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June 30, 1953
March 14, 2014
With peace, comfort and love surrounding him, Jerry Garrity passed away on March 14, 2014 at his home with his wife and soul mate Suzy at his side. Jerry fought a short but courageous battle against a very rare and aggressive form of kidney cancer. But as tough as he was, this battle could not be won. Jerry was loved by all and will be deeply missed.
Jerry was born in Oakland, CA on June 30, 1953. As a young boy he developed a fondness for Nevada after spending numerous summers with his Aunt and Uncle in Winnemucca. His Uncle owned a small casino in Winnemucca called Scotty's Club. This early introduction to Nevada casinos developed into a lifelong passion for Jerry for casino history in Las Vegas, Winnemucca and of course Reno.
He attended St. Augustine's Grammar School in Oakland and then St. Mary's college high school in Berkeley CA. St Mary's was an all boys catholic high school, owned and operated by the Christian Brothers. In addition to social activities, (and girls), Jerry excelled in football. In 1971 he was awarded varsity offensive most valuable player. The Panthers went on that year to win the 1971 Catholic Athletic League championship. The friendships that came out of this "band of brothers" are a source of inspiration and are stronger now than ever. Within the past year, Jerry organized sierra ski trips and a mountain hike to the top of Mt Rose for those willing to follow his lead. All the wonderful friendships and support from St. Mary's helped him every day during his recent crisis in so many ways.
Jerry's primary career was broker/owner of First Statewide Realty in Cupertino, CA which he opened in 1988, a successful real estate and property management company for over 25 years. He just recently transferred the company to his son Greg and his son's business partner. Jerry's father was also a real estate broker in Oakland. Jerry was so proud of having three generations of Garrity's as real estate brokers.
He spent many years in Willow Glen, CA with his former wife, Marie-Claude and son Greg. He was active in sports with his son's football and baseball teams. The family enjoyed summer camping trips to Big Basin State Park. They were known for producing some great Halloween parties which are still talked about today. Jerry also loved creating and organizing the "dream hole" golf tournaments for his golf buddies.
Destiny brought Jerry and Suzy together. Best friends for the past 10 years they shared a passion for the outdoors, hiking Tahoe and Reno,( even to the top of Mt. Tallac), skiing, gardening, love of music, travel, some gaming, football and showing their classic muscle cars. They attended many special car events in California and Nevada.
As mentioned earlier, Jerry's love of Nevada and casino history started at an early age. Over the years he accumulated collectibles and a vast knowledge that he loved to share with his Reno friends who also love Nevada history. Show and tell was common, and he often would have friends over to see the musical video production he perfected highlighting Reno history for the past 100 years. These friendships with those who love Nevada history as much as he did meant the world to him.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Suzy Polich, son Greg Garrity ( San Jose), brother Tom Garrity (Oakland), and former spouse, Marie-Claude Garrity(Willow Glen, CA). He is proceeded in death by his parents, Clarence and Marjory Garrity.
Memorial services will be held in Oakland, CA at Chapel of the Chimes in the Julia Morgan Chapel on Saturday, March 29. Visitation and viewing is scheduled between 1:00 and 2:00 with the service to begin at 2:00. A memorial celebration to honor Jerry will follow at the Garrity family home in Oakland - also known as "Jerry's court".
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Mary's College High School. Please call 1-510-559-6227 for further information.
Chapel of the Chimes
4499 Piedmont Avenue
Oakland, CA 94611
Published in Reno Gazette-Journal on Mar. 23, 2014