Let me hear you GROWL!!!
  • 68 years old
  • Born on January 1, 1951 .
  • Passed away on July 11, 2019 .

Marching to the Beat of Mr. C.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Jerry Carasea has left this life before the rest of us were ready to let him go… typical of him. Anyone who knew him was aware that Jerry could leave a conversation mid-sentence if he thought he knew how it would end. When you had his attention, it was 100%, but you had better talk fast and with few words. 

Jerry’s high energy, sharp focus, and love for everything musical were instrumental in his success as a father, husband, friend, musician, music teacher, band director, music contest judge, and educational music consultant.  

As his wife, best friend, and mother to our children, I realize that Jerry knew we would be okay. Jerry believed all of us to be capable of more than what we thought we could. Jerry marched to the beat of his own drum, and he made sure we all followed him. He made it fun, and he made us better people because of it.

On June 13th, 2019, Jerry took Matt and I to Isle of Palms, South Carolina. We had two special weeks at the beach before medical symptoms forced his return for testing.  Jerry’s family and friends held his hand and talked to him during his last five days with us. He was never in any pain and was aware of everyone around him. On July 11th, 2019, Jerry passed away from this earth due to organ failure from pancreatic and liver cancer. We will never forget his life and his love for all of us, as his spirit lives on.

Mrs. C.

Posted by C. F. on August 1, 2019
When my parents finally agreed to upgrade me from my original, used, beater alto saxophone, Mr. C. personally tested and hand-picked a brand-new Yamaha for me to make sure I got the the best one they could afford. Later that year I was able to score a college music scholarship that more than balanced out the cost of the instrument itself. He knew. I will always be grateful for how he pushed me, encouraged me, taught me, and gave me opportunities others hadn't before him. And I will always think of him every time I pick up my Yamaha. Thank-you, Mr. C. 
Posted by Jerry Pellegrino on July 31, 2019
Jerry was a friend, mentor and colleague to me. He was one of my first customers starting out in the music business. While he was not technically my “teacher” he was one of the greatest teachers I’ve ever had. He had so much wisdom and perspective on life and obstacles that come up along the way.

I’ll never forget a time when we were helping kids try instruments to select for band and there was a girl that couldn’t make a sound on anything. We were also left with the impression that she probably didn’t have a great home life either. As soon as she walked away, he turned to me and said “Jerr (his nickname for me), that girl needs band.” Jerry realized me that being in band is so much more than making music. That, along with his talent and work ethic, is undoubtedly why he had decades of success as a band director.

Jerry was so much fun to work with and he was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. Along with the jokes and stories he had, one of my favorite things was how he would swear in Italian and just assume I understood (I didn’t, but went along with it).

I still can’t believe he is gone and miss him so much. I consider myself lucky to have had him in my life.
Posted by Jennifer Langlotz on July 30, 2019
I’m so sad to have lost my high school band director and mentor Mr.C. I was just talking with my mom about him before we heard the news reminiscing about my younger years and how he would be happy to hear that I’m taking on a bigger role in teaching band to more kids next year. He is the reason I became a music teacher and taught me more than he could ever know about music, teaching and life in general. Love you always and forever Mr, C. Go make Amanda Cook-Wickline play her saxophone for me
Posted by Christy Henderson on July 29, 2019
I was going to write this amazing post about an incredible man that somehow tolerated FOUR kids from my family going through a LOT of years of marching band. He taught me how to play euchre when I was in second grade and stuck at every home basketball game as my parents ran the concession stand to raise money for the band, he only laughed at me a little bit when I thought he was actually thinking about purchasing a horse at the Sweet Corn Festival because he said he "had to go see a man about a horse", and only a few years ago he unexpectedly walked through the door at my mom's calling hours. But as I read everyone's memories, I realized the best part about him was that he was able to make every single person feel exactly as special as he made me feel. That's a true testament to a great teacher and a great person.
Posted by Ed Sims on July 29, 2019
As a fellow band director, I knew Jerry as a friend and colleague. He was always caring for his students, helpful to his peers, and a great person. He will be missed by so many.
Posted by Bob & Eloise Rice on July 27, 2019
I worked at Cloverleaf as Assistant Treasurer for 30 yrs. retiring in 1994. Mr. Carasea was a great guy and always had a joke. What a special tribute to him at the Lodi Corn Festival parade on Saturday, July 20, 2019. He will be missed.

