Major Short

Obituary of Major Conklin Short

Major Conklin Short passed peacefully on March 30, 2018. Born in St. Louis, MO on June 22, 1924, he grew up in California’s Salinas Valley where he attended UCLA. He volunteered for service in 1943 serving three years in the Air Force as an aircraft radio repairman. Major was stationed on Okinawa when the war ended. Upon reentering civilian life, he finished at UCLA and graduated in 1948 with a B.A. in music and a teaching credential. His musical aptitude and experience as a string bass player put him in a position to become a founding member of the group “Somethin Smith & the Redheads”. The group had success in show business playing mostly for the popular nightclubs in the 1950’s as well as many of the early TV shows such as Arthur Godfrey, Ed Sullivan, Steve Allen, Jack Parr, Kate Smith, etc. and the first network broadcast of color TV. Interesting fact, he sat at the same table the night Desi Arnez & Lucille Ball had signed the contract for the “I Love Lucy” show. The group also recorded 6 albums in the 50’s- some of the sides are still being aired today. Leaving show business in 1986, he bought a radio station, KOBH, in the Black Hills of South Dakota which he managed for 11+ years, sold in 1979 and moved to Mission Viejo, CA. Retirement lasted only a few months before he became involved in financial services which led him to qualify as a CFP with a stock broker’s license and ultimately licensed by the IRS as an Enrolled Agent. He and Donna then moved from California to Hilton Head in 1994, where he spent a good deal of time on the golf course at Dolphin Head Golf Club. A good many of his experiences were shared with Donna, being married for 45 years, who contributed greatly to what successes he could claim. In May 2013, Major was inducted to the Banjo Hall of Fame where his grandson, Joe Gamble, was able to accompany him with pride. He’s been interviewed by the Island Packet and had a great article in the Hilton Head Monthly “Most interesting people” series. With Donna’s passing in Nov 2013, Major slowed down some but was still able to make a couple of trips accompanied by friends to California to see a long-time friend Erika Meyer, whom they adored. He then went to Colorado, spending time with his daughter Karen Pohly, who passed in January 2016. In his “spare” time, Major enjoyed conjuring up ditty’s for his closest of friends that became quite popular and requested. They were always witty, combining satire with all the fun intentions they were meant for. Major leaves behind his son Gary Short of Denver, CO; three grandchildren, Joe, Steve & Chantelle and three very lively great grandchildren. If he could tip his hat, he would do so to the friends he leaves behind. Burial with military honors will be at Beaufort National Cemetery on Wednesday, April 11th at 2pm and a gathering for those who wish to share their memories at his home, 12 China Cockle Lane, beginning at 4pm.
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