Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Thread: Passing of ukulele builder Steve Vanpelt (please read)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    170

    Default Passing of ukulele builder Steve Vanpelt (please read)

    It is with my deepest sympathy to report the passing of ukulele builder Steve Vanpelt.

    Admittedly I hadn’t heard much about Steve as I wasn’t playing the ukulele when he was building. That all changed a few days ago when Ginny posted her soprano Vanpelt ukulele for sale on Ukulele Underground. Being a soprano player I just knew I had to have it. I fell in love with the wood combination and the attention to to detail Steve used from the pictures alone. Not knowing anything about him as a builder I thought I would take a chance on it. I contacted her immediately and told her I would take it!

    Like many people I wanted to find out more about who made my lovey new instrument so I decided to search for him. Surprisingly I found very little. I did find a few old posts he made and an old video of him at the Reno uke convention. Through my searches I could see that many people loved the work he did and many people had also wondered where he went so suddenly.

    I just happened to search Facebook and found a post by a lovely woman named Terry Ross Vanpelt. She had stated that her husband had passed. She made this post just days AFTER I had already purchased the Vanpelt ukulele.

    I contacted her immediately with my deepest sympathy but I had to make sure that this was him. Sadly it indeed was him and she reported that he had actually passed away October 8, 2017. She gave me her number and I called her immediately.

    Terry was very friendly and so delighted to hear my story and how I just so happened to come across this ukulele. I could tell that it really put a smile on her heart. She spoke of her husband building this ukulele and remembered who Ginny was. She told me that her husband really put a lot of love into this one!! Naturally you can tell that she misses and loves her husband dearly. We talked for a long while as she told me stories about Steve as a man, as a builder and of his passing. I found our conversation felt as if we had known each other forever.

    During our conversation she spoke of Chuck Moore and a brief interaction they had discussing ukuleles. She spoke about how excited Steve was about this. She also spoke of another man whom had purchased a tenor ukulele. She couldn’t remember his name but she did say that he had a “Hawaiian name”. I could feel the trip down memory lane as we spoke and I think that she could tell that my heart was equally as touched as hers.

    I wanted to make sure that she was ok with me relaying the message to you all and she was indeed very much ok with it. In fact she told me to let all of you know and for me to leave her contact information. She is not very computer savvy and is having a hard time accessing all of Steve’s contacts on his phone. She would love to hear from any of you that knew him in any way or anyone who ever purchased or played one of his ukuleles either new or secondhand.

    I believe that her hearing from all that knew him would mean a great deal to her. What I never expected was just how much this would impact me. I am honored to have had a chance to speak with her and equally as honored to have a part of Steve’s legacy.

    For those that wish to get in touch with Terry and give your respects please contact me and I will give you her phone number. She said it was ok to post it here but I would rather not as this is a public forum.

    - Jon
    Brüko No. 6F
    LoPrinzi AMA-S
    Steve Vanpelt - Redwood / Walnut - Soprano

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    170

    Default

    If any of you knew him or knew anyone who did; please have them contact me for contact information.
    Brüko No. 6F
    LoPrinzi AMA-S
    Steve Vanpelt - Redwood / Walnut - Soprano

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Oahu
    Posts
    3,545

    Default

    here is a video from my friend Mike Aratani(aka MGM-Music Guy Mike) who passed away a few years ago...he tried to get Steve Van Pelt's name out as he believed Steve would become a great builder....sadly it never worked out....RIP

    if you knew Mike he is playing his famous sample chords on the uke....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAswwvy5p9w
    Last edited by hawaii 50; 12-02-2017 at 08:31 AM.
    Kanile'a K-2 Concert,Ko'Aloha Super Concert,Maui Music 1998 Koa Tenor,Compass Rose Koa Tenor,Graziano Koa Tenor,Kamaka HF3-S,Moore Bettah Milo/Sitka Spruce Tenor,DeVine mother of curl Koa/Engleman Spruce Tenor,Ko'olau Indo Rosewood/Sinker Redwood Tenor,Washburn Lyon and Healy 1936 Bell shaped soprano,Lfdm Bastogne Walnut/Carpathian Spruce Tenor,Rollo Scheurenbrand African Blackwood/Adirondack Spruce Tenor

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    170

    Default

    Yes that is one of the videos I had seen. I do believe if he had kept building he would have been very well known. The ukulele I just bought is absolutely wonderful and one of his earlier ones according to Terry.
    Brüko No. 6F
    LoPrinzi AMA-S
    Steve Vanpelt - Redwood / Walnut - Soprano

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    680

    Default

    Sad to hear. I saw this instrument the other day and thought it was drop dead beautiful and the sound clip was great. I contacted Ginny to find out more, but you had already bought it. I also did a search for Steve. I was curious what other instruments he had out there and wanted to learn more about his background, but there was not much. He did have some postings on this forum years back and the few things you mentioned.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    170

    Default

    I’m not sure how I feel about things happening for a reason but I feel in some way his wife really enjoyed our conversation. I know for me personally it was very touching. I have never even seen another Vanpelt ukulele for sale and Ginny had no idea. It was only through my Facebook search after I bought it that I found this out. So weird that she chose to part with this so close to his passing.

    When I saw Ginny post it for sale I just thought it was a beautiful instrument. I didn’t even think twice before I said “I’ll take it”. It does have a few of the finish flaws she mentioned in the listing but that’s fine by me.

    If you ever get a chance to pick one up I highly recommend it; if he had been able to keep building I truly believe he would be among the best!
    Brüko No. 6F
    LoPrinzi AMA-S
    Steve Vanpelt - Redwood / Walnut - Soprano

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,820

    Default

    I'm sorry to hear about Steve's passing. I'm glad you talked with his wife.

    When he was working on my uke, we wrote and talked regularly, but we fell out of touch. I had no idea it was due to a health situation. I loved the uke because it was so special to me, but my family has had some big issues and my connection to the uke dwindled. I'm delighted that it has gone to Jon, who already cares a lot about it.

    Send a salute to Steve and Terry and play the uke with joy!
    ~Ginny

    Leave every place better than you found it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    McDonough, GA
    Posts
    4,096

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jddewitt81 View Post
    It is with my deepest sympathy to report the passing of ukulele builder Steve Vanpelt.

    Admittedly I hadn’t heard much about Steve as I wasn’t playing the ukulele when he was building. That all changed a few days ago when Ginny posted her soprano Vanpelt ukulele for sale on Ukulele Underground. Being a soprano player I just knew I had to have it. I fell in love with the wood combination and the attention to to detail Steve used from the pictures alone. Not knowing anything about him as a builder I thought I would take a chance on it. I contacted her immediately and told her I would take it!

    Like many people I wanted to find out more about who made my lovey new instrument so I decided to search for him. Surprisingly I found very little. I did find a few old posts he made and an old video of him at the Reno uke convention. Through my searches I could see that many people loved the work he did and many people had also wondered where he went so suddenly.

    I just happened to search Facebook and found a post by a lovely woman named Terry Ross Vanpelt. She had stated that her husband had passed. She made this post just days AFTER I had already purchased the Vanpelt ukulele.

    I contacted her immediately with my deepest sympathy but I had to make sure that this was him. Sadly it indeed was him and she reported that he had actually passed away October 8, 2017. She gave me her number and I called her immediately.

    Terry was very friendly and so delighted to hear my story and how I just so happened to come across this ukulele. I could tell that it really put a smile on her heart. She spoke of her husband building this ukulele and remembered who Ginny was. She told me that her husband really put a lot of love into this one!! Naturally you can tell that she misses and loves her husband dearly. We talked for a long while as she told me stories about Steve as a man, as a builder and of his passing. I found our conversation felt as if we had known each other forever.

    During our conversation she spoke of Chuck Moore and a brief interaction they had discussing ukuleles. She spoke about how excited Steve was about this. She also spoke of another man whom had purchased a tenor ukulele. She couldn’t remember his name but she did say that he had a “Hawaiian name”. I could feel the trip down memory lane as we spoke and I think that she could tell that my heart was equally as touched as hers.

    I wanted to make sure that she was ok with me relaying the message to you all and she was indeed very much ok with it. In fact she told me to let all of you know and for me to leave her contact information. She is not very computer savvy and is having a hard time accessing all of Steve’s contacts on his phone. She would love to hear from any of you that knew him in any way or anyone who ever purchased or played one of his ukuleles either new or secondhand.

    I believe that her hearing from all that knew him would mean a great deal to her. What I never expected was just how much this would impact me. I am honored to have had a chance to speak with her and equally as honored to have a part of Steve’s legacy.

    For those that wish to get in touch with Terry and give your respects please contact me and I will give you her phone number. She said it was ok to post it here but I would rather not as this is a public forum.

    - Jon
    Quote Originally Posted by hawaii 50 View Post
    here is a video from my friend Mike Aratani(aka MGM-Music Guy Mike) who passed away a few years ago...he tried to get Steve Van Pelt's name out as he believed Steve would become a great builder....sadly it never worked out....RIP

    if you knew Mike he is playing his famous sample chords on the uke....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAswwvy5p9w
    It saddens me to hear of Steve’s passing. He made outstanding ukes. While I never met Steve, I do have the koa/sinker redwood tenor featured in that video with MGM. It’s an outstanding player and looker. Bought it from the original owner, a friend here on UU.



    Here's some pictures of one of Steve's amazing ukes. His loss to the ukulele community is large.

    Flickr album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsma3Kwmq

    P1070016 by , on Flickr
    P1070014 by , on Flickr
    P1070022 by , on Flickr
    Last edited by Doc_J; 12-03-2017 at 03:35 AM. Reason: add pictures

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Pickering, ON, Canada
    Posts
    4,106

    Default

    So sad to hear of his passing but what a wonderful post and a wonderful legacy he leaves behind.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    170

    Default

    That tenor looks great!!
    Brüko No. 6F
    LoPrinzi AMA-S
    Steve Vanpelt - Redwood / Walnut - Soprano

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •