About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Goodbye to a Very Good Friend

I am just absolutely shocked ... and stunned. Just a while ago I got word that a very good friend of mine passed away very suddenly yesterday morning. Many of my blogging friends will know Gary from his own blog and we will all miss him terribly.
I first met Gary years ago on an online recovery forum. Over time he became a very good friend and walked with me every painful step of the way through the recovery process.

There are so many things I will always remember about Gary. First and foremost is his compassion. Gary always cared deeply for those who struggled. That was evidenced in so many ways, whether it was just a willingness to listen to someone vent, or whether it came across in the words he carefully crafted on his blog, or whether it was his willingness to donate his time and talent to a great cause. Gary cared. No one who ever knew him would doubt that for a second.
I will also remember him for his wisdom. He would laugh at that, I'm sure because he probably never thought of himself as wise, and yet, most truly wise people don't. Just take a few minutes to read through his blog and well... you'll see what I mean.
I will also remember him as an irreplaceable member of the Backpacks For Pine Ridge team. Although he lived on the other side of the country and although we never actually met in person, he was a valued contributor to our work. Gary was a hugely talented graphic designer and he freely gave of his time and talent to create the beautiful logos for Backpacks For Pine Ridge and for the REZonate Music Fest. Then there were the countless fliers he created for REZonate. Every year I dreaded asking him if he was up for it one more time but every year he replied that he felt it a great honor to be a part of what we were doing. And he never did just one flier. He did several - he was a perfectionist like that and wanted to be sure we had his very best. There are other people who will be able to put a flier together, but no one will ever be able to replace Gary.
It just seems so strange to be writing this. It all seems so unreal. Gary, you will be missed ... greatly. Rest in peace my friend.


Barbara said...

Amber I can remember it clearly now...I met Gary via a recovery site and as we got to know each other he said YOU HAVE TO MEET AMBER YOU TWO ARE GOING TO HIT IT OFF! He was right.

I don't want him to be gone. I feel a bit lost without him because I'd grown so used to turning to him for so many things.

He's been really happy lately and I was so glad that things were going well for him. He was so excited to start his new business.

I can't imagine how Jan and the boys feel.

Your words explain him very well. I'm so glad I met him so that I could meet you. I guess we can party it up in heaven when the time comes....

Anonymous said...

What sad,sad,sad news about Gary. Thank you for writing this lovely tribute to him on your blog. He was a wonderful, compassionate, grace-filled man. Now he has moved to his permanent address.