Al Shay
1921 - 2011
Al Shay

July 10, 1921

November 10, 2011

Al Shay passed away at Life Care, Reno on November 10, 2011. The family offers heartfelt thanks to the staff at Life Care for their wonderful care and kindness.

All was born in Brooklyn, New York on July 15, 1921. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, Brother, Milton Shay of Las Vegas, Step-sons; Eric (Kathleen), and Gary Sakach, two step-granddaughters, twin step-grandsons, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Al was a trumpet player, arranger and composer, and played with many of the well-known bands of the "Big Band Era". Al and his brother had their own bands for many of the early years. Al conducted and wrote arrangements for many of the acts in the Catskill resorts of New York.

Al served in the Navy during World War II, as a musician.

He came to Reno with the Vic Damone Orchestra; he liked the area and stayed.

He received a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts to perform school concerts and workshop clinics in jazz for high schools throughout Western Nevada.

In 1998, Al was elected to the World of Entertainment Hall of Fame, a Nevada Award (Reno, Las Vegas and Tahoe), for his contribution to the entertainment world. He was greatly honored to be a part of this array of named entertainers. He was the 43rd recipient. Bill Harrah was the first and some of the other recipients were Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis, Jr. and George Burns.

Al was a member and past Vice President of the Reno Coin Club, and a member and past President of the Nevada Stamp Study Society.

At his request, there will be no services. A family gathering will be held at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, donation may be made in Al's name to the Nevada Humane Society or a charity of your choice.

His Career in the entertainment field touched thousands. He reached into the hearts of so many. Go with God Al, and break a leg up there.

We invite you to send a condolence message in the Book of Memories Online Tribute at

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by The Reno Gazette Journal and Lyon County News Leader on Nov. 13, 2011.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
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6 Entries
I just wanted to say that my uncle Al was the best! He was always so funny when I was a kid. I enjoyed his visits immensely! I’m so glad I was thinking of him today and came upon this! Love you uncle Al❤
Anne Schectman Axinn
March 3, 2021
I just found out about Al's passing. I worked with him a little,but what impressed me most with Al was his wisdom and warmth. We have lost a real mench. rest in peace,Al.
gary elpern
December 7, 2011
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Al Lockett
November 16, 2011
Jerry Nelson-Burr
November 15, 2011
Hi Beth & Family... Noah just told me about Al..May God be your comfort & peace during this time of remembrance.. Hugs to you all!
Terry Paul
Terry Paul
November 15, 2011
My condolences to Elizabeth and the rest of Al's family. Al was a past president and life member of our Reno Coin Club and a great friend. We miss him greatly.
Rusty King
November 13, 2011
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