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No. of Recommendations: 14
I'm sorry to report that one of the regulars here, Gerry Metcalfe, a.k.a. IllinoisGEM, passed away suddenly on July 30th. His wife called me today to tell me, and I told her that I would let the Fool Community know. Since this board was a favorite of Gerry's, it seemed only natural to post here.

If you have ideas for a tribute to Gerry, please email me privately.

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No. of Recommendations: 3
Oh no, I'm so sorry. What a true loss. He will be sorely missed. My regards to his family.

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The Midi File to accompany the words so graciously posted ColonelCAF by to Long, Long Ago (written in 1833 by English songwriter and dramatist, Thomas Haynes Bayly (1797-1839)) can by found at . Simply click on the link titled Download Midi File.

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No. of Recommendations: 6
I don't know what to say, except, it's hard to understand that he's gone. Gem was a gem, indeed, he is well loved here. I have no idea how to pay tribute, I never even knew his real name. I only know that he spread a lot of warmth and care around here, and a lot of humor, a lot of kindness.

I'll miss him, and I will remember his family in my prayers. May this be the last such departure we suffer for a very, very long time.

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No. of Recommendations: 58
Oh my heart aches to hear this. GEM was such a lovely person, and so thoughtful in his posts. Let me ask the boards indulgence as I repost a response he sent to a post of mine regarding the "crosshairs of matrimony". It's a perfect demonstration of the quality human being he was and serves as my eulogy to his memory:

Blackdogs asked: "From one who is tentatively in the crosshairs of the marital rifle, I'd appreciate whatever words of wisdom, warning or humor you can offer!!"


This is a good question, and one my wife and I have pondered frequently during our relationship. Essentially, we continually wonder why we are blessed with the same feeling about each other today, which we had when we first began dating.

I haven't responded to your question until now, mainly because my wife and I have yet to come up with a definitive answer. But in spite of that (and at the risk of sounding corny, being way off topic, and boring the heck out of everyone), here are our collective thoughts.

First and foremost we believe a major contributing factor is that we have been each other's best friend since before we began dating. In addition, we each share a group of people that we each consider as friends (some of them since our teen years).

We've noticed that we share a common trait in how we pick our friends. We don't choose friends based on what they can do for us. Instead, our friends are people with whom we share common interests, enjoy being with, and whom we accept regardless of their faults. In other words we focus on their good traits and accept their faults without being judgmental.

We've also noticed that we each get excitement out of the others accomplishments or excitement, even if its in areas that are of little individual interest to the other. For example my wife has little interest in fishing, but will accompany me on fishing trips. This is because she enjoys the outdoors, nature, canoeing, scenery, etc.. While I'm fishing, she is right along side me knitting, or reading, etc..

Likewise, I do not enjoy sewing or knitting, but I enjoy the results. When she is in a fabric shop looking at sewing and knitting things, I'm right along side looking at scissors, needle threaders, thread, etc.. that I can use to add to my fly tying tool kit.

In other words neither of us has ever attempted to force our individual likes or dislikes on the other, but we both go overboard in an attempt to find ways we can share in (and enjoy) the other's interests. This helps to build on to the number of interests we share in common.

On the other hand, we each recognize the need to give the other space, so that neither of us ever feels smothered by the other.

We each respect the others feelings, and monitor our own actions to guard against being responsible for actions which will cause the other embarrassment, concern or disappointment.

We also share the same love for children, and agree on how to raise them. We treat each of our boys as individuals, and never ever attempt to mold them into extensions of us, or into a "model child" we may have read about in a book. Also, we never compare any of the boys against the other. We enjoy their positive traits, and attempt to "coach" them in improving their weaker traits (only if it was important for them to improve, or they seriously want to improve).

Hopefully you aren't bored to tears by now, but you asked and I tried to give you an honest answer. There are many other things my wife and I thought of, but those above (in addition to those listed by blford (a.k.a Bill F.) in his response to you at ) should cover the major points.

I do know one thing. We feel blessed that we do feel this way about each other, and that we share the same thoughts on how to treat each other, as well as other people.

Together, we have been able to cope with life's continual surprises as a team. We're in it together, for life. So far it has been a fabulous ride.

Best of luck in your journey. If you are lucky enough to be half as happy and my wife and I are, you will be doing good.

Hope this helps,

GEM emailed me privately and continued to offer encouragement and his gentle wisdom, which was received with gratitude.

Rest in peace, GEM

with tears in her eyes, bd
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No. of Recommendations: 4
oh no.....What do you say when a friend that you've never even met passes on? My heart is deeply saddened. He will be sorely missed.
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No. of Recommendations: 6
GEM, I'm so glad I had a chance to get to know you. You were a good man, and I will miss you. Rest In Peace.


The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
To lie in green pastures I go
He leads me beside the still waters
He guides me, restoreth my soul

Though I walk in the vale of death's shadow
I fear not, with You at my side
Thy rod and Thy staff, they do comfort me
Through the veil of death, God is my guide

God prepareth a table before me
In the presence of my deadly foe
He annointeth my head with fine oil
My cup, with His love, overflows

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life on this earth
I will dwell in my Lord's house forever
Death's passage is but my new birth
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No. of Recommendations: 4
My heartfelt sympathies and prayers for his family.

It has always been difficult for me to loose a friend. But today I have learned it is also difficult to loose a friend I have never met.

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No. of Recommendations: 5

'Tis a sad day for Fooldom....

GEM a good man that thought deeply and loved well...YOU WILL BEE MISSED!!!!

Fellow Fools,.....Please join me in a toast to him.....

To GEM who always had a good word for all, good advice, and great love for his family....I stand at attention and salute you...Sir. Till we meet at HIS feet....

I was given a item for my confermation that has always rung reads:

"The Clock of Life is wound just once, and no man knows if it will stop at a early or late hour, So Live, Love, and Toil with a will, for today, the Clock is running, Tomorrow it may stand still!

He will be sorely missed...Please give his family the messages....

Bee praying for Gem's family....

May the hand of GOD bee with them...

B-man Rick
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I just don't know what to say. I'm sorry to hear this news, my regards to his family.

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It is amazing to me that someone I've never met, seen, or talked to in person could have such a profound effect on me, when hearing this sad news. But it just reinforces what I already know:

I consider you all friends.

Deepest sympathy to GEMs family.

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No. of Recommendations: 1
Hi Dean,

Thank you for telling us this sad news about GEM. GEM was loved very much on this board.

I am gathering posts (comments) from this and the other boards about GEM and his passing. This is a link to the MS Word file I am creating.

If you think it is something his wife might want, would you please pass it along to her and/or their family?

It might take a few days until I have a finished version, but with what I've started, anyone could add to it their selves. I'm just doing a simple copy and paste.

Bill Ford

Anyone wanting a copy of this file, please e-mail me offline and I will e-mail a copy to you if you wish, when I'm done. (It looks kinda funky in Yahoo briefcase, not exactly like my Word file)

Please know that I am using Word 2002. If you need this file in an earlier version of Word let me know.

If there are problems with the link, please tell me. I have only used the Yahoo briefcase but once.
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