Association of Progressive Rental Organizations | America’s Champion for Rent-to-Own

In Memoriam: Barry Gambini

Barry Gambini, one of the pioneers of rent-to-own, recently passed away December 8, 2023, at the age of 81 after a battle with cancer.

Gambini’s experience as a Maytag salesman in the late 1960s led him to establish an appliance rental business in Visalia, California, which became RTO Rents.

Gambini was elected to APRO’s first Board of Directors in 1981, and was subsequently elected APRO’s second President, serving three consecutive terms from 1982 through 1985. Barry was instrumental in APRO’s early legislative efforts, and provided best-practice training for rental dealers in this new industry. He was awarded the APRO President’s Award of Excellence in 1984, and APRO’s Lifetime Achievement award in 2001.

Gambini and his wife, Susan, had been married for more than 58 years. Together, they raised eight children, along with fostering more than 300 children over a span of 50 years.

Gambini’s full obituary may be viewed here. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM on Thursday, January 25, 2024, at St. Mary’s Church in Visalia, California.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Saint Paul’s Anglican Church of Visalia, where Barry and Susan were members for over 50 years, or any personal choice that will help mitigate child abuse in our society.

APRO extends our heartfelt condolences to the Gambini family. Barry’s myriad contributions to our industry live on today.

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