If you have followed my blog for some time, you will know I have talked about my husband, Jeff who has suffered from cancer. Jeff died on Tuesday February 25th at home with my children, cats and myself. It was our goal to keep him at home, and I was so happy that it happened that way. He fought a long and courageous fight, and I'm so proud of him. I thank of you for your support and loving thoughts over the years. I truly believe that those kind words helped him to stay longer with us since he survived much longer than ever predicted. Jeff was a great husband, Dad, step-Dad and friend. He was a natural born teacher/mentor to all whether it be music, photography, astronomy, geek ware or life. He was one to use puns and his queen sense of humor to control a crowd. To make people smile always made him feel good. Jeff didn't mind being unique or a little strange he actually found it "refreshing." He cared about others more than himself and was not ready to leave this earth until he knew everything was in place for his family. Jeff affected so many lives, and will be missed by many, none more than myself. All I can think of is that now he is back to conducting, walking and talking wonderful photographs of the heavens. My only request of him was that since he would be on his own again is that he would pick out clothes that matched, LOL.
Here is the official obituary.
Jeffrey Lee Peronto, age 64, passed into eternal life on February 25th, 2014, after a long and courageous battle with renal cancer. Jeff was born on June 14, 1949 in Milwaukee to Lillian and Leroy Peronto. Educated at Marquette University HS and UW-Madison, he worked as a musician and teacher for 37 years. Jeff was most proud of his career at MATC, where he taught music and directed the Madison Municipal Band, several jazz ensembles and the pit orchestras for the MATC musicals. Also an expert photographer, Jeff loved taking pictures, not only during his travels, but also through the lens of a telescope. He loved to mentor anyone interested in photography.
Some may remember Jeff's appearance on the Today Show with Jane Pauley, where he offered tips on shooting photos of Haley's Comet for the amateur photographer. Jeff later appeared on CNN and Fox, as well.
Disney World held a special place in Jeff's heart with an appointment as Director of the All American College Band in 1979. Jeff returned to the Florida theme park with his family and his college jazz groups in the years to follow. Through Jeff's efforts, Big Band greats Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Stan Kenton, Count Basie and many others visited MATC to perform and work with jazz ensemble members.
Highlights of his stint as director of the Madison Municipal Band included trips to Paris and Rome, where the band performed for Pope Paul VI. Jeff served as a field assistant for the UW Marching Band and just a few years ago conducted the band during one of the UW football games.
He was a popular teacher and well loved man in the community so I have had an outpouring of support which has been overwhelming. Again, thanks for all your love and support.