After losing husband to COVID-19 in NY, St. Jude backer vows to continue mission

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Rosalyn and Gary Washington (St. Jude photo)

Urban News Staff Reports

Gary Washington could scarcely walk through his Bronx neighborhood without drawing a throng of kids clamoring to be entertained by the larger-than-life character they called “the magic man.” He didn’t disappoint, either, generating giggles as he pretended to pull coins from behind his ear or blow them out his nose.

“He was a really corny comedian,” said his wife, Rosalyn.

The 56-year-old lifelong New Yorker had a sensitive side, as well. Once, while volunteering at a radiothon benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, he met a young girl suffering from cancer and struggled to keep her from seeing the tears welling in his eyes. His own mother had died from cancer, and all these years later, Rosalyn said, “it still affected him.”

Washington, who died last month from COVID-19, shared with his wife a passion for helping people – be it through community service or supporting food pantries, soup kitchens and philanthropies.

Read more on St. Jude's blog.

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