Panchito, otherwise known as Gary Francis Gray, died this week. Panchito was a vibrant, healthy soul who, though retired, still herded carts at the Westwood Target. He also spent hours walking through the neighborhood. During cold or rainy days he would stop by the café for a big mug of hot coffee and a maple bar. He spoke great Spanish and had recently taken up Vietnamese. He was only 62 years old.
Not one to be left behind by any immigrant group, Panchito had recently taken it upon himself to learn Vietnamese. In Spanish or Vietnamese, there was not a hint of an accent when he spoke. He saw what the immigrant community was doing for
We have lost a tolerant and vibrant being in Panchito. Sadly, we have also lost a gentle soul. I grieve for my friend and for this community.