Joel Harold Talerico

Nov 8, 1946 – Dec 31, 2015

Joel Harold Talerico obituary image 1



Born in Ellensburg, Washington on November 8, 1946, passed away peacefully amongst loving family at home on December 31, 2015 in Burien WA at the age of 69. Joel courageously battled cancer for a year and was able to enjoy a fine summer with his favorite activities and friends, and most importantly, he was feeling well enough to perform at Jazz in the Valley.

Joel was born in Kittitas County, WA and moved to Seattle at age five. He grew up loving music and learning to play various instruments from the accordion to the baritone, to which he made the Seattle All-City Band in high school. Joel was a past Master Councilor of Amity Chapter, Seattle, Order of Demolay and a 1965 graduate of Cleveland High School. Joel attended Olympic College in Bremerton and Central Washington State College studying music. During college, Joel joined the City of Ellensburg Fire Dept. in 1968 and served 26 years, retiring as Captain. Following retirement, Joel continued as a truck driver for various firms in western Washington.

Joel was a member of the Elks and served as Exalted Ruler in 1976-77, at the time he was the youngest Exalted Ruler in the nation. Joel was a current member of Sons of the American Legion.

One of Joel’s passions throughout his life was playing golf. Joel really enjoyed his job as Course Host at Tumble Creek Golf Club with staff, members and guests. Joel enjoyed salmon fishing with his close friends and family. Joel was able to rekindle his joy in playing music later in life when he joined the trombone section of the Ellensburg Big Band and New Horizons Band in Olympia. 

The game of baseball was an important part of his life. He had fond memories of joining friends and family at ball games. Joel also coached Little League in Ellensburg before his own children were old enough play. He served as President of the local Babe Ruth league for three straight years from 1983 to 1985 when his boys played, along with coaching a few years of Senior Babe Ruth with some of the most gifted and gracious gentlemen from the area.

Joel was preceded in death by his parents Joe and Jean (Meek) Talerico and is survived by his wife Linda (Hawkins) and sons Rick and Mark (Sandra), granddaughter Anna, and sister Jane Talerico-Brown and a very loving extended family and many friends.

A celebration of his life will be held April 10, 2016 at Kittitas County Fairgrounds, Ellensburg, WA. A memorial music scholarship fund in Joel’s name is being set up by the Ellensburg Big Band.


Linda Smith
Seattle, Wa
Jan 20, 2016

You will be missed Joel, I'm sure your playing your instruments in Heaven. R.I.P.

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