A lot of us just didn't know what to make of Garry. He was in some of my classes, so I saw him quite a bit. During lunch, he'd find his group of people and let out with his jokes and humor, some not knowing what to think of him. I have to admit I was proud to see a Class of 67 student from Palo Verde do so well in life. He will be missed! Rest In Peace Garry.
Judy Merriam (Baumer)
He used to play baseball with my brother and the other neighborhood boys on the dirt lot next to our house as he lived on the next street. I didn't know him very well but he seemed very nice. I saw him at the 20-year class reunion and he appeared to be glad to be there among his classmates. He made a difference in the world of comedy and will be greatly missed by all.
Lynn Waterman (Murphy)
Joe Del Missier
Garry shared a credo that I employ. If I had a headstone (I won't),
it would say 'He loved to make 'em laugh"
Peggie Huffman (Leigh)
I barely knew Garry in high school. I wanted to give sincere condolences and prayers to his family, and to all those who loved him. I too was proud of how a humble guy from our school, went on to be so successful in what he loved to do. He was funny! It is sad every time we lose one of our fellow classmates.
Luke (Formery Larry) Walsh ('67)
Garry and I were buddies at Kellond and Fickett and for a short time at Palo Verde before I moved to California. I remember hearing Johnny Carson announce his name as a new comedian and thought, that can't be the funny guy I remember from Tucson? I am so sad to hear of his death; I guess we are all mortal. I will genuinely miss his humor.
I remember Garry in 6th grade at Hudlow and playing basketball with him during lunch at Fickett. In high school he would come over to Frank Blander's house and listen to our band as we rehearsed. At our 20th reunion, he was struggling with a decision of whether to accept a rather long term position in the entertainment industry .... he was talking about the Tonight Show, but, obviously, he turned it down! He was an amazingly gifted comedian and he will be greatly missed! RIP Garry!
I didn't know Garry very well, but I know he travelled to a different drummer. He was funny and became a great comedian.
Stephanie Smith (OLeary)
Garry Shandling was a man of many dimensions who touched peoople all over the world. Here is an entry from the Facebook page of Thich Nhat Hahn (a world renowned Zen Buddhist teacher and writer): "Our community is saddened about the passing of Garry Shandling. He was a wonderful student and supporter of Thay (Thich Nhat Hahn), once flying to Washington D.C. to help introduce Thay when he spoke to members of Congress. We know his warmth and wit will continue on for many generations to enjoy. Our thoughts of compassion and love are with Garry’s family."
Garry was also active in Tucson and national charitable efforts for Multiple Sclerosis (see video on NPR website). According to a brief article in The Atlantic, in addition to being "a giant" and "a towering figure in American television history," as an adult in his new home town "Shandling remained a beloved figure in Los Angeles and an idol to comedians for whom he remains a remarkable influence. How he pulled off being both beloved and towering speaks to his rare form of genius.
How fortunate we were to brush shoulders with (and take pride in knowing) a man of his creative stature, and if we were not able to recognise his singular talent in the boy we knew at Hudlow, Fickett, and Palo Verde, in his memory, let each of us remember to open our hearts and minds to nurture the greatness in all whom we meet for the brief time we have left on this beautiful planet. Let's laugh more, too. Garry would like that.