Tag Archives: Jonathan Sheffer

Honoring Doug Sheffer

It took 4 different gatherings to fully celebrate Doug Sheffer’s life.

The 1st — in honor of the 1968 Staples grad killed last January in a Colorado helicopter crash — took place at the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork, where his generosity and energy had inspired generations of students.

The 2nd was at the hangar of his helicopter business, where fellow pilots and members of Colorado’s search and rescue teams paid tribute to Doug’s amazing flying ability. The 3rd drew over 100 members of the Aspen/Snowmass ski schools.

Doug Sheffer

Doug Sheffer

The 4th — also at the Waldorf School — was held earlier this month. His younger brother Jonathan spoke of Doug’s skiing, boat racing, sailing the Atlantic, hiking the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails, windsurfing in Maui and flying on a trapeze, as well as his earlier days at Staples: wrestling, working on the Staples Players tech crew and playing the clarinet.

As an adult, Doug acted, directed, choreographed and ran the lighting booth during Waldorf plays.

John Kantor — owner and director of the Longshore Sailing School, which Doug ran as its 1st general manager — described his sailing to Bermuda, and racing in Antigua as waves crashed over the bow.

Doug was so nimble and light, John said, that “he was the first to be hauled up to the top of the mast in the bosun’s chair for race adjustments.”

Doug Sheffer, in front of his beloved helicopter.

Doug Sheffer, in front of his beloved helicopter.

He traveled to 6 continents, and both poles. And, his daughter Brooke said, he wanted to go with his family into space, with Richard Branson.

A 5th memorial service will be held for Doug Sheffer this summer, here in Westport.

(To read a much fuller description of Doug’s memorial services in Colorado, click on the Aspen Business Journal.)

Andre’s Mother (And Ann’s Brother)

Years ago, Jonathan Sheffer wrote the music for the movie “Andre’s Mother.”

It was an American Playhouse production — and Lindsay Law, Staples Class of 1967, served as executive producer.

Written by Terence McNally and starring Richard Thomas, “Andre’s Mother” was one of Sheffer’s 1st film scores. The 1971 Staples grad went on to become a nationally renowned composer and conductor.

When his sister — Westport philanthropist Ann Sheffer — learned that the film will be screened this Thursday (Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m.) as part of Play With Your Food’s “Short Cuts” series, she told artistic director Carole Schweid. Carole invited Jonathan to speak immediately after the screening, at Norwalk’s Garden Cinema.

But this is Westport, and connections run even deeper than that. Last month, at the Westport Country Playhouse gala, Ann sat with — who else? — honoree Terence McNally, and co-host Richard Thomas. They remember Jonathan well — from everyone’s younger days — and are as thrilled as Ann that “Andre’s Mother” lives on.

Ann Sheffer (left) at last month’s Westport Country Playhouse gala with (from left) Richard Thomas, Nathan Lane, Tyne Daly and Terence McNally.