In Memorium: James G. Loeper

Mr. Loeper was a member of our local for 65 years.jim loeper

James (Jim) G. Loeper, a proud and loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather of Wyomissing, passed away peacefully on April 3, 2021. For 70 years, Jim was the loving husband of Philomena (Paolini) Loeper, who predeceased him on April 19, 2020. He is survived by six children: Thomas J., Crest Hill, IL; Rev. David J., Pastor of St. John the Baptist, Pottsville; Judy A. Dell (Dennis), Sinking Spring; Ann M. Melzer (Andrew), Sinking Spring; John R., New York; and Joseph R. (Michele), Wyomissing; seven grandchildren: Andrew, Sarah, Megan, Stephen, Alyssa, James, and Ryan; and four great-grandchildren: Owen, Anthony, Cameron, and Isabella. He is predeceased by one son: Michael. Born in Reading, PA, he was a son of the late Leo J. Loeper and Agnes (Thren) Loeper. Jim was blessed to be one of four children: Bernard J. and Edward T. (both deceased) and Louise Cottrell-Cawley of Wyomissing. Jim was a 1947 graduate of Central Catholic High School. After high school, he served in the Army, achieving the rank of Sergeant First Class. He was employed as an electrical designer for Gilbert Associates for 44 years before retiring in 1991. He was an avid musician and played saxophone and clarinet with a local orchestra in the late 1940s and ’50s. In 1960, he formed the Jimmy Loeper Orchestra performing at many social events and clubs in the area for 25 years. In 1985, he formed the band “Spin-Offs.” He served on the executive board of Local 135-211 American Federation of Musicians. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated privately at a future date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the food pantry of the St. Vincent de Paul Society c/o St. Ignatius Rectory 2810 Saint Albans Dr., Reading, PA 19608.


In Memorium: Frank H. Siekmann

Dr. Siekmann was a member of our local for almost 50 years.dr frank siekmann

Dr. Frank H. Siekmann Dr. Frank H. Siekmann, 95, of Kutztown, parted his life on February 17, 2021.

He was an educator, musician, and composer. He taught music in public schools of Smyrna, DE; Ramsey, NJ; and Chappaqua, NY. There he was appointed as one of only two department heads. After ten years at Chappaqua he accepted a one year replacement position as Director of Bands at the University of Vermont. There he organized and directed a three-state tour including the opening date of the 1965 New York World’s Fair. Also, during that year he directed the choirs at the First Congregational Church in Burlington. His degrees included a bachelor’s and master’s in Music Education at NYU, followed by Doctor of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. There he had the honor of conducting the university orchestra at Spring Concert.

His teaching career continued for 25 years at Kutztown University where he conducted the orchestra, musical theatre, and at various years served as chairperson of the Department of Music. His honors at KU included being speaker at a commencement program and receiving an award for academic achievement.

Prior to his teaching career he served as a Navy Hospital Corpsman 1/c during WWII, including service with the 1st Marine Division during the battle of Okinawa where he was awarded a Purple Heart. He continued serving with the U.S. Marines in the occupation of North China. In later years he continued his patriotic service as a frequent bugler sounding taps at services of the American Legion Honor Guard, Post 217, Topton, PA.

He also helped create and direct the orchestra for the annual Flag Day celebrations in Kutztown Park. After moving to Kutztown with his family in 1967 he directed the choirs at St. John’s United Church of Christ, serving for 25 years and achieving status as Choir Director Emeritus. His hobbies included tennis and photography. He was the recipient of many awards while active in the Berks Camera Club.

In 1949 he married the former Doris Pelletier, resulting in 70 years of idyllic devotion, plus three children and two grandchildren: daughter Ellen Forbus wife of Ken Forbus; son Matthew Siekmann; son Bruce Siekmann husband of Marie DeFillips and their sons Anton and Bela Siekmann.

In 1982 he established a music company, Brelmat Music, named after his children (Bruce, Ellen, and Matthew) and devoted to promoting performances of Frank’s 223 compositions and arrangements. These have been performed widely in the United States and abroad including performances by soloists from major symphony orchestras. Services are private. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to a favorite charity of choice. Edward J. Hildenbrand Funeral Home Inc. in charge of arrangements.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Reading Eagle from Feb. 19 to Feb. 21, 2021.

In Memorium: Harold L. Kremser, Jr.

Mr. Kremser was a member of our local for 66 years.Harold Kremser

Harold L. Kremser, Jr. Harold L. Kremser, Jr., 93, of Muhlenberg Township, passed away on January 30, 2021 at Berkshire Commons in Exeter Twp., where he had been a guest since December. Born in South Temple, Pennsylvania, he was a son of the late Harold L. Kremser.

Helpful Links:

NOTICE:   2021 List of Members is now available in members area. 

Local 135-211 General & Executive Board Meeting Schedule:

(If you plan to attend any of these meetings please email Jerry Heere for meeting times and locations.)

            March 9, 2021   (TUESDAY)

             June 15, 2021  (TUESDAY)

             September 14, 2021  (TUESDAY)

            December 14, 2021  (TUESDAY) 

Welcome, and thank you for your interest in Local 135-211 of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada. The AFM is the largest organization in the world dedicated to representing the interests of professional musicians. Local 135-211 represents many of the finest professional musicians in Pennsylvania.