October 12, 1950 ~ May 7, 2009
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 www.leukemia-lymphoma.org.
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