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Owen "Sonny" Igoe

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Owen "Sonny" Igoe Obituary

Owen "Sonny", 88, of Emerson, died on Wednesday, March 28 at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood.
Sonny was born October 8, 1923 in Jersey City and was married to his lifelong love, Claire Igoe, for 59 years. She died in 2010.
A renowned jazz drummer and educator whose musical accomplishments are legend, Sonny lit up the stage with Benny Goodman, Woody Herman and Charlie Ventura in the 1950s. He played with the CBS and NBC staff orchestras, backing performers such as Ed Sullivan, Merv Griffin, Jackie Gleason and Carol Burnett in the 1960s. He went on to become one of the most respected drum educators in the world, inspiring thousands of private students. Sonny performed well into his 80s, delighting jazz fans until sidelined by a stroke.He continued to mentor grateful students at his home studio, where they sought weekly guidance. Beyond the drums, he was gifted with humor, kindness, unimpeachable ethics and wisdom.
He was a loving father, husband and grandfather. He adored the New York Giants and was an avid WWII history buff. Sonny served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II in China and the Phillipines. He will be greatly missed by his loving family and devoted friends.
Sonny is survived by his two daughters - Jan Igoe of Little River, S.C.; and Joan Igoe of Maui, Hawaii; a son - Tommy Igoe, and his wife Jessica, of Mill Valley, Calif.; and six grandchildren - Jessica and her husband, Bob Ford; Chelsea Nill; Clancy and Michael Flynn; Sofia and Jordan Igoe, and numerous nephews and nieces.
He was predeceased by parents and older sister, Mary Igoe, of Hobe Sound, Fla.
A Memorial Service and lifetime celebration will be held at the Becker Funeral Home in Westwood at 7 PM Thursday, April 5. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Sonny's name to, an organization dedicated to advocating music and arts education in America's public schools
Published in The Record/Herald News on Apr. 1, 2012
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