Gary Malcolm Mallette of Hermosa Beach, beloved son, brother and friend, died Thursday, May 7 at St. Joseph's Hospital in Orange after a courageous 20-year battle with leukemia. Gary was born in Asheville, NC in 1950. As a toddler, he lived in North Carolina, Montreal and Cuba during his dad's early days as a professional baseball player. His grade school years were spent in Winston-Salem, NC, where he was a swimmer and Cub Scout. After his family's move to northern New Jersey when he was 16, Gary graduated from Paramus High School where he lettered in tennis. He attended Wake Forest University for one year then graduated from Mars Hill College in 1974 with a business degree. Gary devoted his entire professional career to Milliken, the South Carolina-based textiles company, working in the New York City and Spartanburg (SC) offices before moving to Los Angeles in 1984. A senior account manager, Gary retired from Milliken in December 2008. Gary never met a stranger and had a network of friends that crossed the country. He was known for his great sense of humor and positive outlook, traits that served him well during his fight against leukemia. He was an avid sports fan who loved to shoot skeet, play poker, go to the rodeo, and follow all things hockey. Described as a great dancer, Gary could often be found at the South Bay's western dancing clubs. One of the constants in Gary's life was his dogs. He had many good years with Brittany Spaniels Beau, Deacon, and Travis and leaves behind his faithful companion Petey. Gary is survived by his mother, Eleanor, of Durham, NC; brother Bruce and wife Julie of Cary, NC; and brother David and wife Melinda of Durham, NC. He was predeceased by his father, Malcolm Mallette. The family would like to thank Dr. Winston Ho for his medical expertise and unwavering support of Gary over the 20 years he treated him, and would also like to thank the doctors, nurses and lab technicians at UCLA, MD Anderson Cancer Research Center in Houston, Little Company of Mary in Torrance, and St. Joseph's in Orange. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at

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  1. I was so sorry to learn of Gary’s passing because it came as such a shock. I knew he had health problems, but didn’t know how serious since he rarely complained or talked about his illness. He was so spirited and such an advocate for the small town life we cherish in Hermosa Beach I will miss him very much. I only met him offline a couple of times, but loved his joie de vivre and love of our community. Sending you God’s love and caring at this hard time. Please let me know when the memorial service is because I’d like to come pay my respects in person. Very sad to hear the news. He was a good man. Thank you. Joy Kennelly

  2. To the Mallettes — the Fred Flagler family sends its condolences upon the death of Gary. +++ Note — I am sending this on behalf of my father, Fred Flagler, who is in a nursing home in Winston. — Betsy Flagler

  3. I was shocked and saddened to hear about Gary. He was a good friend when we were growing up. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  4. He will always be in our hearts. Gary was certainly a unique person with so many varied interests. He had so much perseverance in all that he did, including battling his health issues. In the 20+ years that I knew him, there was nothing he did that wasn’t with passion. I will miss him.

  5. I could always count on Gary to put a positive spin on anything! I did not know for a long time that he was dealing with an illness. When he told me, and just from his attitude we were certain he would beat it. I adored Petie, he’s a great doggie…please let me know he is wanted and loved in a new home. My heart is with his Mom and brothers and loved ones that will certainly miss him. May your memories and the love of all who loved him comfort you.

  6. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Please let me know if you need help with anything.

  7. My name is Gloria Valle, I was Gary’s friend . I miss him, and he was a great friend of mine I join to your pain and I prayed for his soul , I will always remember him God bless him and God give you mother , brothers and familiy the confort that God only can give you God bless him and you. Rest in peace. Gloria Valle from Alpine Village

  8. What a great obituary for a great guy. I’m a youngster (14 years service) with Milliken but greatly enjoyed and appreciated the time I spent with Gary, mostly on the telephone. We met a couple of times in Spartanburg, and I loved listening to his stories. We only worked together for about a year, but I quickly learned what an outstanding disposition and devoted associate he was to our company. I will miss catching up with him from time-to-time, as well as just knowing he’s not in California anymore. I’ll be praying for your family during this difficult time. Sincerely, Dean Sheorn

  9. We will really miss Gary. The last years of his career were spent working for me. His dedication and his contributions to Milliken over his career are endless. He was a major part of starting up a new businees in our Company. It was a pleasure to have him as a friend and a co-worker, he meant a lot to us.

