Obituary: Nancy Wuerthele / Vintage clothing was her passion and business

June 28, 1943 - Feb. 3, 2014

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Nancy Wuerthele turned a love for vintage clothing into a business that spanned more that three decades.

When Ms. Wuerthele's clothing collection began to pile up, she held a house sale to "kind of thin what she had," said her daughter, Kim Banks. One thing led to another and before she knew it, Ms. Wuerthele was the proprietor of Yesterday's News, a vintage clothing store she operated for 33 years, mostly on the South Side.

"She had so much clothing and antiques that she just continued to stay open [after holding the house sale] and it turned into a store," Ms. Banks said.

Ms. Wuerthele of the South Side died last Monday after a brief illness related to an autoimmune disorder. She was 70.

She started Yesterday's News, believed to be Pittsburgh's first vintage clothing store, on Route 51 in the city in the late 1970s before moving it to Brownsville Road in Mount Oliver and then the South Side, where she stayed for more than 25 years.

The business grew out of Ms. Wuerthele's love for vintage clothing. She would frequent flea markets, thrift stores and estate or house sales looking for old clothing to add to her collection.

She stocked Yesterday's News on East Carson Street with clothing dating from 1900 to the 1970s. Ms. Wuerthele herself had a particular fondness for clothing from the 1920s and the 1940s.

"I just think she liked how they looked," Ms. Banks said. "Her preferred art is art deco. I think the clothing went along with that, complemented that style of art."

Ms. Wuerthele operated the store until May, when she retired. Her daughter said that she enjoyed the work.

"She really did. She supported me and herself quite well with her business. She had a lot of very loyal customers from Pittsburgh and also out of town who would be sure to come in," Ms. Banks said.

Born June 28, 1943, Ms. Wuerthele grew up in Overbrook. Her family liked to refer to her as an "opinionated fashionista." She enjoyed helping young women pick out accessories for their prom dresses and liked to engage in long conversations with customers.

"She was so comfortable in her store that her customers would keep coming back, not only to shop there but to visit with my mother," Ms. Banks said.

Ms. Wuerthele, an avid cat lover, also was an expert seamstress. "Vintage clothing quite often would come to her in need of repairs. It wasn't always pristine when it came to her. She would restore the clothing," Ms. Banks said.

She is survived by her daughter, who lives in North Versailles; a sister, Patricia Gannett of Baldwin Borough; and three grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. at the Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community, 2700 Jane St., South Side.

Mark Belko: mbelko@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1262.


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