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The day the music died – Coeur d'Alene Press


COEUR d’ALENE — Chris Guggemos believed in music.

He believed within the energy of music. He believed in the way it might influence lives.

“He in all probability was the very best in the neighborhood at understanding what music might do to construct a stronger group,” mentioned Sandi Bloem, former mayor of Coeur d’Alene.

Guggemos, thought of by many the music man of North Idaho, died Monday after a six-year battle with most cancers. He was 68.

The proprietor of Handshake Productions produced about 1,000 live shows since he started doing so in 1992. Bringing music to others – whether or not rock, nation, jazz, blues or classical – is what gave him pleasure, Bloem mentioned.

She recalled working with Guggemos throughout Coeur d’Alene’s avenue truthful some 25 years in the past.

“That was the start of my realizing his ardour for music and bringing folks collectively,” she mentioned.

“He introduced folks along with no animosity, with whole civility, in a spot the place folks cherished being collectively,” Bloem mentioned. “I actually can’t consider anybody else that did and did it so nicely.

Guggemos, recognized for his smile, spirit and summer time shorts, was a volunteer extraordinaire.

Earlier than his loss of life, he was president of the Dawn Rotary Membership of Coeur d’Alene for a yr.

When he got here on board, he wasn’t exhibiting indicators of the most cancers he had battled since 2016, however it got here again. Guggemos talked to the Rotary board about whether or not he ought to step down.

They satisfied him to remain, telling him they have been behind him, and so they have been household.

“The actual fact he was so sick and nonetheless pulled off his yr as president says quite a bit,” mentioned LaDonna Beaumont, a Rotarian.

Guggemos, praised for his “tireless devotion and trustworthy management,” handed over the gavel as membership president to Mark Beardsley simply two months in the past.

He shared the return of most cancers with just a few folks.

“He didn’t need lots of people to know,” Beardsley mentioned. “He didn’t need folks to really feel sorry for him.”

Guggemos didn’t complain about having most cancers, Beaumont mentioned, or let folks know the extent to which it was affecting him within the final yr of his life. Regardless of being in ache, he was persistently nice and constructive.

“He celebrated his well being however he didn’t moan about his sickness,” Beaumont mentioned.

Guggemos was a gifted man who additionally wrote and carried out music, however it wasn’t his focus.

“It was by no means about him,” Beaumont mentioned.

Many posted feedback about Guggemos on social media:

“Chris was one of many good guys, at all times prepared with a smile and a handshake. Our city is a greater place due to him.” — John Austin

“He had a soul for music and a love of this group. His absence will depart an enormous hole for all of us to reside round.” — Ruth Pratt

“Few folks have a serious influence on our group like Chris. He introduced us pleasure by way of music. Because the music goes, ‘Go relaxation excessive on that mountain, your work on earth is completed.’” — Susan Weathers

“Chris had a ardour for music and leisure. He wished everybody, and anybody, to expertise the enjoyment he bought out of it. The Summer season Live performance Sequence was actually a present to the group.” — Doug Eastwood

Guggemos belonged to the Idaho Panhandle Kiwanis Membership and was there 25 years in the past after they led the effort to construct Fort Sherman Playground. He helped arrange the twenty fifth anniversary celebration of the playground at Coeur d’Alene Metropolis Park in Might.

Kiwanis President Jon Dohm labored with Guggemos on the Fort Sherman celebration and visited him not lengthy earlier than his loss of life.

“I held his hand and advised him that we cherished him,” Dohm mentioned.

Having met Guggemos earlier this yr, Dohm didn’t know him nicely, however he recalled how Guggemos was dedicated to doing issues that might profit the group.

Persistence was a Guggemos trademark. He advised Dohm to work with folks — and typically it was essential to push them a little bit — however not an excessive amount of.

Guggemos, whereas a promoter, by no means promoted himself, Dohm mentioned.

“His coronary heart was at all times in the proper place,” he mentioned.

Bloem mentioned Guggemos labored arduous on the summer time live shows that have been held in Coeur d’Alene, Rathdrum, Hayden, Publish Falls and past.

His motivation wasn’t cash.

“He by no means gave up on his dream to offer music for the group as a result of he knew what it will do for us,” Bloem mentioned.

A funeral for Guggemos is about for 1 p.m. Friday at St. Thomas Catholic Church.




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