Harold Virgil “Pete” Kittrell passed away at his home in Okanogan, Washington, in early August of this year. Pete was born Oct. 17, 1947, in Omak to Dorothy Price Kittrell and Glenn Kittrell and was raised in Twisp. He had two main gifts and passions in his life: music and books.
Like his mother, Dorothy, he had perfect musical pitch and could play the piano by ear. As a child, he loved dancing and prancing to music and was a talented drum major for the Twisp school band. His twirls of the baton, or mace, and ability to catch it after many twists high in the air, were breathtaking to watch. As a teen, he and his partners won many dance contests. As he grew older, he loved classical music and moved to Seattle. He composed piano pieces and gave recital performances during this time. If a piano were in the home where he was staying, Pete would spend hours each day playing and composing.
He decided to move back to Twisp where, after a few years, he started to share his second passion, books, with the world. He set up a used bookstore in Omak and then in Okanogan, Daydream Books. He was a voracious reader and could carry on an informed and animated conversation about almost any topic and probably read close to every book that was in his store. He had regular customers and knew their reading preferences. He would set aside books to show them the next time they came to his store and enjoyed introducing them to new authors and genres. He was a “character,” sometimes an irascible character, and many people dropped by his store just to experience a conversation with him.
Pete is survived by his niece and nephew, Lesa and Jeff Eiffert, and by his 12 first cousins who live across Washington and Oregon and who were entertained and amazed by the gifts that he offered to the world. A celebration of Pete’s life will be held next spring.