The casket bearing the remains of longtime borough merchant Laureano “Larry” Garmany, who died Saturday at age 62, arrives for funeral services at Saint James Roman Catholic Church in Red Bank Wednesday morning. Garmany’s namesake clothing store on Broad Street is visible in the background. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Laureano “Larry” Garmany, a high-end clothier whose sizable investments in downtown Red Bank helped fuel its recovery from economic torpor back to prosperity in the 1990s, died Saturday.
No cause of death was given in an obituary published late Monday, but friends said the 62-year-old Colts Neck resident suffered a stroke early on the day he died.
Garmany, a Cuban immigrant-turned-retailer, bet heavily on Red Bank when it was widely derided as “Dead Bank,” and continually upped his stake in the town. His crowning achievements: transforming the vacant former Steinbach’s department store on Broad Street into a 40,000-square-foot clothing store bearing his name, and luring Tiffany & Co. to be its next-door neighbor.
Closing existing stores in New York City and Summit, “he took all his marbles so to speak and put them into one basket at a time when things weren’t looking so good for Red Bank,” former Mayor Ed McKenna said Monday. “His faith in our ability to resurrect the town was, for me personally, a real show of confidence, and made me feel better about the vision we had for bringing Red Bank back.”