Tracy Monroe Luna

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Tracy Monroe Luna passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at the age of 48 after a 17 month battle with pancreatic cancer.

Born on February 14, 1973, he grew up in Waynesboro, TN and was a 1991 graduate of Wayne County High School. He first attended college at Tennessee Technological University (TTU) where he played with the worldwide known TN Tech Tuba Ensemble (TTTE) directed by Mr. Winston Morris. He received his bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Tennessee at Martin where he met his wife, Laura.  Tracy spent his early career as a band director at Frank Hughes School in Clifton, TN, Lewis County High School in Hohenwald, TN, and Wayne County High School in Waynesboro, TN. The family returned to Cookeville in 2008 in order for Tracy to complete a master’s degree at TTU and work again with Mr. Morris. Tracy also attended Ball State in Muncie, IN working on another advanced degree. In 2015 after working as an adjunct for Nashville State in Cookeville, he took the position of high school band director at DeKalb County High School in Smithville, TN which he held until his cancer diagnosis in July 2020.

In addition to his band work, Tracy directed several church choirs over the years including most recently Washington Avenue Baptist Church in Cookeville and First Baptist Church in Smithville. Tracy was well enough to direct the Easter program at FBC in Smithville in April 2021. The balance of being a high school band director and a church choir director was often difficult, but Tracy very much enjoyed serving in this way to share his faith in Christ. Throughout his cancer journey, Tracy’s faith remained secure, and he found comfort in the hymns of his youth along with the power of the modern worship songs.

When the family moved to Cookeville, Tracy was finally able to be in a location where he could indulge his greatest joy – playing his tuba. While finishing his masters, he once again played with the TTTE. He is a charter member of the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass in Crossville, TN.  He played with the Cookeville Community Band for several seasons and has played with the Nashville Wind Ensemble. His younger son, Victor, is taking up the mantle of low brass performance as a music major playing in the TTTE.

Like many of his generation in rural TN, Tracy grew up watching WGN-TV on cable including Chicago Cubs games in the afternoon after school. He was an avid Cubs fan, collected baseball cards for several years, was able to see at least one game in Wrigley Field, watched the Cubs actually finally win the World Series in 2016, and very much enjoyed the attention his Cubs gear would bring anywhere we traveled. Tracy will also be long remembered for his ability to rattle off a series of good “Dad jokes” (a.k.a bad puns) and as a master of deadpan humor often leaving you wondering if he was joking or not!

Tracy was preceded in death by his parents, Willard and Janie Luna, and his oldest brother, Danny Ray Jones. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Laura, his sons, Benjamin (22) and Victor (18), and his older brother, Paul David (PD) Jones, along with many nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

Tracy’s influence and impact as a band director, coworker, and friend reaches far beyond the walls of the classroom. Fellow musicians and especially tuba players are connected to Tracy from all parts of the world.  Even if they never met in person, they connected through their love of music and performance. So many individuals have reached out to the family to share how much Tracy influenced and encouraged them at different points in their life. Tracy’s older son, Benjamin, noted that this quote from “It’s A Wonderful Life” really seems to fit: “Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”

Two events are being planned to honor Tracy’s life.  The first event is a memorial service to be held December 30, 2021 at Washington Avenue Baptist Church.  The service will start at 3pm with the family receiving friends starting at 1pm. Bro. Mark Gaw from WABC and Bro. Chad Ramsey from FBC-Smithville will officiate. Tracy chose cremation, and later there will be a private burial service for the family. The second event is a Celebration of Life & Music concert currently planned for February 19, 2022 where all of the music groups that were so important in Tracy’s life will be represented. Specific details will be shared at a later date. 

The family would like to express special thanks to the staff at TN Oncology, Sarah Cannon Drug Development Unit, Cookeville Regional Medical Center 6th North, and Kindred Hospice – particularly Mr. Garrett Hawkins – for the care and support given to Tracy throughout this time.

In lieu of flowers for the memorial service, the family asks you to support one or more of these organizations but especially the scholarship fund:

DeKalb County High School – Tracy M. Luna Memorial Scholarship Fund. This scholarship will be for a graduate of DCHS planning on majoring in music or music education or was a band member. Please send your donations to: DeKalb County High School, ATTN: Tracy M. Luna Scholarship Fund, 1130 West Broad Street

Smithville, TN 37166. You may contact Mrs. Jenny Norris, Assistant Principal at DCHS for any additional information needed.

Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Band – Tracy was a charter member of this group, and it was one of his greatest joys to play with them. Contributions support keeping this group financially viable and also supporting instrumental music in Cumberland County. Please send donations to: Southern Stars Symphonic Brass, Attn:  Dwight Wages, 361 Rotherham Drive, Crossville, TN 38558. You may also support this organization by attending their concerts throughout the year.

Cookeville Community Band – Tracy and his band director pals all play in this group. They offer terrific concerts in Dogwood Park all summer long. Contributions support keeping this group financially viable and providing free concerts to the Cookeville area community. Please send donations to: Cookeville Community Band, P.O. Box 194, Cookeville, TN 38503-0194.

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