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Musician, Teacher And — Most Of All — Beloved Friend, Nino Getts Of Ossining Dies At 74

A member of The Wanderers, Nino Getts had music mentors in his early years and never forgot them. Later, he became a mentor to his many protégés. Photo Credit: Contributed
Nino Getts of The Wanderers could play anything on the guitar and would learn any song his students wanted to practice, regardless of the genre. He got to know each family and often taught siblings and parents as well as generations within families. Photo Credit: Contributed

On the morning of June 28, Nino V. Getts, 74, died quietly in his sleep.

Nino was born on Nov. 12, 1944 to William and Mary Riccardi Getts. He grew up in the Battle Hill area and was a nostalgic fan of the old White Plains, where he often sat on the steps of the old courthouse with friends  and walked Main St.

Nino graduated from White Plains High School in 1962 and/or 1963. He liked people in both classes, so went to all the reunions. He studied song writing and music production at State University of New York. Nino had his own professional studio in his home and produced and recorded music for clients, friends and students.

A consummate and talented musician and entrepreneur, Nino’s death was a shock to everyone who knew him. He’d been active to the end as a music instructor and a member of The Wanderers, a band that dated back to his youth. Nino enjoyed playing with many other bands in the tristate area as well as throughout Westchester County. Nino will be remembered, loved and missed by both his bandmates as well as his fans.

Nino resided in a historic house in Ossining since 1982, which he had  restored and worked on often, becoming an accomplished renovator. He installed his own copper roof where he often would bring friends to show them the view of the Hudson River and the Palisades.

Nino was a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses, where he studied and discussed the Bible. He enjoyed talking to people about the Bible and their interpretations.

Nino became a student of anything that interested him, and he was deeply interested in many things. He learned to cook while on the road with the many bands he played and loved cooking on his commercial stove and enjoyed sharing recipes and using his restaurant-size cookware. He spent hours tending his organic garden and loved having fresh vegetables and herbs.

Music, traveling and animals were three great passions for Nino. He’d been to many countries over the course of his life—including Italy twice. He said he had pizza at a restaurant that called it the “best pizza” in the world. (“I had to go back, to see if it really was. And it was!”)

In recent years his travels took him to Japan, Philippines, Italy and Finland, where he saw the Aurora Borealis. He soaked up everything he could about the countries, people and their cultures. He traveled light and loved it.

Nino was a strong advocate for all animals. He cared for multiple pets over the years. Lionel the cat and Shuggie the rescue dog were the two guarding him at his bedside. Lionel is on Nino’s property with a wonderful new caregiver, and Shuggie is happy in the Hamptons with members of his dear friend Susie Singer’s family. His dedication to saving the lives of animals by exposing cruelty and violence to helpless animals was well known to his Facebook Friends.

Nino was loved by many, including family, students, neighbors and friends. He was known for his generosity, curiosity and helping when close ones needed him.

Nino’s brother Billy predeceased him. Another brother, Robert, in Southern California, his sister, Marian Getts of Poughkeepsie, and a niece, Rose Marie Gail Haden, of Ava, MO survive him. Nino’s parents came from very large families and though he didn’t have children himself, Nino had dozens of cousins and their extended families. Susan Singer became his family and his dear tenant through the years. Susan died almost a year before Nino and was honored by Nino with a home service. Nino enjoyed her creative collections and her artwork which she worked on and displayed in her rooms in the Ossining house. He said at the time that he would like the same service when his time came.

Friends are honoring that wish.

There will be a celebration of the life of Nino Getts at his home on Friday,  Sept. 27, at 5 p.m. There will be an informal service, music, good food, and lots of people who loved Nino. Come join them and share your stories of this incredible man. Please RSVP on Nino’s Facebook page or to ninosmemorial@aol.com so group size can be determined.

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