Thomas Kelischek, 59, died Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, following a brief illness and long-term disability.
Prior to his disability, Thomas was an accomplished stringed instrument maker and master craftsman. He learned his skills from his father, George, and also apprenticed with different instrument makers in Europe and the United States. His specialty was the making, restoring and repair of stringed instruments, but particularly the upright stringed bass.
In addition to instrument making, Thomas studied and played the recorder and the viola da gamba. He also played pennywhistle, tabor pipe, hurdy-gurdy and hammered dulcimer.
He enjoyed contra dancing, square dancing and English country dancing. He was a member of Morris teams and Rapper Sword dance teams.
In more recent years, Thomas took painting classes, enjoyed listening to music, attending concerts, local activities and his community of friends at John C. Campbell Folk School.
His mother, Rosemarie, took loving care of Thomas to make sure he had a full life.
Thomas is survived by his sons, Stefan, of Denver, Colo., and Nathan of Boone; and their mother, Janet Spletzer of Asheville. He also is survived by his mother and father, Rosemarie and George Kelischek of Brasstown; brothers, Mike (wife Amanda) and Nick (wife Misty), both of Brasstown; sister, Sabine of Sylva; nephews, Colton and Oliver Kelischek, Robin and Chris Zieber; and niece, Ilsa Kelischek.
A memorial service for Thomas was held Sunday, Dec. 11, in the Keith House at John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Mountain Collegium Scholarship Fund, c/o Jorg Voss, 1795 Ridgefield Drive, Roswell, GA 30075.