James E. Cebastien
1948 - 2020
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James E. Cebastien

July 20, 1948 - June 9, 2020

SOUTH BEND, IN - James Cebastien finished his Earthly journey on June, 9, 2020. The first born child of Clem Eugene and Roseanne Foy, James was born July 20, 1948 in Mishawaka, Indiana and given the name James Eugene Foy. James was a graduate of Riley High School in South Bend and while in high school, was a winner of Chrysler's “Talent Contest for Teenage America”. Under the mentoring of Robert Hamilton, James receive a degree in piano performance from Indiana University School of Music. James was an extraordinary gifted pianist with extensive performances. Early in his career, Jim created the Jimmy Foy Trio and was featured regularly at venues including Club Lido in South Bend with artists such as Billy “Stix” Nicks and Marge Dudeck. James Cebastien lived most of his life in his beloved Chicago, teaching and performing. As a master teacher, he gave generously to his students and demanded full dedication with a warm and generous spirit. His music sight reading course, Music Dynamics, gave his piano students a powerful foundation on which to grow and excel. His students all know the expression he used and is so true, “If you want to get there fast, go slow.” Classical music was his greatest interest because he said “it challenged him the most” but it was his sensitive renditions and extensive knowledge of the Great American song book that brought him the most acclaim. Mr. Cebastien was a soloist, accompanist, and musical director at numerous clubs, hotels, and theaters in Chicago such as Park West, Chicago Theatre, The Pump Room, and the Ritz Carlton. James Cebastien was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by sisters, Laura (Pius) Skarich and Elisabeth (Daniel) Davidson. Left to cherish his memory are nieces, Sarah Skarich Hayden, Olivia (David) Zeisler, and Hannah (Ben) Picton; and nephews, Isaac Davidson, Joel Davidson, and Nathan Davidson. He is also survived by four grand-nephews and four grand-nieces along with his dear friend, Allen Nichols. A special thank you goes out to Kristi, his nurse, and the Center for Hospice Care. James Cebastien will be interned at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens with a private family gathering. A celebration of his life will take place in Chicago at a later date when those who loved him so can gather safely. Memorial contributions in James Cebastien's name can be made to Center for Hospice Care, https://foundationforhospice.org/. To share a remembrance of James or to offer condolences to his family, please visit www.chapelhillmemorial.com.

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Published in South Bend Tribune on Jun. 21, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home - Osceola
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4 entries
July 4, 2020
James taught me so many life lessons (and also a little piano to boot). His loss will impact me deeply. RIP
Christopher Regnery
June 23, 2020
RIP Sweet Angel James. We have lost such a kind and beautiful genius. You will be so missed.
Nan Higgins
June 21, 2020
See U soon, Jimmy.
Dayle Edgeworth
June 21, 2020
I remember him from IUSB the best. He was funny, smart and so gifted musically and as an artist. He accompanied me for my vocal recitals and was the best one I ever had. He was kind and encouraging, always smiling whenever I saw him. I can only imagine how much he will be missed, and by so many people. He has left a beautiful, legacy of music and love. Sincerely,
Lora (Van Ooteghem) Wade
Lora Marie Wade
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