In Memoriam

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David Gancher ’64

David Gancher ’64, February 23, 1996, from cancer. David attended Reed for one year in 1960–61. In 2012, Josh Gancher ’16, informed the 1964 class committee of his uncle’s death and Leslie Mueller Stewart ’64 found a 1996 obituary by Tom Turner, “David Gancher: He was a hub," printed in the San Francisco Examiner. Tom and David met in the Peace Corps in Ankara, Turkey, where David taught English. “He was good at nearly everything that counts: writing prose, songs, and poems; playing guitar, bass, and piano; singing, cooking, talking, listening. Being a spouse and a dad. Yet he had little need to be recognized. No arrogance. No self-importance. Massive, brilliant talent, and no need to say so. His talent was to use and give and share unselfconsciously—for joy, for fun. The human being is put on earth to have fun. Beauty is fun. And funny is fun. Some people are hubs. They have scores of friends: spokes, who meet each other on the rim of the wheel but owe their friendships to the common acquaintance at the center. David was one of them. He attracted people the way a light attracts moths, but his light singed no one. He lived many overlapping lives. I brought him into environmental work to answer phones at Not Man Apart [1974]; within a few weeks he was writing the best pieces in the paper. His career already deserved to be called checkered: teaching English in a Turkish prep school, cook in a soup kitchen, music reviewer for Rolling Stone, knitter of sweaters, and others I don’t know about. He went from the environment into computers, persuading ComputerLand to start a magazine and take him on to edit it. In all those lives, I don’t believe he ever made an enemy.”

Appeared in Reed magazine: online only

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