LAAKSO, DAVID (1929-2014)

David Laakso was born in 1929 in Wakefield, Michigan, to immigrant Finnish parents. He participated in the active musical life of the community and school which had an excellent reputation for their bands. Following his 17th birthday, David Laakso joined the US Air Force and served as a bandsman for three years. After being discharged, he studied music at Northern Michigan University as a French Horn major where he received his B.A. and did graduate work as well.
Professionally, Laakso enjoyed his years as a Band Instructor in Lower Michigan for 5 years and in Escanaba for 25 years where he taught Junior High Band. He found these young musians to be most gratifying to work with and was ever amazed at their talent. His bands won innumerable awards, and performed concerts with guest soloists such as Doc Severinsen and Rafael Mendez. His teaching ability and mentorship of young musicians led many of his students to pursue musical careers, and he instilled a lifelong love of music in countless others. Alice and David were married in 1955, and had 2 children and enjoyed their four grandchildren.
He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Escanaba, where he served as clerk of the Session. David Laasko died at Lakeview Assisted Living in Gladstone on November 14, 20015.