In Memoriam | Larry Nathan

By Melanie Nathan, May 14, 2013.

To My Cousin Larry,

Larry left and Dad right with my daughter who is now 16-

For your Funeral Larry some hours from now – My heart is broken.  I am writing this for you here Larry, on my BLOG, because I know what that will mean to you – ever grateful for your undying support of my work and your encouragement. It will live on…

When we were little we used to pretend we were Spanish dancers. You used to yell OLE’ and we would swirl and twirl and then collapse on the floor and scream with laughter. We were camp even then! For some reason we thought that was so funny. Those days – we were so small and the world seemed so big.

And then you became the party – a legend and your dance became everyone’s – you shared it with all – everyone danced because of you Larry.  And the world became small.

Cousins and best friends, in our own universe where sometimes it felt as if there were no adults.

We cared for each other- we lived together, we confided in each other with our deepest secrets. And all those years ago you were one of the few who never judged. It was safe to talk to you. I know it was the same for you!

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 11.20.54 PMWe used to drive around Johannesburg “jolling;”  I had just got my license and my car and would pick you up and we would go on “Monty” hunts because you wanted to see where he was – to tell him that he needed to be a father to you. It was just us, teens, and the adults nowhere to be found – they wanted the silence and to pretend the pain was not there.

We saw him on a roof once and both jumped out of the car and yelled at him to get off that roof and “man up.”  You had so much courage Larry.

Your life was not easy but you never spoke about it and you never showed the strain.

Instead, you were always there for others and ensured your loyalty and friendship to all and it was always unconditional.

Many may not realize what you had to overcome.  All you ever did was laugh and show your carefree self.

Until you saw a dark day when you were shattered by grave injustice.

But you climbed and climbed and then got on with making the most of these last years of your life, sometimes so lonely, as best you could. And you wondered where everyone had gone.

But you see, Lar, they were not gone…. they are here and they are loving you – they have always been here.

We had an unbreakable special bond that will always be there- even with you gone from this phase.  You would always tell me how much you loved me, and compliment me on how I looked, on my work, encouraging me to keep up my activism, telling me you were proud of me,  giving me your opinions, checking up on the kids. I am not sure who will do that anymore – in the same way as you did.

I feel so honored to have been a full witness to your life and how you overcame the odds, always with an expression of love and that soulful giggle which none can forget.

We did so much and together we made a PARTY of life’s troubles. We made it better than it was. So many loved you and will always remember you that way.

You were there for me LAR and I am going to miss my loyal loving cousin. I truly felt your love and I don’t know how it is going to be not hearing from you every week.

Whenever Skype rings here in San Francisco, I am going to think it is you.  It is hard to imagine that Sundays will come and go and there will be no more calls. I am going to miss you. I Love you LAR and wish I could have hugged you just one last time.

You have gone far too young…. I wish there could have been more….

Rest in peace beloved Larry, Your Cuz Mel.

Funeral Westpark Cemetery, Johannesburg, South Africa 12.30 PM 14/05/2013.

Prayers are on Sunday 18th at Sandringham Gardens Shul, 1st Floor main building at 5pm.

Unveiling of Tombstone for Larry Nathan

Please join us in honoring the life of Larry Nathan, who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year.


The consecration and unveiling of the tombstone marking Larry Nathan’s grave will be held on Sunday December 08, 2013  at 10.00 am at West Park Cemetery, Johannesburg at 10.30 AM, following the consecration of the tombstone for Larry’s mother, Sonia Nathan, which will be at 10.00 am same day and place.

18 thoughts on “In Memoriam | Larry Nathan

  1. I am most upset to have lost such a good friend. He was always there for you when you needed him. He was TRUE friend. Loyal and dependable. I will miss his company with Arum, his jokes, and warm generous nature. I will miss getting updated with all the news which is was always on top of and miss his awesome laugh. I knew Larry since the first days of my clubbing / music career about 20 years ago now. It was only the last 10 and especially the last 5 that I grew to know Larry. He was not afraid to be himself and was proud of his heritage. He was always so complimentary and as we cultivated a deep friendship he became a loving and supportive friend. I looked forward to our weekly visits and will weep for the next few weeks as there is now a void in my routine which I really will miss. Rest in Peace buddy.

  2. Dear Melanie and all of your family, I know your pain and send all my love to all of you. Sounds like Cousin Larry was a force to be reckoned with, sweet and funny. Every time you see his star, you will feel warm and happy. Therefore Cousin Larry achieved his mission in this life. Wow, his next life will be even more incredible. Mel, we see the tear of your collar and honor your contemplation time.

  3. Dear Melanie,

    My sincerest condolences to you, your family, & Larry’s friends. He sounds like a wonderful guy. Very sad day. 😦

  4. Mel, I am so sorry. I didn’t know your cousin but he sounded such a fantastic person. Take care. xxx

  5. Oh Melanie, touching words my deepest sympathy to you and the family. Larry was a great personality and caring human being. Much Love

  6. It was nice to know larry. Met him at 21 in 1990 joburg! Saw him the last time in 1994! But the memories is still great! Thanks for sharing and letting us know!

  7. I got to know Larry in the wild clubbing days of the Rosebank club scene and ESP. He really was one of a kind, sometimes seemingly-aggressive on the outside, but when you got to know him, you were treated to the most infectious laugh! Whenever he saw me in a shopping centre he would shout my name so loudly and I’d laugh (and cringe a little!). He didn’t make any excuses for who he was and lived out loud! Fly high, Larry…

  8. Hello Melanie, my twin sister and I knew Larry back during the heydays of Idols clubbing. He always made us feel truly welcomed at the door and really looked out for us back then by telling us off if he thought our friends were skanky…he was a hoot. I am talking way back in the early ’90ies, when apartheid just was beginning to end. We were from Durban (mixed-Coloured girls) and Larry’s advise back then was real and true. We would sometimes meet up with him on Sunday’s for late brunch at the old Jewish bakery parallel to Rockey Street in Yeoville. We met great people through him and never had to pay at Idols and had great times dancing.
    Now we live in Germany with kids of our own, whom we now caution about over doing it on a night on the town.
    You look familiar, meaning we might have met you back then.
    Love the fab pictures you have posted of him…he looks so Larry!

    Will always remember him.

    Yvette Wrigley (my twin is Yvonne)

    1. Thanks Yvette. That is the nicest note and means so much to me. I was living in teh USA ion the 90’s, however spent a few months staying at Larry – I think in 1989 and then again during the 90’s I would visit and go with him to IDOLS. Too much fun – . I too have kids now and get what you are saying re the clubbing. Please stay in touch and feel free to friend via FB/ etc.

  9. Dear Melanie,

    Such an awesome tribute to Larry.

    He would be smiling at this!

    Wish you long life and my deepest sympathy on your loss.

    May his memories be filled with happiness and joy!!

    Warm Regards

    Mike Jankelowitz

  10. Dear Melanie,

    I knew Larry though many years of Sundays at ESP. As per an earlier post – he could seem a bit agressive on the outside, but was a wonderful person on the inside. I had not been in contact for more than 10 years now and am saddned by his passing. It feels like the end of an era. All the best you you and your family.

    Rob Picton

  11. So so sorry for your loss of this amazing man. He was loved by many. And will be missed. I only found out today that he is gone. I am shattered. Wish there was one more day so that I could say good bye. Heart broken!!

    1. Thank you Rochelle, grateful for the love still extending to Larry. His memory will live through the friends he touched through his life. That means a great deal.

  12. I am shocked & saddened to have learnt off Larry’s passing only today. You were one in a milion my friend and your legacy will surely live on. Rest in everlasting peace dear man!

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