Valtimar “Val” Mollineaux

PORTLAND – On the morning of Dec. 27, 2019, Valtimar “Val” Mollineaux of Portland passed away peacefully at the age of 88 after a long illness.

Val was born in Harlem, N.Y. at a time when it was a political, cultural and spiritual center for the African American. His love for music/playing the guitar began as a young boy, shining the shoes of musicians, especially the guitarists, backstage at the famous Apollo Theatre. The Apollo was the perfect place for him to meet professional guitarists and learn his craft. One day Val’s uncle took him to a pawn shop and put $2 down on a guitar and told Val that it was up to him to pay the balance with his shoe shine tips. Through five years of diligent guitar study Val won one of the Apollo Theatre amateur hours by doing tricks like swinging the guitar behind his head as he played.

Shortly after the Apollo win Val was invited to join a rhythm and blues band called “Joe Morris and his Cavalcade of Blues” of Atlantic Records. For six years he traveled coast to coast to cities large and small sharing the stage and recorded with such greats as Dina Washington, Ray Charles and Miles Davis.

Val’s passion for music then transitioned to sharing his knowledge through private teaching. In 1976 he and his wife moved from New York City to Portland and began his 43 years teaching career. He owned the Guitar and Drum Workshop at Woodfords Corner for 18 years which included six other teachers providing private lessons. He then chose to teach privately from his home calling his business The Guitar Studio. His knowledge of the guitar and life’s lessons were truly a gift to his students. He recounted his experiences in show business, black history, and introduced them to jazz musicians and their works hoping to expand the student’s appreciation of music and from where it evolved.

During these years Val paid homage to the life and legacy of the composer/bandleader Duke Ellington with a slide and recorded music presentation at a variety of venues in the Portland area.

Val’s interest, also, included black history, art deco, and traveling, boxing and vintage movies from the 1920s-1940s.

Val left his imprint on countless number of students, parents, friends and acquaintances throughout his life. He will be deeply missed by all.

Val is survived by his wife, Sally, of 43 years; three sons, Ronald, Oscar, George and their wives; plus six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

There will be a private memorial at a later date.

Please visit to view Val’s online guestbook.

Donations can be made to in his name to the American Cancer Society or the American Diabetes Association.