“I know many would agree how fortunate we were to know this fabulous kind man who brought ukuleles, joy and music and a bit of magic into our lives and our hearts. He was an amazingly talented musician, teacher, mentor and a total rock star in the Ukukele community and beyond.
I met Stu in 2010 not too long after becoming immersed into the ukulele craze which changed my life. I was traveling to Sacramento a lot to visit my kids who had moved there as well as my dad. I stumbled upon a Ukukele jam at a music store and was welcomed with open arms by Stu and the gang! He even supported my occasional impromptu Beatles jams! I’ll never forget how he handed me an 8 string Ukukele to try out at the 2012 Reno ukulele festival and let me run off and play it for several hours. I couldn’t even find him to let him know I wanted it! That’s just how Stu was. He taught me so much at various workshops and jams and always inspired me to be better. I won a nalu Ukukele at the grand opening of the strum shop in 2012 and it was Stu and the guys at the strum shop who made it possible for me to finally attain the koaloha Ukukele I’d been lusting after for so long.
I’ve watched the strum shop grow and always felt a part of the community even when I couldn’t get up to Roseville as often. We got to visit and talk at the grand opening of the new and improved strum shop. He said he had faith in me that I’d do well in Oregon. As usual always giving me hope.
And I’ll forever hear his voice echoing through the strum shop, the halls of the nugget at the Reno Ukukele festival or wherever else our our paths crossed in the ukulele world. “Hey there’s Hippie Mary!” And of course everyone turned to look. Then he’d smile at me with that fabulous grin of his and say, “Good to see you! Love you!!” He loved everyone and everyone loved him. Thank you Stu for all you’ve done for me and all of us. I will always remember you and love you.”
Melody Writes (Hippy Mary)