Danny Gans’ family never had an inkling that he had a serious health problem.
“Never!” his son, Andrew, 19, said firmly, after Thursday’s memorial for his father at the Encore Theater. It came as a complete shock, said Andrew in the first interview granted by a family member since Danny Gans’ death.
“We knew he had high blood pressure but was taking something to control that, and he had to watch what he ate.”
So what about the reports that his father wasn’t feeling well prior to his death and seemed to be sending signals to close friends that he was aware something was seriously wrong?
“There are some bad…” he said, searching for the right word, “rumors out there.”
Meanwhile, the family awaits toxicology results, hoping for medical answers.
During our 10-minute walk from the theater to the reception area, Andrew disclosed that his father was pleased with a career decision his son had recently made.
Andrew told his dad he was going to acting school this summer in Hollywood. He started taking acting lessons about three months ago.
“He was really happy for me and told me ‘Do whatever you want to do and go wherever God takes you,” said Andrew, who, like his father, was drafted by a major league baseball team.
The Gans family wore black and red to the memorial, Gans’ favorite colors and the combination he wore on stage through most of his 13 years as a Las Vegas headliner.
Wife Julie also wore her late husband’s wedding ring over hers and a dog tag-like necklace with the initials “DG,” a gift she had made for him.
They had met in college at San Luis Obispo, after she noticed Gans staring at her while she was hanging out with friends. “We named him ‘Joe Ferramina’ because he looked Italian,” said Julie, in between being greeted by well-wishers.
After they met, he told her he noticed her because of her laugh. “He said that I would be a good audience.”
They got married four years to the day after they met. Over the years, he called her “Jo” and she called him “Joey,” as in Joey Ferramina.
Their oldest child, Amy, 21, wore a red sash with a black dress. She’s enrolled at UNLV’s hotel school, majoring in meetings and events, with a minor in entertainment.
Emily, 14, wore red cowboy boots with her black dress. Andrew was in his dad’s signature black-and-white shoes, known as Spectators, along with the red socks his dad wore every night.
All three went to the stage to talk about their father. When they left the stage, Andrew hung back.
“I wanted his shoes to be the last ones to leave the stage,” he said.