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 Linda Nicholas on July 11, 2019
I met Mr. C when my oldest son, Matt Fisher, joined band at Cloverleaf. What a great teacher and inspiration he was to Matt! He encouraged Matt to switch from trumpet to tuba, and Matt continues to play music to this day (he traded tuba for guitar though!). Our families thoughts are with Mr C’s family during this time of loss. But I can’t help but think that the great band in the sky was excited to gain such a talented bassoon player, and Mr C will keep a seat in the band for us!
Posted by Kathy Brezina on July 11, 2019
I was a teacher at Cloverleaf, but at the Elementary level. There wasn't one teacher who didn't know Mr. C and respected him. Always upbeat and a great guy. Truly appreciated by both community and fellow teachers!
Posted by Emily Marie on July 11, 2019
He made everything fun, and was loved by every student he taught. What a loss.
Posted by Jay Wardeska on July 11, 2019
Mr. C wasn’t my band director, he was a mentor. I started my career at Buckeye, and Mr. C was literally the first person to call me in my apartment and welcome me to Medina County. He was always supportive, and he kept an eye on me—supporting me throughout those first few years. This grew into an amazing friendship. He continued to be a generous support and a dear friend throughout the rest of my 30 years here in Medina County. He was a straight shooter, and had a hilarious sense of humor. Words fail to adequately share what he has meant to so many. My heart is broken. My prayers are with his wife and children. He was truly one of the “good guys.” I will miss him dearly.
Posted by Kari Lindstrom Vaughn on July 11, 2019
As a member of our building leadership team at school we have been tasked with reading a book about guiding learning. My job is to present a synopsis of the first chapter entitled "Leadership". I honestly can't think of anyone who embodied that more than Mr. C!! We all WANTED to be better because he knew that we could be! There is no way to post A memory of him because there are so many. The fact that he always remembered us - and our families - even so many years later makes him stand out (I'm happy when I can remember the ones in my current class )! And when he yelled at us, it never once felt mean. My deepest condolences to his family
Posted by Amy Donovan on July 11, 2019
My prayers go out to Mr. C's family. "It was just high school band" some might say but those few years made such a difference. Mr. C pushed me to do those things I didn't think I could do, and I did them well. The confidence he had in my ability was like nothing I'd ever experienced before. He was tough and he pushed and there were days I really wanted to quit because of that, but he taught me to persevere, push through the fear and the result was beautiful music. Thank you, Mr. C for giving all of yourself to all of us.
Posted by Tom Carrell on July 11, 2019
I was the youngest of the five Carrell Kids. We all had Mr C for band at U L Light Jr High in Barberton. He was a great guy to all of us. Treated us like family. He will be missed. He judged many a competition for my kids in the Wadsworth and Cloverleaf bands. Truly sad to see he had passed away.
Posted by Becky Shotwell Pritt on July 11, 2019
Mr. C was like family. I have so many fond memories of him. He taught we how to play the trumpet in 5th grade. I will miss him dearly. I am so torn apart by this news. I truly feel for his family.
Posted by Mark Mosgrove on July 11, 2019
I cried so hard when I saw this news. I drove home and it was raining like crazy and I thought it was only fitting as tears poured down from heaven. I sat on my front step and watched it rain and the thunder rolled, and it so sounded like drums. It was just the perfect, but yet so sad, moment to honor Mr. C.
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I cried the whole time.
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The entire time I remembered his crowning achievement. My junior year we won grand champion at the Brunswick competition with a score of 272, I think it was. We were standing at parade rest on the field for the awards ceremony while Wadsworth was next to us and going crazy as they were awarded the first awards.
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They were cheering, hooping and hollering and some were mocking us as each of the first four or five awards went to them.
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But then the first of the big three awards came. The announcer said “Cloverleaf” as though he was surprised. Then the second was ours ... Wadsworth kids started to worry... and then the third..... and then GRAND CHAMPION!
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That, for me, was the pinnacle of four years as part of Mr. C’s band.
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I’m proud that my freshman class was the first to make it to State. And I’m also proud that we got a “1” all four years while in band.
