This web site is a memorial to those individuals who were passionate about the reform of the
Roman Catholic liturgy as set forth in Sacrosanctum Concilium (the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy)
and who now, in eternal life, worship the God whom they served in this life.

Larry Gully

Larry Gully
1946 — 1990

Larry Gully was born in Elrosa, MN, and spent his childhood on the family farm. The family then moved to South St. Paul, MN, for some years then to Paynesville, MN, where his parents, Mike ad Lauretta Gully, owned and operated a restaurant. Larry attended Crosier Seminary High School, Onamia, MN, from 1959—1963.

Larry received his Doctorate in Music in June, 1974. The Research Faculty of the University of Munich, West Germany, joined the Regents of the University of Minnesota, in bestowing the PhD on Doctor Gully, graduating magna cum laude, and raised to the academic title of Associate Professor of Medieval Musicology.

He had already held a double M.A. in Divinity and Music from St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN, and the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

The faculty and student body of the University’s Minneapolis campus also selected him for their “Citizens Award," a distinguished honor given to a student for contributions to the campus in setting high morale and positive spirit within a complex University community.

While at the University of Minnesota, Larry was the university organist at Northrup Auditorium and upon graduation continued to teach at the University. At the (1973?) American Guild of Organists Convention in Atlanta, GA, Larry won first place in the nation in hymn improvisation. As winner of the national honor, Larry received a $1000 post-doctoral scholarship and a trip to Holland where he would participate in the international competition for hymn improvisation. In the Atlanta competition Larry won first place honors over 25 semi-finalists before an audience of several thousand people. At a party given in his honor at the Sheraton Hotel in Atlanta following the competition, he was congratulated by such notables as Leonard Bernstein, E. Power Biggs and Frederick Swann.

Larry was devoted to the Catholic church and threw himself into liturgical music. Following his graduation from the University of Minnesota, he was hired by the Church of St. Mary in Little Falls, MN, as their organist and choir director, while continuing to teach at the University of Minnesota. He was later hired by the Church of St. Edward in Bloomington, MN, where he served as organist and choirmaster until his death in 1990.

Dody Heroux, a member of the choir at the Church of St. Mary, Little Falls, MN, remembers Larry as an influential organist. “He introduced new hymns and musical selections that we never used before. He was a really good leader.” Larry started a practice in Little Falls where churches from around the area would send their choirs to a gathering to perform a Hymn Festival. “These ecumenical festivals were quite popular,” said Heroux, and Helen Pikal, an organist who was in the choir at the time. “Larry was a marvelous, marvelous organist,” Heroux said. “He had many friends here in Little Falls. He was a terrific talent that we’re going to miss. He did a lot for music in this community.” Pikal was impressed with the way Larry would improvise when playing the organ. “In between verses he did his own improvisation. That’s not easy. He was real spirited in his playing. He got the people going.” Pikal also said that Larry was a humorous man. “We had a real good time with him personally, too. He was a fun-loving man.” Heroux said that Gully’s parents often would attend St. Mary’s for special occasions to hear their son’s music. “His family was always here. That always meant a lot to him.”

At the young age of 44, Dr. Larry Gully died on Jan. 11, 1990, from complications due to HIV/AIDS. The Mass of Christian Burial was held at the Church of St. Edward, Bloomington, MN, and burial was at the Church of St. Louis Catholic Cemetery, Paynesville, MN. He was survived by his parents, Mike and Lauretta Gully, Paynesville, and a brother, Allan, of Tempe, Ariz.