ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Joe Kieraldo, 79 years old, born on August 12, 1941, and passed away on October 23, 2020. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Kathy Van Blaricom on August 12, 2021
Happy Heavenly Birthday Mr K. We all miss you down here
Posted by Steph Janowski on August 6, 2021
Taken from my Fb post in November 2020 when I found out Joe passed away. He is missed.

I just found out my high school band director passed away. He was so much more than just a band director. He was such an amazing man, a teacher and mentor, and great friend. He didn’t treat us like kids, he treated us like grown ups and was always so supportive of me - with music, school, boys, and life, especially when my Mom was sick.
I hadn’t seen or spoken to him in quite a few years but loved seeing updates on FB from him or his family.
I remember the first day of band freshman year, he saw me & my best friend sitting in the last row of clarinets, pointed to us both and said “no, you come here” and pointed to the first row. Since his son Tony was in our grade, he knew us well and knew we were talented. (Thanks to his wife Nancy being one of our middle school band teachers too!)
He’s the reason I played Mozart’s clarinet concerto and even had the courage to attempt it. He’s the reason I joined jazz band and attempted solos. He’s the reason I tried to play tenor sax - I could play it but it was just too heavy and I remember crying when I told him I didn’t want to play it anymore. He’s the reason I was the drum majorette and led the band during our parades. He’s the reason I led the pep band during some basketball games when he had some health issues and couldn’t be there.
He trusted me and believed in me - and he always showed it.
I will miss him dearly. And I hope he and my mom get to catch up in heaven now.
Posted by William Ketchpaw on July 27, 2021
I first met Joe in Miss Reinke’s afternoon kindergarten class in the fall of 1946. One of the first things that drew me to him was his ability to tell jokes and funny stories and to find humor in everyday situations. As with a lot of guys from our generation we were big fans of the Three Stooges and other comics of the era. For 74 years we were the closest of friends, even as our lives took us down different paths and drew us apart, we were never more than a card/letter or a phone call away. As kids, we both took an interest in politics, and in high school we often hijacked history or social studies classes with our debates (often with the encouragement of the teachers). Joe was a democrat, and I was a republican, but after class we walked home together. His family had a farm on the edge of town across from the fairgrounds. The pasture opposite the fairgrounds gate had a path that connected with a street on the other side, which short-cut for my walk home. If there were cows in field, Joe would assure me that that they were harmless, until I got a few hundred feet in, then he would shout, “I forgot to tell you—stay away from that one in the corner, it’s a bull” at which point I would take off running until I got to the other side.
 
For years, whenever I got a chance to get back to Wisconsin, I would spend a few days with Joe and Nancy in Darien or Delavan or in Madison.  Joe was a big baseball fan, and often wore a White Sox hat. When he and Nancy and the kids came to the DC area one summer, we went to an Orioles game in Baltimore on Joe’s Birthday, and I arranged to have birthday wishes put up on the scoreboard. Earlier in the day we visited Babe Ruth’s birthplace and my wife swears that Joe teared up during the visit.

Where I was always a little shy, Joe was outgoing and always wanting to introduce me to the people that he knew and associated with and his friendship has enriched my life in countless ways. He was my lifelong friend and I will miss him as I would a member of my family. 

Posted by Elizabeth Bernardini on June 28, 2021
Joe was a force of nature with a smile to match! Thank you for creating this beautiful tribute page,
Liz Bernardini (Dinsmore)
Posted by Scott Erickson on March 11, 2021
Back in early September I posted on Facebook that the saxophone choir at the university I teach at (Murray State University), was invited to perform at the Kentucky Music Educators Association virtual state conference. Joe saw my post and wanted to know if I had a recording of the group. I told him there would be one. My group recorded their performance of six pieces a month ago, and here is one of them. It was one of my favorites, I thought Joe would have liked it, and I dedicated our performance of it to him. 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ClhAMmyfN0rps6wAIKHpTmJG72fYrxhs/view?usp=sharing
Posted by Bradley Schmaling on March 10, 2021
Where to begin...

