Terry Gholson, 61

Dec. 23, 1953 - May 31, 2016
Terry Gholson, Dec. 23, 1953 - May 31, 2016

Alton Terry Gholson, who grew up in Bridgehampton and lived in Las Vegas for the past 13 years, died at Centennial Hills Hospital in Las Vegas on May 31. The cause of death was sudden cardiac arrest, his brother Ronald L. Gholson of Westhampton Beach said. He was 62 years old.

Known as Terry, Mr. Gholson was a talented musician who played the piano and organ and was also a writer, composer, and arranger. He was a 1976 graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. “He was amazing. He was very gifted,” his brother said. “To me, he was like a Burt Bacharach.” He is credited with the writing and arrangement of disco songs like “Cop Bop,” performed by Portable Patrol, and T.J.M.’s “Am I Dreaming” “and “Put Yourself in My Place,” according to online records.

Born at Southampton Hospital on Dec. 23, 1953, he was the youngest of Berkley Andrew Gholson and the former Ida Beatrice Street’s four biological children. The Gholsons were foster parents for 30 years, and Terry Gholson was a big brother to all of their foster children, said his brother Ronald Gholson, who was one of them and was later adopted. He grew up on Norris Lane and attended the First Baptist Church of Bridgehampton.

Mr. Gholson was always like Santa Claus to his younger siblings, especially at Christmas when he would show up with a carload full of presents. He was also a role model for them. “He was my hero, someone I looked up to,” his brother said.

A member of the Bridgehampton High School class of 1972, he was also remembered for his athleticism. He was on a league-champion basketball team, and had a good jump shot. 

After college graduation, he stayed in Boston, working in the music business. Later in life, he started a successful courier company. He married Valerie Victoria McIntosh on Oct. 13, 2003, and the couple moved to Las Vegas, where he set up another courier business.

In addition to his wife and his brother Ronald, he is survived by his brothers Maurice Gholson of Atlanta, Eddie Gholson of Las Vegas, and Jamie Gholson of Riverhead, and his sister Delores Rapport of Atlanta. His siblings Berton Gholson Sr., Elaine Parks Gholson, and Patricia Gholson died before him, as did his parents. A host of nephews and cousins also survive.

A viewing will be held on Saturday at Bunker’s Eden Vale Mortuary in Las Vegas from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by a funeral service. Condolences or memorial donations to offset the expenses of a funeral can be sent to his wife at 3291 San Esteban Avenue, North Las Vegas, Nev. 89084.

Ronald Gholson is organizing a memorial service for friends and family who cannot be at his brother’s funeral, but want to pay tribute to him through music or spoken word. It is tentatively set for July 1, but the time and place will be announced.