WINONA, Minnesota (AP)—Roger Busdicker went out on a high note.
Busdicker, who was often seen playing his ebony-and-silver clarinet, died last week at age 88 and his daughters thought it befitting to have his cremated remains buried inside the instrument.
"One of my sisters found the clarinet in a closet,'' said Sue Enger, of New Richmond, Wisconsin. "All three of us decided it would be appropriate to bury his ashes in it.''
Sure, their father could play the saxophone and other instruments, "but he had played that clarinet for more than 50 years,'' Enger said. He played Benny Goodman tapes in his car.
"They just thought this was so proper, that their dad went into the clarinet,'' said Noreen Busdicker of Minneapolis, who is married to Roger's brother, Gordon. "What didn't fit in the clarinet went into the lining of the case.''
Roger Busdicker toured with the Hal Leonard Orchestra in the 1930s and '40s before becoming a music teacher in Winona schools. He later co-founded and ran a sheet-music publishing company until retiring in 1985.
He never stopped playing.
"When I was young, we were in municipal band together. Every day or every other day, we'd go to the basement and play band music—real upbeat music, the kind that made you tap your toes,'' Enger said.