Eloise Rice
Posted by Scott Quinlan on July 25, 2019
When I first heard of Jerry’s passing I was totally shocked. I was not one of his students, his son Matt and my brother Robbie played in the same baseball league,Canton Challenger Baseball, on the Blue Jays. I knew he was a music teacher and played in bands but had no idea it was to the extent of what I read in the other comments. Matt hadn't played baseball in a few years but I still thought of him and Jerry often.

At the games Jerry and I would get to talking and somehow we got on the subject of Rock and Roll history. He told me he once taught a class on that,and from that point on we clicked. I even gave him my Keith Richards biography after I read it.

As all his past students have said, the guy was hilarious and a great storyteller. He told me he once played in a POLKA band that somehow got booked to play and Arab prince wedding by mistake! Obviously once they showed up the guy organizing the wedding was like “umm what?”. Jerry told me instead of getting flustered the guy pulled them aside, pulls out a big stack of $100 bills paid them what they would normally charge for a gig plus a little extra and told them to get outta there before anyone saw. Haha

Jerry will be in my thoughts this weekend as we have a baseball tournament coming up. If there is an event in his honor I will do my best to attend that. Please keep me updated.

God be with you Jerry (Mr.C), just like you were with us!

Thoughts and prayers to the Carasea family.
Posted by Gary Koski on July 23, 2019
I guess it was 5th grade (about 1974-5) that I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Carasea, as I had decided to take up the trombone. I remember the lessons we got in the basement of Oakdale elementary school, in the room that once served as the cafeteria. There were several of us (brass took lessons at once). As I recall there was me, Tom Carrel (french horn), Jan Koster, Demayne Murphy (coronet) and a couple others. This one time we were learning to play the tune, "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jerico". It was an old time jazz piece, and I thought to spice it up with some syncopation (before I really knew what that was). Mr. Carasea stopped me mid-recital and asked, "What the heck is THAT, Koski?" I explained my intention and he gave that twisted smile, shook his head and retorted, "Your'e not good enough for that....yet!". At U.L. Light Junior high school, when contest approached, he used to write up a kind of prep guide telling us what to expect. He sprinkled in call-outs to various students (mostly the first chairs of their section) usually admonishing them to their best performance while poking polite fun at their eccentricities. They were a riot. I had saved one for many years, but sadly lost it. Mr. Carasea also once told me that one of his favorite compositions was Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. I am listening to it now as I type this. Thank you Mr. Carasea, for the gift of music. You will not be forgotten.
Posted by Denise Wilson on July 22, 2019
Disappointing Mr. C in high school was the worst feeling. When he knew we tried our best and it still didn't work, he was sad for us. When we didn't try and half-assed it, he got angry. Not because we were goofing off but because we didn't give it our all. Knowing he was disappointed stung. Two big moments I remember are when, after a year of marching as a saxophone, I decided to try out for flags. Within 5 minutes of putting my name on the tryout list, I had a hand around the back of my neck and a gruff voice in my ear. "Mundorff (he only remembered it when he was angry with me) if you try out for flags, you can forget ever playing in my band again. That includes concert band. You play an instrument so you march with an instrument. You have skills. Use them. Think about it." and he walked away. I immediately removed my name from the list and played clarinet my second year.
The second big moment is when I tried out for field commander at the end of my sophomore year. I didn't think I had a chance. I wasn't a favorite of his - he was always very serious with me and he used to say I 'just played clarinet'. I tried out anyway. There were three of us and I thought for sure he'd laugh at me for even trying. The day after tryouts, he came and got me in homeroom and asked me to go for a walk. I thought for sure he was going to give me the bad news somewhere in private so I could cry. He started out telling me how hard it is to be field commander and that it has to be someone he can rely on who he felt would do a good job. He said whoever was field commander would sometimes have to do things that might upset others. The field commander took his place on the field. He needed someone who would gain the respect of the entire band and he had to make sure that person could handle it. I almost started crying because I was sure the next sentence was going to be "and that's why I chose xx to be the next field commander. I'm sorry." But, strangely, his next sentence was "so D, what size boots do you wear? I have to get them ordered now. Oh and you'll be going to camp in July." I was in shock!! I hugged him and he laughed and he told me to go call my Mom.
