Posted by denisegoitia | Filed under News & Notes
Larry Wisch grew up in an extended community in the North Bronx in New York, NY. Socialized medicine, cooperative daycare, nursery schools, and union organizing were part of his original view of the world, and chicken soup and other
As a boy
wonderful Jewish Eastern European smells permeated the hallways and apartments where he was raised.
Larry was interested in ecology and community his entire life. He received a degree in Urban Human Ecology from Antioch College in 1975 and a Certificate of Horticulture from The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in 1977. Shortly thereafter he began working as a horticulturalist and horticulture instructor. In 1980, he co-founded San Francisco’s first limited equity housing cooperative. From 1985 to 2004 he expressed his entrepreneurial spirit by starting and running two different market research companies: Larry Wisch Associates and Blarry House Research, which he co-founded with his partner of many years, Barry Zeve.
In the early 80s
Larry pursued a lifelong quest for healing and wellness that included a deep belief in the power of nutrition to keep people healthy. Having been HIV positive since the mid 1980s, Larry sought to build and maintain his health holistically, whenever possible, and was an active member in the Alive and Well HIV alternative movement for many years. In 1999 and 2000 Larry fought a heroic battle against lymphatic cancer that threatened his life, emerging healthy and strong. He was cancer-free for the last 12 years of his life.
Larry’s passion for holistic wellness led him to the Weston A. Price Foundation, and in 2005 he became the San Francisco Chapter Leader. Also in 2005 he began meeting with the four women who would join him in becoming the co-founders of Three Stone Hearth Cooperative, Inc. a Community Supported Kitchen in Berkeley.
Larry was one of the driving forces behind the creation of Three Stone Hearth. His energy and enthusiasm for nutrient- dense food combined with his passion for social entrepreneurship were critical to building the momentum to make this enterprise possible. He was indefati-
gable as we formulated our vision and business plan in 2005-2006: driving to Sacramento to file our Articles of
TSH Co-founders holding Articles of Incorporation (Left to right: Larry Wisch, Jessica Prentice, Porsche Combash, Catherine Spanger, and Misa Koketsu)
Incorporation, scouring the Bay Area for available kitchen spaces, and soliciting investment from our supporters.
After we opened our doors in the summer of 2006, Larry’s efforts focused on customer service, and he was often the “face of the business” to many members of the community. Larry also formulated our early line of kombuchas and coolers.
In December of 2008, when we were forced to move from our Aquatic Park location to our current University Avenue location, Larry approached the challenge with superhuman strength, supervising the movement of our equipment and supplies over just a few short days so that we didn’t miss a single week of offering food to our customers.
Soon thereafter, Larry began to struggle with his health, and began an extended leave of absence in early 2009. Over the last three years, he struggled with complications related to HIV & AIDS, and in October 2011 he decided it would be best to step down and retire from the Cooperative and the Board.
Giancarlo and Larry
In August of 2005 Larry met Giancarlo Calabrese who became his faithful partner and, later, his devoted caretaker. In March of 2009 the couple moved from Larry’s house in San Francisco to a home in Berkeley nearer to the kitchen. In this home Giancarlo cared for Larry over the past three years with a commitment and care that were inspiring to all who witnessed it. He was at his side on the afternoon of Saturday, May 5, when Larry died peacefully in his home.
In addition to Giancarlo, Larry is survived by his brother Alec Wisch, his mother Harriette Koved, stepfather Sol Koved, and an extended family of friends. Larry’s vibrant spirit lives on in the hearts of all who loved him.
Three Stone Hearth will have an altar area set up at the kitchen and members of the community are invited to contribute offerings to the altar in memory of Larry. Cards may also be sent care of the kitchen:
1581 University Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94703
Giancarlo will pick them up here and share them with the family.
A memorial service celebrating Larry’s life will be announced at a later date.
We miss you, Larry!!