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Moondance Jam originator Bill Bieloh dies unexpectedly


Bill Bieloh, the man who brought the rock 'n' roll world to northern Minnesota, died Friday morning in his sleep.

A posting on the website let the world know the news:

"Our sadness is beyond words. Bill Bieloh passed away in the early morning hours of Friday, September 24th. A celebration of his life will be held on Tuesday, September 28th at the Moondance fairgrounds. Please keep his wife Kathy, son Jonathan and daughter Briony in your thoughts and prayers."

Scott Bruns, Bieloh's brother-in-law and spokesman for the family, said Bieloh, 51, died totally unexpectedly and the cause of his death is not known. He said they went to a funeral and reception together Thursday and Bieloh seemed fine.

"He's going to be missed by a ton of people," Bruns said in a telephone interview Friday from the Bieloh home. "He did so much for the community and the area."

He said Bieloh's wife, Kathy, son, Jonathan, and daughter, Briony, were holding up as well as can be expected.

As for plans in place for the 2011 Moondance Jam, Bruns said, "We haven't gone there."

The comments of condolence offered on the Moondance site, as linked to the article, show that friends far and near have taken the family's request for thoughts and prayers to heart.

"My thoughts and prayers are with you this day that has shocked many in the rock community," wrote Radly Trowbridge. "I'm happy I knew him ... R.I.P., my friend."

Barbara Bjerke wrote: "Bill is a legend. What a gift he gave us with his love of life and love of music."

Judy Latzke Lemmer wrote: "Thanks for so many years of such great fun. There is a rock and roll in heaven."

And Dave Bast added: "We all will meet you there some day to party on!"

Bieloh conceived the Jam in 1992 as a way to promote the riding stables he and his wife Kathy own. The event got off to a modest start that first year by featuring a roster of regional bands. It has grown to a concert event drawing thousands of fans and bands of national renown.

To leave a message of condolence, go to home page and click on "You can leave a message for the family here."