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Starman remembered as an inspiration

Original post made on Jul 2, 2009

The only thing missing from the celebration of life for Phil Hellsten this afternoon at Peace Lutheran Church in Danville was the Starman himself, although many felt his spirit. He was eulogized by the Rev. Steve Harms, who quoted from the Christian and the Tibetan Bibles to conjure up a portrait of the artist as a different but creative and giving man, who enlivened the streets of Danville for many decades as he walked about his business.

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Comments (3)

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Posted by Marilyn Feldman
a resident of Blackhawk
on Jul 2, 2009 at 1:13 pm

I work at Peace Lutheran Church, and have a been a member of the Danville community for six years and regrettably never met "Starman", but through helping prepare for the service and listening yesterday, I came away with not only a clear sense of the specialness of Phil, but a sense of loss in not getting to know him while he was alive. The celebration of his life was an honor to be part of, and seeing the church filled to overflowing not only with people, but with love yesterday was both amazing and inspiring--the meaning of his life characterized by so many "stars" who were there for him. Pastor Harms' animated and eloquent comments illustrated for us the greatness of a man so simple, yet a man who knew what life was all about--giving and accepting what is.

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Posted by Craig Harper
a resident of Danville
on Jul 3, 2009 at 8:01 am

Thanks to Stephen for his major role in organizing this very special event and to Rev. Steve for his eulogy to memorialize this wonderful person and kindred spirit that touched the lives of so many. And thanks to Starman. There's a song by John Prine that makes me think of Phil. The chorus goes "Somebody said they saw 'him' swinging the world by the tail, bouncing over a white cloud, killing the blues".

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Posted by Dennis Viers
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 3, 2009 at 6:41 pm

My biggest regret is of course a selfish one; and that is that I didn't know Phil long enough. But in that short time he touched me deeply, and I will always remember him as the glue and magnet that brought me and many other musicians to the gallery on Thursday nights for wonderful jam sessions and comraderie.

May his spirit and inspiration live on among the stars he loved.

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