Thomas “Tom” Pritchett, 65, and long-time resident of Idyllwild, died Monday, July 18, 2016. Tom committed suicide after years of struggling with bipolar disorder and severe depression.

Tom was born Sept 8, 1950 in San Francisco, and lived most of his life in California, with the exception of a few years in Florida and Massachusetts.

Tom was well known for his quick intelligence and wit. He received a bachelor of arts degree in nutrition science from Chico State and a doctorate in biochemistry from UCLA.

He worked many years in the biotechnology industry, the last 20 as a well-known and respected instructor. He taught industrial and regulatory scientists in many locations, including Saudia Arabia, Croatia, Canada, United States, Europe and Japan. Additionally, he cofounded and published BioQuality Newsletter.

However, he always considered his most important achievement raising his daughter Cathy Pritchett. One of his proudest moments came when the mothers in the Idyllwild play group suggested nominating him “mother” of the year. He rearranged his life and work to be an active part of his daughter’s life, stepping down from a successful corporate career primarily to be a daily presence in her life.

Tom loved hiking, mountaineering and the outdoors. He constantly read various philosophical books, learning about new religions, listening to taped lectures about history, and literature. He constantly sought the life of the mind and an intellectual challenge.

He also loved Irish music, and played the wooden Irish flute and Irish penny whistle.

Tom is predeceased by his parents Thomas and Ruth Pritchett. He is survived by his daughter Cathy Pritchett, his ex-wife of 21 years and best friend, Laurie Little, his adopted brother Carl Slusser, his niece Cori Schrader and his many wonderful and close friends in Idyllwild and elsewhere.

A memorial will be held for Tom from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Idyllwild Center for Spiritual Living, 54240 Ridgeview Dr., Suite 104. This is both a celebration of his life and his 66th birthday party.

Please come and join us to celebrate his life. Please be ready to share your happy memories of Tom. If you want to play music at the ceremony, the contact is [email protected] .

We miss you and will always love you, Tom. Some of the joyful music left all of our lives and this world with you.