Customers, friends remember Austin jeweler killed in home invasion

AUSTIN (KXAN) -- Customers who became friends of an Austin jewelry store owner killed last week in his Travis County home remember him as a cheerful family man who was as interested in making friends as he was making a living at his shop.

The Travis County Sheriff's Office is still looking for whoever shot 55-year-old Theodore "Ted" Shaughnessy, who owned Gallerie Jewelers at 35th and Jefferson streets in central Austin.

"I think one of the things we really enjoyed about Ted was he had such a big personality," Lydia Lowry said. She stopped by the store Sunday afternoon to drop off a bouquet of pink flowers at the door. She included a note with it, from both her husband and herself. "We'll never forget you," the note reads. "Rest in peace my sweet friend."

Lowry lives in the neighborhood where the shop is located and would stop by often. "We would come in and just talk and just visit and enjoy each other's company," she said. "Not that we would always come in to buy something."

The friendship they developed wasn't unique; other customers who sent memories to KXAN shared similar stories. A woman who bought her and her husband's wedding bands from Shaughnessy said he never forgot a name. "If you were not having a good day when you walked in the store, he would just have this glow and cheerful nature that would make you feel all better," she said.

Another customer said about a year after meeting him, she came in to try to sell some jewelry to pay for her dad's funeral. "I was so broke and he bought my basically valueless jewelry for a premium just to be kind," she said. "He never acted like he did that but I knew."

"It's just so hard to believe that a life can be taken so quickly," Lowry said, fighting back tears.

She remembers him as a family man, always talking about his son's accomplishments and doting on his wife. Lowry visited him a couple weeks ago to get some jewelry repaired.

Like most of her visits, she'd pet his dogs and talk to him about auto racing, one of his loves in life. He'd show her some of the gemstones he'd just gotten in. Lowry is glad she got what would turn out to be their last visit.

"This is part of my neighborhood, and I love coming in here," she said. "And it's never going to be the same."

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