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That is a testament to Mr. C.. That time was his magnum opus. Those of us who experienced that will never forget that accomplishment. And it’s Mr. C’s direction, hard work and will that led us to that incredible feat.
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And then later when I saw that Cloverleaf had gone to something like 25 or more years in a row to State, I smiled with pride.
THAT was Mr. C’s life’s work.
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Well done, our mentor and friend.
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We stand in attention to honor you.
Posted by Ericka Kott on July 11, 2019
Mr. C was one of the most memorable, dedicated people on earth. His passion for our performances in band and marching band fueled us all. Words cannot express how much he has impacted the lives of his students, and he will be missed by everyone. Thank you for everything, Mr. C, and thanks also to your family for sharing you with us.
Posted by Cindy McQuown on July 11, 2019
I am so sad to hear about Mr. C's passing. Participating in marching band was one of the best experiences I had in High School and Mr. C was one of a kind. Thank you for all the wonderful musical memories. My condolences to Jerry's family.
Posted by Donna Coffman on July 11, 2019
Mr. C. , I was his neighbor at Cloverleaf for 11 years, right across the hall in my little office I got to hear and see him almost every day. He always had a joke for me when he stopped by and I don't know if I ever got to finish an entire sentence before he was on the move again, to me he was always in motion. He made marching band a wonderful place for my daughter and I will be forever grateful to him. He touched so many lives and we are the better for knowing him.
Posted by Joe Vozar on July 11, 2019
He had the best bands in the state. Cloverleaf was always proud of them. When Jerry came down to Westfield for the students he always would come to my door and say, " Hey Vozar, did you hear this one yet? And he would tell his joke, laugh louder than me, and get to his students. What a great friend. I know they have a band up there for you buddy.
Posted by Holly Neokratis on July 11, 2019
It is truly amazing to see all the lives that had a positive impact because of this man! I was one of those people. I was shy and awkward, but I belonged...not because of who my parents were, the friends I had....just because everyone belonged in his circle. The highlight of my high school career was in 9th grade. Scared and small....walking into a big school...not many friends, sit down at band, he wasted no time organizing chairs. I made 1st trumpet with the big boys that looked twice my size! They looked at me like....a little 9th grader?? But Mr. C spoke, and that was that, and suddenly I wasn't a shy 9th grader, I just acquired respect and there was a place for me.....someone saw my talent, and that someone was Mr. C! I'm sorry I hit you in the head at practice with my trumpet....you were yelling at everyone to get the move down correctly. I sensed that you were right behind me....but thought....he wants us to do it right....and he made this up....he knows we have a 180* turn here. Well sure enough, I smacked him as hard as I could with my trumpet when I whipped around! I wasn't hurt, but he was mumbling "it was his fault" as he was rubbing his head. And I can't believe with all these comments, no one is mentioning the Monday band practice after a performance. The TV was set up, get in your seat, there was no time to spare watching and rewinding to all the spots that need improvement! He had all the mistakes memorized and he wasn't quiet about telling us what we did wrong and what was expected! Some kids grow up without adults believing enough in them, or caring enough, to yell at them, and it shows! We were awesome because of his instruction! It wasn't until I was an adult with my own children, and saw adults showing favoritism, squashing kids confidence, or just not really caring enough. I also saw HS bands and thought, oh my, they need a Mr. C!
Thank you Mr. C for all you did for us. I hope you have a big band in heaven to lead! For his family, many thoughts and prayers!
Posted by Amy Perry on July 11, 2019
I don't remember the names of most of my teachers, but I will never forget Mr. C. He was an amazing teacher, and I always knew we had the best band around because of him and his vision (in fact, few compared in my mind). The days I spent on drill team immersed in band camp, practices, games, and competitions are forever etched in my memory, along with Mr. C.
Posted by Daniel Adrian on July 11, 2019
Mr. C was a living institution at Cloverleaf. He touched so many students' lives and always made us feel we each had our own special connection with him.  He's instilled the love of musical performance in so many kids. His memory lives on.
