Gary Goodbody

Gary GoodbodyIt’s been twenty years since Gary Goodbody, whose deep bass voice was the anchor of the Whiffenpoofs, from a sudden heart attack; and in all that time he was never memorialized in these class notes So this eulogy, written recently by pitchpipe Norm Hile with input from the other Whiffs, will attempt to make up for that omission:

“Gary died far too early. At the time he was a successful world banker as well as a leader in environmental causes in rural Connecticut. To me, Gary was a wonderful friend and fellow songster. I still miss him tremendously.
“I first met him in the summer of 1963 at a welcome reception for incoming Yale freshmen that his parents hosted at their home in Madison, N.J. I liked his bright smile and friendly swagger, both of which were trademarks throughout his life. And his mustache, for which his mother offered us a $100 bounty if we could deliver just half of it to her, was a distinctive touch.

“Gary was a member of St. Anthony Hall and sang with the Duke’s Men. ln spring 1966 he was sung in as a member of the 1967 Whiffenpoofs, having been given the moniker ‘Toot-toot-tootsie’ and the job of Cigar Meister. Gary’s deep bass voice and warm smile were crowd pleasers, and his easy manner formed part of the glue that made our group as close as any Whiff group before or since.

“The day after our graduation he and I drove non-stop across the U.S. to explore the West Coast. After a month together in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle, Gary headed back East to begin his two-year stint with the Peace Corps in Brazil. His assignment took him to rural oceanside communities north of Rio de Janeiro to set up fishing cooperatives. When I visited him in Rio in July 1968 he was in his element, charming the locals and working enthusiastically to promote the efforts of the Peace Corps. After completing his Peace Corps stint, Gary enrolled at Harvard Business School, then he began a career with Citibank, largely in Latin America.

“As a Whiff, Tootsie’s contributions went far beyond his deep voice and friendly smile. In late August 1966, to get our group off the ground, he and his family hosted the ‘67 Whiffs at the Goodbody compound in Brooklin, Maine, as we undertook to master our concert repertoire. It was a blissful week of song, camaraderie and fresh lobster. Just as significant, in 1992 Gary and his wonderful wife Ann hosted the ‘67 Whiffs for a week at their home in Sharon, Connecticut to allow us to round into singing shape for our class’s 25th reunion and our unforgettable (to us) Friday night concert at Woolsey Hall. What a wonderful retreat it was!

“Gary is sorely missed by all of us ‘67 Whiffs. We all cherished singing with him, playing golf, or just talking on the phone with him whenever we could. Our fond memories of ‘Tootsie’ will remain with us always.”