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Asheville - Larry Ray Formato died on November 3 after an arduous battle with pancreatic disease.
Born in 1949, Larry was typical of a new generation of baby boomers who discovered rock and roll.
Starting with primal riffs from a red stratocaster ripped from American surf music, Larry won "The Battle of The Bands" in 1966. After hitchhiking to Woodstock in the Summer of Love, Larry's affair with music turned into a life long marriage.
Known for complex writing and innovative melodies, Larry was considered a music virtuoso by everyone who met him. His songs detailed the working man, love and loss.
In Asheville in the 1960's, with long hair for the times, Larry was a trendsetter playing his Martin guitar locally before moving to El Dorado Springs, Colorado. Afterwards, he moved to San Francisco to perform with his writing partner. In 1976, Larry moved back to Asheville permanently to his house on Town Mountain.
It is at this house, where after saying goodbye to his beloved Mother, Lorraine Formato; his sister, Dori Legg; and brother-in-law, Howard Overshown; his baby brother, Richard Formato; his sister-in-law, Lori; his niece, Lily Page; and nephew, Jack Jack, that Larry slipped through their arms into the next great realm.
To pay the bills, Larry worked at Professional Sales and then progressed to the Director of Intake at Blue Ridge Center where he was known for using his personal experiences as life saving tools to help others.
As he moves into the mystic, Larry will be known by his fellow angels as a man who knows how to love and teach by his gentleness with a voice that when sung, will move them all to tears of joy.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday, November 21st at 2 p.m. at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Biltmore Village.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Four Seasons Hospice in Flat Rock, N.C.
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Nov. 11, 2012