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Obituary: Eugene Jelesnik

Published: Thursday, Feb. 18 1999 12:00 a.m. MST

Eugene Jelesnik, age 84, passed away on February 16, 1999.

Born of the Jewish Faith on March 19, 1914 in Alexandrovsk, Ukraine, Russia to Jacob and Jenny Jelesnik. His mother and her son, Eugene, came to the United States in 1925 after the death of his father, escaping the Bolshevik Revolution, living in New York before moving to his permanent home in Utah where he met and married Virginia Bell Washburn in 1938 and were together for 54 years prior to her death.Mr. Jelesnik's schooling included high school, university and a music scholarship with the New York Philharmonic upon his arrival in the United States.

An accomplished violinist, composer, Conductor of the Salt Lake Philharmonic Orchestra, Television Host of the weekly Talent Showcase show for over 34 years on television, Mr. Jelesnik also served the United States Government by taking 19 overseas USO Shows entertaining our military men and women all over the world, including two tours to Vietnam. Mr. Jelesnik is the recipient of the Silver Medal Citation, Bronze Medal in Vietnam and the Civilian Service Award Ribbon from the War Department for his service under fire in World War II in Italy.

In 1981 Mr. Jelesnik received the George Washington Medal of Honor from the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge...also, he was the recipient of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce Music and Arts Award...and in 1993 Mr. Jelesnik received the Presidential Citation from the Brigham Young University...Mr. Jelesnik is a member of ASCAP...American Guild of Composers, and the Salt Lake City Exchange Club.

Mr. Jelesnik is survived by his cousins in New York and Illinois and by nieces and nephews in California. Up to his death, Mr. Jelesnik was employed by KSL Television. In 1994, Mr. Jelesnik married Carleen Hall Brown from Bear River City, Utah, and is now survived by Carleen's six children, 13 grandchildren, six great grandchildren.

Services will be held on Friday, February 19, 1999 at 1 p.m. at the Deseret Mortuary, 36 East 700 South, where friends may call Thursday between 6-8 p.m. and one hour prior. Entombment at the Salt Lake Mausoleum. Funeral Directors, Deseret Mortuary.

"Eugene was the best human being I ever knew." Carleen

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