Joe Uriel Kantola, loving husband, father and grandfather, passed away on Wednesday, January 9, in Boise at the age of 77 as result of Leukemia complications.
Joe and his twin brother, Gene, were born at home in McCall on June 20, 1941 to Meryl and Rayno Kantola. He spent his childhood in McCall, attending both McCall Elementary and Donnelly-McCall High School. After graduating from high school in 1959, Joe attended Boise Junior College. He then went on to receive both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Idaho in Moscow. While attending school in Moscow, he met his wife, Anne, and they were married on August 10, 1963, at the Moscow Presbyterian Church.
In 1965, Joe began his 45-year teaching career in the U.S., working with children in five different states (California, Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Wyoming), and then moved to Asia to work with children in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Anne and Joe welcomed their daughter Kiersten in McCall in the summer of 1966, and their son Brian in January of 1969 while living and teaching in Grants Pass, Oregon.
Joe’s successful music-teaching career touched the lives of thousands of children and included street marching, field marching, concert orchestras, concert bands, jazz bands, pep bands, choirs, swing choirs, ensembles and soloists. During his time as a director, Joe’s bands won several state marching band competitions, in both field and street marching. Joe was proficient in nearly all instruments, but his favorites were clarinet and saxophone.
Joe and Anne returned to McCall in 2002, and Joe taught high school choir and band for grades 5 - 12 in Cascade. He retired permanently in 2010, but kept busy mowing grass at the McCall Golf Club every summer. In 2014, Joe and Anne moved to Eagle.
Outside of playing and teaching music, Joe enjoyed golf and caring for his animals. He’ll be remembered as a gentle, kind person. He had a passion for fine arts curriculum inclusion in public education. He had a great love for music, children and animals.
Joe is survived by his wife, Anne, daughter Kiersten Barber (Mark Barber), grandson Ty Baxter (Jill Baxter), twin brother Gene (Peggy Sue), and beloved Chocolate Lab, Bailey. He is preceded in death by his son Brian.
At Joe’s request, there will be no services. Remembrances in Joe’s honor can be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (www.lls.org).