Joe, or as I called for many years, Mr. Kieraldo is the reason I am still playing music to this day.
"If I didn't get yelled at during my freshman year of band that day, it was because we didn't have band that day!" is a story I often tell. Mr. Kieraldo was so mad at me because I didn't utilize my fullest potential as a musician/human. His methods of teaching were challenging in a way that allowed us to embrace our uniqueness and come together to make masterpieces. During our practices, he would often drop cymbals and sticks behind us as we were playing a simple straight ahead jazz swing on the drums. When we stopped and turned around to see what the hell just happened he would say,"Did I tell you to stop Playing?!?"
He was always good for a laugh, and made us feel safe as band geeks. The band room was a place we could escape but it came with a price, of respect.
I am really glad Joe yelled at me for over a year, until he got through my thick skull. He was able to connect me to the music in a way that allows me to still play today. I will never be a rock star, I won't achieve his success, but I am inspired everyday because I knew this man called Joe. Miss you buddy, friend and my dads best friend. Thank you Nancy, Tony and Mike, I have such wonderful memories of your family. I could write a novel on the stories Joe gave me, and I am still upset he didn't share some that he promised!

*This page is amazing! I need to do the same for my parents.
Posted by Kathleen Rolfs on January 27, 2021
He was larger than life! Incredible storyteller, musician, mentor, teacher, and friend. I loved looking through all the photos here and listening to the songs on the playlist. In my mind I can just picture Mr. Kieraldo listening with his eyes closed, smiling, moving rhythmically to the beat. He never held back his emotions, and they were wide-ranging indeed! We were so blessed to have Mr. Kieraldo in our lives. His passion was contagious. He loved music and he loved us! Through his unapologetically "unorthodox" teaching methods, he connected with his students in a uniquely deep and beautiful way, inspiring each one to reach higher and do more than they thought possible. Joe Kieraldo was the epitome of a "student-centered" teacher, who poured everything he had into his vocation. The sacrifices a teacher makes over the course of their career are many. I hope he knew how much he touched the lives of each one of us whom he taught. 

Our families were neighbors for a time and it was interesting to also know the private side of Joe, although it wasn't much different than how he acted at school. So many special times together will never be forgotten! That man sure loved the Muppets, did an incredible impersonation of a Sprinkler, and had so many creative practical jokes he enjoyed playing on my dad. I'm so lucky my childhood included my next-door neighbors the Kieraldos.

Nancy, Tony, and Mike - thank you for sharing Joe with us. May you be comforted by the memories made in the full and happy life he lived! He made a difference, and this world will never be the same! xoxo
Posted by Chris Stebnitz on January 11, 2021
Joe - an amazing resource of music, inspiration for performing the music inside as much as the music on the pages, master of honesty and transparency, and most importantly a caring and wonderful friend who unapologetically wore his emotions on his sleeve.

I was so fortunate to spend as much time with Joe in band, jazz band, theory, listening to music in his office - and yes, listening to stories and jokes in the men's bathroom while he had his smokes. He was so inspirational to me and my appreciation for music. He taught me to love unconditionally and make sure those people knew it by telling them often. I knew he loved me because he told me.

Joe will be missed by so many. But, his legacy will live on in the passion we have for music, and the passion we have for life and the people we love. Thank you for your time and your friendship, Joe. May you bring the joy of music, stories, and humor to all the angels in Heaven!
Posted by Jason Branton on January 9, 2021
Joe provided a safe space for music and discussion. Many of us spent a lot of our free time in the band room, exploring new music, new ideas and learning how to debate and listen to other ideas. Joe never disguised his opinions, but, rather, insisted we practised being adults and respected the ethics of free thought and absolute acceptance. 

