Dick and Lynn Gury were a team for 62 years, raising their family while contributing to the lives of families throughout the south Sacramento area as consummate sports and music boosters.
“My dad always said, ‘Come on, Lynn, let’s go,’ ” recalled their son Larry Gury, and that is how they left this world.
Richard Victor Gury, 85, died at 4:09 a.m. Saturday in hospice care. His wife, Marilyn Madeline Westfall Gury, 83, died at 12:49 p.m. the same day in a Sacramento-area hospital after recently undergoing emergency surgeries for pancreatitis.
The couple were known for helping put on fundraising bingo for nonprofit organizations throughout the Sacramento area through Sacramento Consolidated Charities, an organization they formed after years of raising money for Little League and the Kennedy High School music program.
Larry Gury was a sophomore at Kennedy High School in 1969 when band director Nick Angiulo, thinking to recruit a student with a driver’s license, offered $5 to anyone willing to transport band instruments to games and performances. Angiulo said Larry Gury came to his office the next day and said, “My dad will do it.”
That was the beginning of a 15-year working relationship and a lasting friendship between the two men, Angiulo said.
“Dick was a parent volunteer, but he took on responsibilities that allowed me to emphasize what I was supposed to do, which was to teach,” Angiulo said.
He described Dick Gury as a goal-oriented person who was able to get parents organized and to work hard.
As the band grew over the years from 38 to about 165 members, so did its parent support. From the Gurys’ 1953 GMC pickup, the band’s transportation fleet grew to include a semi-truck and trailer, purchased through fundraising efforts, vans and a motorhome, which served as Angiulo’s office on the road.
“We looked like the Roman army going into Egypt,” Angiulo said.
The band became known nationwide, representing California in bicentennial parades in Washington, D.C, and Philadelphia in 1976, playing at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, and making several trips to Alaska.
The fundraising activities also allowed the school to equip the band with the best instruments, Angiulo said.
While her husband handled business matters for the band, Lynn Gury helped design and sew outfits for the color guard and drill teams.
Dick was a parent volunteer, but he took on responsibilities that allowed me to emphasize what I was supposed to do, which was to teach.
Nick Angiulo, former Kennedy High School band director
The Gurys’ community activities were not limited to music. Moving to Sacramento in 1955, they bought a house near Florin Road and eventually became involved in the Willow Rancho Little League. Dick Gury ran for president in 1965, and oversaw rebuilding of two ballfields, putting in fences, dugouts and sponsor boards, his son said. A third field was added to start a farm team.
In 1971, Dick Gury built an additional ballfield behind his house and watered it with his backyard hose.
Dick Gury was born Aug. 21, 1930, in Berkeley. He graduated from Berkeley High School and attended UC Berkeley before serving in the Marines from January 1948 to June 1950. He re-enlisted in the Air Force in October 1950 and served in the Korean War.
He was completing his military service in West Palm Beach, Fla., when he met his future wife.
Lynn Gury was born June 10, 1932, in Detroit. She moved to West Palm Beach with her parents in 1950.
The Gurys were married May 2, 1953, and moved to Berkeley in 1954, where Dick Gury went to work for Wonder Bread. He was later transferred to Sacramento. He completed a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Armstrong College in 1957, with the help of his wife, who aided him in researching papers. Dick Gury worked in radio and TV as an account executive, but the job didn’t allow him enough time with his family.
He became a mail carrier, a job he held for 20 years, often running his route so he could get to school in time for band practice, his son recalled.
Larry Gury said his mother worked part time 25 years for the state Board of Equalization, a job that allowed her to spend time with her children and to be involved in their activities.
Dick Gury eventually took on operation of Sacramento Consolidated Charities as a full-time job, running the bingo hall and organizing volunteers to raise funds for nonprofit groups throughout the Sacramento area.
Larry Gury said he learned the importance of hard work and responsibility from his father, who always told him to “Work hard first and play later.”
In addition to their son, Larry of Loomis, Dick and Lynn Gury are survived by daughter Susan Gury Spencer of Fresno and son David Norman Gury of Elk Grove, as well as seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
A Rosary will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph Church, 32890 S. River Road, Clarksburg, and a memorial Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Oct. 29 at St. Anthony’s Church, 660 Florin Road, Sacramento. A celebration of the Gurys’ lives will be held in the reception area at the church following the Mass.
Memorial contributions may be made to the couple’s favorite charities, KVIE Public Television, St. Joseph Church in Clarksburg or the American Behcet’s Disease Association.