Current Issue

Nov.17, 2010

Vol. 111, No. 4


Gary M. McCown ’61

Published in the Nov.17, 2010, issue

Gary died unexpectedly Aug. 12, 2010, in Richmond, Va. He was 71.

A Roanoke, Va., native, he graduated magna cum laude in English from Princeton, where he was a Chapel organist and founding member of Wilson Lodge. He earned a master’s degree from Harvard and Ph.D. at UNC, Chapel Hill.

After a Fulbright year, Gary taught at Smith and Guilford colleges before beginning his long tenure at Georgetown Day School in 1978. Colleagues and students praised him as a masterful teacher. He was a Folger Shakespeare Library Fellow, twice an NEH scholar, and a published academician. In 1990, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars named him a Distinguished Teacher of the Year. With his partner, Wresch Dawidjan, Gary owned the 12-Inch Dance Record Store in Washington, D.C.

In 2003 he retired to Richmond, where he taught English while supporting the Shakespeare company and various LGBT initiatives.

In a letter sent posthumously to a classmate, Gary envisioned his own death, writing, “My heart has been weary of my existence for quite some time.” Nearly 200 attended his memorial service in Richmond.

The class extends condolences to Gary’s brothers and their extended families and to his close friends, Wresch Dawidjan and Ronnie Whiteside.

The Class of 1961

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