And in between the spirited discussions, we played some wonderful music. The tools of improv have helped me enjoy a lifetime of music in my life. I was so pleased I got to laugh and chat with him a few years ago. Joe was an important influence on me as a teacher and friend. I'm sad to write this - and so blessed we got to share a stretch of our journey.
Posted by Helena Tjörnstrand on December 6, 2020
Dear family,
Even though there is an ocean and more between us you are always very close to my heart, and very present in my every day life. I was so sad to hear the news. Joe was such a great American dad to me. It was a joy spending my AFS year with you in 1990, and being a part of your family ever since. Joe had such a big heart, and made me feel so welcome in your family. Thinking about Joe always brings a smile to my face and warmth to my heart. There are so many great memories and so much love. Sending you love from us all.
Posted by Scott Erickson on December 3, 2020
I’m incredibly saddened to hear of the loss of Mr Kieraldo. During my freshman year (1974-1975), at Monroe High School, 57 of us we went to band 7th period to learn from him. He was an inspiring and motivating conductor/musician/teacher who introduced us to great music and brought out the best in us. He had a huge impact on me and my career as a professor of double reeds and saxophone at Murray State University in Murray KY, and I’m forever in his debt. We connected on Facebook a couple years ago and I looked forward to visiting him once the Covid situation improved. I’m forever indebted to him.
Posted by Steven Winter on November 23, 2020
I was so sorry to hear of Joe's passing. He'll be sorely missed, but he left us with tons of great memories, music, and humor. We'll think of him often.
Posted by Penny Koerner on November 23, 2020
Joe brought stories, laughter and music to every gathering. His passion for life and learning inspired to me to dig deeper into topics I hadn't considered. Happy to have had time to share with both Joe and Nancy at APT each year. Picnics and shenanigans. Hugs Nancy, Tony and Mike. We'll all have Joe stories to tell for many years to come.
Posted by Jan Opelt on November 22, 2020
Gregarious, smiley, full of stories, an instant friend. Joe was exactly as Nancy had described him. I/we hadn't spent as much time with him as others, but I/we are better for having met him. He was truly a gift to the world! Condolences to Nancy, Tony & Mike and the rest of the family. Looking forward to next August...
Posted by Daniel Wilson on November 22, 2020
I met Joe in 1967 when he was the new assistant band director in Monroe and we had just moved to Monroe when my mother had taken a new job. We became good friends working on Gene McCarthy’s Democratic primary campaign in spring 1968. There were not a lot of liberals in Monroe in those days and it was wonderful to discover another one in Joe. Joe and Gail and my family soon became good friends sharing meals, good music, political ideas, and, always with Joe, lots of laughter. Joe and my mother loved to sit around the kitchen table with coffee and a cigarette and talk for hours. Joe quickly became like an older brother. He introduced me to jazz, expanded my interest in classical music, and always had a new album to recommend.
    I went off to college at Whitewater after a year at MHS, but Joe remained an important part of my life. We got together whenever I was home, saw lots of him during the summers, and often shared holidays. Joe even lived with Mother for a year during the breakup of his first marriage. After I moved east for graduate school, I always looked forward to seeing Joe and Nancy when I returned to Wisconsin.
    When Mother died in 1998 she had requested two songs at her memorial service, Amazing Grace and Ellington’s Take the A Train. I still have great memories of Joe on tenor sax and Tony on the funeral home organ playing both tunes. Mother would have loved it.
    Joe was an important part of my growing up, of my political awakening, of my musical appreciation, of my life. He was one of a kind, and I will miss him greatly. Dan Wilson
Posted by Barbara Lund on November 21, 2020
Steve and I have enjoyed sharing holidays and other fun events with Joe and will miss his stories, humor, and warm smile. He was always kind and generous in his comments and in his general outlook on life.

It is hard to imagine anyone enjoying people as much as Joe did. We will miss him!
Posted by Cameron Melville on November 21, 2020
So sorry for your loss. What a Guy...

Very much looking forward to perusing this beautiful memorial.
Very much enjoying Angry. Love the intro!
Posted by Karla Vriezen on November 19, 2020
Dear Nancy,
Sending my sincere sympathy to you and your family. I am so sorry to hear of Joe’s passing. What a beautiful tribute of memories you have created. I’ll never forget Joe’s laugh and permanent smile. I sure am happy the two of you had a wonderful baby boy at the same time I was graduating from UWEC in music education. Filling in for Nancy’s maternity leave opened the door for a terrific career in music education for me. I’ll always treasure those days in Delavan-Darien with the Kieraldos!
Posted by Steve Kessler on November 19, 2020
Joe was a patient of mine for many years. He would come in to the office for exams or glasses adjustments 3-4 time a year (or more). Every time he came, he would have a handful of CD's to drop off for loan with the hope that I would enjoy them (I usually did). Being around Joe couldn't help but to brighten your day. He was so positive and full of life. Sometimes it was tough getting an eye exam done as we'd often get off track talking about music.
One year I had tickets to a Herb Alpert/Lani Hall concert and my wife got sick. I called Joe and he accompanied me. The next year we double dated with our wives. This last winter I was in Phoenix visiting family. Joe happened to be in town to see the Cubs in Spring Training. He was able to break away for a couple of hours to meet me at the Musical Instrument Museum. Again, not much museum seen, as we spent most of the time talking.
When I retired at the beginning of this year, Joe and I hoped to spend time visiting together - Covid had different ideas. Unfortunately, before things got "safe", Joe was gone.
My band director was a huge influence on me in my youth, and I can see that Joe was the same for many generations of musicians, passing on his passion for music (and fun). He also was so proud of his family, and would bring me up-to-date on their accomplishments.
We'll miss you, Joe. You were taken away too soon.

