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Polka drummer deeply moved by music, dance |
Obituary Stories

Polka drummer deeply moved by music, dance


Herbert Boehm had music and dance in his blood and his soul.

He played drums for the Melody Kings, a polka band, and loved to dance when he wasn’t keeping the beat.

“He did that for years and years and years,” Rick Boehm of Irwin said of his father’s work as a musician.

Herbert J. Boehm of North Huntingdon died Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, in his home from complications of cancer. He was 87.

Mr. Boehm’s love of polka and other music came in part from his Austrian and German background, his son said.

“Most of my dad’s family were musicians. … If they weren’t playing, they were dancing,” Rick Boehm said.

“He liked the polka music,” said Ron Boehm of White Oak, another son of Mr. Boehm’s. “He liked to dance to it. I know it (polka) was on the radio every Sunday when we were kids.”

Mr. Boehm was born Oct. 8, 1927, in Pittsburgh, a son of the late Anthony and Mary Scheuring Boehm.

Mr. Boehm served in the Army during the Korean War and retired from Standard Metals.

He loved to read books about the Korean War and World War II, but he didn’t talk much about his service, Ron Boehm said. But during a trip to a museum at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, he stopped and stared at a display, his son recalled.

“He said, ‘That’s me,’ ” Ron Boehm said. “ ‘That’s what I did.’ ”

Mr. Boehm was looking at a rendition of a machine gunner’s nest.

He loved being around his family and enjoyed woodworking, playing cards and fishing.

“He loved Christmastime, especially when the whole family was together,” Ron Boehm said.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Theresa Misialek Boehm; three sons, Ron of White Oak, Rick of Irwin, and Russ of North Huntingdon; a daughter, Lori Best of North Huntingdon; 13 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Friends will be received from 1 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday in James W. Shirley Funeral Home, 176 Clay Pike, North Huntingdon. A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Monday in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church.

Interment will be in Penn Lincoln Memorial Park.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, 200 Leger Road, Irwin PA 15642.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or [email protected].

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