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The Universe Is A Poorer Place For This

January 16th, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

My friend, Pete Huttlinger, passed yesterday… suddenly it was. Yes, he was one of the truly great guitar artists. No one could deny this. More than that, he was one of the most amazing human beings I have ever met. Click this link to the Tennessean and read his story.

Here is what his wife Erin, wrote to all of us:

I am heartbroken. Today my beautiful husband, Pete Huttlinger passed away. I am paralyzed. On Monday Pete had a brain bleed and was admitted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Over the course of less than 24 hours he went from talking and laughing to unresponsive. He never regained consciousness and today at 12:30pm he died. He was not only surrounded by some of his family and friends, but by so many of his doctors and nurses who have helped keep him alive over the last few years. I was so touched by the humanness and sincere pain shown by these physicians. Over the many years of Pete’s ongoing health challenges, these medical caregivers have invested so much of their brilliance and humanity into keeping Pete alive. I appreciate it more than I’ll ever be able to express to them.

I loved this man with such depth. My entire essence and energy were devoted to loving him and letting him know how much I loved him. And he made it clear every single day of our marriage that he felt the same way. I am at a deep loss as half of me has now disappeared.

My family and I were given a wonderful gift throughout this tragedy in that Pete stayed with us for nearly four days giving us time to accept what he already knew.

I know that many of you reading this loved him as well. Again, the feeling is reciprocated from both Pete and myself. I have so many more thoughts and emotions I would like to share, but I am in such a fog of emptiness that this is all I can muster.

I also know that messages have been coming in all day. I promise I will read them all. I appreciate them so.

Thank you for loving him too.

Erin Huttlinger

Here is what Vanessa wrote:

A storm of tears passed thru the Fur Peace Ranch yesterday when I received a call about our dear friend, Pete Huttlinger. We respectfully kept silent until his wife was ready to tell the world. At midnight, I posted her letter to all of us on our Fur Peace FB page and then I tried to sleep. I lay awake most of the night feeling my heavy heart and recalling everything about him like a song I could not shake. I know a lot of people and let me say that Pete was touched by the divine. His essence poured over you like silk when you were around him. The same can be said of his wife, Erin. He was one of the best guitar players that I have ever met … but he was undoubtedly one of the finest men I knew. He gave his fragile heart to everyone and now Erin and their family, have mine.
It feels like my FB page has become a tribute page over the last year and I know the older one gets the more we see the fragility of this beautiful life. I am feeling it today.


There is no more that I, Jorma, can add. Pete and Erin… well, it is an honor and privilege to know them…

They are in my heart today!

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  1. mikie
    January 16th, 2016 at 08:35 | #1

    My wife’s younger brother died last year from a brain aneurism, I know first hand what a sudden painful shock such a loss can be. My deepest condolences to those who knew and loved Mr. Huttlinger. m

  2. John R.
    January 16th, 2016 at 10:10 | #2

    Talk about an emotional roller-coaster the past few days. Thank you, Jorma, for this sad but beautiful entry.

  3. Ben
    January 16th, 2016 at 10:56 | #3

    Sorry for your loss. Considering all the times I’ve been to FPR it’s odd that I never met Pete. But I do know that anybody that you and Vanessa and Hurl invite back time and again to teach must be a wonderful person and great musician; all such folks that I have met there fit that description. Peace.

  4. jim hitchcock
    January 16th, 2016 at 12:56 | #4

    The Tennessean article links to an amazing rendition of Superstition, well worth the listen.

  5. Ham n Eggs
    January 16th, 2016 at 13:18 | #5

    I’m sorry for your loss.
    Love All Ways

  6. DennisK
    January 16th, 2016 at 13:22 | #6

    I am sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. The FPR definitely attacks some amazing people and it saddens me to know I will never meet this gentleman (at least not in this life).

  7. johno
    January 16th, 2016 at 14:54 | #7

    So sad to hear about the loss of Pete – only 54 years old. Hope you have a sunny, warm day in St Pete. Wish I was there.

  8. bob b.
    January 16th, 2016 at 22:26 | #8

    I saw the news on his passing. I didn’t know he was your friend. My sympathy. On a lighter note; I just gave listen to the Jorma Christmas Album. It was lent to me and I’ve been listening 1 month non-stop. First song reminds me of 99 years blues. The “Rule”. Nice! What Child is this instrumental. Awesome! Journey… great bass driven tune. Baby Boy makes me feel like I’m om the chain gang. Silent Night then Holiday Marmalade…. PRICELESS STUFF. THANK YOU! Thank You! Don’t see it in the FPR STORE? Thanks for letting me share. Forgot “Your Still Standing”. My new after Auld Lang Syne song. Your Pal

  9. Kevin
    January 17th, 2016 at 00:51 | #9

    So sorry for your loss. Vanessa, truly beautiful words and thoughts, he sounds like a man who had a wonderful soul and was surrounded by folks who appreciated and reciprocated the love.