Posted by Amy Sanchez on November 17, 2020
This is beautiful. Thank you so much for putting this together and sharing. 
Posted by Sue Ross on November 17, 2020
Joe was the best teacher in my life, but also my friend! He made learning fun for everyone and I'm sure all his students will agree! I'm so grateful for his wife Nancy, as she was the love and joy of his life. We had our kids about the same time, and mine were fortunate to have him for their teacher! When I had my 1st child, he helped my husband (Dustan Sanders) by giving him a partial roll of paper..the spirit paper for the pep squad..so he could put a huge banner on our house welcoming us home!❤ I was fortunate to see Joe and Nancy a few summers ago, at a cookout at Vets Field. I rode my bike down to surprise him and it was wonderful! I didn't stay too long as there were many people for them to see, but was so very grateful to get to see them one more time! Love ya buddy! Red
Posted by John Biester on November 17, 2020
I was an undergrad at Wisconsin when I first met Joe (it was the 70s and he had a lot of hair!) He was a grad student in conducting and just a lot of fun to be around. We had many friends in common and I know we shared a few beverages. I am sorry to hear of his passing. I know he was the kind of Band Director we all want to be. For him it was always about what is best for the kids.
I came to teach in high school Band in my mid 30s and I only hope I have been a fraction of the teacher I know he was. His students will keep his legacy alive. He is missed by many. My thoughts are with the family. :)
Posted by Kathy Van Blaricom on November 17, 2020
Wonderful teacher who, knowing how badly I sucked, still had the patience for private lessons during study hall time. Best memories of him and Sev sneaking smokes in his office. His smile was contagious and made everyone happy. The band room was our sanctuary where we could hang out, practice, or just joke around with Mr. K and Sev. Thanks for the great times and forever rest in peace.
Posted by Darla Jacobson on November 16, 2020
Loved by many at DDHS- You know you’re the coolest teacher when students still invite you to their class reunions after 30 years.  Thanks for the music that filled our souls.
Posted by Debra Krattiger on November 16, 2020
My deepest sympathy to Joe's family.
I can not tell you how often I've thought of Joe over the years and how grateful for the abundant blessing he was in my life. If we are lucky enough, we hopefully all have that someone who has had an inspirational and influential impact on our lives. Joe was that person for me! I’m still playing. Every time I pick up my horn I think of him. It was because of his sharing his passion for music, life and friendship that I am blessed yet today. 
As I'm listening to Grainger's "Irish Tune from Country Derry" 40+ years later I can still see the emotion and tears well up in Joe's eyes directing our Monroe high school wind ensemble.
Thank you Joe, for giving me that passion for music, life and friendship. 
Rest well my dear mentor and friend.
Deb (Witt) Krattiger
Posted by Jennifer Nekolny on November 16, 2020
Mr. Kieraldo welcomed everyone into the Band room. . . It didn’t matter if someone was a beginner or in every band, chorus and orchestra group DDHS offered, he shared his love of music with all of us. The Band room was a place to hang out, laugh and push ourselves to be better musicians and humans. Thank you for your kindness and inclusiveness. Peace.
Posted by Bob Peyer on November 16, 2020
Joe came to DDHS and became more than a music teacher to a group of characters. From his tribute to King Tut at basketball games to Elsas Procession to The Cathedral he made music live. We had many great conversations shared . Nancy my regards. Joe you were a great friend and mentor.you live on in hundreds of students that learned not just how to play an instrument but to create art. Love you man
Posted by Chason Geister on November 15, 2020
He was a God among men. I was blessed to know him and anyone who knew him was also truly blessed. Thank you, my dear man, for everything that you did.
Posted by Connie Amon on November 15, 2020
"Band" was a huge part of my high school career, and that was all due to Joe Kieraldo. I don't even know where to begin with the stories, but I know that there was always a lot of laughter involved! Just this morning I was thinking about the Sonny and Cher half-time show and all the crazy nights of pep band hilariousness. He is the reason I spent many summers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison for Band Camp and also traveled by Greyhound bus to Columbus, OH to play with Frederick Fennell...it's hard to imagine that happened, but it did. He believed in me much more than I believed in my adolescent self.

