Guest Blogging: Mike D.
Friday night, the world lost a truly remarkable, wonderful soul. Known to the WataugaWatch community as "Stumpy," Gerry was a man who knew no enemies. Friends describe him as generous, straightforward, inspiring, tireless, a true intellectual, astute, possessed of a driving spirit and a good, firm, honest handshake.
When Multiple Sclerosis began to inhibit Gerry's physical mobility, he refused to slow down. He became active in the Watauga County Democratic Party, attending executive committee meetings, encouraging others to meet their own challenges, and passing along ideas that inspired friends to stride proudly toward their goals. In spite of the physical challenges he faced, Gerry volunteered his time at the Hospitality House, helping others and refusing to allow his condition to rule his life. No matter what Gerry's situation was, he always found his smile. He always found the time and energy to make someone else's life better.
When he wasn't out in the community helping others, Gerry was at his computer. It became his interface to the world as his physical mobility declined, and boy, did he ever use it! He was tech-savvy and hard-wired to the internet, participating in all kinds of online communities, from WataugaWatch to DailyKos to World of Warcraft. Yes, he was even a video gamer. If only our young gaming friends knew that they were playing with a guy in his 60s!
Gerry, you didn't want personal recognition. You didn't seek accolades. You just wanted to help improve the lives of those you touched. If all of us tried to be just a little more like you, this world would be a better place.
We will always remember you. Rest well, brother.