It's with a heavy heart that I write you all to inform you of the tragic
passing of our dear friend and teammate, Larry Galbraith. The Twin City
Spinners NWBA team had travelled to Rochester, NY this weekend (April 16 2011) to play
in a memorial tournament in remembrance of Steve Barbato, another
wheelchair basketball player who left this world much too soon. Larry
wasn't feeling well in our first game, something which he attributed to
heartburn from the breakfast he had eaten. There was nothing to indicate
to any of us that Larry was in trouble. After the game Larry went
outside and started to feel quite ill. An ambulance was called and
people onsite treated Larry until the paramedics arrived. In spite of
everything that was done for Larry, it appears that he suffered a heart
attack and passed away before reaching the local hospital. Our team
found out the news during our second game of the tournament and we were
all numb with disbelief. How could our friend have been taken from us so
quickly? We were shocked as I'm sure that many of you are.

Larry has been a member of the Twin City Spinners for over 25 years. He
was our Mister Dependable. You could always count on Larry to be there
and to be there on time. If Larry said he would do something then you
knew it would get done. Larry was not only respected by the people in
our club, he was well respected in the wheelchair basketball community
and he will be missed by us all. He was a father figure to some, a voice
of reason when needed, and a friend to many. Wheelchair basketball was a
big part of his life and he touched so many of our lives in a special
way. Even at 60 years of age, he rarely missed a practice and he
travelled with our teams wherever we went. He was a real trooper.

I am not aware of any funeral arrangements at this time but I will let
you all know once I hear something. Arrangements will need to made to
bring Larry back to Canada and I'm not sure when that will be.

If you have any special memories that you have of Larry that you would
like to share with us then please send those to me. I would like to put
something together for Larry's family just to let them know how much
Larry meant to all of us.

Rest in peace our dear friend. You fought a good fight.

Bruce Russell
Twin City Spinners

I would like to begin this month by relaying the sad news of the passing of Larry Galbraith of the Kitchener Twin City Spinners. Larry began to feel ill during a recent NWBA game at a tournament in Rochester, NY. He passed away shortly after that game. Our thoughts and prayers from the WBC family go out to his friends, relatives and team-mates.

 

I knew Larry from the years I played on the Toronto Spitfires. I respected him greatly because of his competitiveness on the court and his gentlemanly behavior afterwards. No matter how hard I played him (eliciting some curses and a firm footplate from him), he was always nice and friendly toward me after the game. It was great to see that attitude in a sport that sometimes creates ill will that survives after the game. He was truly a stalwart in this game playing any chance he could and did so for the love of the game, not wins and losses. Death is always tragic, personally, I feel at peace knowing Larry passed away playing a sport he truly loved and devoted a large part of his life to.

Jerry Tonello

Head coach of te Canadian Men's Paraplegic team, and a player on the Spitfires