Gary Tischler, The Georgetowner’s longest-serving and most prolific writer, died on April 8 at the age of 78, succumbing to complications from mesothelioma and heart disease. Well known throughout the arts community, Tischler joined The Georgetowner newspaper in 1980.
In his 40 years with the neighborhood newspaper — “Whose Influence Far Exceeds Its Size” — Tischler acknowledged that he had written a lot of stories, the first of which were about Ted Kennedy running for president and a profile of burlesque dancer Blaze Starr (not in the same story, mind you).
“To say that I’ve written more than 2,000 stories would not be an exaggeration,” Tischler wrote a few years ago. “I’ve met a lot of people, accumulated cherished friends and acquaintances and spent a lot of time talking with people, in person and on the phone. Not to mention bathing in experiences and occasions, openings, plays, concerts, rallies and protests, swearing-ins, courtroom trials, government meetings, parades and, more and more often, funerals.”
“The tremendous loss of Gary Tischler will be felt by many for years to come. Gary was our best — loyal, kind, smart and strong — fighting until the end against his illness,” said Georgetowner Publisher Sonya Bernhardt. “What I’ll miss the most is his soft way and calmness, when providing advice based on years of experience and wisdom. We are heartbroken.”
Said Georgetowner Editor in Chief Robert Devaney: “Gary was the heart and soul of The Georgetowner. What a great writer he was. What a good man he was. He was loved by many and taught all of us so much — most of all about humanity.”
Gerhardt “Gary” Tischler was born in Munich, Germany, on Dec. 3, 1941. He moved with his mother and stepfather to Ohio in 1950. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma. During the Vietnam War era, he served in the U.S. Army. Later, he lived in the San Francisco Bay area, working at newspapers from Marin County to Hayward, California.
He is survived by his wife Carole Muller of Washington, D.C., where they lived together on Lanier Place NW. He is also survived by his son, Boyd Irons of Orlando, Florida.
Still, Tischler said (wrote) it best: “As for myself, I have had the good fortune to be a witness to all kinds of history, thanks in no small part to a partner that encourages and abets that good fortune. Writing and reporting, journalism and newspapers are all about people, all kinds of people.”
The Georgetowner plans to hold a celebration of the life of Gary Tischler for its anniversary party at a later date.