James J. Sedlack obituary photo
 
In Memory of

James J. Sedlack

July 29, 1919 - July 16, 2011

Obituary


Musician, Teacher, World War II Veteran

Jim Sedlack, a Veteran of the Army Air Forces in World War II, flew as a Radio Operator in the B-24 "Liberator". He flew four missions and was shot down twice. On August 1, 1943 his squadron was included for the Ploesti Raid to bomb the Romanian oil fields. There were terrible casualties and after his plane went down in Romania, he became a prisoner of war there for thirteen months. While a prisoner of war in Romania, Mr. Sedlack organized and directed a musical group...

Musician, Teacher, World War II Veteran

Jim Sedlack, a Veteran of the Army Air Forces in World War II, flew as a Radio Operator in the B-24 "Liberator". He flew four missions and was shot down twice. On August 1, 1943 his squadron was included for the Ploesti Raid to bomb the Romanian oil fields. There were terrible casualties and after his plane went down in Romania, he became a prisoner of war there for thirteen months. While a prisoner of war in Romania, Mr. Sedlack organized and directed a musical group entertaining other POW's. Once liberated, he was awarded a Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross among other awards.
In his later years, he was an active member of the veterans of the 8th Air Force. His swing band the Nostalgics performed for several of the reunions. In 1948, Jim moved from Chicago to Atlanta with his two loves -- bride Pat and his trumpet. Thus began a 50 year musical career in Atlanta. He played trumpet as a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra during its earliest years from 1948 - 1953 when concerts were held at the Municipal Auditorium. He was a band director in the Atlanta Public Schools for over thirty years, teaching at Hoke Smith, East Atlanta, Dykes High Schools and Northside School of the Arts. In 1980 he was chosen as a Star Teacher. He was chairman of the Music Department for over ten years and was chairman of the Instrumental Committee which wrote an entire new music curriculum for the school system. Other experience includes assistant professor of brass, American Conservatory of Music; professional trumpeter with the Band of Atlanta, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the 106th Mounted Band and many years playing professionally in and around Atlanta. He performed with local operas, ballet companies, Broadway shows, ice shows, circus bands, local dance and show bands. Upon retirement form the school system, Mr. Sedlack was appointed Fulton County's first cultural arts supervisor and was a key member of the committee that laid the groundwork for the establishment of the Fulton County Arts Council. When the Atlanta Concert Band was re-formed in 1973, Jim was chosen as principal conductor. The Atlanta Concert Band thrived under his direction which he led for over 10 years. In 1978 he formed his own 17 piece swing band -- the Nostalgics. They performed regularly in the Atlanta area until 2000. The Sedlack musical legacy continues as two of his six children and six of his 14 grandchildren are professional musicians and music teachers. Four grand daughters were members of the elite Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. The Sedlacks were a founding family of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church where they have been active members since 1958. Mr. Sedlack is survived by his wife, Patricia D. Sedlack, Sons and daughters-in-law, James P and Vicki Sedlack, Thomas C and Jo Sedlack, Phillip K and Jennifer Sedlack, daughters and sons-in-law, Kathleen and Jim Ackermann, Mary and Bill Parsons, Joanne and Stephen Parsons, 14 grand children and 3 great-grandsons. Funeral services will be held Thursday, July 21 at 10:30 am at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church with a musical prelude at 10am. Interment Georgia National Cemetery at 1:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Vincent de Paul Society, United Hospice or to the charity of your choice. The family will receive friends Wednesday evening from 6 to 8 with a rosary at 7:30 at H.M. Patterson & Son, Oglethorpe Hill Chapel, 4550 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta, Georgia, 30319.