John “Johnny” Joseph Giesing, Jr, 68, formerly of Taylorville, Ill. passed away suddenly, but peacefully in Cocoa Beach, Florida, where he lived comfortably for 10 years in his townhouse near the beach. He was born in Taylorville, Ill. and attended Kincaid Grade School, Taylorville Middle School, and Kincaid High School.He played varsity basketball and was only starter who could dunk the ball. Johnny went on to Southern Illinois University and majored in Mathemathics. After his sophomore year he took a job in construction in Shreveport, La.
Johnny’s passion was music. He started playing drums at 14 and was a member of several rock bands in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. His most prized possession was his Ludwig drum set and his music library could fill a record shop. If given a verse of a song, he could sing the rest of the lyrics. Johnny was a free spirit, always itching for the next adventure. Family members felt he had happy feet. He worked various jobs in the construction industry, including building the stratosphere at the Knoxville Worlds Fair.He joined his brother Michael in California and enlisted in the Air Force in San Francisco. He went on to serve in the Vietnam War as a mechanic on F18 fighter jets flying out of Thailand. He lived all over the United States, but always seemed to move back to Kincaid or Taylorville. He also worked in the Purchasing Dept. for Milwaukee Children’s Hospital and was a member of the local band. Happy feet hit again and he went back to California to live with his beloved Uncle Jim Bernardini.
Later in life, he found peace in Florida. He lived in St. Cloud near Disney World and later moved to be close to the ocean. He loved to ride his bike to the beach and watch the surfers near Ron Jons along the Cocoa Beach Pier.
He is the son of Yolanda Ann Bernardini Giesing and John Beryl Giesing, and grew up next door to his grandparents Mario and Clorinda Bernardini and Aunt Tina. Being a tight knit Italian family, he was close to Yolanda’s brothers and sisters, Mario, Eugene “Jim”, Louis, Bernardini and Kathryn Pleshe, Mary Katcher, Tina Akers and Dwight Giesing. Johnny is survived by his brother Michael Giesing Bernard, niece Morgan, nephew Brad and over 40 first and second cousins who lived in the area and probably have their own Johnny story to tell.
Johnny did not have children, but he treated his niece and nephew Morgan Anne and Bradley Michael Bernard like his kids. He adored them and loved giving them Johnny wisdoms (including drum lessons) and always remembering their birthdays and Christmas.
A memorial service with military honors to celebrate his life will be held on Saturday, October 13 at Masterson Funeral Home in Kincaid Ill. at 10 a.m. Following the memorial there will be graveside services to lay him to rest at Oakhill Cemetery in Taylorville, Ill.