The funeral of Gary Brooker MBE was a private affair, taking
place at Guildford Crematorium on 23 March 2022 at 12.45 pm.
to his fellow musicians and Procol entourage, many friends and colleagues from different spheres of Gary's life paid tribute.
Here is the eulogy delivered on behalf of Gary's sister Angela, by her daughter Joanne.
Jo, reading for Angela
I loved my Big Brother Gary. He was the only Brother I wanted and I was very proud of him.
We lost our dad, Harry, when we were young. This loss had a big impact on us both. Gary was influenced by our dad, who was also a professional musician. They enjoyed similar easy-going temperament which meant they were both popular and well liked.
Not many people know that our dad produced Gary’s first record; he was around five years old, just learning to play the piano, and recorded Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!
As teenagers our mum Violet worked on
a Saturday. I would do the housework while Gary played his music and
He constantly stopped me, insisting I come and listen to what he was playing. Later, I must have been one of the first to hear Whiter Shade of Pale, which he wrote in the front room on the family piano.
Gary's success took him away on many tours and of course he married Franky and they remained happily together for nearly 56 years. We were all very proud of Gary and loved the time we did see him. He and Franky attended my wedding to Martin and came home in the middle of a US tour especially. Gary saw our four children – Joanne, Bradley, Ellis and Nadine – all grow up to be the lovely people they are ... you will hear about this from Nadine.
Gary made his mark in the world, which is a better place for his achievements – as a musician, as a husband, a son, an uncle, a good man and for me as my Brother.
I will love him always and remember his talent, humour and generosity, also his bravery in facing this devastating illness.
We are saddened by his loss, but comforted by all that he gave us, especially his music. His distinctive voice will always be with us.
Gary Brooker's page at 'Beyond the Pale' | Official obituary page | Funeral index | More features at BtP