Joe Kieraldo introduced me to music, but more importantly, he is the reason I ended up at Lawrence University, a decision that ultimately changed my life's trajectory.

I had a wonderful visit with Joe and Nancy and some of my high school friends during the summer of 2016. It was a great day filled with catching up, memories, and lots of laughter.

I am so thankful that Joe was a part of my life. His smile will be forever etched in my heart.
Posted by Billie Jean Kust on November 15, 2020
Mr Kieraldo was such an amazingan and band teacher. I spent many of my study halls in then band room. He could always make me smile and laugh. If I was having a bad day I could just go to the band room and Mr. Kieraldo would tell me a joke and make me laugh. He is definitely a teacher that I always will remember from my high school years. RIP
Posted by Gary Behrens on November 15, 2020
Mr. Kieraldo was inspirational and challenged us as students to play music at a higher level than we thought possible. He had a unique way of teaching me to appreciate the beauty of music, and life! Simply put, High School would not have been anywhere near the positive experience had it not been for the music shared and the many laughs and good memories with Mr. Kieraldo. He always seemed to have a smile on his face and allowed us to work hard and have fun all at the same time. He will be greatly missed, and I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to have our paths cross!
Posted by Jeff Behrens on November 15, 2020
There are so many things I could say. The most important is the huge influence that Mr. Kieraldo had on my life. I have been a Band Director for 33 years. Without his guidance in the early 80's, I am not sure where I would be today? His influence has guided me for many years. I will forever cherish the memories of him and what he taught me. I will dearly miss the opportunities to get together and chat with him again. I will never forget the bright smile and hearty laugh. Thanks for everything Mr. Kieraldo!

Jeff Behrens
DDHS Class of 1983
Posted by Barb Anderegg on November 15, 2020
Joe was good at so many things. Master story-teller. Warrior for the good fight. Lover of all things musical. Member of the Ancora Coffee Club and Good Friend. RIP, Joe. We will miss you so much... Barb and Harry
Posted by Joyce Reed on November 15, 2020
I have only known Joe through my step son, William Paul Ketchpaw. Paul had many happy memories of he and Joe as kids and when ever Paul came to WI to visit, he would connect with his dear friend Joe. My sympathies go to his family and loved ones; you have lost a very fine man, father, husband, grandfather! God bless each of you!
Posted by Tom Elmer on November 15, 2020
There are so many in Monroe that are devastated to hear about Joe's passing. In a relatively short time, Joe left a huge impression on our town and us as students, and he is still in the top group of teachers people mention as most influential or favorite. He clearly brought a fresh approach and energy to everything he did.

With all the students Joe had during his career, it was amazing how he could still remember people and what instrument they played. He went out of his way to keep in touch, and we were so glad that Joe and Nancy could attend our 45th MHS reunion last year.

P.S. -- never did figure out how he fit hiring a helicopter to land him on the football field at homecoming halftime into the band budget . . . .
Posted by Nancy Engle on November 12, 2020
Nancy and family - I am so sorry to hear about Joe's passing. All my love to you.
Posted by Michele Quigley on November 6, 2020
What a joy to have been a small part of Joe’s life. From the moment I met Joe it was mutual admiration and many laughs together. How blessed I feel to have celebrated our kids wedding together, Christmas and Thanksgiving. Not to mention surprising Tony at Tanglewood!
Love to all the Kieraldo family! Here’s to more memories of Joe as we continue to celebrate together.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Kathy Van Blaricom on August 12, 2021
Happy Heavenly Birthday Mr K. We all miss you down here
Posted by Steph Janowski on August 6, 2021
Taken from my Fb post in November 2020 when I found out Joe passed away. He is missed.

