Jerry Tertocha, born in France on 7 November 1947 to Alvin Tertocha and Antoinette Senelle Tertocha, passed away in his apartment in Salt Lake City at the age of 71 on 25 January 2018. Jerry came with his parents to the United States at the age of two to live in Decatur, Illinois. In high school, he began playing the guitar and performed with a band called “The Casuals” that won the Governor Otto Kerner Award for Best Dance Combo in 1964. Jerry then developed an interest in classical guitar, which became one of the loves of his life along with his art. Largely self-taught at first, he later studied with pioneering classical guitar teacher, Richard Pick in Chicago and with concert guitarist, Oscar Giglia at an elite master class in Aspen, Colorado.
He graduated from Millikin University in Decatur with a Studio Art degree in 1970. After moving to Salt Lake City in the early 1970s, he taught guitar for a time at the University of Utah, playing occasionally in club settings. In 1983 he published a book of 16th and 17th century Renaissance and Baroque pieces transcribed for intermediate classical guitar that reached a world-wide audience and inspired many students. This was followed in 1986 by The Anna Magdalena Notebook for solo guitar that included original guitar transcriptions of J. S. Bach’s pieces for piano.
Jerry gave private lessons in classical guitar for some years in Salt Lake City and influenced many amateur and professional guitarists. Unfortunately, chronic back pain and tendonitis curtailed his ability to play. Jerry’s musical talents were matched by his artistic talent and his oils, watercolors, and ink drawings grace many homes. Sadly, his art career was also abridged by failing eyesight in later years. Other interests included reading, letter-writing and conversations with friends, and his love of animals, particularly cats; Salt Lake’s strays will dearly miss him. A lifelong bibliophile, he amassed a significant personal library which he recently donated to a local bookstore.
Jerry Tertocha is survived by his sister, Jocelyne Denbow, brother-in-law Dr. James Denbow, and their children, Jeremy Denbow and Jennifer Kennedy. He will be interred in Texas. Donations can be made to the Best Friends Animal Society.
Obituary picture is a self portrait.