Posted by Terry Bilek on July 11, 2019
I will always remember him for his dedication to the marching bad had the opportunity with my parents to volunteer and take of the bus. God bless you
Posted by Missy Steiner on July 11, 2019
My maiden name is Hamad. I was apart of Cloverleaf band from 1983-1986. Mr. C was the best teacher ever. He made an impression on everyone he touched. I remember having to work my way to play cards on his team and God help you if you made a mistake, you would never live it down. He was the best and most caring teacher I knew and a slave driver during marching season. Never was our proudest moment when we beat Brunswick in competition. Every school was out to beat us and I remember more than once, practicing late on school nights just to get a part right or play the rift correctly. I loved every minute of that time. We will miss you and your talent in this world but you left us all better for having you in our lives. He was a legend and there is no other like him. He will be missed. I hope you and dad are having a good time in heaven! My thoughts and prayers are with Carolyn and the children.
Posted by Heidi Nickel Gross on July 11, 2019
Mr C was an amazing man with the patience that is truly inspiring. He was the reason my husband Ed stayed on as videographer as long as he did. We will miss him dearly. Prayers and love to Carolyn and the kids. RIP
Posted by Christina Wilson on July 11, 2019
Mr. C was a tough guy with a heart of gold, a passion for music, and a willingness to spend infinite amounts of time planning events that gave his students opportunities for growth and travel. He worked us HARD those hot summers of twice daily practices on a treeless slanted hill in the blazing sun. He sweated along with us in his striped tube socks. Mr. C meant alot to me then and still does now. He is missed and loved.
Posted by Randi Vahl on July 11, 2019
Mr. C is the only teacher I truly remember and had the biggest impact on my life. You knew he really cared about you and it showed that even years later he would remember who you were. Prayers for his family.
Posted by Danyel Zwingelberg on July 11, 2019
Mr. C was a very kind and supportive man, always pushing his students to do their best. Mr. C will always hold a special place in my heart and he will never be forgotten.
Thank you, Mr. C for all you have done for me and all of your students. You will be greatly missed. ❤️
Posted by Mindy Longwell on July 11, 2019
Mr.C pushed me he pushed all of us, but he did it with a confidence that made you also believe in yourself, the way he believed in you. I will never forget his stories, and the way that he laughed while we all just laughed because he thought it was that funny. I will miss the way you called me mindls, even in our correspondence through my college years. He built unbreakable bonds with many and will never be forgotten.
Posted by Lynne Eberz on July 11, 2019
Mr.C was the biggest reason I joined marching band and also the reason I decided to ultimately join the Army band. I was nervous for my audition to get into the Army band but he encouraged me and told me I could do it! He helped so many of us young people become disciplined and work hard. We all knew when he meant business but we also knew when it was time to play when he would give that wrinkle nosed smile. He is the best! Love you Mr. C ♥️. My condolences to his family and friends.
Posted by Kirstie Cremeans on July 11, 2019
Mr. C was a great teacher. He did so much more for us than teach. He fought for us. He gave us a safe place to be and to stay out of trouble.
Posted by Mary Lenk on July 11, 2019
Mr. C was a part of my life for a long time. Both of my sisters were in marching band with him as the director, and my oldest sister played in the regular high school band as well. I remember when I was little, hiding under my mom’s chair at a band concert and thinking “man I want to be in that band. I want to do that too.” And I did.
I only had the privilege of him teaching me for a bit in elementary school, but I will never forget him teaching me alternative fingerings for the clarinet. He always called me “The Missing Lenk” as I was the final Lenk to go through Cloverleaf. He was a big part of my childhood as I was always around my sisters, going to band concerts and football games. Rest In Peace Mr. C and thank you for everything you’ve done.
Posted by Sandy Wise on July 11, 2019
Mr. C was a colleague at Cloverleaf as well as a very influential teacher to my daughter. I will be forever grateful for the time he spent with us. We are blessed that he was in our lives. My sympathy to his family in this time of massive change for them.