I just found out my high school band director passed away. He was so much more than just a band director. He was such an amazing man, a teacher and mentor, and great friend. He didn’t treat us like kids, he treated us like grown ups and was always so supportive of me - with music, school, boys, and life, especially when my Mom was sick.
I hadn’t seen or spoken to him in quite a few years but loved seeing updates on FB from him or his family.
I remember the first day of band freshman year, he saw me & my best friend sitting in the last row of clarinets, pointed to us both and said “no, you come here” and pointed to the first row. Since his son Tony was in our grade, he knew us well and knew we were talented. (Thanks to his wife Nancy being one of our middle school band teachers too!)
He’s the reason I played Mozart’s clarinet concerto and even had the courage to attempt it. He’s the reason I joined jazz band and attempted solos. He’s the reason I tried to play tenor sax - I could play it but it was just too heavy and I remember crying when I told him I didn’t want to play it anymore. He’s the reason I was the drum majorette and led the band during our parades. He’s the reason I led the pep band during some basketball games when he had some health issues and couldn’t be there.
He trusted me and believed in me - and he always showed it.
I will miss him dearly. And I hope he and my mom get to catch up in heaven now.
Posted by William Ketchpaw on July 27, 2021
I first met Joe in Miss Reinke’s afternoon kindergarten class in the fall of 1946. One of the first things that drew me to him was his ability to tell jokes and funny stories and to find humor in everyday situations. As with a lot of guys from our generation we were big fans of the Three Stooges and other comics of the era. For 74 years we were the closest of friends, even as our lives took us down different paths and drew us apart, we were never more than a card/letter or a phone call away. As kids, we both took an interest in politics, and in high school we often hijacked history or social studies classes with our debates (often with the encouragement of the teachers). Joe was a democrat, and I was a republican, but after class we walked home together. His family had a farm on the edge of town across from the fairgrounds. The pasture opposite the fairgrounds gate had a path that connected with a street on the other side, which short-cut for my walk home. If there were cows in field, Joe would assure me that that they were harmless, until I got a few hundred feet in, then he would shout, “I forgot to tell you—stay away from that one in the corner, it’s a bull” at which point I would take off running until I got to the other side.
 
For years, whenever I got a chance to get back to Wisconsin, I would spend a few days with Joe and Nancy in Darien or Delavan or in Madison.  Joe was a big baseball fan, and often wore a White Sox hat. When he and Nancy and the kids came to the DC area one summer, we went to an Orioles game in Baltimore on Joe’s Birthday, and I arranged to have birthday wishes put up on the scoreboard. Earlier in the day we visited Babe Ruth’s birthplace and my wife swears that Joe teared up during the visit.

Where I was always a little shy, Joe was outgoing and always wanting to introduce me to the people that he knew and associated with and his friendship has enriched my life in countless ways. He was my lifelong friend and I will miss him as I would a member of my family. 

his Life

Pre-order Hudson Ragtime Piano Suite by Tony Kieraldo

Many of you who were present at Joe's Celebration of Life on August 15 got a chance to hear two of Tony's newest compositions from his Hudson Ragtime Suite. Written in the heart of the 2020 pandemic, these five ragtime pieces are named after the five main eat-west streets in Hudson, NY and are dedicated to Joe.  Check out Tony's website tonykieraldo.com and learn how you can pre-order your vinyl, digital and/or music book today!

What a Celebration!

Thank you all who were able to make it to Joe's Celebration of Life on August 15, 2021. What a wonderful tribute to Joe, a man who loved life and was well loved! The weather, venue, food, music and stories made it a memorable day for our family. Special shout out goes to the soaring bald eagle spotted by many flying high above the pavilion during the music session. Perhaps it was Joe......if so, BRAVO for selecting an animal that has excellent eye sight!

On behalf of myself, Tony, Chloe, Louise, Mike and Susan, we'd like to thank you all from the bottom of our heart. The following people helped make the day possible:

