Below is the obituary for Charlie Kassinger. Here is a man who lived with his parents for awhile right down the street from us—who we used to hear in the evenings when his band got together when we were little kids, who taught me trombone in the 4th grade, who went on to teach me in Jr High and High School. His mother was a great friend of our mother. I ran into him several times in Boulder, but sorry I didn't look him up recently before his death. I did not know he was suffering from alzheimer's.
—Gene & Julie Jackson, Longmont, Colo.
Charles "Charlie" Kassinger
Charlie Kassinger, beloved husband, father and grandfather, passed away on Dec. 6, 2007, from complications of Alzheimer's disease. He was 84.
Charlie was born and raised in Lawrence, Kan., and served in WWII in the Army Air Corps, playing trumpet and viola in various ensembles. While stationed on Okinawa, Charlie performed for newly liberated American prisoners of war, one of his proudest memories.
Upon his return, Charlie attended the University of Kansas, receiving a Bachelor's degree in Music Education. While playing in the K.U. band he met his lovely bride, clarinetist Shirley Louise Sloan. They were married Aug. 8, 1948. Charles taught instrumental music in the Lawrence Public Schools, and received a Masters degree in Music Education from the University of Colorado in
In 1967, the Kassingers moved to Boulder, where he taught in the Boulder Valley Public Schools until his retirement in 1984. He also taught private lessons at home, and tuned pianos. Many will remember Charlie conducting the Boulder Concert Band for the July 4th fireworks at Folsom Stadium. In the 1980's he rekindled his love of swing music by forming the Charlie Kassinger Band.
In 1985, the Kassingers began spending their winters in Mesa, Arizona and summers in Estes Park. His interests included motorcycle and RV travel across the United States as well as tennis and pool. They returned to Boulder in 2003.
Charlie is survived by his wife Shirley, and their sons, James (Louisville, Colo.) and Robert (Chicago, Ill.). Charlie was also blessed with four grandchildren and one great-grandson. His family will miss his kind nature, his huge smile, and his passion for telling great stories and jokes. His lifelong dedication to the performance and teaching of music has touched and inspired countless lives.
A celebration of Charlie's life was Tuesday, Dec. 11, 11 a.m., at First Christian Church, 950 28th Street, Boulder, with Rev. Terry Zimmerman officiating. A reception was held at the church following the service.
Contributions: Alzheimer's Association-Colorado Chapter, 455 Sherman St. Suite #500, Denver, CO 80203.