  10. Dan
    January 17th, 2016 at 09:36 | #10

    You’re free now Pete. No more pain, no more heart pumps. Fly on.
    Sorry for your loss Jorma.

  11. Chappy
    January 17th, 2016 at 21:56 | #11

    Sorry to hear of Pete’s passing. I feel very blessed to have seen him at FPR in 2014 and last year when he sat in with GE. He was truly an outstanding guitarist and even better person. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

    Made annual trek to Tampa to visit old friend and fellow OU alum and FPR concert regular John R. this past weekend for our 4th straight Tedeschi Trucks music fest. Started things off with an outstanding show by Louisianna guitar great Tab Benoit at Skipper’s on Friday night. Then on Saturday, so many great acts at the Sunshine Music Fest. Joanne Shaw Taylor, Karl Denson, Jerry Douglas to name a few. And certainly one of the highlights of the day was Jorma’s set. Thank you!

  12. Barbara Jacobs
    January 18th, 2016 at 17:53 | #12

    That link is the way to some real good musicianship.

    Although I never met him, I know who Pete is and his talent will always keep him in the hearts of all who knew him, loved him and those who enjoyed his talent.

    @jim hitchcock

  13. Barbara Jacobs
    January 18th, 2016 at 17:57 | #13

    Because he was an Artist; he lives on through his work.
    I can refer to him as “still is…”

  14. Barbara Jacobs
    January 18th, 2016 at 18:20 | #14

    Renoir was the greatest Impressionist Artist. In my opinion, and many others.)
    He had arthritis, in his later years, which caused him to retire to the South
    of France.
    He lived on, in Cagnes-sur-Mer, still painting with his paintbrush taped to his
    Anybody who is interested can go to visit his home there, which is now a museum.
    If you can’t go there, you can google very early footage of Renoir painting
    there, in his house.

  15. Barbara Jacobs
    January 18th, 2016 at 18:25 | #15

    Renoir was the greatest Impressionist Artist of his time.
    He is still the greatest Impressionist Artist.

  16. Barbara Jacobs
    January 18th, 2016 at 20:48 | #16

    I’m breaking my comments down into short snippets because some, posting comments
    here, don’t understand my “looong comments”. They probably still won’t get it.

    Be that as it may:
    If you have the time, this coming Spring or Summer;
    I always recommend a visit to Renoirs’s home in Cagnes-sur-Mer, followed by
    a visit to the chapel designed by Henri Matisse:
    “Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence”.

    Especially for those who have lost an Artist in their family.
    It will help you to heal.
    (Renoir didn’t have his hand “taped” to his paintbrush (because there was no
    tape gentle enough to adhere at that time, a bit over 100 years ago),
    he had his hand wrapped in a “neckerchief” and the paintbrush was supported therein).

    Henri Matisse’s Chappelle is a glorious work of art:
    The stained-glass windows are formed from segments of blue and yellow;
    together they absorb and then transmit a wonderful violet light upon the Chapel
    and those who sit there, in marvel of its beauty.

  17. Barbara Jacobs
    January 18th, 2016 at 22:32 | #17

    And, there goes Glenn Frey.
    67, yet life is so.
    Last Sunday, David Bowie.
    Then, Pete.

    All great Artists.
    They will live forever in our memories and in their music.

  18. Bob Litman
    January 25th, 2016 at 15:49 | #18

    I am so sorry to hear about Pete Huttlinger. The world has lost a truly talented guitarist and sweet, wonderful human being. HIs mastery of the guitar was without doubt, just listen to his recordings, his own compositions as well as his transcriptions of great complicated music on his website and you will know from what I am saying. I still remember the weekend at FPR when he and Bromberg did some “dueling” flat-picking. Amazing. OUr world was so lucky to have him, if only for this short time. Rest in Peace, Pete My condolences to your family — Best Bob Litman

  19. Ted wagner
    January 29th, 2016 at 10:06 | #19

    So sorry passing of a legend all of your geniuses had all your albums airplane starship guided me through my youth wonderful music thank you

  20. Ted Malm
    January 30th, 2016 at 18:48 | #20

    On the first evening of my first visit to FPR, I sat with Pete and Erin at dinner. I had no idea who Pete was, what an amazing musician he was, or the incredible journey he had been through in his life. But I knew right away that Pete and Erin were among the nicest, kindest people I have ever met. Pete was there teaching a class on mandolin. Through that weekend I learned about Pete’s story and was blown away by his life spirit, his presence, and his virtuosity. In fact, I was so inspired that on my way home I bought a mandolin. My heart goes out to Erin, and to you and Vanessa for your loss. And now I learned about Paul. May they both rest in peace and live strong in our hearts.