Ian McNamee, 60, died in his home on Sept. 20, 2010.
Born in Paris, France, in 1950, he was a lifelong resident of Connecticut. Raised in Westport, he was a graduate of Staples High School, class of 1968. He was owner of County Kitchen Refinishing for 30 years; self-employed as a master craftsman and highly respected for his meticulous work.
McNamee is survived by his daughter, Kim Saleh, and granddaughter, Alyssa Eaton of Brookfield. They were the most important forces in his life and his love for them was boundless. He also leaves his companion of 20 years, Pam Saleh; as well as his parents, Gordon and Mollie McNamee; a sister, Michele McNamee; sister Annie McNamee~Oxley and brother-in-law, Gilman Oxley; a neice, Sarah Galaske; and two great-nephews, David and Kyle Galaske, all of Vermont.
Throughout his life, McNamee credited his parents' influence for having instilled in him a value system based upon fairness, equality and a strong work ethic. Having enjoyed a childhood surrounded by a close circle of family and friends, their stimulating artistic and intellectual influence stayed with him always. He acknowledged his father for infusing in him an early love for and understanding of music.
McNamee leaves an extensive legacy of music, both written and recorded, and was recognized as a master guitar player whose musical taste and sensibility were esteemed by both those he played with and for throughout his life. He was also a voracious reader and a thinker, a lover of history, philosophy, psychology and films, and was always ready to speak on these subjects and many others with enthusiasm, integrity, wit and humor. His love of humor and the pleasure he took in making people laugh was endearing and entertaining. His was an exhilarating, sometimes exasperating, but never dull presence in the lives of those who knew him.
McNamee's life path eventually led him to find solace and understanding in the loving embrace of his church family. At Christ Church Parish he made friends whose unconditional love and care superceded their relatively short acquaintance and brought great comfort into his life. He was also especially fond of Thomas Merton, a seventeenth century Episcopalian whom he greatly admired for his theological ideas, which were considered very radical at that time. In his own words, McNamee said that if Merton were still alive, he would ask him to join his band.
Lastly and of no lesser importance, he leaves his longtime band of brothers, a circle of friends whose support and love sustained and enriched him to the end of his life. Their devotion and loyalty meant everything to him.
Services will take place on Saturday, Oct. 2, at 11 a.m. at Christ Church Parish, 184 Cross Highway, Redding Ridge, Conn. Following the service there will me a "Musicians Memorial" at Casey's Tavern, 85 Woodside St., Stamford. Cornell Memorial in Danbury is in charge of funeral arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made toward an educational fund which will be set up for his granddaughter, Alyssa. Donations may be made in c/o of her mother, Kim Saleh.