I didn't have the silly and fun relationship with him that many others did. He was always serious with me. I never could figure out why. I didn't always agree with him and we'd have words but I always respected him. His word was final. He always knew when we could give more. We wanted to give more.
I wanted to be a Sprout so badly in Eighth Grade but I wasn't picked. But I was picked in Ninth Grade to go to the high school concert band for the year. All of us that were picked were told we would be last chair and we were not allowed to challenge to move up. I didn't care. I thought it was the most amazing honor! I learned so much plus I got to be in two concert bands at the same time and be in marching band. It was a great help in eventually becoming first chair my Senior year.
Band was the highlight of my high school 'career' and it is all because of Mr. C. Some called him gruff and hard on us. I always thought he did it because he knew we were better than what we thought. He saw the greatness in all of us and because of that, I believed in myself enough to at least tryout for field commander and it was one of the best things I ever did.
Thank you Mr. C. for being the guiding light that got most of us through school and gave us the skills to get through life.
RIP Mr. C!
Posted by Jerry DiMuzio on July 22, 2019
  We were crazy buddies in college at IUP trying to grow up and get an education in music. It was fun getting back together here in Chicago after all these years. Save me a seat in your new sax section.
                                        Jerry DiMuzio (Chicago)
Posted by Carolyn Carasea on July 22, 2019
Hugs, Sweat & Tears…Thanks to Mr. Winter and the CHS Band Alumni who marched with the CHS band in the Lodi Sweetcorn Festival Parade. Thanks for sharing your memories with me. The postings on this website are a great comfort. There will be a celebration of Mr. C’s life with the date to be announced.
Posted by Buck Fisher on July 21, 2019
I had the privilege of being in band with Mr.C for 5 years. 86-90. Mr. Herbst (?) pulled me aside after concert band one morning in 7th grade. Asked about me playing barry sax. And that's where Mr C comes in.... they needed a bass drummer for marching band the next year.... i agreed to try... then during early 8th grade, he came down from HS to see if I would b interested in playing barry sax in the jazz band.... I was very excited about jazz band, also a little nervous too. How was an 8th grader gonna b able to keep up with the HS guys.... He assures me I would do fine. And I did. He gave me encouragement to do things that I didn't think I could do. When I heard of his passing, I texted my sister, Lynne, and told her, she was in marching band for the 5 years before I started.... we both agreed that Mr C taught us, and ALOT of other kids, many more lessons than just music. He actually taught life lessons.... it took me years after school to realise that. But as many others said, he made us feel like we were more. Thank u Mr C. U will b greatly missed.
Posted by Roxana Rathbun on July 20, 2019
I remember the summer before 8th grade when Mr. C called me to ask if I wanted to join the marching band as a sprout. I was so excited and honestly I wouldn't have survived high school without the friends and connections in band and Marching Band. I tear up every time I reminisce on those days and the way he called me Ann instead of Roxy or Roxanne (neither of which are my name!) and how he made everyone feel like they could be a musician no matter what.
Posted by Scott Miller on July 19, 2019
I had the pleasure of meeting Gerry at the bowling alley. He loved bringing Matt to bowl in the Casino league on Sunday nights. So sorry for the loss of a great man and father. You will be missed by all
Posted by Brian Maskow on July 19, 2019
I am so surprised and shocked to hear of Gerry's passing. I met Gerry when I was head band director at Highland High School in 1982-83. Gerry was a mentor teacher to me being friendly, supportive and very helpful. I looked to him and his work as an example of how to be a good teacher, conductor, musician and person. After I left Highland for Lakewood we remained friends and colleagues. I truly missed the support he gave me when I was in Medina County! God Bless you Gerry and my sympathies to his wife and family.
Posted by Joseph Duplaga on July 19, 2019
Dear mr C I will miss you terribly I remember you askkng me to give you my band book when I was dkne with it cause your werw fascinated by it. And I said I woukd. You were the one that encouraged me to ckntinue in band whem I was ready to give up you were thw first twacher I could consider a friend at cloverleaf. you will be missed terribly by all of us. Your truly Joseph Duplaga
