Samuel Clein Obituary

Samuel H. Clein
Samuel H. Clein

October 18, 1982 - December 18, 2020
Born in New London
Resided in Connecticut


Samuel Hilliard Clein, of Pawcatuck, CT, passed away suddenly in his home on December 18th. He was 38 years old. Sam had moved back to southeastern Connecticut in late November to be closer to his beloved family.

Sam is survived by his mother, Bonnie MacHaffie of Waterford, CT; father Haiman Clein of Columbus, OH; brother Robert Clein of Belgrade, ME; sister Bonnie (Francis) Silvestri of Quaker Hill, CT and his nieces whom he adored: Leah, Sadie, and Bonnie; sister Hannah Clein (Michael Segien) of Beverly, MA; sister Dara Clein Martin and nephew Zachary; and his maternal grandmother, Doris MacHaffie of Gilford, NH; as well as many cousins, aunts, and uncles. Sam lit up the room with his joy and laughter; everything was a song. He was loved and cherished by his family and will be profoundly missed.

Samuel Clein was a classically trained pianist, conductor, and theatre music director. He started classical piano lessons at age 4, was awarded “Most Valuable Member” of the Waterford High School orchestra three years in a row, and was featured as a piano soloist in a Mozart concerto for the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Youth Orchestra. As a freshman in high school, Samuel was one day cornered by a Drama Club member who demanded he play the piano for their upcoming musical production of The Pajama Game. In his words, he acquiesced and proceeded to fall in love with musical theatre, and never looked back.

In the musical theatre field, Sam performed around the country as an accomplished musical director, conductor, pit orchestra pianist, and accompanist: including Music Circus, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Alhambra Theatre & Dining, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Missouri Street Theatre, and Sacramento Theatre Company.

Sam never neglected his classical roots. He conducted opera productions for EMMA Concert Association, First Coast Opera, Jacksonville Lyric Opera, and others. He worked for Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra as a pianist.

Sam’s talent extended beyond the piano; he played other instruments professionally, including keyboard, accordion, acoustic guitar, tonal percussion, hand percussion, and organ. He served as music director or organist/pianist for a number of religious organizations. He also worked extensively in educational theatre, working at many colleges, high schools, and theatre youth conservatories around the country.

Music was his passion; his family was his joy.

A musical celebration of his life will be held in the summer. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Waterford High School Music Program: WHS Student Activity Fund, 20 Rope Ferry Road, Waterford CT 06385. Condolences may be shared on Sam’s memorial page at




Beth El
Lestertown Road
Groton, CT US 06340
Thursday, December 24, 2020

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