Beginning our memorial for Shane, in his favorite places......


Minaret Vista

Dispersing ashes at Minaret Vista     

Dispersing ashes on Mammoth Mountain


Dispersing ashes on a trail in Sedona

“Hallelujah for Shane” adapted and sung by Kelli Cutts. Thank you Kelli, Yinfin Chen, her daughter Brittany and son Geoffrey, David Hodgson and Lee Alan Nolan.....And all the ranch animals and sky birds. What a team!

Verse 1

I heard there was a secret chord, that Shane well played and pleased the Lord, but you don’t really care for music do ya? It goes like this the fourth, the fifth, a minor fall, a major lift, a biking king composing hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah. Hallelujah.


Verse 2

Still I say your name out loud, like you are here and strummin’ proud, this song fills up the sky the way that you do. With a blaze of Light in every word, it doesn’t matter what we heard, the Holy or the broken hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah.


Verse 3

You did your best, you gave so much, we all could feel your grace and love, you told the truth you didn’t come to fool us. Becoming change is what you did, your chili won the highest bid with nothin’ on our tongues but hallelujah. Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah.


Verse 4

You went away that we can’t see, still we feel your presence here, you’re in the Light that loves us now oh aren’t ya? You never leave, no you never change, just shining bright in Love’s pure flame, becoming change and calling us to rise up. Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah......🧚

This Kelli Cutt's story of how this film was born.....

While in the middle of vocal rehearsals for The Magic Flute, a Ridgecrest Opera production, my dear friend, Shane Smith, died in a tragic car accident on Valentine’s Day, 2020. Everyone who knew this vibrant soul, was devastated. 


Music is a healing wellspring for me, so as I continued to participate in Covid appropriate rehearsals for the Magic Flute, an idea was born to memorialize Shane‘s life by rewriting the words to the well known song, Hallelujah. Shane and I sang this song together often so I thought it was the perfect backdrop for a glimpse into the gifts Shane shared with the world. 


My daughter had rewritten its words for her purpose sometime ago. Her vocal rendition was beautiful and inspired me to learn how to sing it. My voice teacher of many years, David Hodgson, is always ready to help me achieve a vocal goal. Thank you for coaching me through this recording David.


David introduced me to another amazing musician and accompanist, Lee Alan Nolan, who is the master pianist behind the piano recording. Lee used his masters degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music to help us honor Shane’s memory and graciously gave his permission for us to use his recording for the film. Thank you, Lee Alan Nolan.


After rewriting the song this tribute continued to unfold, one idea at a time, one step at a time, until it fully bloomed into what you see now.


I was originally going to sing the song live at Shane’s memorial service then Covid happened and his website emerged instead of an in-person gathering.


I saw a great deal of talent in Britney and Geoffrey Brown‘s ability to capture incredible moments on film when we started to film Magic Flute episodes so the thought occurred to me to create a video about Shane’s life instead of just singing a song. I have a gorgeous front yard, talented horses who always rise when I ask for their help and wildlife that show up in all their splendor when called as you can see.


The video scenes with the horses are collaborations, not me telling them what to do. Each horse showed up as its own vibrant soul to honor Shane’s memory in the way he or she decided. The wild birds agreed to ascend for the perfect ending for us - marking a new beginning for Shane.


It is also noteworthy that the morning of the video it occurred to me that it would be nice to have a bicycle and a guitar for filming. I did not have either one and had not thought to ask Shane‘s mother, Susan Smith, to borrow his bike or his guitar for the morning. The film crew (Britney, Geoffrey Brown and their parents) was due in an hour, but didn’t bat an eye when asked if they had either a bike or a guitar. They had both and were more than happy to bring them for the shoot. Thank you, Britney and Geoffrey Brown for your flexibility. Those of you who know Shane, know that he played the guitar well. He also rode his bike everywhere he went locally.


Last and not insignificant, the day we filmed this beautiful footage the skies cleared from what had been heavy, smoke-filled haze from all of the California wildfires. The skies had been so full of smoke I was concerned that filming day might have to be postponed until we could get blue sky. I then remembered that I could humbly ask Spirit to clear our way for a film set up to honor the power of love Itself. And the next morning, less than 24 hours after my prayer, without any wind, there it was, the blue sky we hoped for on filming day. Thank you, Almighty God.


By Kelli Cutts, December, 2020

A prayerful message to my deceased son


To my dear son Shane,

Ever since your birth we were bonded and you became a wise and trusted confidante. You were always around to protect me and guide me, my GPS. I remember you saying “Mom, Be aware....he is not good for you. Please be careful going down the stairs, use the hand rails. I want you to eat better and healthier. Drive carefully, don't pass unless necessary.” Your cooking skills got better and healthier over the years. I especially listened when I decided to clear up my cancer naturally. You jumped on board and helped me, and anyone else who would listen. I loved all the adventures we went on with you. The last 6 years, you phoned me every night at 9PM to encourage me to take care of myself and live to be 100. You were full of such integrity and many times were misunderstood because you had premonitions and warned people of negative things that might happen if they kept going along in their current direction. Several people didn't want to listen, but you would risk the relationship. I understood and I was, and am, proud of you. You took every opportunity to learn about the world, yourself and others.

Thank you for coming to see me on the night after your death and continuing to send messages to remind me of what you taught me. I am attempting to follow in your shadow. You know I talk to you all the time and take walks with you in nature. I sense you everywhere and thank you for returning my requests for guidance. I know you are listening to your higher power, as I am. Thank you for choosing me as you mother. Thank you for all you had become, and I know you are not resting, but learning and working peacefully to assist other souls. What a gift you have been and still are. I am most fortunate.

I love you, son. May the God-force always be with you.



Please say a prayer for our beloved Shane......

                          Peace Prayer of Saint Francis

(lover of animals and all living things)


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, let me sow pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me sow faith.
Where there is despair, let me sow hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
it is in the giving up of self that we are born to eternal life.



October 4, 2021

Special thoughts go out to you Shane today, especially as it’s your birthday, and as we all in your family send good thoughts out every day as we continue to share life with our loved ones here,  and our loved ones in heaven.   This picture, I hope,  shares the feeling of the awesomeness and beauty of heaven and earth,  and shows the glorious colors of nature through earth’s changing seasons.    I took this picture one past October while in the Sierras,  one of our family’s favorite places.  As one of the quotations you liked, and is on your memory bookmark,  “The Sky has no Limits”,  your spirit too continues to have no limits as we all continue to share our continuing journeys.    Another of your favorite worshiper of nature and explorer of the Sierras,  John Muir,  wrote  “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks”.   In all your hikes in nature and walks in life,  we know you too received far more than was sought and we thank you for sharing your gifts along the way with us.   We’ll continue to look up to the skies,  notice the beautiful colors of the trees,  smell the richness of the earth,  and feel wholeheartedly the peace and joy shared with those we love, always.      Love,  Deb  (aka “Deebs”,  Shane’s nickname for me years ago).