I’ve never met Gary Moyers’ grandkids. Never seen his golf swing either. But I know plenty about both because those are some of the things he and I talked about as seat neighbors in Rupp Arena.
Every UK home basketball game, Gary’s bulky camera equipment would land on the table to my left and he’d take his seat before tip-off as a photographer and writer for the Cats’ Pause. He’d plop down in the awkward fold-out chair next to me in the upper-level press row and within seconds we’d be talking life — both his and mine, or whatever was going on in the world — for a brief moment or two before basketball took our attention. He often apologized if his equipment or computer obstructed my view. It never did. He’d double check though, just to be sure.
Gary passed away last night, we learned today through his longtime friend and colleague, Larry Vaught. It was completely unexpected, and has rocked the UK media community.
“Apparently God just needed my friend Gary Moyers in heaven but I sure will miss him,” Vaught wrote in a tribute to Moyers on his blog.
Darrell Bird, general manager for The Cats’ Pause, tweeted, “Such a kind soul. Loving husband and father and doting grandfather. To say that he will be missed doesn’t begin to cover it. Prayers to Debbie and family.”
“Doesn’t seem real because he was so full of life, fun and joy. Adored his family, quick with a quip and so talented. The UK beat – heck, the world – won’t be the same without him. RIP, friend,” wrote Dick Gabriel.
“Terrible, terrible news. Gary was such a wonderful human being with a kind word for everyone he ever met. No one loved his family, his work and his friends more than Gary. He has been a tremendous friend of mine for so many years. Prayers to family. RIP Gary. You are so loved,” wrote Oscar Combs.
They are some of many who have expressed their shock and heartbreak, along with their admiration of Gary Moyers and his kind soul. I won’t pretend to have known Gary as long as they did and I didn’t know him outside of UK sporting events, but for those couple hours a week during basketball season and occasional run-ins elsewhere, I enjoyed our friendly conversations. He’d go out of his way to be nice and it was genuine, a real joyful man who is gone too soon, too suddenly.
On behalf of everyone here at KSR, our deepest sympathy goes out to his family, his UK media family and friends.
(Photo of Gary Moyers courtesy of Regina Rickert/@acrphoto)