Obituary: Daniel Shelhamer 1944 - 2018

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Daniel D. Shelhamer 1944-2018
Daniel D. Shelhamer 1944-2018

Daniel David Shelhamer, age 73, of Shoreline, Washington, died Tuesday morning, March 20, 2018 following an eighteen-month struggle with brain cancer.

Dan was born on October 7, 1944 in Miles City, MT, to Conrad and Eva (Sumner) Shelhamer and brother to Michael Shelhamer.

He graduated from Sentinel High School in Missoula, MT, class of 1963, later receiving his Bachelor of Music Degree (Cum Laude), Applied Piano, from the University of Montana. He received his Master of Music Degree, Conducting, at the University of Washington and was a Doctor of Arts, Candidate, Opera Production, at UW.

Music in all forms was his lifelong passion from early childhood. He began piano lessons at 7 years old on a $25 upright and never lost his love for keyboards. Serving, directing, conducting, singing in church was a lifestyle for Dan. He served as choir director, organist, pianist, music director at churches his entire career life.

Most recently he served Haller Lake United Methodist and Trinity Presbyterian Churches. Most importantly, he believed deeply that it was not “just a job” but that he was called to be “part of” and to “participate in” the church community he served.

Throughout the years since moving to Seattle in 1968, Dan sang with the Seattle Opera Chorus, Dickens and Silverbells Carolers and remained active in musical theatre both directing and performing with Civic Light Opera, Music Theatre Northwest, Snoqualmie Forest Theatre, Woodinville Rep and other local companies.

In 1984 while serving as Music Director at Richmond Beach Congregational, UCC he started the RBCC Players theatre group. He produced and performed in plays and musicals with them for 32 years until he retired in 2016. His favorite roles were Fagin in Oliver, Captain Von Trapp in Sound of Music and Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady.

Dan worked with the fledgling Missoula Children’s Theatre right after graduation from college, which began a lifelong journey teaching and encouraging children and youth in music and drama programs.

He taught in public schools, also serving as musical / stage director at Lake Washington High, Woodinville High, Chief Sealth High, West Seattle High, Shorewood High, St. Bridget-Assumption School, and Seattle Center School. At times, he was simultaneously working with private programs at Studio East Performing Arts, Dandylyon Drama, and Youth Theatre Northwest. Known as “Dan the Man” by his casts and students, he was patient, kind, respectful and unfailing in his belief in them.

Yet, when asked for what he wanted to be remembered, his response was “that I was a good grandfather”.

Dan is survived by his wife, Carol Colt; son, Matthew Shelhamer and wife, Bpaw; daughter, Staci Schulmerich and husband, James; grandchildren, Parker and Madison Schulmerich; nephew, Mehdi Shelhamer, wife, H’Krih and family; cousins and extended family in Montana.

A Celebration of Life will be held on April 29, 2018 - 2:00pm at Richmond Beach Congregational, UCC.

1512 NW 195th St. (corner of 15th NW and NW Richmond Beach Rd), Shoreline 98177.  206-542-7477.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Daniel Shelhamer Scholarship Fund or Fred Hutch Brain Cancer Research


aumbre July 30, 2020 at 11:46 AM  

I went to high school and college with Dan. He was an awesome person and I consider myself to have been blessed to have had him as a friend all those many years ago.

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