  10. Gary and I were friends for over 25 yrs…..he was a good friend and confidant….a lot of good times and great memories. I will miss you, LA. God be with you……..all the time.

  11. We all have personal memories of Gary.One always knew where he stood on any issue with sound reasons to back up his position even if we did not agree.He made us laugh when things were tough and had a great love for living life in spite of his long battle.A special friend will be greatly missed

  12. Thanks for all the good conversations, opinions, tears and laughs. It will be tough to fill the void.

  13. To the family and friends of Gary – I had the pleasure of working with Gary when I was at Milliken. He was a gentleman and a scholar, his customers loved him and he was a delight to work with. I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you all. Lyn

  14. I was so sorry to hear of Gary’s passing the other day at the gym. I knew Gary from years ago, playing volleyball at 19th street in Hermosa Beach. More recently, I would always see him at the Spectrum Club in Redondo Beach. In spite of his illness, he never gave up and always had a positive outlook. My condolences to the family and friends of this unique and caring man.

  15. We are so sorry to hear of Gary’s passing. He was a long time customer & friend from the gym. Gary was by far one of the nicest guy’s we have aver met. He always greeted us with a smile as he passed by the shop with his dogs He will be greatly missed. Katherine & Rebecca Lily Pad Floral Design Hermosa Beach

  16. To the family and friends of Gary, Gary and I met 20+ years ago about three weeks after I moved to Southern CA from Chicago. Gary was without question a constant source of positive attitude, quick wit, serious sports lover, and an inspiration on how to live a better life. About eight months ago after many moons not having run into each other I I ran into Gary in Redondo Beach dancing up a storm and living life to its fullest as he always did. I will miss him. Gary Ivaska

  17. I worked with Gary on several projects with Milliken over the years. He was a fine man and we will all miss him very much. My condolences to his family and his many friends.

  18. I was saddened to have heard of Gary’s passing.We were friends for many years and members of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.We were both diagnosed with the same type of leukemia. We will all miss Gary and his amazing outlook on life,and I will always remember Gary for his superior intelligence and grace.

  19. To Gary’s family, I was very sorry to hear that Gary had lost his battle with leukemia. I knew Gary from the gym and we often talked about our dogs, life in general, and his dancing “hobby.” Just by coincidence, he met a friend of mine online…and when Lynn and I would get together, we would often call Gary to see if wanted to meet us for drinks or dinner. Another good friend of mine who also goes to the same gym, Pauline Harris, was in the leukemia and lymphoma support group with Gary. I think it was about a month or so ago that I saw Gary, and I knew he was not doing well. I am glad that I gave him a very big hug (I am only 5’3,” so I kind of hugged his waist!!)and told him that I would be thinking good thoughts for him. I will miss Gary and am happy that I knew him. Sincerely, Ronna Dishnica

  20. Dear family and friends of Gary – I have know Gary for 35 years. Met him in Mars Hill College as a student. We graduated together, witnessed his marriage, met him one time face to face in LA on a business trip. We kept together thru email, Christmas cards and middle of the night phone calls, his coming from the left coast while I was living on the east coast. I knew of his illness, prayed for him, laughed with him and loved him. During my last conversation with him after his retirement and just before going into the hospital, I knew he was in distress. It was only thru the internet that I learned of his passing. In my heart, I knew he had passed. To paraphrase the words of St. Paul in his second letter to St. Timothy “Gary fought the good fight, he has finished the race, he has kept the faith.” I pray for Gary, his family and friends. This is my only link to his family. Would someone please call me 307-733-9097. I would like to talk for a moment. 7/9/09 Timothy Brown Box 412 Jackson, WY 83001

