You can access a PDF of the program from the October 19, 2012 funeral service for John via the following link:
John was a very special person and a marvelous arts manager. His charm, warmth and enthusiasm encouraged me to book nearly all of the artists he represented and I was never disappointed. He was upfront and sincere. He knew both my daughters and always asked about them. He would take us to lunch and was a wonderful host.
One December 11 in New York, my birthday, I went to a party at Sheldon Soffer’s apartment and John was there with a number of ISPA friends. To my great surprise, they had a present just for me. It was a guy, unknown to all, dressed in a loin cloth and nothing else!! He was my “gift” and I was supposed to put notes and dollar bills in his loin cloth. How embarrassing! John and my other “friends” got a huge laugh out of this. I think it “made” the party, and fortunately, I haven’t had anymore gifts like that since! I recall that John took many photos, but I never saw them! Maybe they are in his collection. We all had fun that December.
We are all sad about losing John. He was unique.
– Margaret King Stanley
Friends and colleagues of John are invited to share their stories, observations and pictures of him on this website. They can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org. A confirmation email will be sent when they have been posted.
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Friends and family are profoundly saddened by the death of John Udry at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City on October 14. Born in Miami on November 25, 1926, he arrived in New York on VE Day, 1945, and made it his home for the next 67 years. A passionate lover of the arts, he attended the openings of innumerable Broadway shows, operas, dance performances, movies and rock concerts. His professional career began as a mail clerk at NBC in 1950. In 1958 he joined National Concert Artists Corp and subsequently embarked on a distinguished sales career in arts management, working with Continental Concert Services and the agencies of impresarios Sheldon Soffer, Herbert Barrett, Thea Dispeker and Jeannette Gardner. From 1985-86 he worked at UCLA’s Center for the Performing Arts. He was instrumental in shaping the careers of several major artists in the worlds of music and dance, among them Pilobolus, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Molissa Fenley, Mark Morris, Elly Ameling and Momix. An inveterate world traveler, he befriended a wide range of superstar performers, ranging from Noel Coward to Vivien Leigh and Marlene Dietrich. He is survived by his beloved sister Rita Moss, of Lake Mary, FL. John will be deeply missed for his grace, passion for the arts, effervescent sense of humor and unbounded love for New York City, his family and friends.
A funeral service was held Friday, October 19, at 3 pm at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, 152 W. 71st Street, New York. An additional memorial service is being planned for late November or early December in New York.
I learned last night that my friend John Udry in NYC, the one with whom I had been doing the oral history died Sunday evening. Such an amazing and generous spirit. Writing the initial draft of his obituary was surprisingly easy this afternoon, the highlights of his life being very clear from all our time together. One of the most positive and joyful people I’ve ever met, even when he was faced with physical difficulties. I feel like the oral history project will always be incomplete now, but is, in another way, meant to be that way. The story of our lives, the bright ones at least, are as much about the impact we have on others, as any of our own accomplishments. John’s professional achievements were really modest in comparison to his personal ones, including the amazing circle of friends with which he shared, and received so much love. In telling his many stories to me, what I take from them is a simple admonition: embrace life and shine. A person of fairly modest means, he had the gift of seeing each day for the opportunity it was, and rarely saw life as anything less than wonderful. He was 85, about to turn 86 next month and had been suffering various painful ailments for several months, but always rose to the occasion when a visitor called, which they did frequently. He treated everyone with dignity and respect, as was reflected by how well he was known by all the staff at the nursing home at which he lived. Friends like this never leave us, rather part of them stays and inspires, but is nonetheless also sorely missed. Every future trip to NYC will seem slightly emptier without him.