Shared by Leroy Martin on July 29, 2019
I first met Gerry when he arrived in Barberton to interview for the UL Light band position. I was the band director at Portage Jr High at the time. We became good friends and colleagues. He was an amazing musician and a great teacher. He had the respect of all who knew him. 

He helped me in many ways, professionally and personally. I valued his support. I’ll never forget the day he helped me move into my new home. He had a bad back, but still helped me move a very heavy refrigerator. 

When it came time time for him to move on professionally, I called Bob Hofstetter, the Supervisor of Music in Wayne County to recommend he hire Gerry. He informed me that I was a little late since he already received many calls supporting Gerry and was indeed going to hire him.

i could relate many stories about Gerry that show what a fantastic band director, musician and friend to many people he was. Suffice it to say that he will be missed by all who knew him hope we’ll meet again on some “stage” performing with a heavenly ensemble.
Shared by Ron Faye Gross Stewart on July 27, 2019
Carolyn  you have our deepest sympathy Jerry will sure be missed    we catered your wedding  Ron & Faye Stewart

For one of the most dedicated, and motivating teacher that I knew;

Shared by Denise Klemm on July 14, 2019

I'll never forget when I first joined band in 6th grade, I was legitimately so scared. I had heard so much talk about how lonely and cold the band room was, and how grouchy Mr. C was. I walked into my first class, eyes all wide trying not to make my presence known...then in walks our band teacher, Mr. Carasea. I'll never forget how happy he was to introduce himself to the class. The "grouchiest, stern, grump", was a jolly, eager, and incredibly astounding teacher. After the first day, I can't recall much after, but I ended up in his Music Theory class my Junior year. I ended up switching classes in the middle of the trimester. It was very difficult transitioning from Spanish to Music Theory, and he could definitely tell. Him and I battled so much with me being so behind and not catching on as quick as the rest of the class. He was so dedicated, and determined to make sure I did not fail that class. He didnt give up, even when I did. Mr.C was motivational and was always so clever with his work. I'll never forget how his drum tapping to the beats I never understood, still ring in my ears and play in my brain.  "Rattatatattata brrrrrrummmmm ratttatttata". You will never be forgotten Mr.C, your rhythm will carry on forever. Rest easy teach.

Shared by Tricia Diehl on July 12, 2019

Thursday morning, before I knew that Mr. C had passed away, I saw an OMEA colorguard adjudicator at her day job. I told her that he was in the hospital, she was sympathetic, and said that she should let another judge and an area band director know... In that moment, I paused. It made me realize that Mr. C's legacy was far more widespread than just our Cloverleaf community. Northeast Ohio's musical family has lost a Titan.

I came into Cloverleaf Marching Band as an eighth grader (Sprout), helping out as a prop person for the flag corps and the Coltdiggers in the fall of 1984. Initially, the man frightened me. He had this enormous presence. You knew he was respected, and no one on that field wanted him to ever be disappointed. As my high school years wore on, that initial fear turned to love. Whenever I think back to my years at Cloverleaf, marching band is the best part of my memories. While I only stuck with concert band and the clarinet through my sophomore year, spinning a flag in the Proud Crowd had my heart.

During my senior year (1989), Ray Boggs came up with the idea that Cloverleaf High School needed a winter program. He showed us videos of winterguards and lit a fire that still burns today. At first, when we needed a name for the guard, Ray wanted us to be called Cosmopolitan. Mr C thought that didn't fit. We were a school in po-dunk Medina County--there was nothing "cosmopolitan" about us! So, knowing that we should have a "C" name because we were from "C"loverleaf, we scoured the dictionary. The guard would be a combination of the drill team and the flag corps, so when we came upon the entry of "Collage" in the dictionary--an artistic composition made of various materials--we thought, "Hey! This works!" and, Collage Winterguard was born!  Music used was "What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy)" by Information Society and "Goldrush" by Yello.  We came in second in the Novice Class (beaten by the Junior Rangerettes) of the now defunct Ohio Color Guard Circuit.  We had a great time!  :-) Without support from Mr. C, Collage would not have existed. Collage is still around as an Independent A unit, based out of Akron, consistently placing at Winterguard International contests around the country.

