Terry Dean Pittsford, age 71, passed from this world on March 27, Easter Sunday, from cancer.
Terry was born in Southgate, California on October 16, 1944. In high school, he was bitten by the acting bug, appearing in many productions including The Mikado and The Music Man. After graduation, he worked as actor and extra in Hollywood, and appeared in one episode of “My Three Sons.”
He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1965, serving as a combat photographer in Southeast Asia until his discharge in 1968.
In 1973, he heard the call of the wild and relocated to rural Nevada County. After realizing he was not suited for farm life, he launched a restaurant/deli in the old Nevada City post office known as Uncle Rumple’s Attic. There are still locals who swear that Pittsford’s generous sandwiches and easy credit saved them from starvation during the lean Nixon years.
Later, Terry would work as a bartender, electrician, sign painter and journalist. He was a reporter for The Nevada City Independent and was the co-founder of The Midnight Degraders, a radio comedy act, with Bobby Angel during the early days of KVMR. He had a bit part in the opening sequence of the movie, “Moonshine County Express,” which featured John Saxon, William Conrad, Maureen McCormick, and Susan Howard and was filmed in Nevada County.
Pittsford later studied computer engineering and started his own “computer tutor” business. His favorite pastime was traveling by train. His photos were featured in Don Baumgart’s, “21 Train Rides From The Past,” informing readers where to find yesterday’s magnificent iron giants.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Dean and Winifred Pittsford.
There will be a memorial gathering to celebrate Terry’s life on Sunday, April 17, at the Nevada City Veteran’s Hall from noon to three pm. Friends are encouraged to bring a potluck dish and their favorite stories to share.
(Photos: top: Casey Tickenor. Promo shot: Amos Carr. KVMR: courtesy of Robert Mallah.)
Hi Bob, this caught me by surprise. I know you’d said he wasn’t doing well but I guess I didn’t accept that he could pass so soon. I am so sorry to hear the news, it seems like only yesterday that I was chatting with Terry in the hardware aisle at the Nevada City SPD, but I guess it really was a few months ago, sometime before Christmas.
I met Terry through Lick, and then we had our own friendship based on our mutual computer biz interests that ebbed and flowed over the years. Thanks for posting your thoughtful obituary, there was a lot there I didn’t know. See you at the memorial.
Thanks, Michael. See you soon.
Back in what I consider the hay day of Nevada City, it was always a welcome site to find Terry sitting at the bar, or eating breakfast at the same time in Mama Su’s, and although my brother Roger certainly knew him better, he was always one of high intelligence and sharp wit that made time spent in his company enjoyable.
I liked the man a lot.
Terry was a strong and delightfully entertaining Nevada City presence. I washed more than a few dishes for food at Uncle Rumples in ’74/75, played music there with Dakota Sid and the Kansas Kid, and best of all, met my wife Theresa there when Carol Sue decided we’d be a good match. (I owe you big time Carol!) Did I mention touring the Northwest backing up Country Joe McDonald with the Manzanita Band and Terry running sound? Good times all. We’ll miss you Terry, but we’ll see you in that breakfast diner in the sky.
Terry was a good friend to me. I met him through DAL Assoc. I only met him once but we were “phone friends” for about 20 years and always stayed in touch. He was of great comfort to me when my husband passed away almost 6 years ago. Last winter was the last time I talked to him and he was very sick then. I had a feeling something bad had happened when he didn’t return my emails and today I finally got up the courage to look for his obituary and found this lovely piece. He was a wonderful, witty person and I will miss him greatly. I wish I knew how to get in touch with his family.
I asked Terry about family, but he claimed to have none, or none he would claim.
Thank you:) I never asked and he never talked about others. I miss him. Another good man gone.