Cover photo for Donald L. Griesbach's Obituary
Donald L. Griesbach Profile Photo
1930 Donald 2022

Donald L. Griesbach

July 13, 1930 — November 11, 2022


Donald L. Griesbach, 92 years old, who resided at the Fountains at Bronson Place in Kalamazoo, MI went home to be with the Lord on November 11, 2022. Born July 13, 1930, in Muskegon, MI, Don was the son of the late Walter E. and Norma M. (Bloom) Griesbach. He graduated from Muskegon High School in 1948 and received both Bachelor, 1952, and Master’s, 1963, degrees in Music from Western Michigan University.

Don served his country honorably and proudly first in the Army Reserves and later as a member of the 82nd Army Band in Nuremberg, Germany during the Korean Conflict.

On January 29, 1955, Don married the love of his life, the former Catherine Ann Marxer at First Congregational Church in Grand Rapids, MI starting a life rich with family, music and travel.

Don’s career path started at Muskegon High School playing clarinet in the school band under the direction of William Stewart. Don started his own dance band while in college, and he never stopped playing until his elder years. His professional career spanned 30 years as an educator of instrumental music in Stanton, Grant, Hartford, Montague, and Portage Public Schools. Don also coached girls’ basketball as well as boys’ and girls’ golf teams. He was a private woodwind tutor, interim saxophone instructor at Western Michigan University and moonlighted as a member of the famed Bobby Davidson Dance Orchestra. He played for Holiday on Ice, Ringling Bros. Circus, Windjammers and Shriner’s bands.

Following retirement in 1985, Don and Cathy spent summers at their cottage on Coldwater Lake and later became snowbirds in Bradenton, FL. While in Bradenton Don was a member and guest conductor in Manatee Community Band, Suncoast Concert Band, Jazz Ambassadors Big Band and Suncoast Saxophone Quartet.

Don and Cathy enjoyed traveling the world on 17 cruises. One highlight was playing as a member of the Community Band of America performing during Pope John Paul II General Audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. At the Pope’s request, the band received a special blessing.

Don is survived by three loving children: Linda (Mike) Sopher of LaSalle, MI, Sandra (Neil) Bremer of Portage, MI, and John Stewart (Julie) Griesbach also of Portage, MI. Three cherished granddaughters, Catherine (Lance) Livi, Anna Griesbach and Bonnie Bremer. Several nieces, nephews, former students, and musicians will treasure his memory. Don will be laid to rest at Mona View Cemetery in Muskegon Heights, MI where private graveside services will be held. In honor of Don’s memory donations may be directed to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at P.O. Box 1893, Memphis, TN 38101-9950 or donate by phone: (800) 478-5833.

Please visit Don’s personalized web page for online guestbook or to leave a condolence at

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