Drew Fleming, owner of Original Pancake House on University Ave. in Madison, for catering the event. The sandwiches were OUTSTANDING! You rocked it out of the park, Drew! All we can say to everyone near and far. EAT BREAKFAST AT OPH! You won't ever go anywhere else again!
Jeff Behrens, former student from DDHS Class of 1983, who organized the program and brought all the music equipment for the jam session! Jeff's a lifelong friend and band director at Richland Center High School. We'll take a break for awhile and then start planning a jazz residency program in Joe's name at your high school in the 2021-22 school year!
Gary Behrens, former student from DDHS Class of 1985, emcee and vocalist with the Avenue band. Gary, perhaps your second career should be on the road singing your heart out! Great job!
Tony and Louise Kieraldo, son and granddaughter who played so beautifully for Tata! Tony's new LP and Music Book, "Hudson Ragtime Piano Suite" will be published in the fall. If interested in getting a copy, PM message him on Instagram or send me an email. He will make sure you get a copy.
Scott Schmidt, former student from DDHS Class of 1987, who brought and played keys with the Avenue band. Charma Davies Lepke would be so proud of you, as is Joe!
Dick Severing, lifelong friend and colleague, who provided the guitar for Louise and sat in with the Avenue, on his rock concert debut! We love you, Marie and all your family!
Nancy Anderson, former student Monroe HS class of 1972, who played two great saxophone jazz pieces! Beautifully done! Joe would approve!
Larry Hubbard, Madison friend who sang "My Way". Thanks Larry!
Carol Heibel and Cathy Ross Van Buren, former students from Joe's HS in Brandon/Fairwater. Thanks for sharing the memorabilia from his first high school from 1963-66.
Kirsten Kundert and Bob Gordee, former students from Monroe, HS. Thanks for displaying and sharing the memorabilia from his second high school from 1967-76. 
Kathy Loudon and Connie Amon, former students from Delavan Darien High School. Thanks for organizing and sharing the memorabilia from Joe's third high school from 1978-2000.
Paul Ketchpaw, lifelong friend from Elkhorn, WI who shared Joe's memorabilia from his early years! Thanks, Ketch...... we will see you the first!

Many neighbors and friends helped by bringing food and/or loaning equipment. Thank you Joan and Doug, Marsha and Bruce, Barb and Harry, Bob and Cindy, Dave and MaryJo, Kathy and Mike. And thanks to all of you who shared stories. I know that each and everyone of us has a "Joe story" in their pocket. Continue to share those stories throughout the years!

It was a beautiful day, thanks to all of you! Joe is smiling and so are we!!!

Thank you!

 Joe Kieraldo Celebration of Life and Jam Session
Sunday, August 15, 2021
Recent stories

Coffee Buddies

Shared by CHLOE CALDWELL on November 18, 2020
I met Joe in June 2017 when I visited Madison for the first time with my then new-boyfriend, Tony. Joe was immediately was warm, kind, and had stories and jokes to offer me. I thought of him as a real life version of Mr. Holland from the movie Mr. Holland's Opus. I loved everyone's sense of humor, often centered around Joe; This was the family I wanted to marry into! 

When Tony told me we'd be getting up at 5a.m. to go for coffee with the "coffee buddies" I thought he was joking. Turned out he wasn't and those coffee mornings turned out to be some of my fondest memories of visiting Joe and Nancy. 

We will always keep Joe in our hearts especially while drinking a cup a coffee, eating cheese curds or pizza with thin crusts, meeting someone "neat" or browsing a good book or record shop. I'm so blessed to have known him for the short time I did. I never saw Tony happier than when we were together with Nancy, Joe, and Mike.

Chocolate Blueberry Oatmeal

Shared by Louise Kieraldo on November 18, 2020
I remember that whenever I was in Wisconsin visiting Nana and Tata, Tata would make me chocolate blueberry oatmeal. I would wake up and wait for Tata to get back from the coffee shop, and he would make the oatmeal in the microwave and then add the Hershey's chocolate and the blueberries. Tata said that he had that oatmeal every morning since he was a kid. It was the best oatmeal. I miss him so much.
 

First meeting

Shared by Bonnie Minette on November 17, 2020
I first met Joe in 1977 when Whitey and I visited him at his Madison, WI graduate school apartment.  While we were talking, his phone rang but he couldn't locate the source of the ringing because of the pizza cartons, records, books, and a variety of dishes, glasses, cups etc that were making phone retrieval impossible.  (This was a land line phone-hard to misplace!) As the phone continued ringing, Joe found the cord and followed it until he found his phone under a pile of newspapers and pizza cartons and finally able to answer the call. True story!  My introduction to my finance's best friend.
This story is not to reference Joe as a sloppy person but to suggest he had many interests and enjoyed collecting items. He shared that collector bug with my husband-especially when it came to radios. Nancy and I would shake our heads when they discussed buying the newest-greatest ever radio that had just come on the market-which could get WGN without any problems. One could never have enough radios.
It was easy to fall in love with Joe and Nancy and then Tonearm and Mikey...we spent a lot of time together-he was my husband's best friend-easy to love Joe. Time well spent over the course of 43 years. Rest well Joe until we meet again.