Barry Gump, retired president of Andy Gump, dies at 74

Barry Gump, retired president of Andy Gump Temporary Site Services, died last night at the age of 74. He is seen here with his daughter and successor, Nancy Gump Melancon, in a 2011 photo. They are holding the Portable Sanitation Association's M.Z. "Andy" Gump Distinguished Service Award, sponsored by the company. Behind them is a photo of company founder M.Z. "Andy" Gump. Dan Watson/The Signal.

Barry Gump, retired president of Andy Gump Temporary Site Services, died this morning at age 74 at his home in Valencia.

Gump was born in San Fernando and headed the family company from 1972 until his retirement four and a half years ago at age 70. The company moved its headquarters to Santa Clarita in 1985.

He succeeded his father, Massena “Andy” Gump, who founded the company in 1956. The company has grown from one storage yard to five across Southern California, in Santa Clarita, North Hollywood, Antelope Valley, Fontana, and San Diego.

Famous for the tagline “Another … Andy Gump,” the company’s portable restroom units are a common sight across Southern California. The privately held firm also provides solar-powered multi-unit trailers, temporary power and fencing for construction sites, and storage containers.

“Barry just wanted to help people,” said Tony Watson, general manager of Andy Gump and a colleague since 2005.

Watson recalled an incident during fire season several years ago when firefighters requested 125 portable restrooms.
“We were trying to figure out the logistics,” Watson said. “Barry’s response was to say, ‘When the first truck comes in, let me know. I’ll take care of the 125 units.’”

That same fire season, Watson was riding with Gump and listened as Barry answered a series of detailed questions about the capabilities and features of one of the company’s trucks.

“When he got off the phone, I asked him what it was about,” Watson said. Gump’s matter-of-fact reply: “They want to know if we can evacuate a rhinoceros.”

The call was from Shambala, Tippi Hedren’s animal sanctuary in Acton. The fire abated and the evacuation was called off.

Santa Clarita Councilman Bob Kellar knew Barry Gump for more than 25 years, and recalls Gump’s distinctive voice. “I wasn’t surprised to learn that Barry hosted a radio show while he served in the Air Force.”

For decades, Kellar said, Gump and his family have been “mainstays of charitable giving in the Santa Clarita Valley.”

For years, Gump was the driving force behind the annual holiday tree lighting on the campus of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.

“Barry was out there in the bucket truck putting the final light on top of the tree,” said Marlee Lauffer, the hospital’s vice president of marketing and communications and president of the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation.

“He followed in the very humble and traditional footsteps of his father,” Lauffer said. “Doing the right thing because it helps people, not to get any kind of recognition.”

Barry Gump is survived by Pati, his wife of 52 years, daughter Nancy Gump Melancon, and three grandchildren, Andy, Josh, and Cole. A second daughter, Cherilyn, died at age 3. Gump served in the United States Air Force in Europe and on the island of Crete.

Funeral plans are pending.

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