A Largs man has passed away at his home in Los Angeles but his family say his love of the town was something he carried with him throughout his life.

Larger than life Gerald McKinlay, better known as Gerry, was born in Largs and suddenly passed away on 13th October at the age of 63.

The third child of Bunny and Johnny McKinlay of Glenacre Drive, Gerry attended Largs academy and lived in the town until he uprooted his life and swapped Largs seafront for Hollywood.

Whilst his immediate family are scattered between Scotland, Los Angeles, North Carolina and Australia, many McKinlay’s still live in the town and were saddened to receive news of his passing.

Gerry had lived in the US for many years and kept in touch with the town through the ‘wee paper’ and regularly posted on the Largs People website.

Whilst he lived over 5000 miles away, Largs was always in Gerry’s thoughts, making regular visits back to his hometown.

For over 30 years he worked as a barman and his sister Careen Sloan says that his gift of the Scottish gab made him a popular person in the trade.

She added: “It was known if you walked into his bar alone, by the time you left you would have been introduced to at least a dozen other customers.”

Although his work was primarily as a barman, it was his love of horses which encouraged his cowboy lifestyle in the US.

Careen added: “Horses were a huge part of his life and started with him working for Jack Webster and his beach ponies in Largs.

“He enjoyed returning to Scotland to visit and turned many a head in the main street with his cowboy boots, buckle, hat and latterly a huge handlebar moustache."

His funeral in Los Angeles was attended by his immediate family as well as a huge number of customers from his working life and friends from the local equestrian centre where he rode every day.

His sisters Careen, Patricia and Cheryl delivered the eulogy and his nieces and nephew, Melanie, Debi and Andrew spoke of special memories of their 'wonderful, crazy uncle'.

Careen added: "A recording of pipes and drums playing Highland Cathedral ended the service which seemed a fitting tribute to a man who although he physically left Scotland, in his heart never left Largs."