Garrie Vereen 1961 – 2011
The Vereen and Widespread Panic Families again wish to thank the many, many friends who have shared their Love and support during the strange, sad time following Garrie’s passing two months ago.
Garrie’s departure has officially been ruled suicide by the Chief State medical officer. Finally. Presumed details can be found through other “official” news sources; I submit that Garrie found himself in an acute and foreign mental / emotional state of being, and after an extreme and irreversible series of moments, we lost a wonder-full guy.
Obviously, due to the very personal and incomplete nature of the investigation up to this point, it would have been inappropriate to elaborate beyond the original statements presented on the Widespread Panic website.
Fortunately, a long awaited ruling by the case officers, as well as uninformed speculation by a very few did not prevent the most important process to take place. Healing. It will be a long undertaking, but the result will be one that Garo’s Family, Friends, and Garrie himself deserve. Thank you for your continued best wishes for this happier outcome.
Garrie Vereen was a man generous with his laughter, Love of Family, and an enviable gift for revealing strangers as friends to be discovered. You will be sadly and sweetly missed, Garo.
Thanks to all who continue to share the Power of his Kinship.
Sincerely, John Bell
These have been sad, sad days since Garrie’s too soon and sudden passing.
Along with my usual internal mutterings, the phrase “salt of the Earth” is also coming through. Looking up the meaning in today’s words, it translates “Those of great worth and reliability.” That was Mr. Vereen. From the moment he pulled his truck up to our Band house on King ave. to help schlep gear in 1986, Garrie became the ambassador for Widespread Panic to the rest of the music world. He set the example for loyalty, candid honesty, working hard, and a readiness to laugh at any appropriate moment. We benefit from his un-wavering example because he was being all that, and I sincerely submit that he was and is the best of us.
Cub scout troop leader, Habitat for humanity contributor, swimming pool chicken fight champion – Garrie was also the go to guy outside of the rock and roll arena. One of many friends described him as the “neighborhood fix-it man,” helping put things (anything) back in working order when he knew he could be of help.
Back in the day, Garo built a stage for a party out in the country. We came around the next afternoon to pick up our gear, and Garrie was putting the finishing touches on a playhouse for his son, Colin – the stage had been transformed.
Bottom line – He Loved his Family, his work, making friends, having friends make friends; be it structures or relationships, Garrie really liked to build things.
Garrie has been such a good friend to so many; a lot of tears, stories, and healing are now being shared forever. Please remember though, for Garrie and Windy’s Family, especially the littlest ones, re-entry into a “normal,” happy life is hard to imagine right now. As smart as these kids are (and they’re freaky smart), all they can be asked to fathom is that their Dad’s not coming back from this “permanent road trip” (that was nine year old Everett Vereen’s analogy).
Thanks to all who continue to offer the Vereen family their support while respecting the private and delicate nature of these moments and days to come.
We all miss you, Sir.
The Vereen Family Trust has been set up at First American Bank & Trust 300 College Avenue, Athens, GA 30601
For people wishing to send memorials via paypal for Garrie they may do so by making a payment to paypal user-id: VereenFamilyTrust@gmail.com.