Bartmann, (1934 - 2012):--
First, this e-mail from John's immediate
On 7/19/2012 10:49 PM, John Bartmann
To all friends of John Bartmann...
If the news hasn't reached you yet or if the family has not contacted you as yet, the very, very sad news is that your friend, John Bartmann,
passed away Monday, July 16, at 8:00 PM. He arrived at Porters Hospital Friday morning July 13, and from the emergency room was placed
into intensive care.
John had prearranged his funeral so his memorial service will be Sunday, July 22, at Horan & McConaty on Colorado Boulevard.
The time will be 2:00 PM with, a celebration at the Bull and Bush afterwards until 5:30PM.
The information will be in the obituary Friday, July 20.
Thank you all for your love and friendship for John.
Then this obituary found in the Denver Post by
H. Bruce Downey, York '52---
these--- from various e-mails sent me by York '52-ers"---
On 7/22/2012 9:27 PM, email@example.com
I just attended John' Memorial Service and I can
tell you I have never been part of such a beautiful
tribute in my life. It was the most heartwarming
service anyone could imagine.
It was filled with music, laughter, stories from
friends. We should all be so lucky to receive such a
bon voyage of respect and admiration. I feel
fortunate to have reacquainted with John in recent
years. He, Bill, and Rory, have played at my
neighborhood picnic for the last four years. He was
playing a gig two weeks ago.
The bottom line is he was truely a very
On 7/21/2012 12:50 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org
So sorry to hear of John Bartmann's passing. As I was never a
band member in grade school or high school, many of you
probably knew him much better than I, but those of us who knew
him at all have indeed lost not only a friend, but one the
finest musicians every to have graced the halls of York as he
clearly demonstrated many times during his lifetime. I am an
avid collector of The Queen City Band's CDs and play them
often. He will be sorely missed by those who knew him and
loved his music! My deepest sympathy to his wife Fran and
On 7/21/2012 9:59 AM, Thomas Hodge
Dear Fran, Bruce, & Friends So very sorry to hear of
John's passing.He was my H.S. buddie & along w/Dick Franzen,
Hank Kruse, & Stan Nation we shared great times in Elmhurst
& Lake-In-the Hills. They have all gone & I am left with
the memories. Tom
On 7/21/2012 7:59 AM, H. Bruce Downey
John told me he was sick, and so
I knew this was coming. John did too.
I tell you
this from a perspective I alone can tell. You see, John
and I began our music together, in what was P.M. Keast's
band at Hawthorne Elementary School, back in 4th grade.
Early on we both chose the coronet--- only to later on
switch to trumpet. John came from Old Field School and I
came from Hawthorne Elementary--- and many others came too
from all across Elmhurst, IL, we came. Band practice was
always on Saturday mornings in the gymnasium at Hawthorne
School as we began our adventure in music. As I now
recall, there were three bands in all, each directed by
P.M. Keast, who took it upon himself to teach us about
discipline and about moral values for the children we
were---- along with our music.
John and I moved quickly along, and by sixth grade I was
first chair in the Senior Band, and John was second. But
not for long, for P.M. Keast had a system of "challenging"
in place, and John challenged me for the right to sit in
that first chair. We were both given a piece of music, and
during a preset period of time we both practiced the same
piece of music--- perhaps for a period of two-weeks. Then
one evening at the school we came together, where I was let
into the room first, and played first. Then John was let
in, and I sat where John had just sat--- out in the
hallway. For support, John's father was there--- and so too
was my mother. John played that piece perfectly, whereas I
had not. And so at the next band practice, John took over
the first chair, and I sat next, in second chair.
I remained in second chair to John from 7th grade through
our senior year in the York Band. Then John went on to a
music education, becoming a band leader in a school in
Colorado. And he kept right on playing all through those
years, eventually winding up as the trumpter for the Queen
City Jazz Band, traveling the country with the Band, and
making several band recordings, which he would send me from
time. John loved his music, through and through, that's for
sure. He had a gift, and he pursued it for a lifetime---
until he didn't have the breath to blow his horn anymore.
I am truly sorry to learn of his passing. His family must
be very proud of John, just as I too am--- writing this as I
do now from my position as "John's
then I was reading my favorite writing expert--- Liza
Field--- who I believe is a Roanoke College
Professor's regular Saturday column in the Roanoke Times
which I had read only shortly after I had written this---
just to see what she thought of an example of my own
writing skills, and got this reply:---
On 7/21/2012 7:07 PM, Liza Field wrote:
Wow, I just logged in to start grading student papers
for the week and read this great remembrance of your
That image of the chairs is so strong and symbolic--I
could almost feel the warmth left in the chair John had
vacated (now for good) when you finished your audition
and went to sit in it. Then the whole theme of the
chairs as a musical term for which position one plays in
as a musician...and your humble concession to him as
greater than yourself, which is mightily beautiful. I'm
sure the family will feel some tears of gratitude and
love when this is read. I wonder if they are letting
people read at the memorial. I guess not, if it was
pre-planned and will happen quickly, but you should sent
this to anyone who knew him.
