Groovefest founder dies following 2-year cancer fight

Groovefest Music and Art festival founder Tim Cretsinger places a reassuring hand on his wife Lisa Cretsinger's shoulder as she breaks down while reading his message to the crowd, Main Street Park, Cedar City, Utah, June 27, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

CEDAR CITY — If music is a universal language, then Tim Cretsinger, affectionately known as “Pa Groove,” was proficient in all dialects. The humble independent record store owner and festival founder lost his two-year battle with throat cancer Monday.

The news came in the form of a message posted on Cretsinger’s Facebook page by his wife, Lisa Cretsinger:

rest easy my love…

Timothy Alan Cretsinger born into this mortal world September 30, 1954, Jefferson, Iowa, took flight for unknown adventures, March 14, 2016, Cedar City, Utah

It was no surprise that the news spread quickly across Facebook, Southwest Wildlife Foundation Founder Martin Tyner said about his friend.

“Everybody loved Tim,” Tyner said. “I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word (about him). If you’d say, ‘Tim Cretsinger,’ they would say, ‘Oh yeah, he’s the nicest guy.'”

Groovefest founder Tim Cretsinger takes a moment to photograph one of this year's acts, Main Street Park, Cedar City, Utah, June 27, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
Groovefest founder Tim Cretsinger takes a moment to photograph one of the acts, Main Street Park, Cedar City, Utah, June 27, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

Cretsinger touched thousands of lives, said Susan Tyner, Martin Tyner’s wife.

“I mean, not just in Cedar City, but everywhere,” she said.

Sandra Triplett, a longtime Groove Crew volunteer and Cretsinger’s friend, posted her goodbye on Facebook Monday: “Tim Cretsinger will have Heaven rocking out in no time, you will be missed.”

During a phone interview Monday, Triplett said although, Tim Cretsinger liked many styles of music, his favorite band was Calexico.

“I think he will get all these musicians that are up there with him to play and put on a great show,” she added.

Tim Cretsinger was best known throughout the community as the owner of Groovacious, an independent record store, and the co-founder of Groovefest Music and Art Festival — a week long celebration of the roots of American Music that celebrated art in all its forms. From literature to fine art and music, the all-encompassing festival drew crowds from all over the country into Cedar City each year.

Tim Cretsinger worked hard to help create a strong public presence for the Southwest Wildlife Foundation by actively working as a member of the Board of Directors. Even when he was most ill, Tim Cretsinger attended every board meeting as an active participant, Martin Tyner said.

Groovefest founder Lisa Cretsinger reads a hand-written letter to the audience from her husband Tim Cretsinger who is unable to read it himself, because of a massive tumor in his throat that he is undergoing treatments for. Tim Cretsinger's treatments began Monday, the first day of the week-long music festival, Main Street Park, Cedar City, Utah, June 27, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
Groovefest founder Lisa Cretsinger reads a hand-written letter to the audience from her husband, Tim Cretsinger, who is unable to read it himself. Cretsinger, who was diagnosed with throat cancer, began cancer treatment the first day of the week-long music festival, Main Street Park, Cedar City, Utah, June 27, 2015 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

The Campfire Concerts in the Canyon, created by Cretsinger to draw people to Southwest Wildlife’s Cedar Canyon Nature Park, became the official kick off event for Groovefest each year. The concerts were successful in their goal, Martin Tyner said, because Tim Cretsinger had a way of getting people excited about the nature park.

“Until Tim came along, it was just ‘Martin and his birds,'” Martin Tyner said. “Tim was an amazing people person. I’m really a critter guy and it’s sometimes hard for me to promote the Wildlife Foundation and get people to see the value of the nature park.”

There will still be campfire concerts this summer, Susan Tyner said. Members of the Groove Crew have already committed to helping the Tyner’s keep the tradition going, she said.

Tim Cretsinger’s talents, love for others and dedication to helping others will not be forgotten, Cedar City Mayor Maile Wilson said, adding that he would be deeply missed in the community.

“Over the years Tim has done so much to give back to Cedar City and our region as a whole,” she said. “He was always so willing to get involved, not only with his projects, but would selflessly give of his time and talents to help others.”

Tim Cretsinger was diagnosed with throat cancer in December 2013. From the beginning, the Tim Cretsinger’s worked to educate the public about his form of throat cancer and the importance of awareness.

Groovefest Music and Art Festival Assistant Director Peggy Green cited the founder’s need to rest and spend time with family when the 2016 festival was cancelled.

As reported in a previous St. George News article:

The difficult decision to cancel the 2016 festival came after Cretsinger and his wife Lisa Cretsinger, who helped co-found the event and continues to organize it, realized they could not be as heavily involved in the production of the event as they typically are.

By that time Tim Cretsinger was hospitalized with pneumonia and breathing through a ventilator. Tim Cretsinger healed from the pneumonia and was transferred to Cedar City Kolob Regional Care and Rehabilitation.

When Tim Cretsinger died Monday morning, however, Triplett said he was safe in the comforts of his own home with his wife and son at his side to see him off.

“I think one of the things that we probably should emphasize a little bit is that Tim’s first and great love was Lisa,” Martin Tyner said. “And if it wasn’t for Lisa and her support, Tim could never have accomplished the things he did.”

Email: cmiller@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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2 Comments

  • Julie March 16, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Carin, I find your writing to be informative as well as concise and to the point. Thanks for your contributions.

  • Rainbow Dash March 16, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Tim was a good man. His loss is felt by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him even for a short time. May he rest in Peace.

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