July 23, 1949 – March 19, 2020
Sharon Fellabaum Lippe passed away March 19, 2020. She was born in El Paso, Texas on July 23, 1949 to Edward and Vera Wheeler Fellabaum.
Sharon Fellabaum grew up with country music, singing along with the radio, with her mother, older brother, Butch, and her two older sisters. El Paso was home for most of her school years; her first performance was at age 4 on a local children’s television program. Her dad drove a truck for a freight company, and moved for a brief time to the small farming and ranching community of Balmorhea, Texas. She participated in church and school choir throughout that time, singing and playing the drums. She was the drummer for an all-girl country band, appearing throughout southern New Mexico and El Paso. At 14, she recorded 2 of her original songs in Tommy Allsup’s studio in Odessa, Texas.
After high school, Sharon’s love for the mountains brought her back to the Davis Mountains of Balmorhea and the Madera Valley, making 2 trips to Nashville in the following years. Neil Merritt, with Central Songs in Nashville, published one of her original songs “Suffer” dropping her last name “Fellabaum” and using the stage name “Sharon Jae”. She appeared on the Ernest Tubb Record Shop Midnight Show, guests spots on WSM radio and Ed Bruce’s television show. But her love for the smaill town, slow paced life brought her back home to Balmorhea where she supported herself as a waitress and cook in the local restaurants. She enrolled in college at Sul Ross University and after completing her degree, worked as a bookkeeper, banker, and was the business manager for different schools in the area. During this transition period in her life, she stayed close to her music, working with different country groups from Alpine, Pecos, Fort Stockton, and Midland, Texas. She sang, played drums and keyboard with the various bands. Her dreams of becoming a recording artist never materialized, however, she was content to play and sing at dances, weddings, in her church and to work within the community. She was active with Girl Scouts, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, an EMS volunteer and served 2 terms as Mayor of Balmorhea.
Her brother, Butch, along with long-time friend Charlie (Howard) Higgins, and singer/songwriter-musician Tommy Lucas, opened up a new world for Sharon with the organization of West Texas Country. The world of quality, digital recording made it possible to record some of her original songs, and as a result, her first CD “Madera” was recorded. Bill Morris, former Jim Reeves fiddle player, helped to make Sharon’s dream of a “CD” come true. This also gave her the opportunity to produce albums and to record all types of singers, songwriters, and musicians at affordable prices. Sharon produced and recorded a gospel album written by Dr. Allen Anthony of Fort Davis, “God Knows What’s Best”, and found that Allen’s message of our good Lord brought a peace to her heart that went beyond standard country. She recently produced and recorded a collection of hymns and patriotic songs performed by the “Blue Mountain Cousins”, three ranch families, when combined, included 14 children, from age 8 to 23. Their harmony and faith project their heart and soul to the glory of God. Sharon realized how much she enjoyed the art of producing, not only these children, but anyone with a desire to pass on their style of music, When Shellie, her niece, expressed the desire to sing, Sharon seized the opportunity to pass on her experience and love of music. It was a blessing to her to be a part of her life, and share in the gift of song, that only HE can give. With the help of Ralph Johnson of Wedge Entertainment in Nashville, Sharon and Shellie recorded “God Is In” in Nashville, a collection of songs written by several award winning writers from around the country dedicated to the glory of God.
Sharon was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters Billie Curry and Sandra Gober and her brother, Butch Fellabaum.
She is survived by her husband, Larry Lippe of Granite Shoals, her sons Michael Lippe and wife Raquel of California, and Stephen Lippe. She is also survived by her granddaughters Skyler Lippe and Emma Grace Lippe.
- Service Will Be Private
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March 24, 2020
What a wonderful life she had. She was my cousin's wife and I never had a chance to really get to know her, but from this beautiful story of her life, I know I would have loved to know her better. My sincere condolences to Larry and his mother, my dear Aunt Dora.