Posted by Kim Schreiber on July 18, 2019
I had the honor and privilege of working with Mr. C as a band mom for 12 years. When he retired, I thanked Carolyn for sharing him with all of us through all the years and I kidded that I felt like a second wife because of all the hours I put in at the school for the band program. I learned early on that you didn't organize his desk. He had his own form of organized chaos. He always knew where things were and could put his hands on what he was looking for in an instant.
We had three children go through the Cloverleaf band program. Our oldest marched from 9th through 11th grade and was in symphonic band from 9th through 12th grade. Our daughter started as a prop in 7th grade, then marched from 8th through 12th grade and also played in the symphonic band. Our youngest son started as a prop in 6th grade and started marching his 8th grade year. He marched 5 years and was also in symphonic band all those years. He was so impacted by Mr. C that he went back to college after getting a BS in psychology to get a teaching certificate for music education.
I am so glad to see that many of the posts share life lessons that Mr. C taught his students and peers. He truly cared about all of his students - even the frustrating ones - and treated them all alike. He did believe in making students strive to be better than they thought they could be. He always had the band room open Fridays after school before games so that students had somewhere to go when going home was not always an option. He made sure the band was always fed before a competition. He understood that each student was not perfect, he asked that they gave 100% and improved to the level that they didn't even realize they were able to reach. He did instill responsibility and commitment in all of his students. And they responded.
I know that when Cloverleaf finally gets an arts center, with an auditorium, Mr. C will be sitting in the front row enjoying the first concert.
Posted by Zechariah Paul on July 18, 2019
It’s taken me a week or so to process this loss and the impact he had on me personally and on Cheryl Paul and I growing up together in Marching Band.
Mr C. was the most influential teacher I had in school. He believed in my talents before I knew I even had them and pushed me to do much more and take me out of my comfort zone. He gave me the lead solo in Shaft my sophomore year and convinced me to do solo and ensemble. I remember him picking the piece and saying this will be challenging but worth it (morceau symphonique). He stayed after school many times to help me perfect it. He then had me try out for the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony and I used the same piece to audition - I went on to be selected and spent the next 3 years playing for them where we played multiple concerts a year at Severance Hall - an amazing experience I would have never had without him.
I will never forget after state competition we had received a 2 after a great performance and he came on the bus furious, “you guys were robbed out there, you played it perfect and those judges got it wrong, don’t you dare hang your heads” or something to that effect. If we had deserved the 2 he would have let us know it. He somehow had the ability to connect with each and everyone of us at a personal deep level - a true leader! He will be missed. RIP Mr. C!!
Posted by Megan Wasmer on July 17, 2019
I’m truly saddened by this news...and also so honored to have spent 8 years learning and playing music with this man. I was the quiet one that he understood, and he pushed and challenged me in ways that were so important and that no other teacher has quite been able to do. He was the one I would stick around and continue to play for, whichever band or ensemble it may have been. He was a gift for so many students over the years. Amazing how hearing about this brings back so many memories. For us musicians, he was a gift. Rest easy Mr C, and thank you.
Posted by TC Biggs on July 16, 2019
Tough.  Crazy tough.  The hot August days when we had to stand at attention, for days it seemed at times.  Discipline.  More discipline than I've asserted in my life thus far.....He was a perfect band director.  We were an amazing band.  All 4 years of my marching experience.  I would do it all again. I hadn't seen him since 88 when I graduated, but when I heard of his passing, I cried like it was yesterday.  I believe all who knew him are forever blessed. He knew how to make us all feel like winners, even when we had doubts.  I can only hope his legacy lives on though all of us whose lives he touched; in our own continuing pursuits of happiness, success in life, and love for the music.  I hope I can live up to half of the greatness he instilled in us.  God bless Mr. C, his family, and friends, and all of us who feel a hole had been left in the world now that he's gone....probably taking heaven's band to state.....with nothing but the highest honors.  Heaven will be better with him there, despite our earthly loss of such a powerful and graceful figure in our world.  Thank you Mr. C.  I know I'm a better man for having known your strength, and love for all of us.
Posted by Valen Boreman Jones on July 15, 2019
I've had several teachers in my life. Few inspired like Gerald Carasea. His love for music was contagious. Edgy, creative, fun and caring...Mr C led our music department to new heights. What a ride! I am so glad to have been a part of his time at Cloverleaf. I was forever changed by knowing him. 
The world feels a bit darker today. We've lost a beautiful soul. Thank you, Mr C! Your music continues on in the hearts of many.
Posted by Daryl Kubilus on July 15, 2019
I am honored to have known Jerry for the last 26 years. When I was named band director at Highland High School in 1993, Jerry was the first band director to call and welcome me as a new Medina County director. He told me he knew my music library at Highland was lousy and that if I ever needed to borrow music from the Cloverleaf library or needed advice on anything music, I could call him. I always valued his friendship and how he looked after and mentored me as a 22 year old new director. One of my proudest moments as a band director was when Jerry told me my band sounded great (in my 9th year as a director). It meant so much because I knew he wouldn't have said that if he didn't mean it. After knowing each other for 15 years, I had the privilege of working with Jerry at Cloverleaf when I became the Cloverleaf superintendent. I could always count on Jerry for the truth-- unedited and without sugar-coating! I am so happy I got to experience the love he had for his students and the love they have for him-- first hand. Jerry was a true one-of-a-kind personality who will always hold a special place in my heart. I miss him!!!
Posted by Thomas Smicklas on July 13, 2019
Gerald and I first became acquainted in 1973 which was our first year of teaching - he at U.L. Light in Barberton and me at Norton Middle School and High School. We had a professional relationship for many years as our paths remained in music, but in different locations. Mr. Carasea was a wonderful person and excellent band director who always put his students first. He was a credit to his profession, and a consummate hard working band director for his entire career.
Posted by Amy Rach on July 13, 2019
I think of Mr Carasea every time I stand in front of my own band. Every time I am yelling at the band to stop moving at attention. “Don’t scratch take a bath” Every time I am conducting and want to take my sweater off because it is hot in the room. “Don’t worry this is all that is coming off” every time a student asks if I know how to play Euchre. Mr. Carasea gave me 4 amazing years of high school band but he as also gave me the passion to join him in as a music educator. The past several years I have had him come out to work with my band. He truly loves music and students. He will always be an inspiration to me.
Posted by Erin Zsarnay Grubiss on July 13, 2019
My most precious memories of high school was of marching band and concert band. Mr. C was the best! He taught us so much, those who knew him will forever be blessed! My thoughts and prayers are with his family... God Bless!
Posted by Catherine Kelley on July 12, 2019
My most cherished memories from highschool were because of Mr C. I dont know anyone who didnt love him. He always made you feel important. He was truly the best. I'm glad I had the pleasure of knowing him.
Posted by Amanda Cooper Gibbs on July 12, 2019
I don't even know where to start with Mr. C. To say he was the best is a simple but true statement. He taught not only me but my other 4 siblings too. I had him for concert band all the way through graduation and one year in marching band. When I decided to join marching band there were too many piccolos (I played the flute) and Mr. C encouraged me to pick up the flugalbone. I was nervous since I only read treble but he knew I could do it and cheered me the whole way. I'll never forget the fear of sitting in the front row of a band concert praying his sweat isn't flicked on to you! And I've heard the horrible FBI joke more times than I can remember. He was one of a kind and will truly be missed.
Posted by Sheila Riedel on July 12, 2019
Mr. C made a difference in my life! He taught me self-discipline, time management, and how to memorize. Here is the funny story..I crossed the band room behind Mr. C. He had on a pink dress shirt and there was a black hair on his back. I went to pick it off and it was attached. He stood up and yelled! I was mortified! First period band class had a huge laugh! He was tough yet fair! He made hard work fun! We were the proud crowd because of Mr. C believing is us and teaching us to be our best!
I know Mr. C is already playing and directing in Gods heavenly band! We will miss you until we meet again in that concert in the sky!
