Born in Vernon Parish, Louisiana, Thos is an army brat, son of a career military dad and a mom who was a first and second grade teacher. During his father's 20 year Army service, Thos and his brothers spent their early childhood in Japan at Camp Zama and their teenage years in Aberdeen, Maryland. In Maryland, his dad was station with 327th Army Band at Aberdeen Grounds while his mother taught in the public schools.
After graduating Aberdeen Senior High School, Thos earned an Associate’s Degree in Electronics Engineering Technology from the Ohio Institute of Technology. After graduating, he landed a position with Western Geophysical as a technician on board an ocean vessel conducting seismic research at sea for oil companies.
Thos', in pursuit of his childhood ambition of being a performer, studied music seriously in school, playing percussion in the orchestra, symphonic ban, and marching band. In high school, he began singing and after school playing rock n' roll, much to his father's chagrin. However, his early exposure to classical and jazz music in the long run won out.
While his passion for the performing arts was always a part his life, Thos’ values of education, being well spoken, thinking for yourself and reading helped him in the pursuit of his dreams of performing and eventually living in New York City.
For 25 years, Thos lived as a performing artist in New York City. While there, as fate would have it, he landed a role in Miss Saigon and was part one of the biggest shows on Broadway for many years.
Thos is an international jazz vocalist and voiceover artist. He has studied at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute and with noted jazz clinicians Jerry and Patty Coker. Besides performing he has volunteered his time to teaching others and speaking about his life experiences.
The Shipley family regularly attended Sunday services at the base Chapel. Growing up around the Church has had a lasting impact on Thos. His faith has continued at Fort Washington Collegiate Church, in New York City, where he has been a member for the last 20 years and serves as a Deacon.
For the last 13 years, Thos has worked as the Retirement Program Plan Administrator for the Reformed Church in America in New York City, guiding participants with the plans in enrollment, federal and state retirement regulations and their retirement options in a multi-million dollar retirement plan. But he always makes time to offer his gifts and talents to others.
Even before residing in Roselle Park, Thos actively volunteered his time and talents in the Borough to help with the Relay for Life American Cancer Society's event, volunteering at the St. Anthony's Feast or giving his talents to a holiday dinner for those less fortunate in our community.
In 2010, Thos purchased a home in Roselle Park with his husband former Roselle Park Mayor, Joe DeIorio. Thos continues to volunteer his time for Roselle Park performing for the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies and "A Night of Broadway Cabaret to help raise monies for our high school in addition to and the September 11th Remembrance Services. As Thos notes, "The people and the friends I have made in Roselle Park have been so welcoming and genuine. Roselle Park is a place where you can form the kind of relationships that remind me of childhood."
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