Lester L. “Jay” Blaser, Jr., lifelong resident of the town of Chase, passed away peacefully Sunday, October 13, 2019, at Sun Valley II the Pines in Pulaski, where he was lovingly cared for over the past several years.
The son of Lester L. Blaser, Sr. and Marie (McDermid) Blaser was born April 2, 1934, in Chase, graduated from St. Norbert High School in DePere, and was a U.S. Army veteran. He was a faith-filled man, a gentle soul who was a much loved member of the community. He was a dedicated member of the Knights of Columbus, Bishop Bona Council #4439, Pulaski. Les served as sexton of St. Joseph Cemetery in Chase for many years, until health and aging let him know it was time to pass the torch to the next generation of Blasers.
Music was the passion of his life. He gave piano and/or organ lessons to half the kids in town. Those same kids today share how Les would sometimes doze mid-lesson to the beat of the metronome. Les worked as a church organist most of his life, leading the faith communities of Assumption B.V.M. in Pulaski, and his home parishes of St. Joseph in Chase and St. John Cantius (now St. Maximilian Kolbe) in Sobieski in song at weekend liturgies, weddings, funerals, and on other occasions. It wasn’t unusual for Les to walk up to his place at the organ just minutes before a funeral Mass was scheduled to start, with a look of confidence and “no worries” on his smiling face. And there was no need to worry. He was the consummate pro. Both young and old would giggle because LBJ (a nickname he jokingly took to himself) would rattle the pews a bit when the music so moved him. He also spent time behind the organ at other area churches of various religious traditions, always ready to help the assembly with their sung prayer. Jay served as the organist and director of the Boys Choir in Green Bay for several years. He also taught at Assumption B.V.M. Grade School in Pulaski for a short time and drove school bus for the school and the district.
Jay enjoyed going out for dinner, and sometimes dancing, with friends and family. He was a good and loyal friend. A gentleman scholar, he was easy to engage in good and witty conversations. He also had a dry sense of humor and carried a good amount of the McDermid feistiness.
Survivors include his sister, Carolyn “Carrie” Ford, Milwaukee; two sisters-in-law: Barbara Blaser, Pulaski, and Kathy Blaser, Kohler; nieces and nephews, other relatives, and many friends. He was preceded in death by two brothers: Cyril and Robert Blaser, and one brother-in-law, Thomas Ford.
Friends gathered with the family at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, Sobieski, from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Monday, October 21st. The Funeral Mass was celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Monday at the church, Fr. Patrick Gawrylewski, O.F.M. presiding.
The family would like to express their gratitude to the staffs of Sun Valley Homes and Heartland Hospice for the care they gave to Les. He was happy and comfortable in your hands.