My deepest condolences and
Prayers for peace for his family!?♡
Posted by Karen Tate on July 12, 2019
Kids at Cloverleaf learned respect, acceptance, responsibility and music all while having fun from Mr. C.. Both of my daughters marched under Mr. C.'s direction and enjoyed their time in band, while learning so much! I am so thankful that Mr. C shared his talents with so many kids at Cloverleaf. He left this world a better place and will be missed-he was loved by many.
Posted by Missy Stroup on July 12, 2019
My heart is saddened by the passing of Gerald Carasea or Mr. C to most! Words can't express how he positively impacted thousands of students & adults and how he loved his wife and children! His passion for music and mentoring youth and adults not only in music but during daily course of events, have helped shape the lives of literally thousands! He was a trailblazer, pushing for what was right even if it wasn't popular or easy. He always found a way. Truly one of my heroes. Say hi to mom, Judy Merkle and Ray Boggs. Start the show without me, because I am going to be late! Til next time Jerry.
Posted by Bill Shaffer on July 12, 2019
I worked with Mr C. for 5 years as my daughter was a flag helper in 8th and in the band for 4 years. He was a loving, caring and dedicated man both with his family and the band. He hated to fly and when we had to fly to San Antonio Tx to set up the bands trip to the Alamo bowl I got to see this first hand. Even with a few drinks he was white knuckles the whole flight both ways. He did it though for the kids, he told me most of them would grow up and stay in the area, he wanted them to see some where else that was why the band took an out of state trip every 4 years. This is just one of so many things he did out side of the music to help the kids.
Posted by Angie Phillips-Bates on July 12, 2019
Mr. C was a great teacher. He believed in us a student's. He was hard on us, but in a good way. He knew we could achieve more than we lazy teenagers wanted to give. Especially in those hot summers doing 8 hour drills. He will always be my favorite FBI (fat bald italian)! Praying for family and friends dealing with this saddening loss.
Posted by Jessica Brantner on July 12, 2019
Mr. C was such an influence in my life. He inspired my passion for music. He was an amazing marching band choreographer. He was undefeated at euchre and hearts. I mean, something would always come up if it looked like he was going to lose, but the fact remains that he was undefeated . He had a way of joking with us that let us know he cared. He made fun of himself the most, calling himself FBI (fat, bald, Italian). We will miss you Mr. Carasea. Thank you for all the kids you encouraged over the years. You leave an awesome legacy.
Posted by Tiffany Bird on July 12, 2019
My first memory of Mr C was how angry I was at him for not letting me out of band practice to go canoeing. I began to learn the meaning of commitment and responsibility that day. Over the years, as many others have said, Mr C balanced his stern "all-business" persona on the field with the always smiling jokester in the band room. As a flighty teenage girl, Mr C noticed that perhaps I had a couple of relationships going on, and when cleaning out the file cabinets, handed me a piece of music "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now" laughing the whole time. After college, when I saw him years later, as a substitute teacher, he greeted me like an old friend and filled me in on all the"a**holes" in the school, lol, treating me like an equal instead of a former student. He will forever be in my heart. I hope my children get to experience the kind of love and admiration for a teacher that I have for Mr. Carasea.
Posted by Linda Swiat on July 12, 2019
I drive bus for Cloverleaf and I would do a lot of the band trips, Mr. C would ride my bus, and he always called me by Norma, another drive. I would tell him my name is Linda, and he would just laugh and say I know just like teasing you. I would say about 98% of the times would not sit in a seat, he would stand by the steps and talk to me. He would tell stories or tell jokes, we would talk about places to go eat. He will be greatly missed. He made a difference to many peoples life. Keep the music going!!
Posted by Dee Roberts Grant on July 12, 2019
Always in our hearts .  Such an amazing man, director and teacher who touched so many lives.
Posted by Phillip Maschke on July 12, 2019
I’ve had a heavy heart all day after my wife Alissa (Yannayon) told me Mr. C passed away. I was a student of his from 1985-1987 and she was from 1987-1991. When she told him that she was dating me, he shrieked “NO?!”  I felt bad. I knew then that my ‘playful shenanigans’ had caused him some real consternation. There are some stories behind that, but they demonstrate my inconsiderate nature back then more than it does his frustration with me.

