Memories of Garry George Bowie | Ever Loved


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Memories & condolences

Jim Tucker — "Met Garry in 1980 when I came out he was a sweet man. We met at rumour Hazitin garden grove . He worked at toys r us . He is the reason I met my husband of 35 yrs ... Garry I’ll miss u , u r good memory’s."
Mark Raymond
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John P. IlventoLos Feliz, Los Angeles, CA, USA: "After going on disability, I wanted to give back and since I was a volunteer down in San Diego for Being Alive it seemed a natural decision to volunteer here in Los Angeles. From the moment I met Garry it was easy to liked him. I don't think I've ever saw him, without a smile. What really won me over though was when I needed help with a particular difficult legal dilema that most were afraid to give me advice on, he pulled me aside and told me if I would ask him about an imaginary story and then he winked and paused to say I might be able to give you an ending to that story...and he did. I always felt important there even though I only work one day a week and part of that was being thanked by Garry for my service...I can't tell you how many times. You will be missed Garry and thank YOU for your service!"
DANIEL HERNANDEZ — "Thank you Gary for "Being Alive" and bringing so much HEART to this special place called West Hollywood on this planet called Earth.

You're in a beautiful peaceful place now. May you always know how grateful I am that you created so many resources for those in need medically, physically, emotionally and to those who like myself were putting our expertise to use with the client's of Being Alive.

God's love be with you always... your husband and your families.

Daniel Hernandez"
Emery Chang — "So I'm an HIV physician at UCLA CARE and I frequently refer patients for services at Being Alive. The organization has been so very helpful, client focused, accessible, and effective in linking people to needed financial, mental health and other services. I'm so very thankful that Garry and the team have created such a lovely resource for our community and know that Garry's spirit and hard work will continue onwards until we end the HIV epidemic."
Gerard Talbot
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Gerard Talbot — "my sincerest condolences Jeff. He was a kind soul. I send you courage
Gerard Talbot"
Rickalan "RA" Kerr — "I'm so sorry for your loss"
Juanmanuel Figueroa — "One of the sweetest people I had the honor to deepest condolences to Jeff, family & friends...🙏💙🌈"
Sean Reilly
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Sean Reilly
Michelle Jackson
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Laura Wilson — "Gone too soon. May Garry rest in peace. His battle in this life is done and he may be at eternal rest.
My heart aches for your loss Jeff. You are blessed to have so many years of memories, family and friends to share them with. You will never walk alone Jeff, Garry will always be by your side. Peace be with you."
Ken Robinson — "I've only known Garry for a short time and found how wonderful he was right away. I only wish I had known him much longer and could share more memories.

A terrible loss for us all."
David Russo — "Our deepest sympathies. Garry was an amazing man and every conversation I had with him these past two years was full of joy and purpose."
Bernie Panylyk — "Jeff, my sincere condolences for your unimaginable loss. My thoughts are with you in this sad time. Cherish the wonderful memories of Gary knowing that he will always be a part of you for ever. May Gary rest in peace!
Joseph Kimbrell — "Jeff, my deepest and sincere condolences for this untimely loss. My heart and prayers are with you in these difficult moments, and be sure that my prayers are dedicated to Gary's knowing for sure, that now you have an Angel taking care of you from heaven, Rest in Peace!!!
Joseph M. Kimbrell"
Jeanne Pantuso
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Dean McCleeary
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Dean McCleeary
Matt Rosenblatt
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Rob Wesley
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Rob Wesley
Garry wondering if it was time to color his hair?
Jamie Baker2018, West Hollywood, CA, USA: "Garry wondering if it was time to color his hair?"
Jamie Baker2008, Long Beach, CA, USA: "I was diagnosed with HIV in 2008, and after being pretty sick and adjusting to medications, I looked for a way to get involved in my new community.

So, I walked into the Long Beach AIDS Foundation and met Garry Bowie. He was welcoming, good-natured, and a warm smile on his face. He listened to my story - he loved hearing stories - and then announced that I would be the volunteer coordinator.

