Pearl Harbor survivor and served four years in the Merchant Marines before enlisting in the Army on June 5, 1946, in Honolulu. He was the 1st Sergeant of the Army Element at the Naval School of Music, where he was presented a Navy Ship’s Bell. He became a bandmaster and enjoyed tours of duty in Austria, Germany, Korea, Panama and many places stateside. He retired from Fort Hood, Texas, in 1976, to Boonville, where he taught at Kemper Military School until 2002.

At Kemper, Iggy found his true calling in teaching and mentoring young people. Chief Warrant Officer Ignacio developed student musicians for nearly thirty years at Kemper and helped countless young men in the process.  Once a student band member was asked, “Do you play your trumpet from the diaphragm?”

In reply the student said, “Mr. Ignacio teaches us to play from the heart!”

Even after the school closed CWO Ignacio continued to keep the fractured alumni intact working within contacts he had established from old band members. He passed away in 2009 and is sadly missed by his many friends, Old Boys and former band members.