Oh, and I'm sure HE appreciates it to, and is smiling
from his musical realm of joy that we're connected to,
even here in molecule-land, via music itself.
Thank you for letting me read it.
And then these e-mails, from John's musical friends
On 7/21/2012 7:36 PM, email@example.com
finally this...Carroll Knight, York '52, speaking to
John Bartmann, York '52, shortly after the York '52
55th Reunion in 2007:---Please pause player (at top of this page) before proceeding with this clip...
thank you for
the post...i was a friend of John and Fran's son Chad.
Actually the first person on the site when they found
him, Very traumatic!!!! i have kept in touch with Fran
letting her know the times i visit Chad's grave, its
coming up on 4 years now and still hard knowing you miss
a good friend. I just got off the phone with Fran and
as we can imagine she is not doing real well...gave her
my condolences over the phone rather than email...sure
hope it helped it the smallest of ways..
thanks again for a for a great story
On 7/26/2012 2:01 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org
I keep thinking about our dear friend John and I feel like I have to write my thoughts down to help me (and perhaps you) feel some kind of closure. I'll always have many great memories of gigs together at the Bull and Bush in Denver with The "Fred Moldenhauer Sextet" and other gigs with The "Vibe Tribe"
It was John who first recommended me to a group of musicians (The "Summit Jazz Consort") in the Breckenridge/Vail area that has led to years of fun gigs in the mountains with John and other great musicians. If I ever played a fast run or a repeated sextuplet figure in a solo John used to teasingly shout "showoff!"
My friend Clarinetist, Roger Topliff, told me that he once subbed with the Queen City Jazzband and that it was John who helped talk him through the arrangements, keys, etc. and made him feel comfortable. That's just the kind of guy John was.
Gracioius, friendly and magnanimous, I'll always remember when John and Fran offered the use of their condo in Breckenridge to my family for the weekend for free. Money being very tight with a young child, It was a much needed and welcome respite from work that we otherwise would not have been able to afford. My wife and Daughter and I had a wonderful weekend up there thanks to the generosity of John and Fran. I'll never forget my Daughter (at the time 1 year old) laughing her head off and getting the biggest kick out of crawling from room to room in their condo!
It's amazing how quickly the news of Johns passing got around in the musical community, we really are a big Family! Other great musicians that I personally remember and miss are, Vince Lindburgh, Gordon Ellinger, Billy Tolles, Les James, Fred Stuft, Don O'neil and James VanBuren.
It's people like John that have made the world a better place with their kindness, generosity and the gift of their musical talent. John will be sorely missed by all of us in this wonderful, extensive, yet intimate family of colorado musicians.
On 7/26/2012 11:20 AM, Sterling
Hi Rick (and others):
I am answering your thoughtful and heart-felt remarks about
John and want to add mine.
I didn't get to know John that well on a personal basis
except theat which came through his horn. At the Bull abd
Bush, most of his time off the stand was spent with his
friend Tony. I do respect John for his knowledge of music
and his role as musical leader when the band was on the
stand. He is missed but Kevein is a super replacement for
him. At this time, my thoughts go back to you, Rick, and to
music in general.
When my wife Shirley died in 1993, you will recall that I
hired you and 6 others muusiciians, most of whom knew
Shirley well, to play in tribute to her. I picked 4 tunes
which I knew she liked (and she vocally endorsed) for the
group to play. You sat out the first 2, Black and Blue and
I'm Comin' Virginia, then I brought you in for a quartet
version of Moon Glow, which was very effective. The
capstone, however, was the 7-piece bands version of Eubie's
Memories Of You. When I hear it, that always takes me back
to that day and to my days with Shirley. When I go to a
Festival like the Evergreen Jazz Festival which I will be
going to this weekend, I am sure to hear 3 and maybe all 4
of those tunes in the course of the weekend. And this leads
me to the role of music in my life and the lives of others.
As I sit in the Little Bear and hear what is urually raucous
stuff, I am amaxed and thrilled at the power of good jazz to
transform the place into a palace of Peace and Joy, my two
main objectives in life. If all the world was like those
moments, we wouldn't need Police forces and Armies and could
avoid scenes of horror like we just experienced here in
Aurora. And Rick, you are part of that music scene which I
enjoy so much. I will look forward to hearing you with the
After Midnight group, an absolute delight. I'm sure that we
will talk. If only more people knew about, understood, and
enjoyed the music as I do, this world would be a much better
place. And my love of music extends far beyond juust jazz,
be sure of that.