|Birth: ||Sep. 11, 1926|
|Death: ||Jun. 9, 1995|
Rocky Mountain News (CO) - June 29, 1995
Deceased Name: FRANCIS FEESE, MUSIC TEACHER, BAND LEADER
Music was Francis "Fran" L. Feese's life.
He wrote music, performed music and taught music.
"He was particularly proud he brought to young string players a new and exciting approach to music," said his son, Robert Feese of Littleton.
Mr. Feese died June 9 at his Lakewood home. He was 68.
Services were June 19 at Golden High School. The body was cremated.
Mr. Feese, born Sept. 11, 1926, in La Junta, learned to play the piano when he was five. At South High School in Denver, he mastered the saxophone and other woodwind instruments.
Mr. Feese joined the Marine Corps in 1944 and played in USO bands. He was discharged in 1945 as a private first class.
He graduated from the University of Denver in 1950.
Mr. Feese married Dorothy Cook on May 23, 1948, in Denver.
After graduating from college, he was offered a teaching job in Wray. He taught music at all the schools there.
Mr. Feese left Wray in 1956, and moved to Denver, where he taught at Kepner Junior High School for two years.
In 1958, he formed the Fran Freese Group and played the piano and the saxaphone at various night clubs.
While he still was performing, he joined Western Cine as the musical director in 1961.
"He was the finest composer / arranger I had the pleasure of working with," said Fred Arthur, owner of Fred Arthur Productions.
In 1962, he became a partner in the Encore Theatre Restaurant and performed in Bill McHale's Highlights of Broadway.
In the late 1960s, he formed the jazz group Fran Feese and Associates and played at clubs until 1972, when Feese helped open Celebrity Lounge at Celebrity Sports Center.
Visiting musicians and singers in the 1970s would request that he play with them when they performed in Denver. Those artists included the Mills Brothers, Kingston Trio, Buddy Greco, Mel Torme, Fifth Dimension, Barbara McNair, Joni Rivers, John Raitt and Dizzy Gillespie.
But playing wasn't what gave Mr. Feese the most joy.
In 1974, he formed a music publishing company called Young World Publications. He wrote and published music for students.
"His music was played all over the world," said Robert Feese.
In 1985, Mr. Feese became an assistant music director at Golden High School, working one day a week. He held that position until his death.
"It's what he loved to do," his son said.
Mr. Feese was a member of the Denver Musicians Association.
His hobbies included gardening and bowling.
In addition to his son and wife, Mr. Feese is survived by a daughter, Carole Feese of Lakewood; two other sons, Douglas Feese and Richard Feese, both of Lakewood; a sister, Gladys Barr of Denver; a brother Paul Feese of Aurora; and five grandchildren.
Contributions may be sent to the Francis L. Feese Music Scholarship Fund, c/o First Bank, Denver Tech Center, 5105 DTC Parkway, Greenwood Village, 80111.
Walter Lem Feese (1879 - 1943)
Cora Violet Ellsworth Feese (1889 - 1969)
Dorothy Jean Cook Feese (1928 - 2008)*
Faye Neola Feese Lewis (1907 - 1976)*
Francis LeRoy Feese (1926 - 1995)
Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown.
Created by: Red Heads Times Three
Record added: Mar 03, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 66419927