Rather, I choose to recollect his wrinkled-nose smile and him laughing at his own jokes as if he just heard it for the first time. We laughed too, but more because of his amusement than the joke itself. He inspired us to perform to the best of our ability and treated us as if we were professional musicians playing at Severance Hall instead of a bunch of kids playing in a school gymnasium. Because of him, I have a love of jazz and classical music to this day. I don’t know anyone that was better suited for their chosen profession than Mr. C was for his. I'm a better person for having known him, if only for a couple years.

Rest in peace, Mr. Carasea.
Posted by Kyle Davis on July 12, 2019
Mr. C was probably the best teacher I had. He knew how to see potential in his students and bring it out. He help me fulfill one my childhood dreams of playing drumset when he asked me one day when I was in 9th grade if I was interested in learning to play the drumset. He help set me up with lessons and a practice kit. In investing in me he got a consistent drumset player for 4 years and I got a skill that I have kept on using since. Playing drumset was the median that got me involved in campus ministry in college that I was apart for 5 years. Being involved in the ministry is a how I met my wife and made lifelong friendships. Playing drumset became my niche for several years. If it wasn’t Mr. C I don’t know if I would have ever picked up playing the drumset or just went on with regular percussion. My life would probably be very different if it wasn’t for Mr. C. Thank you Mr. C, you’ll be missed.
Posted by Pamela West-Finkle on July 11, 2019
No one person is more responsible for my musicianship and character more than Mr. C. I think I spent more time on a marching band field and in rehearsals with him over four plus years than I did with my parents. He was extremely funny, intense, down to earth, real, and able to inspire his students to give 110% always...even in rehearsal. He truly cared and before his wife and kids, we were his family...and we truly were a musical family. We didn't mind he was hairy and sweaty, yelled at us through a bullhorn, and wasn't satisfied until he knew we had done our very best. We loved him unconditionally and wanted more than anything to please him.
He didn't just teach me to be an amazing bassoonist and a so-so mellophone player (that was my fault), he taught me and so many thousands before and after me, what kind of person to be. I became a professional musician thanks to him, always striving for excellence and seeking his approval. I always sent him my CDs, would occasionally stop by the school to see him, and begged him to sell me one of his bassoons, which he always refused.
I will forever remember my bassoon lessons with him when he would whittle on my reed, wipe the shavings on my pants, and say "So, Galbraith...how's your love life?" just to catch my awkward teenage self off guard. I will never forget the feeling when our band was the first Cloverleaf band to qualify for state competition. Some of my best memories were on that marching band field and on our many trips.
The world became a darker place today without him, except that those like me who carried their music with them into adulthood might brighten our own torches a little more, knowing that in remembering him, we now carry the torch.
If I can't make it to the services (I am in New York), my heart will be there. I know there are so many people I would love to see again...my true childhood friends, my band rat family. My heart and greatest sympathies go out to his family.
Signed, Pam Galbraith, class of 1986 (aka Angel Pam West)
Posted by Scott Vallant on July 11, 2019
Mr. Carasea: Mr. C! Was one of the first inspirational people in my high school career. He took me from a flute playing pain in the @$$, to a tenor sax, bassoon, oboe, Key of "C" playing band member. He literally changed the coarse of my life. After graduation, worked as a commercial printer in pre-press for 22 years. I was always missing something in my life. Music has always been a big part of my life, just not as big as band. Mr. C pushed me to be bigger, and better than I ever could have dreamed. I started on Wadsworth Fire and EMS 25 years ago as a fluke. I always worked second or third shift. So, no one was ever home that i knew, they all had normal jobs. The drive Mr. C instilled in me came welling back up, when I was given an opportunity to try out for the fire/ems department. I found what I had been missing for so many years. A bigger purpose! Not about me, but WE! Being a part of a bigger group with a common goal is what gets me going! I have made friends through band from other countries, Takashi Itahara. I have bonds that can never be broken, Tim Lawrence. I met my wife through friend from band, Allen A. Rom. She did exactly the same things I did in high school. A common bond formed in band, and music because a teacher took the time to see potential, and a different path for a student. He did not just do his job, he is a teacher that shapes young peoples lives, now and forever more! Thank you Mr. "C" from the bottom of my heart for believing in a skinny little blonde haired "Pest of the year", and making me "The outstanding band member" that you knew i could become! Rest in peace, and keep inspiring, and "conducting" peoples lives from heaven. Forever great full, Scott Vallant
Posted by Kelly Williams Steiner on July 11, 2019
