Dear friends -- This is Ian's daughter Sarah writing to let you know the unfortunate news that Ian passed away at the age of 70 of complications from diabetes in Troy, New York on May 21, 2013.
The memorial service will be held at Oak Park Temple, B'nai Abraham Zion, at 1235 N. Harlem Ave., Oak Park, IL 60302, on Tuesday June 25, 2013 at 11:00am. A light luncheon will follow where we will continue celebrating Ian's life with stories and memories. If you have a story or memory you wish to share, but are unable to attend the memorial, you may email it to me at email@example.com or send it to the temple's address if you don't use email. In lieu of flowers, please send donations and memorials to Noah Geller, 380 W. 22nd St., #812, Kansas City, MO 64108. These will be used to offset the costs of cremation and other related personal and legal affairs. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.
Ian is survived by his daughter Sarah/“Saeri” (Brent), son Noah, previous wife Malkah, sister Noni (Jim), sister Lisa (Charlie), brother Steven (Jean), and many loving aunts, nieces, nephews and cousins. Born in Chicago, Ian lived most of his life in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, but loved to hike and camp in wilderness areas with his family. Driving across the country in his van, he never missed an opportunity to explore a new trail. Ian received his BM and MS degrees in voice from Juilliard School of Music, his BM in composition from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago and his DMA in voice from the University of Southern California. A lovely baritone as well as an accomplished pianist, Ian was a cantor, voice and composition teacher, and a choral conductor. He served at many of the Chicago area synagogues as cantor, including Temple Chai in Long Grove; B'nai Torah in Highland Park; North Shore Congregation Israel in Glencoe; Temple Shir Shalom in Buffalo Grove, Oak Park Temple/B’nai Abraham Zion in Oak Park and Congregation Kol Ami in Chicago. He developed an extensive repertoire of opera roles and sang in many oratorios. He performed with opera companies and gave numerous recitals across the US and Germany, often accompanied by his mother, Clara Geller, a gifted concert pianist. Ian loved to explore all genres of music from his classical roots through jazz and musical theatre to contemporary classical songs. His most beloved repertoire were his German lieder and Jewish liturgical music, both art forms which he sang with great sensitivity. He made recordings of these and also appeared as a guest on a variety of radio programs on Chicago stations. One of his more ambitious endeavors was Chelm!, a one man musical show for which he wrote the text and music as well as performed across the country including at the Northlight Theater at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, IL. Aside from the concerts, his family and friends most enjoyed the music shared in intimate settings with colleagues and musicians in the family. His love for his family and his music was inspiring and he is greatly missed.