  21. Gary’s passing came as a real shock; I had not seen him for months and I guess God called him home early. I had the honor…and that’s an understatement…of coaching the Hermosa Beach Girl’s fastpitch softball team with Gary and Patrick Burke (which truly meant Patrick and I drug equipment bags around, cheered and threw balls while Gary did all the REAL coaching) and learned more about teamwork, coaching, and life than you can imagine. Largely because of Gary’s coaching skills Hermosa won successive District Championships, the program expanded to (I think) 4 teams at one point, and he was able to see his protoges playing for Mira Costa, something of a rarity before he kicked things into gear. I also got a kick out of how we’d not see each other for 3 months, run into each other at Vons and continue a previous conversation…or debate…like we’d never stopped. Gary was one of a kind, and I can see him working with some team upstairs: “TURN and throw – TURN and throw!”. He will be greatly missed.

  22. I enjoyed the service very much. It was very moving to see so many friends speak with emotion about Gary. I loved the montage and music. The event truly captured Gary’s many strengths and spirit. Thank you for sharing the loving tribute to my dear, sweet and unforgetable cousin.

  23. I last exchanged emails with Gary on 4/7/09. I was very saddened to see the news of his passing. I played tournament poker with Gary on more than one occasion and he was always so pleasant and fun to be around. He was a class act and will be missed!

  24. From: Possumbob To:, CC: gerryz Sent: 9/13/2009 8:57:13 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time Subj: Hope you get this Dear Gary, I just found out about your service and I am sorry I didn’t know sooner but that is my fault because I know you had asked about me but I am such a procrastinator when it comes to e-mailing. But Gerry (BIGZ) let me know. I remember when I first met you at Hollywood Park. You were playing a stud 8 event, a game that Gerry and I are quite good at, and you were at a learning curve level. We then began seeing each other a lot at HPC but I knew you were making some fundamental errors. Normally I do not offer advice because players either think they know better or they listen and then do what they want anyway. But I genuinely liked you so I asked if Gerry and I could help because although there is always something to learn we are quite good at stud games and when I asked you said yes because as you said “I know you guys are better than me” so we began to help. Oh you still made mistakes but you were still willing to know why, which is pretty rare amongst poker players. Then when I was ill and came back to play after some months you were one of the first to ask how I was doing in spite of your own issues and emphasized how it was important to hang in. I will always appreciate that. When all 3 of us started playing on-line with you as “Tanqueray” you would e-mail Gerry and I with questions during events which was pretty hard to do so we tried to get you to instant message us but you were convinced your computer would not allow IMs. Both Gerry and I laughed because Gerry is a computer genius and unless your computer was made out of cocoanuts we knew there was a way. But when Gerry told me about your……..well I was kind of wondering since we hadn’t gotten one of your mass joke e-mails in a while. Both Gerry and I will miss you because you are a class guy with integrity, brains, and like me didn’t suffer fools gladly. If the poker world was composed of people like you, Gerry, Lance, etc it would be a pleasure to play all the time. Wacecici Ye. It is American Indian meaning “hear these prayers I am offering you”.. Peace- Bob Schuch

  25. I went to school with Gary at Mars Hill College in North Carolina. He was a fun person … full of life. Although I had not seen him since the late 70s, I have many good memories of him. I have worked in the Clinical Laboratory field as a Medical Technologist with most of my experience in Hematology including the study of leukemias. My condolences to his family and friends. May he rest in peace.

  26. Coming up on the 3 year anniversary of Gary’s death, I’m not sure but hoping the family will get this message since I just learned of his passing & am so sad. I knew Gary from 1986-1991 aprox. He was a dear man that I had a wonderful time dating off & on. When we last spoke he wanted to tell me about his precious brother’s donation to his life & talk a bit about God. If anyone in his family would like to email me that would be nice.( Otherwise, I just want to express my sense of loss, however late, I know for certain you all still miss him dearly & your family is in my prayers tonight. Jackie.

  27. I am truly sorry to hear of Gary’s passing.He was such a friend to me. I have only very happy and fond memories, of times in N.J. Through college and beyond. We really did laugh a lot.
    We stayed in touch throughout the years. time was never an issue as we could pick up and go on as if we had never stopped talking.I will miss him.

    Condolences to all the Mallette’s
    Fondly, Joann Newell Dalton

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