Jan 27, 2010, 10:22 AM
Post #1 of 46
Gary Pond - D-6969
Gary Pond, D-6969, died at home at 7:20 a.m. today of cancer.
Gary was an active instructor, video person, pilot, and participant in significant skydiving records. As president of Jumptown, he energized the construction of the DZ's facilities and programs over the past 15 years.
Gary's father was Nate Pond, D-69, a member of the 1956 US team which competed at the World Meet in Moscow. Nate was the first manager of the Orange, MA, Sport Parachute Center and Gary was the last.
Gary's mother, Nona King , was a member of the women's accuracy team at the 1962 world meet in Orange. So Gary was essentially brought up on a drop zone. He gave back much to the sport which was so much a part of his life. And when he was very young, he cut a hole in a canopy being modified for student use; the resulting modification was forever after "the Gary gore."
He is survived by his parents, his wife Diane, two daughters (and their husbands, both active jumpers) and three grandchildren.
Services will be announced later. This is just a first notice; more to come. His passing, though anticipated for some time, is devastating to his family, his many friends, and the U.S. skydiving community in general.
(This post was edited by howardwhite on Jan 27, 2010, 11:20 AM)
Very Sad, I haven't seen him in about 7 years when he came to my home DZ the Ranch in NY. But I remember him from Orange in the late 70s & 80s. My brother Gary and I worked there. He was a great guy. Never had a bad word about anyone, always willing to lend a hand. There is a big empty spot in the sky today!!!
Bill no coincedence with the numbers, just a great story that involves some of the early skydiving history when things were much more close and personal.
Gary was such a big part of the New England skydiving scene that it is hard to imagine what its going to be like without him. He helped me when I was still a tadpole and just getting my jump legs and was always helping anybody and everybody. Throughout his entire ordeal he was upbeat and positive. Life gave him a shit sandwich and he managed to to have a bright smile while eating it.
Nah. I wouldn't consider "Gary gore" a piece of equipment. If you went that way, you would have to talk about "Derry slots" and LeMoigne vents. Some minor rig manufacturers also included their names in the name of their rigs.
For what it's worth, Jacques Istel wrote me the other day: "I remember the "Gary gore" when as a very small boy (perhaps 4 ?) he cut a piece of a parachute we were designing. We of course adopted his cut and the "Gary gore" was born."
(This post was edited by howardwhite on Jan 27, 2010, 2:22 PM)
I will never forget the good times we shared, especially the look he gave me right before I exited 03 Bravo onto the beach in Maine. He let me use his rig because the only other rig we had was way too big for me. Thanks for that, Gary, and sorry that we broke your engine mount during that jump. I still owe you ten grand
Eternal Blue Skies. We will miss you greatly.
(This post was edited by MagicGuy on Jan 27, 2010, 7:19 PM)
The sport lost another legend. Gary has contributed more than can be jotted down in a note. Those that knew him will always remember how he impacted you personally and always available to help out. RIP Gary and thanks for the memories and great skydives.
Thanks Gary for all your advise and positive vibes. Thanks for never giving me the bowling talk either. Thanks for the laughs and good times. Blue Skies forever.
There are people in your life that you meet and you just click with them. Well, all of Jumptown was like that for me. Everyone is so friendly and warm that you feel you inherited a new family. My thoughts are with all of you today.
I remember when i got pied for my a license Gary was there to share that pie with me. I wish i got to know him better, but i am glad that i knew him at all. He definitely left a good impression on me and many other people in the world. Fly free and rest in peace GP.
Gary was a friend and teammate of mine over the years.
Once, on the ground after a good day of doing 20-way team, Gary looked across our team's circle at me. He radiated confidence and cameraderie. To this day, I remember how he made me feel at that moment. It's a favorite "Gary memory" of mine.
Those of us whom he helped in the sport will never forget him. He was a solid friend, and more than generous in every sense of the word.
My first year jumping during a winter mission to Jumptown, I was flying like an idiot through the pattern causing chaos among everyone up there who actually knew what they were doing. Gary caught up with me after I landed. I got the most polite and friendly chewing out I've ever received, and a few pointers for sizing up the pattern and merging with it. The fact that he was so cool about it earned my respect like nothing else he could have done. Made a hell of an impression and I never forgot it.
Later he loaned his wingsuit to a bunch of my students when I had a fresh wingsuit instructor card and no suits to teach with. This made a whole bunch of people really, really happy.
He made me feel welcome every time I set foot on his dropzone. So long, Gary. Thanks for lookin' out for me when I was too dumb to know any better. Gonna miss ya, man. -B