Dr. Joseph A Baldassarre

Class of 1968

In Memoriam

Below is the death notice of Joseph Baldassarre, Class of 1968 and Former St. Edward Faculty member from 1972-1973. Please keep the Baldassarre family in your prayers.

Dr. Joseph Anthony Baldassarre passed away on October 28, 2023 at St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise, ID after a short battle with heart failure.

Joe was born on October 16, 1950 in Cleveland, OH, the city of rock ‘n’ roll, to Antonio Saverio Baldassare and Mary Jane (Fondale) Baldassarre. Joe learned how to read music starting at the age of 4, and started learning how to play the guitar at the age of 6. By the age of 13, he was a regular on local Cleveland radio and TV, was already playing in local bands, and he was a regular studio musician for the record labels, laying down the guitar tracks for popular songs like Time Won’t Let Me by the Outsiders and California Sun by The Rivieras. At 16, he was very honored to be invited to study classical guitar in Spain with world class guitarist Miguel Rubio, and he was even afforded the honor of playing a private concert for Rubio’s mentor, Andres Segovia. Joe was quite the scholar in Cleveland, graduating high school from St. Edward, attaining his bachelor’s in music education from Baldwin Wallace College, his masters from Kent State, and two doctorates, one in classical guitar performance from Case Western Reserve and the other in medieval music research from The Cleveland Institute for Music, affectionately earning him the title, “Dr. Joe”. He accepted a position as a music professor for Boise State University in 1975. There he became Director of Guitar Studies and Coordinator of Music History, and a favorite professor of the students for his humor, musical talent, and teaching ability. He retired from BSU officially in 2011, after 36 years. During this period and since, Dr. Joe gigged in countless bands in the Treasure Valley, and started 2 medieval music groups that toured in Europe. His recording legacy includes an award-winning solo medieval CD, two solo folk CD’s, an album of rock covers and one of original progressive rock songs “The Path” he wanted to leave as a legacy. He also found time to contribute articles for medieval, musicological and baseball periodicals, while performing on at least 57 different instruments live on stage throughout his life.

Joe met the love of his life, Janeen Turner, in 1987, and they were married on August 7, 1999. Joe always said that Jan was the most wonderful woman in the world and she adored him. They were happily married for 24 years.

Dr. Joe is survived by his wife Janeen Turner Baldassarre, his children Genya Marie Baldassarre (Brian Gibeault), Leyla Noelle (Baldassarre) Johnson (TJ Johnson), Stephen Joseph Baldassare, and his grandchildren Gabriel Joseph Baldassarre, Daniel Louis Gibeault, and Chloe Ann Johnson.

Posted on: November 2, 2023

You can view a list of all St. Ed's Alumni who have passed away on our website.

Dr. Joseph A Baldassarre

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matt stepnowsky teaching a class