OBITUARY

Michael R Hassell

January 4, 1952June 10, 2019

Michael Hassell born January 4, 1952, composer, pianist, organist, theatrical producer/director, and performer passed away on Monday, June 10, 2019.

Mike graduated from the Berklee College of Music and Boston University with degrees in music composition. He taught music theory at Berklee and established the Berklee College Choir. Mike performed, either as a pianist or vocalist from Savannah, GA to Boston, MA, where he sang with the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Festival Chorus for six seasons.

Locally, Mike established Euterpean Productions, a successful regional Virginia theater group that operated the Peninsula Dinner Theater. He also founded Light Opera of Virginia. He edited and published a classical radio station listeners’ guide and served as broadcast host of a weekly program dedicated to Broadway music for WGH-FM.

In addition to writing the book Sidemen, a history of the regional “Sound of Swing” orchestra for which he played piano and wrote arrangements for 30 years, Mike wrote or arranged over 290 sacred choral and instrumental pieces, as well as numerous chamber and orchestral pieces. Over the years, Mike has served numerous church congregations as music director and organist.

Mike was predeceased by his parents, Richard and Patricia Hassell. He is survived by his wife for 30 years, Mary Ellen, stepson Scott Drumheller, his sister Rebecca Back and several nieces, nephews and cousins. He will be sorely missed by his 4-legged companions Beauxarts, BeeBee and BooBoo.

The family wants to say a special thank you to James Chever and Heather Tucker for their amazing care of Mike over the final year of his illness.

The family will greet visitors at the Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home 2551 N. Armistead Ave Hampton, VA 23666 on Monday, June 17, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. A celebration of Mike’s life will be held at 2 p.m. with entombment at Parklawn Memorial Park following the celebration.

If you choose, in lieu of flowers, please donate to one of the following in Mike’s memory: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105; ASPCA www.aspca.org/donate or your local animal shelter.

Friends are encouraged to visit www.parklawn-woodfh.com to share memories and offer words of condolence with the family.

  • FAMILY

  • Richard Hassell, Father
  • Patricia Hassell, Mother
  • Mary Ellen Hassell, Wife
  • Scott Drumheller, Stepson
  • Rebecca Back, Sister
  • Beauxarts *, Four-legged Companion
  • Beebee *, Four-legged Companion
  • BooBoo *, Four-legged Companion
  • Mr. Hassell also leaves several nieces, nephews, and cousins to cherish his memory.
  • DONATIONS

  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
  • ASPCA
  • Your local animal shelter

Services

17 June

Visitation

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home

Chapel

2551 N. Armistead Avenue
Hampton, Virginia

17 June

Celebration of Life Service

2:00 pm

Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home

Chapel

2551 N. Armistead Avenue
Hampton, Virginia

Memories

Michael R Hassell

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Mary Cottrill

June 16, 2019

Mary Ellen - sorry to hear about Mike. I remember all the music he created. He had a talent for most any genre and embraced musical challenges like doing music for a wild west show at the museum. Thanks for sharing him with the rest of us. The world is just a bit quieter now...Mary

Dru Stowe

June 13, 2019

When I moved to Virginia in 1983, a stranger named Mike Hassell saw me walking down the street with a trombone case and called out "Hey you any good on that thing?" That chance meeting opened the door to the local music scene for me and I've been performing here ever since. I have always admired his talents at the keyboard, his beautiful liturgical arrangements and his general outlook on life. I am glad he is free of earthly infirmities now and enjoying the worship music of heaven.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY