We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Pippin Funeral Home
Heaven gained the best conductor and music educator on the planet today. Mr. Shomo passed peacefully with his family by his side. He was 88.
He is survived by his loving wife (Ruth) of 63 years, brother Bill Shomo (Jan) , late brother Charles, his son, Ron Jr. (Kim), daughter Nannette Wright (Glenn), grandchildren, Alan Shomo (Thora), Ann Shomo (Kevin), Samantha Wright (Vicente), Bryan Wright, Jessica Ashby (Mark), Stephanie Fenton, and great-grandson Marky Ashby. He was born in Cumberland, MD to Willis and Dolly Shomo. His mother passed when he was 11 and his father remarried to Viola nee Bracken and they moved to Pearisburg, VA.
He loved music and was an accomplished pianist and organist. He competed as a teen in a statewide talent competition for the State of Virginia and finished 2nd, he was bested by a little 6-year-old singer, Wayne Newton! Mr. Shomo won the best drum major award at the prestigious Winchester Virginia feature parade as a senior in high school instilling his love for the marching band. Mr. Shomo pursued his love of music and graduated from Concord College with a BA in Music education and completed his education at Columbia University with a MA in music education. Mr. Shomo’s first job was in his hometown at Giles high school where he built the band into a formidable program of more than 100 playing members. In 1965 he took a job offer to be Dover High School’s next band director. He built the program from a 24-piece band and when he retired in 1991 had a 250-member award winning band. He was an advocate for bringing music to the masses and all his students were considered part of his extended family. He inspired approximately 50 students to pursue music education as their profession. He was a church organist for over 60 years until his retirement in 2014. His love of music led him to conduct the Dover Symphony for many years as well as the hand-bell and brass choirs at the Dover Methodist church. He was a co-director of the All-American Youth Honor Band and Chorus and he and Ruth traveled the world during the summers bringing music to folks worldwide. After retiring from Dover High School, he worked at B&B Music helping prospective band students as that was his passion. After retiring from the music store, he enjoyed his family, that included his children as well as his extended family as former band students continued to visit until shortly before his passing. We estimate that Mr. Shomo taught over 2,000 band students over the years and played the organ for over 1,000 weddings. His gift to his former students was to play for their wedding. He thoroughly enjoyed bringing music to all.
Please join us in celebrating his life at his memorial service at the Calvary Church 1141 East Lebanon Rd, Dover, DE at 12pm on July 21st with a reception immediately after the service in the multipurpose room.
We would encourage that in lieu of flowers to give to the Ron Shomo, Sr. memorial music scholarship for future DHS music majors to continue to bring music to all. Details for the scholarship to follow.
Letters of condolences can be sent via www.pippinfuneralhome.com