The Free Press, Mankato, MN

November 17, 2012

Jerome E. Udelhofen


—   Long-time Mankato musician, Jerome E. Udelhofen, age 91, died Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at Luther Memorial Home in Madelia.

  Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.  Burial with military honors will be in Calvary Cemetery in Mankato. Visitation will begin at noon and continue until the start of the service. Landkamer Johnson-Boman Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.

  Jerome Edwin Udelhofen was born January 31, 1921, in Mankato, to Henri Heinie and Isadore Doris (Klingel) Udelhofen.  He was a life-long member of St. Peter & Pauls Catholic Church.  Jerry showed an early talent for music and enjoyed a long, fulfilling career as a drummer of extraordinary skill.  He was a member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 567 for nearly 70 years.

  During WW II, Jerry was in the 148th Army Band and also served in the Pacific Theatre.  He saw combat in the Philippine Islands and was among the first troops to enter Japan after Japans surrender.

  Jerry began performing as a boy under his fathers direction in The Elks Band.  After his military service, he traveled throughout the United States performing with big bands and hotel bands in many cities including Denver, Portland, Kansas City, and Chicago.

  Udelhofen Music was the family business, and Jerry worked there for many years with his father Heinie and his brother Ralph.  Jerry also had many drum students through the years.

  From the 1950s through 2008, Jerry was active as a highly respected drummer in the Mankato area.  He played with various bands, including The Marv Tenhoff Orchestra, The DeVille Trio, The Rick Olsen Band, The Dean Haefner Band, The Ramblers, and the Jim McGuire Trio.  Jerry performed with jazz greats Dave Brubeck, Clark Terry, and Charlie Byrd.  He was the featured soloist with the Mankato State University Jazz Ensemble, playing the Buddy Rich arrangement of West Side Story.  His career in music as an amazing and admired drummer was the subject of a feature article in a 2006 Free Press supplement.

  Jerrys last years were lived at Autumn Grace in Mankato, and he appreciated the staffs thoughtful care.

  Jerry is survived by cousins, Barb (Larry) fick of Park Rapids, Ed (Gail) Wenner of Hector; his friends: Jim and Ann McGuire of Mankato; and other relatives and friends.

  Jerry was preceded in death by his parents and his brother and sister-in-law: Ralph (Bernadine) Udelhofen.