COOPERSTOWN – Lifelong Cooperstownian Terance James Roy Pugliese passed away suddenly Monday0 evening, Dec. 3, 2018.
To newcomers, he was known as Terry, to friends he was The ACE, T.P., The Mayor, or Ambrose, and to his daughters, he was their Popsicle but whatever you knew him as, chances are, if you spent any time in Cooperstown, you knew him.
With a booming voice, joyous laughter and mischievous grin, Terry had a gift for making everyone feel accepted and valued. A charismatic people person who never met a stranger, Terry was surrogate brother and father to all he would listen to your troubles, make you laugh and forget your problems.
Born on Oct. 3, 1945, in Hitchen, England, Terry was the eldest of Cooperstown native son Vito Pugliese and British national Daphne Pugliese (nee Worsdale) of Stevenage, England. Vito and Daphne went on to have four more children Jane, Linda, Lennie and Stephen “Stevie.”
In 1955, the family moved to the Pratt Hotel. The hub of family life, the Pratt was host to big Sunday dinners, huge holidays and all the neighborhood kids. It was the place where everyone congregated and where enduring friendships were forged.
Among his proudest accomplishments was serving in the Marine Corps. On a dare and to prove to his ol’ man that he had what it takes, Terry enlisted. His training was at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina in early 1966, and soon thereafter he was deployed to Vietnam.
Against all odds and with determination, he survived despite being in some of the toughest engagements of the war, including the Hill Fights of April and the Attack on Con Thien in May 1967, and was honorably discharged with a commendation after completing his tour of duty in 1968.
Later that year, during a chance encounter in the ER, he met and steadfastly pursued his future wife, Jeanne Santoro. Jeanne finally relented and they were married within the year. He welcomed his first daughter, Ginamarie, on Aug. 10, 1969, and his second daughter, Kristina, on Nov. 27, 1973. On Nov. 9, 2018, Jeanne and Terry celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
There really were only two seasons for Terry, hunting season and golf season. Besides his wife and daughters, these were the two things that brought him the most pleasure and he passionately enjoyed them. Many will remember Terry’s battle with the first bunker on the 6th hole, his stunning poker and blackjack winnings and famous game dinners with his culinary wonders of pheasant, rabbit, venison and (hot) peppers.
Terry lived an unassumingly generous and courageous life, and everyone he knew is better for having known him.
He is survived by his wife Jeanne; his daughters and their husbands, Taylor C. Wells and Yves Boudreault; his grandchildren, Winstone Sellin, Rowland Wells, and Morgane Léon, three great-grandchildren, as well as his four siblings, their spouses, George Shaw and Ed Olsen; and many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at the Tillapaugh Funeral Home, Cooperstown.
A military service, with full honors accorded, will be at 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 15, on the grounds of The Otesaga, followed by a celebration of his life in the ballroom. All are welcome to attend both events.
Woodland-themed flower arrangements may be sent through Mohican Flowers, or contributions to Terry’s favorite charity may be made to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation at www.toysfortots.org/donate.