Forums: Community: Blue Skies - In Memory Of:
Gary Pond - D-6969

 

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howardwhite  (C 3896)

Jan 27, 2010, 10:22 AM
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Gary Pond - D-6969 Can't Post

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.

HW


(This post was edited by howardwhite on Jan 27, 2010, 11:20 AM)
Attachments: Gary and Nate copy.jpg (49.7 KB)


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Jan 27, 2010, 10:37 AM
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Re: [howardwhite] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

condolences to family and friends....

Just curious, were those D-numbers a coincidence?


(This post was edited by BillyVance on Jan 27, 2010, 10:47 AM)


vanair  (D 8360)

Jan 27, 2010, 10:39 AM
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Re: [howardwhite] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

FrownVery 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!!!


Moloki  (C 8111)

Jan 27, 2010, 10:45 AM
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Re: [howardwhite] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

Blue Skies Gary, you will be missed.


scrublink  (D 21240)

Jan 27, 2010, 10:59 AM
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Re: [BillyVance] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

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.

Blue skies and warm breezes Gary, save me a slot.


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Jan 27, 2010, 10:59 AM
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Re: [BillyVance] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Just curious, were those D-numbers a coincidence?
No.Cool

HW


Darius11  (C License)

Jan 27, 2010, 12:18 PM
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Re: [howardwhite] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

He is at peace, but he will be missed by so many of us.

R.I.P.



Frown


SimonBones  (D 28573)

Jan 27, 2010, 12:55 PM
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Re: Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the good times at Orange Gary. It wouldn't be what it is without you.


midgetdivet  (D 25711)

Jan 27, 2010, 1:20 PM
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Re: [howardwhite] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

howard, you can probably confirm/deny this. isn't gary one of the few skydivers to have a piece of equipment actually named after him?


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Jan 27, 2010, 2:17 PM
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Re: [midgetdivet] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

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."


HW


(This post was edited by howardwhite on Jan 27, 2010, 2:22 PM)


midgetdivet  (D 25711)

Jan 27, 2010, 2:27 PM
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Re: [howardwhite] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

for some reason, i thought nate had named a variant of a jesus string after gary


MagicGuy  (D 30470)

Jan 27, 2010, 4:59 PM
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Re: [howardwhite] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

Jumptown - the house that Gary built.

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 Wink

Eternal Blue Skies. We will miss you greatly. Frown


(This post was edited by MagicGuy on Jan 27, 2010, 7:19 PM)


Premier ianmdrennan  (D 25821)
Moderator
Jan 27, 2010, 5:41 PM
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Re: [MagicGuy] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

Jumptown was my home DZ for a few years, and Gary was an instrumental part of it.

I'm truly saddened by the loss.

Gary, I still think of 'freefly crickets' whenever you pop into my head.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

RIP.
Ian


barnesrf  (D 10633)

Jan 27, 2010, 6:17 PM
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Re: [howardwhite] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

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. Frown


wmw999  (D 6296)

Jan 27, 2010, 6:23 PM
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Re: [barnesrf] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

What a shame. I knew Gary a little when I lived in NE in the 70's. I knew his brother Tim better. Condolences to all of the Ponds.

Wendy P.


captain1976  (D 7183)

Jan 27, 2010, 7:01 PM
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Re: [howardwhite] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

Damn, his name rings some bells but I just can't place him. Does anyone know if he had anything to do with a satellite operation in Franklin Wisconsin at the Rainbow Airport back in the early 70's?


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Jan 27, 2010, 7:25 PM
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Re: [captain1976] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Does anyone know if he had anything to do with a satellite operation in Franklin Wisconsin at the Rainbow Airport back in the early 70's?
Highly doubtful. He was born in Orange, MA and lived there all his life.

HW


mailin  (A 46883)

Jan 27, 2010, 7:42 PM
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Re: [howardwhite] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

This has brought a tear to my eye today...

Blue skies D-6969

My thoughts are with everyone at Jumptown today and always


CELLASKY  (B License)

Jan 27, 2010, 8:03 PM
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Re: [howardwhite] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

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.


jkbernstein  (D 29379)

Jan 27, 2010, 10:22 PM
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Re: [howardwhite] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the remembrance, Howard.

Deepest condolences to Diane, and all the Jumptown family. Gary was a unique spirit; he will be deeply missed.

Blue skies, Gary. Give 'em hell up there. Liven the place up a bit.... lord knows, you did down here.


dan7the1man1  (D 31153)

Jan 27, 2010, 10:49 PM
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Re: [howardwhite] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

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.


jcunniff  (D 17518)

Jan 28, 2010, 7:16 AM
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Re: [howardwhite] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

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.

Blue skies, D-6969.

-Jack


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Jan 28, 2010, 8:02 AM
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Re: [jcunniff] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's Gary, in his favorite place, looking at the Quabbin Reservoir.

HW
Attachments: Gary1.jpg (84.8 KB)


lurch  (D 27583)

Jan 28, 2010, 8:52 AM
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Re: [howardwhite] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

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


svst  (D 20295)

Jan 28, 2010, 9:32 AM
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Re: [howardwhite] Gary Pond - D-6969 [In reply to] Can't Post

We just heard the terrible news.

Our deepest condolences to Diane, his children and Nate and Nona. Your all in our thoughts.

Gary will be missed by many but never forgotten and you can be sure garys spirit will live on at Jumptown forever.
Nice picture howard.
Sincerly
Mark and Tricia


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