The last time I remember having a long conversation with Mr C was at Ray's calling hours. He remembered all of his students, even us colorguard/auxiliary kids! He had brought up people I hadn't thought of in years. Such was the man. We were ALL his kids, even if we weren't musicians. 

Jerry Carasea taught us so much: discipline, commitment, grace, PRIDE... He taught us how to come together as ONE and that we were only as strong as our weakest link. He built us up, inspired confidence. We've taken these lessons on with us. The world may be momentarily darker without him, but the torch that he lit within so many thousands of us still burns bright.

Love and light to his family, friends, students. The memories do still truly linger in our hearts.
Shared by Kristine Adams on July 12, 2019

I was in the 8th grade, and in the flute section in concert band, therefore right in the front row underneath Mr. C’s podium and baton. As you all know he was very witty. He was his usual teasing self, and I said something in response that (I so wish I could remember the conversation) but his response to me was uncharacteristic shock. He said I was snarky and needed to change my attitude. I was so hurt, because I somehow offended someone I truly admired. It taught me a lesson on how to manage others and their feelings. If I didn’t respect him So much, his comment would not have stung. I think about that often and how he “checked” my snotty snarky 8th grade self. The best part, all was forgiven and we moved forward, a lesson in grace. May God hold him and his family is the palm of his hand.

Kristine Weiss Adams, snarky 8th grade and class of 1988

Shared by Zach Icardi on July 12, 2019

Another story.  My freshman year, the show was “A Darkened Theater”. There was one set that was particularly tricky (it was the rotating box move for those who remember). The problem was that we would constantly cut the corner off the box which ruined the scene. And Mr C would get livid at us for doing it. One after school practice it was late and we were tired but we had to do it until we got it right. And at one point he was so mad that when a student cut the corner right in front of him he yelled “if you cut that corner again I’ll throw a Barry  sax at you”. That unlucky sole was me.  After practice he came up to me and apologized and said “sorry. I just needed to yell and get my point across. And hey you’re a tough guy I knew you could take it”. And would ya know it, we got that move down perfect. Mr C would then go on to bring it up many time over the rest of my high school year to poke fun at me. He’d be like “hey Zacho remember the Barry sax thing?” And we’d laugh.  He had that relationship with all his students. Every time you talked to him you felt like you were his only student and even years later he remembered every little thing from every student.  You couldn’t have asked for a better man.

Shared by Liane Engstrom on July 11, 2019

There is not a single teacher or mentor in all my life that has held such a lasting impact as Mr. C. If there were more people like him in the world, it would truly be a beautiful world. My condolences go out to his family and friends. I hope you find peace in seeing how many lives he touched.

Shared by Zach Icardi on July 11, 2019

This morning the world lost a true hero. Mr C. Was an incredible teacher, an amazing mentor and a caring friend.  He meant the world to me and the thousands of students that he worked with. He was so much more then a teacher and director.  He was always quick with a joke, or a snappy saying. He was also brutally honest and didn’t pull punches when things really mattered. He would tell you what you were doing wrong but more importantly he would bend over backwards to help you get it right and wouldn’t leave until you were confident enough to do it right each time. He was one of the most caring people I’ve known and even though I didn’t go into a music career I still carry the inspiration and lessons he gave me.  Wether he was happy with us or yelling at us we always knew he had what was best for us in mind, and I know he took heat on many occasions because he wouldn’t agree to anything that wasn’t the best for his students. He touched so many lives and helped so many people become who they are.  He was an amazing person and the world is a bit darker with out him in it. Wether it was water balloons, his pink hat, slipping in mud, losing, or wining he always had a smile and words of encouragement to keep us going. You will be missed Mr C. Rest In pease and thank you for believing in me and for all the memories.

