High End Systems West Coast sales manager Gary M. Whittington, 46, died September 12 at Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, CA, after a three-month battle with cancer.

Whittington helped set up High End's LA-based office in 1997, and was promoted to the sales manager position in January 1998.

His start in the lighting industry began at numerous entertainment venues in Las Vegas; in 1994, he began working in the rental department at High End Systems in Austin, TX. Whittington rose through the ranks to become chief technical operator, responsible for overseeing technical lighting aspects of top concert tours, including U2, Yanni, George Strait, Mariah Carey, Garth Brooks, the Moody Blues, and Metallica. He also traveled worldwide, servicing lighting clients in sports arenas, corporate events, theatrical shows, and outdoor architectural projects.

Whittington is survived by his parents, Betty and Floyd Whittington of Conroe, TX; his wife Tara and daughter Morgan of Agoura Hills, CA; and teenage sons Troy and Wade of Austin, TX.

High End Systems has set up the Gary Whittington Fund in his memory. Donations can be sent in care of the company, at 2217 West Braker Lane, Austin, TX, 78758. Anyone wishing to share their thoughts or stories about Whittington can send e-mail to debi_moen@highend.com, or fax Moen at 512/837-5290. The company will post comments on its website.