Friday, February 15, 2013

Byron "Bob" Foucht, RIP

I am very sorry to report that I heard the bad news that Byron "Bob" Foucht passed away. After my father, who passed away in 2002 (a few musings about him here and here), and jazz legend Herb Pomeroy, who passed away in 2007 (a few musings about him here), Mr. Foucht was probably the most important male role model in my life. He started giving me trumpet lessons when I was ten years old, and continued as band and jazz band conductor through high school. He gave me my first opportunity to conduct when he was on medical leave and he allowed me to rehearse the jazz band for a few weeks. He also gave me my first opportunity to arrange, when I wrote some brief adaptations for the marching and jazz bands. He also motivated me to organize my first small group jazz band for a local event. He was always very supportive of my love of music. He had a great sense of humor and was a truly good human being, and I will miss him terribly. 

Mr. Foucht was the high school marching band director, so he had a close relationship with my father, who was the football coach in the town for many years. They worked together on and off the field. At the height of the team's success, the games were a well-oiled machine. My father really felt that everyone involved with the game was important. In addition to the cheerleaders, we also had a drill team the performed at each game, and the band. (My father was the coach, one sister was a cheerleader, one was on the drill team, and I was in the band, so we had all the bases covered.) Mr. Foucht was very good to do as much as possible with the very small resources that the team had in such a small town. I believe there was one year where we had less than 20 people total in the marching band. Rather than being an embarrassment to the town, we were still an important addition to the Saturday spectacle of the football games. 

He kept in touch when I was in college, and he was kind enough to show up last September when the alley next to the football field was named after my father. I had no idea that would be the last time I would see him, as he seemed in fine form and very youthful in demeanor. I did not realize he was 75 years old at the time. I am very happy that we were able to reconnect on Facebook, but I am very sorry that I will not be able to see the latest animal videos that he liked to share with his friends.

He will be missed.

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