Shared by Alex Kroft on July 11, 2019

Mr C was probably the best teacher that I’ve ever had in my life. He was always there for you, always had a bad joke to tell and if you messed up he would make you know it but in a good way. I don’t know what to say about a world that doesn’t have him in it besides the fact that wherever he went just got a lot better. Gonna miss you Mr 

Shared by Jeff Phillips on July 11, 2019

I’ll never forget meeting Mr. C. for the first time in the fall of 1990 at the 5th grade band screening night. Little did I know at that time how much of an impact one individual would have on my personal and professional life. As an educator, he was inspiring, encouraging and had a way to connect with every student. He had an amazing ability to find the good in every student and able to dissolve  stressful situations with funny Italian comments or jokes, most I always didn’t get 

There are 3 moments as a student I will always remember. One was at the end of 7th grade when Mr. C. asked for any student interested in marching with the high school marching band next fall. As he made his way back to the percussion section, he looked at me and said “Jeffy, (his nickname he still used the last time I saw him a couple of months ago), here is some snare drum music. Learn it.  A few months later, I was hooked. 
Disney my freshman year. My first and only detention. It was the year Tower if Terror was opened and we wanted to ride one more time. Long story short, we were 3 minutes late for our report time. Mr. C. gave us all 15 minute detentions for every minute we were late when we got back to the hotel.  Not so bad???  Well, when we returned to the hotel, we were scheduled to have one hour of free time, which included swimming in the hotel pool. In true Mr. C fashion, he had arranged for us to serve our detention by sitting in a large conference room overlooking the pool, watching everyone else having fun. No lecture was needed. To this date, I always do my best to be on time. 
Finally, my last parade: the Chippewa Lake Fourth of July parade in 1995 at the end of my freshman year. At the end of the parade, I informed Mr. C and Mr. Becker that I was moving and would no longer be attending Cloverleaf. His emotions were real and as he hugged me said:
Jeffy, never stop playing. You are always welcome back here. 
I never did stop playing and as I enter year 17 as a band director, I only hope I have made my mentor, friend and colleague proud. His influence in my teaching is evident everyday. 
In April of 2004, I was attending the district 8 middle school solo and ensemble event during my first year as a band director. My very first event was a Flute Solo and guess who the judge was? That’s right, Mr. C! He looked up from writing comments on his comment sheet and very loudly said Jeffy, how the hell are you! I answered and then explained that the next event was one of my students and he rambled on about how old he was becoming. He then continued to write a book on the previous performers comment sheet as he did for every student. He always took the time to pass his knowledge on to every student, no matter the amount of time it took. I’ll never forget being so nervous as I waited for my student to perform her solo. She did great by the way
Mr. C also had the opportunity to judge one of my High School Concert Bands during sight reading at large group contest a few years back. I remember being more nervous that night than any other time as an educator for two reasons.
I wanted to make him proud of his former student. 
I was extremely anxious of any stories he might tell my students about me or just what he might say in general. I had prepped my kids for the previous month!
As I walked in the room, he was telling some story to the volunteers in the room and had them all laughing hysterically! As he saw me, I got my usual greeting! “Jeffy, how the hell are you!” As he addressed my kids about their upcoming sight reading performance, I was quickly taken back to being a student. He engaged everyone in the room with every word he spoke. He just had that clout the instant he started talking.  It wasn’t our best performance and he was honest in his evaluation of my group, which was one of his finest attributes. He was always fair and honest. However, before talking to my kids about their performance, he told a few stories about me, but he also had some extremely flattering words to my students about me as an educator. As my kids were leaving the room, I turned, shook his hand and thanked him. He said Jeffy, call me sometime. I’d like to come work with your kids on sight reading. 
Mr. C was at his best working with kids. I will always be indebted to him for helping mold and encourage me to to be the best musician and educator I can be. Thank you for being you and my inspiration. Till the next time I hear you say “Jeffy, how the hell are you!”, I hope I continue to make you proud and can have the same impact on my students that you had on me.
Much love and respect. Rest peacefully Mr. C.

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