Posted by Amber McVay on July 11, 2019
Mr C was more than a teacher to so many of us. The impact he had on my life cannot easily be put into words. Mr C was not just a teacher, he was a father figure. I grew up without a dad, but in the walls of that school I knew I had someone watching out for me, guiding me, and holding me accountable at all times. The way he could call you out without condemning you was so important as a teen. He could make the hardest moments humorous and bearable. The lessons I have carried with me are beyond music notes and rhythm. One year I threw my audition to be as far as possible from another student. Mr C knew what was going on. He always knew what was going on with us. He didn’t allow me to fall any lower than one chair position and placed one person between us. He pulled me aside and taught me that I could never let another person direct the outcome of my life and successes. He wasn’t mad, he understood. He also held me accountable for my side of things and guided me to a healthier mind set. This lesson guided the greater part of my life and allowed me to rise above all of my failures along the way. Thank you isn’t enough, but it’s all I have. I am so blessed to have been in his presence and taught by him.
Posted by Debbie Eglin on July 11, 2019
I am truly sad to hear this. Mr. C was one of a kind. I still talk about the good ole days of marching band and playing euchre on the bus! There was a time for work and then play. And there was never any confusion. I remember being rather intimidated by Mr. C until I got to know him and beat him at euchre!!!  I am sending my prayers and well wishes to his family. He will be missed. He IS a legend at Cloverleaf. At a time when NONE of the sports teams could win, here we were, the band rats, kicking butt and winning! RIP Mr. C.
Posted by Tina Smoter on July 11, 2019
Mr c was a great band director I played the French horn and always told me play louder he couldn't hear me... I always thought I wasn't good enough but he always encourage me .. he was a great man. He will be missed...
Posted by Cindy Glass on July 11, 2019
I and many others became band directors because of Mr. C’s example and influence. My husband and I were freshmen when Mr. C came to Cloverleaf and it was exciting to see the transformation of the band program and its continued excellence. The Cloverleaf band program is well respected in the music education community and that is a direct result of Jerry’s hard work and dedication. We all have countless stories to remember, usually funny ones (the man could cheat at euchre like nobody’s business), and I know that Nathan and I can say that our high school band years were some of the best ones of our lives. The entire Cloverleaf community mourns the loss of a truly great teacher who made such a positive impact on the lives of so many.
Posted by Melanie Lyn Wiseman on July 11, 2019
Mr.C was always so very kind to everyone that he was around. When you were having a bad day and he saw you in the hallway his smile could light everything up and make your forget that you had a bad day. His humor and laugh was infectious to a room of people. He always saw the best in everyone and everything. He will truly be missed and always loved!
Posted by Marty Kerr on July 11, 2019
When I was in 7th grade he took me aside from the brass section and said "Martin (he always called me Martin) I need a bass player". I responded "Guitar?" He laughed and said "No. The Tuba. You'll pick it up quickly". He was the first person that ever told me that I was good at something. He encouraged me to play solos, try out for the youth symphony, and be a better person. When the band went to Disney World he roomed with my dad and they became good friends (as much of a friend as my dad would allow himself).
When my dad had a heart attack the following summer Mr. C was my rock. Mr. C made my teenage years bearable and always encouraged me to be better. This was before Glee when it wasn't cool to be nerdy and into band and drama.
He was a mentor to me and a father figure in so many ways. My appreciation of all music, especially jazz, is because of him. He was a great teacher and friend. The world got a little darker today...
Posted by Jennifer Morgan on July 11, 2019
My life was forever changed by meeting and being taught by Mr. C. I started with the marching band as a sprout in 8th grade and immediately learned the lessons of hard work, dedication, teamwork, integrity and grit. Because of Mr. C, I was encouraged to learn a new instrument for jazz band and to try out for the field commander of the marching band- to go for the things I wanted. I learned how to win with humility, how to lose with grace.  I learned that even when you think you are done... you aren't done. All of these lessons have shaped who I am and will forever drive me forward and I am a better person because of him.   He was just the best... from his wrinkled nose grin to his love of jazz... his sayings (I've heard better sounds in the mens room) and his true passion for teaching.  He will be missed, but was so loved during his time here. 
My deepest sympathies to Mr. C's family. Peace to all of you and thank you for sharing him with us for so many years. 
Jennifer (Slife) Morgan
Class of 1991

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