Fogelberg Remembered By Fans And Friends

By Emily West

July 15, 2010 Updated Jun 9, 2008 at 5:24 PM CDT

Dan Fogelberg grew up in Peoria and graduated from Woodruff High School and went on to be a famous musician. Fogelberg passed away early Sunday morning.

News 25's Emily West spoke with some of his former friends and classmates about the musician.

Dan Fogelberg is known to many for his songs, but the musician is known more to some in Peoria as a high school classmate and a caring man who had a kind word for everyone.

One high school classmate, Diane Wetterow, said, "He was very quiet and loved his music, that was his passion and he had a band that would always play at our proms and homecomings. Music was his passion and that's what he followed all his life."

Fogelberg graduated from Woodruff High School in 1969.

Another classmate, Wendy Blickenstaff, said, "I think there are certain people who walk in your life and leave a footprint on his life. And the goofy things that he did, and the good memories."

From there, he and Blickenstaff went to the University of Illinois.

"Out of the four of us who went to the University of Illinois together, we were going to take Broadway by storm."

After a semester he decided to go to Nashville where he furthered his love of music.

"He pretty well defined the soft rock era."

Fogelberg's musical success serves as an inspiration to other local musicians.

"All of the guys I knew from back then, they look at Dan, they see Dan do it and say yeah we can do it too," said Barry Cloyd.

One of his many hits include "The Leader of the Band" which was a tribute to his father, a band director at Pekin and Woodruff High School.

"I think that song was a way to tell his father how much he meant to him."

It was just a basic hometown understanding, and a deep Midwest feeling.

He did return to his hometown a couple of times. His last performance was in 2002 at the Peoria Civic Center.

"I was fortunate enough to run into him. He was always gracious and open."

Fogelberg was diagnosed with Advanced Prostate Cancer in 2004. He died in his home early Sunday morning with his wife by his side. He was 56 years old.

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