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Thomas Shell


1947 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Thomas Shell Obituary
April 15, 1947 - March 18, 2017 Tom Shell, 69, Los Angeles, passed away peacefully at his home on March 18, 2017, after an extended illness. No formal services will be held. Tom was born in Wallowa, Oregon, the only child of Thorsten and Marian Shell (nee Cobb). It was apparent from a young age that Tom was musically gifted, particularly so with his innate talents on the keyboard. Tom studied music at Whitman College, Stanford University and then Juilliard School. From there, world-renowned pianist, composer and teacher, Nadia Boulanger, selected him to study piano with her for two years. Tom's high caliber musicianship was expressed professionally as a pianist, arranger, conductor, vocal coach and session singer. He worked with many luminaries of stage, screen and television over nearly four decades and performed both nationally and internationally. He was the Principal Accompanist of the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles from 2000 to 2007. Tom as a member of SAG-AFTRA and AFM. As important to Tom as his professional credits, were his many life-long friendships with people from all walks of life. Tom's bright smile, disarming openness, clever wit and gracious charm quickly endeared him to all he met. He was a daily presence at Blu Jam Cafe in Hollywood where he forged strong friendships with both staff and patrons which he valued greatly. All who knew Tom were enriched by their experiences of his genuine and generous nature. During the final weeks of his life, a steady stream of friends came to his home to indulge in reminiscing and joyful banter with Tom. He leaves his many friends with an empty space in their hearts but also with an understanding of what beauty and generosity in a human being can bring to all our hearts. Go serenely; we love you deeply.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Mar. 22, 2017
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