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Jeremy Theisen

A musical tribute to a well-known Bellevue man who passed away last summer is set for Saturday, June 12 from noon to 11:30 p.m.

Originally planned for Cole Park, the multi-band musical shindig will now take place at the Horizon Hall parking lot on North Riverview.

Jay Theisen earlier this year asked the Bellevue City Council for permission to organize what he is calling “Jerome-Fest,” which would be a tribute to the late Jeremy Theisen, who was an avid local musician and a father of six.

Proceeds raised for the event will go towards scholarships for children Theisen left behind.

“We are calling it Jerome Fest because Jerome was his nick-name,” explained Theisen. “A few musicians had reached out to me, saying that we need to do this, so I am leading the charge.”

The event will feature live bands food and fun all day at Horizon Hall. Groups set to perform include Ralph Kluseman and Johnnie Walker at noon; a Bellevue Community Open Jam at 1 p.m.; the famous Razor Ray and his Blades at 2:30 p.m.; Nutsy and Lori at 3 p.m.; Stone Heart at 4 p.m.; Amber and Adam at 5:30 p.m.; The Matt McPherson Band at 6:30 p.m.; A Tribute to the Dingleberries at 8 p.m.; followed by Tanner Lee and the Beach Bums at 10 p.m.

“Jeremy loved music, and this would definitely be a fitting tribute to him,” said Jay, a musician himself. “We are planning to have about eight different groups that would play from noon until 11 p.m.”

Jeremy Theisen, 45, of Bellevue, passed away on August 19, 2020. He was the son of Jerry and Karen Theisen.  

He graduated from Bellevue High School in 1993 and received a bachelor’s degree from Loras College in Dubuque.  

He married Jenny Helbing on in the fall of 1999, and together they had 6 children.

Theisen had a successful two-decade career in trucking insurance with ownership in a company called Transtar.  

He was also a founding member and longtime lead singer of the Dingleberries, a local band featuring several other members of the Theisen family, which had become quite popular in the Bellevue area and beyond.

Members of the band said they could trace their origins right back to “Razor Ray” Theisen, the patriarch of the family.

The original band was made up of Jeremy Theisen, vocals and rhythm guitar; Jake Bender, guitar and vocals; Matt McPherson, lead guitar; Kurt Weinshenk, bass guitar; Tyler Theisen, drums; Bryce Reeg, percussion and vocals; and Jaelyn Theisen, keyboards and vocals.

The Dingleberries, formed in 1995, played a variety of music – anything from Johnny Cash, Bob Marley and John Cougar Mellancamp to Jimmy Buffett and Journey. The band was a regular feature at Bellevue Heritage Days, as well as St. Joe’s Pork Roast

“We picked a name to show we wanted to have a good time and didn't take ourselves too seriously,” explained Jeremy Theisen in a 2014 article printed in the Bellevue Herald-Leader. “Razor Ray can be thanked (and blamed) for the Dingleberries. Razor motivated his kids to play.  Ray's son, Jay Theisen. played in the Love Monkeys, which are considered to be the ‘big brother’ band that inspired the Dingleberries back in 1995.”