Blues music affects its fans in many ways. To some, it is a soundtrack of experiences of their past, or maybe their present. Stories of love and loss are set to notes and rhythms that grip the heart and and give a voice to one’s soul. But listening to the blues is different than living the blues. When love and loss become one in our personal reality, the emotional devastation is so raw we yearn to do something (anything) to ease the heartache of a relationship ended prematurely and to insure that our loved one is held in a lasting memory.
The CIBS Blues Angel program is an opportunity to pay tribute to a departed loved one who was a member of the Central Iowa Blues Society. With a donation of $500 or more to CIBS, the member will be designated a Blues Angel and recognized in the newsletter as well as permanently listed on the website. Please contact the CIBS President (firstname.lastname@example.org) or any board member to create a CIBS Blues Angel virtual memorial for your loved one.
Beth Bloom’s husband, Arlen, came up with the concept for the Blues Angel Program. Beth is recognized as the first CIBS Blues Angel. Taken from us on February 14, 2019, Beth Bloom was a longtime contributing member and known around the membership to be a supportive volunteer, an attentive listener, and a lot of fun wherever she went.
Roger Morrison, 71, passed away on Sunday, January 8, 2023 at MercyOne Medical Center from results of a stroke and fall. If you knew Roger you’re probably shocked as he was a very healthy and active person.
Roger was born November 24, 1951 to Roscoe and Dorothy Morrison who lived in Adel and moved to Des Moines in 1955. He graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in 1970, then on to the University of Northern Iowa earning a BA in Business Management. His professional career began at American Federal Savings, followed by Meredith Corporation which later became NeoData, then joining Wells Fargo until his retirement in 2014. He made many life-long friends while at work. In 1977, Roger married the love of his life, Katherine Lorenz Allen. Her sons, Ross and Jay, completed their family and brought much love and joy to his life. They enjoyed many vacations and road trips, memories Ross and Jay cherish to this day. When grandson Vance was born in California, Roger became a beaming, proud “Gampa” and he and Kathy traveled as often as they could to visit. When son Ross lived in Missouri, they enjoyed road trips there. He especially loved the gatherings at his parents’ home while they were still alive, and would reminisce about them regularly at family gatherings for years to come. He was a wonderful brother, uncle and grand uncle. When Kathy developed Alzheimer’s, Roger cared for her in their home until it was no longer safe to do so. Family was important to Roger. Rog was an accomplished athlete throughout his life. He played baseball, tennis, basketball and softball, but his favorite exercise was lawn maintenance. He enjoyed sporting events, whether attending in person or watching on TV. He followed all Iowa teams but would be rooting for the Hawkeyes during the Cy/Hawk showdown. Roger’s favorite teams would be the one Vance was playing on, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the St. Louis Cardinals. He was passionate about music, especially live events, taking trips with Kathy to the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, Central Iowa Blues Society events, and anywhere there was good music and cold beer. He loved engaging in long listening sessions at home and discussing music for hours with anyone that was as passionate as him. Rog was at the forefront of the craft beer renaissance. He enjoyed touring breweries, discovering different beers, and sharing a cold one with friends and family.
Roger is survived and lovingly remembered by his two sons, Ross (Theresa) Allen of Haverhill, and Jay (Alyssa) Allen of Lake Balboa, California; his sisters, Diana (Jim) Wissler of West Des Moines, and Linda Bucklew of Des Moines; his grandchildren, Vance Allen, Taylor Mosher and Noah Frederiksen; nephew, Ben Wissler; niece, Megan Yeager; and grandnieces, Afton, Erin and Adeline Yeager. Roger was preceded in death by his parents and wife, Katherine.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Central Iowa Blues Society; Alzheimer’s Association in memory of Kathy; or ALS in memory of Roger’s friend Mark Myers. The family would like to thank the excellent care of the MercyOne medical team, especially Chandler and Nick, whose compassion and professionalism helped us all through this tragedy.
Jeff “Doc” Wagner
Jeff was born on July 11, 1956 in Davenport, Iowa to Frank and Shirley (McDermott) Wagner. He graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1988, and then operated Douglas Chiropractic Clinic in Des Moines with his former wife, Carol Meier DC, for over 10 years. Jeff was an avid bowler, golfer and a diehard Hawkeye fan.
But most of all, he was able to pursue his love of Blues Music by operating the Blues on Grand in Des Moines, all with the loving help of “Mama” Lynette. Blues on Grand won the “Keeping the Blues Alive Award” from the Blues Foundation in Memphis of which Jeff was extremely proud of.
People choose their path in life. It is always influenced by those around us, but ultimately, we are the ones directing our steps. Jeff always chose his own path and even though not everyone may have agreed with his choices, he was stubborn enough to not change. He was stubborn enough to setup and operate the premier Blues Club in Central Iowa for 11 great years in tough economic times. Blues on Grand was a legendary bar where you could listen to the finest of local talent or enjoy world-renowned entertainers, all in the same venue. Jeff never missed the opportunity to promote local musicians and gave many of them their first stage to perform on. Jeff was stubborn enough to refuse to make “foo-foo” drinks and to admit he really loved “Mustang Sally” (just kidding about Mustang Sally, he hated that song). He always had an opinion and was happy to share it with anyone who would listen. The reality of it is that Jeff loved Blues on Grand and a big part of him died when the bar closed. He got to spend much of his adult life doing what he loved to do and that is something that not a lot of people can really say they did. He got to be the ringleader of a musical circus and took it where he wanted it to go. Rest in peace Doc! Here is to hoping you get to feel like you did when you had a class act on stage and a bar full of thirsty patrons tapping their feet to the music.