Over the next year, I learned a lot about Garry. He did not keep secrets and he didn’t hold back. I think his daily goal was to make me blush...and he succeeded.

Garry’s passion for the cause, and more so, his passion for people was incredible. One time, he Befriended a homeless guy and followed him for a day to see what his life was like so he had a better idea of how to help. Garry did not hesitate to bring people in, feed them, give them a place to stay for a while, and make them feel important.

Everyone felt important around Garry. He made them feel valued regardless of how they felt about themselves. He changed lives. I can say without a doubt that he changed mine.

Jamie Baker"
Richard Lindemann
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Richard Lindemann
Andy Sacher — "Garry and I shared a passion for LGBTQ+ History. He greatly appreciated the Lavender LA Exhibit & book that I helped to create in 2009. A few years later he installed a wonderful exhibit on the Leather & Biker Community. Garry was extremely helpful when I launched a new LGBTQ+ Heritage & Culture organization, and as a result, my entry into the nonprofit sector was more informed and strategic. I know Garry helped many people and I share their deep sadness. My loving condolences to Jeff Wacha, family, friends and clients."
David Teichman
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Alex Kitay
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Alex Kitay — "Garry, you are missed."
Matthew Jensen — "Garry was a light who brightened the world around everyone he met, I'll never forget him."
Becky Hardin2020, Long Beach, CA, USA: "I answered an ad for a sales representative position at a boutique card and gift store in spring of 2003. I had just moved back to the Long Beach area after an acrimonious divorce. Other than my family, I had few friends in the area. I was starting completely over. I am not ashamed to admit that I was a bit lost.

On the day of the interview, I waited patiently for my turn. I was the last candidate. I was directed to a bistro table outside of the gift store. The noise of Broadway’s traffic fueled my nervousness. I really wanted this job. But the moment Garry Bowie appeared, I was at ease. It was unlike any interview I had ever had. We talked about our customer service philosophies; the customer service book he was working on; and we talked as if we were old friends reconnecting after time apart. At some point, Garry’s partner walked by having returned from the bank and errands. He said aloud, “You’re still here? Two hours! Are you gonna’ hire the girl or what?”

Garry and Jeff did hire me. I secured a job, but I also gained friends who were really more like family. Garry could get me impassioned and fired up about an injustice or an idea. He was a trusting and inspirational mentor and friend—I feel compelled to finally write the book he always encouraged me to start. His energy was unbridled working overnight in the store and generating a parade of marketing ideas all while steering The Long Beach AIDS Foundation and Long Beach AIDS Walk. It was impossible to keep up.

But the thing that I am going to miss the most is his love of laughter. Whether he was cackling at my screams at Knott’s Scary Farm; belly laughing at gift shows; pizza/wine dinners out after a long day; or losing his composure at my responses to learning about the leather community and the contents of their ‘fridge—time spent with Garry always included uproarious laughter. The sound of it at my stories or insights filled me with tremendous pride. I loved to tell him things hoping for that response. I cannot imagine Garry not wandering into my office at Being Alive anymore to spend time chatting, sharing, and laughing about my experiences and general misadventures.

I have known Garry for 17 my boss, my executive director, my mentor, my friend, my family, my confidant, my cheerleader, my guide, and my inspiration. He always understood my need to lead a life of passion, purpose, and fulfillment. He also longed for me to find a life of joy. I am better for working, living, and laughing beside him.

One of the last chats we had was about the brilliance of Emma Thompson as a writer and an actor. If he could see me carrying on as I write this, I know he’d quote Thompson’s character from his favorite holiday movie “Love Actually”:

“Get a grip. People hate sissies. No one’s ever going to shag you if you cry all the time.”

He’d chuckle and walk away with his hands folded praying mantis-style at the front of his chest with that glint in his eye. Oh that mischievous glint."
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Joni Koontz

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Brian Eggert
Submitted on May 22, 2020, 3:33 p.m. PDT
Michelle Jackson
Submitted on May 11, 2020, 11:21 a.m. PDT
John P. Ilvento
Submitted on May 3, 2020, 10:44 p.m. PDT
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