Albert Wiltjer, passed away recently at the age of 94 on April 29, 2017. He was a huge fan of the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival and attended for over 10 years with many of his children and other relations. In lieu of flowers the family has asked people to make donations to the ragtime festival.
Al was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 6, 1922, son of Albert and Harriet Wiltjer, and brother to Phyllis (Wiltjer) Grey. He is preceded in death by his loving wife Bernie, wife of 66 years. Al leaves behind four children, twelve grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
Big Al graduated from Illinois Institute of Technology, followed by three years in the United States Navy. He served as a communications officer in the Atlantic during the Second World War. Following the war, Al accepted a job working for Union Carbide, where he spent the next forty-five years. Al and his family eventually settled in Chappaqua, New York for 25 years.
Bernie's final years were spent in Sedalia close to his beloved daughter Susanna and son in law John who both provided wonderful care and support.
Al was a unique man of many varied skills and interests. An avid and competitive golfer, skilled gardener, and voracious reader, Al had a special passion for music; jazz, big band and ragtime among his favorites. He was a man of principle and integrity who took great pride in his family. Big Al was truly loved and admired. As one of a kind, he will be forever missed.
Cakewalk Hall - Fox Theatre at 111 East Fifth
Ragtime tunes swept our nation at the end of the 1800s diverting our attention from the staid classical European music. Learn the new dance styles that changed to match. Dance to scandalous rhythms or just listen and observe.
All dance events are free except the Maple Leaf Tea Dance.
Thursday, June 1
1:00 to 2:00 Dance Lessons: AS EASY AS 1-2-3: One, Two and Three Step
2:00 to 3:00 Open dancing with live accompaniment
3:00 to 4:00 Dance Lessons: DOING THE BOSTON: Hesitation Waltz
4:00 to 5:00 Open dancing with live accompaniment
Friday, June 2
1:00 to 2:00 Dance Lessons: TAKE A HIKE: Cakewalk, Camelwalk, Castlewalk
4:00 to 6:00 Maple Leaf Tea Dance ($15 ticket at Box Office or CASH at door)
Experience a modern flair to a Victorian Garden Party themed event catered by a culinary artist. Dance instructors will lead a Grand March to open this formal dance. A cakewalk contest will give tasty baked prizes for the best imitation of this strutting dance of African American origin. Vintage attire is encouraged. Appetizers and champagne will be served. Music provided by the *Joplin Jubilee Jamboree Band (JJJB)
The 2017 Artist In Residence with Frederick Hodges was a great experience. He got rave reviews from all 11 of the schools he visited during the week of Feb. 5 to 9. The kids loved how much he involved them and the assembly was frequently very loud. The teachers were very happy with the amount of history he shared and the way he interacted with the kids.
The Sedalia Area Literacy Council purchased 11 copies of the book "Treemonisha" to give to the schools' libraries, so the teachers can reinforce the experience any time during the year. We had great coverage from the media, with a front page story in Tuesday's paper, and a live interview on both radio stations on Monday. Frederick also played at the volunteers' appreciation reception at the Liberty Center and spent time talking to the guests. He played for a silent movie at the Liberty Center on Thursday and has helped the interest in silent movies grow. All in all, we kept him very busy during the week he was here and it was a great experience.
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