Mr. C was an incredible person. He was so important to so many of us and I just don’t think there is really any way to express how much he meant. He touched so many lives and will never be forgotten. We love you Mr. C! Thank you for all of the memories.
Posted by Misty Dangelo Lowery on July 12, 2019
Mr. C was my Cloverleaf band director and he was one hell of one at that. The passion he had for music you couldn't help but feel. I remeber when a type of music class was mandatory. Those that were afraid or could not sing got to learn to play music as one with the best teacher and friend you could ever ask for through your toughest years of fitting in. I along with many others was very lucky to be in the presence of this great man. You really made an impression on me Mr. C. Thank you to his family for sharing him for so many years with us!
Posted by Shelly Schaefer Barringto... on July 12, 2019
Mr C was the best band teacher around! He always encouraged us to be our best (and by that I mean Practice Practice and Practice some more), which instilled a strong work ethic in us. It's true we worked hard, but when we stepped out onto that field we had pride in knowing that we would perform to the best of our ability because of how much he cared! I'll never forget taking the trip to AZ and performing in the Fiesta Bowl Parade and at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe!!! He and his beautiful wife had just gotten married, and she came along with all of us (what a honeymoon! Lol), that's how dedicated he was to his band students. I will forever remember how much fun he made band, how he laughed so hard he cried, and how much he truly cared for all of us. ❤
Posted by Pete Reimer on July 11, 2019
I had known Jerry since I started at Green 17 years ago. He was a great band director, a funny and accepting man, a friend who would listen, a mentor who could encourage, a honest character to respect and someone I grew to know and have the deepest respect for. “For all whose lives were touched by his, what has left us will never be greater than what was given to us by him.”
Posted by Dennita Kindall on July 11, 2019
I shared an office with you for 11 years. You made me feel capable. You believed in me. You supported the choral program. Thank you. I loved every day that I worked with you.
   You told it like it was. No one could get away with saying the things that you said but the important part was; you really cared about the human being that you were talking to. They could feel you pushing them to be better.
   I will always remember how you would share a joke and then laugh at your own joke so hard that the tears rolled down your face.
    I have missed our relationship for awhile now. You made the world a better place. The world is definitely different without Jerry Carasea. See you later my friend.
Posted by Jayne Naragon on July 11, 2019
While I never experienced the opportunity of knowing Jerry as a band director, I did have the honor of working with him at Pellegrino Music Center. Jerry was not just a road-rep for the company - he was a straight-shooting, tell-it-like-it-is, audacious, hilariously-funny, incredibly-knowledgeable, hard-working, honest, caring, loyal, and generous friend - and all of us at Pellegrino Music Center loved him dearly. To say we are shell-shocked and devasted at his untimely passing would be an understatement.
As I struggle to comprehend that someone so pure in spirit....so unique...and so much a true role model could leave us so suddenly, all I can say is that no one ever completely dies as long as they live in the memory of those who knew him and perpetuate his legacy.
Every one of us fortunate enough to have known Jerry carry the seeds to plant his ideals, knowledge, humor, wit, and integrity in future soil. In that sense, Jerry is timeless and immortal. And, if he were to read this tribute his initial statement would be, "What a crock of s**t!" But, his private aside would be, "You're an okay cat, Jayne." That was Jerry...
My deepest condolences to Jerry's wife, Carolyn, and their children. The Pellegrino family (and I'm talking about the COMPANY family - the entire dysfunctional bunch of us) are here for you. We mourn the loss of one of our own....
Posted by Mike Esterle on July 11, 2019
For twelve years, from Keith's start past Kurt's years in the music program, I had the opportunity of spending many hours with you. You were always a great leader who cared for the kids he had. You will be greatly missed! Rest in Peace Jerry.
Posted by Deidre Ringman on July 11, 2019
Mr.C was a wonderful band teacher. I only had him when I was in 5th and 6th grade band, just learning how to play trumpet. He would always tell me how talented I was. It was after my 6th grade year I quit band cause I was told he would not be my teacher in 7th grade. He was upset with my decision. That is how much he thought of me. Years later I regret my decision to not keep up with band especially when he believed in me so much. You will be missed Mr C!
Posted by Laurie Lewis Mueller on July 11, 2019
Oh Mr. C,
What a great teacher and supportive person! I graduated in 1982, Mr C's first years at Cloverleaf! Marching band, jazz band and concert band. He made it all great. I felt like he taught me so so much! R. I. P.
Posted by Beth Whitson on July 11, 2019
I was only at Cloverleaf for two years, but it was Mr. C's first years there. The band room was always open to anyone at any time. It was like a second home. Mr. C. expected the best you could give and he always made it fun. My condolences to his family and all who loved him.

Leave a Tribute