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ianmdrennan

Nate Gilbert

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Words cannot even express what I want to say. What a terrible loss, my thoughts and prayers go out to Ian and Katie and the rest of Nate's family and friends.

My memories of Nate make me smile, he was truely an amazing person. I can't even begin to tell how many lives he touched and how much he influenced skydiving in Michigan. There is so much more to say...but I am at a loss for words.

Blue Skies
Chrissy

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Nate was fantastic guy and I was very happy to get to see and hang out with him at Wildwood. We had only first met in early 2001 at a swoop meet, but from that first meeting on I really took a liking to him. I killed many a braincell standing/sitting alongside Nate and usually found myself belly-laughing at our conversations.

I was very fortunate to be among the extended group that really threw down at Wildwood. It was an epic party and I spent a great deal of it talking to Nate (or trying to) and poking fun at Katie, who was so hoarse she could not speak. We all laughed together, rode carnival rides together, and walked aimlessly. It was brilliant! I am very happy that those are my final memories of Nathan.

It was pretty funny that we had each walked right past each other upon arrival at the beach for registration and had almost missed each other because we each looked very different than our last meeting. He with his bleached out hair and dark tan and me with my ponytail and goatee. We turned, looked again at each other, then busted out laughing and back-slapped each other. It was like old home week.

Nate was a fantastic skydiver and a great swoop competitor. I am proud that I was able to call him "friend" and that he had been on speed dial in my phone for three years.

BSBD,

Chuck Blue

My thoughts and prayers go out to Nathan's extended family, blood or otherwise. Katie, you be strong.

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My heart is broken and I feel I am stuck in this fucking fog that won't clear up. Nate...my poor poor Nate!

Nate and Katie...my two best friends.
The two most amazing people I know.

I am honored to have been able to share the last
2 1/2 years of this deep friendship with Nathan Gilbert. Nate touched me every day in so many special ways. He made my life happy and he made me realize that there is nothing more important than friends and family. I have so many 'Remember When's' of Nate that make me smile and laugh. That is all he brought to the table..smile and laughter.

I could only hope that in my lifetime I touch as many people as Nate did, with his magic.

As Chuckie was writing about, those who were there, got to spend the most amazing time with Nate in NJ.
(All time with Nate were amazing. ) The bonding the EPIC partying, the laughter and the smiles were all brought on by my dear friend. I am glad that you all got to spend that time with him and made those memories that will last forever. Nate loved all of you and I know that you all loved him.

I want to let everyone know that Katie is one strong woman. With all the support, vibes and prayers that each of you have sent to her, she is able to get out of bed and try as she might, to pick up the pieces of her life. Please continue to send her the vibes and prayers through this week. The love that all of you have sent to her is totally freakin amazing. It's a tragedy that this has happened but so fucking beautiful at how so many of you care. This kind of love is what she needs to go on. This is the kind of love that Nate gave to all of us.

Keep my dear Katie and Nate's family in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your support and love.

I hope to see so many of you for the Memorial to be held at Atlanta Skydiving Center. Dates are tentative July 23rd-24th. I will update the forums if anything changes.

To those I have met; I love you! To those I have yet to meet, I am sure I will love you.
Nate, I love you the most and will never ever forget how truly blessed my life has been all because you were part of it. I miss you so much!!

Katie, you know I love you and that I am here, I am always going to be here for you. I will see you tomorrow night my love. Be strong. We are ALL thinking of you baby.

Do it Again!
P.M.S. #22
LaLa Gang #4

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thank you so much katie for posting those Beautiful pictures of Nate and Katie in wildwood. as everyone can see, nate & katie's smiles are sooooooooo perfect and you can see the love & warmth they shared....true bliss*

i remember when:

-nate would insist to pay for everyone's dinners and he Always opened doors (even for the boys), a Perfect Gentleman.
-nate would smile so much, i can't imagine him Not Smiling.
-nate always pointed out the positive, Never the Negative.

i just can't stop crying 'remembering when', but i smile because i am so happy to have these memories!

katie expressed to me so many times how much she loves nate. she said how she could never be angry with him, because the minute she looks into his eyes ~ she melts.... That's Beautiful-Love folks*
they have Very Beautiful-Love!

my heart aches for everyone that is close to nate. there are no words to ease the pain, but i will be praying really hard for everyone's strength.

to katie-love, i have always loved you and i am here for you & conner
to the ASC-family, jJ and i will see you next weekend, and i love you all very much

and to the perfect gentleman, Nate, you will be missed and forever in our thoughts -- we love you so much!

~ meL* Pink Mafia / Tunnel Mafia Sister

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To know Nate Gilbert was truly an experience I wish everyone in the world could have felt.

For skydivers he was pure inspiration at all levels, never a negative comment because all he wanted was for everyone to excel at the sport he loved so dearly.

For those that knew Nate away from the dropzone, he was the same. Nate never had a negative word to say about anyone, and always wanted to make everyone feel welcome, and apart of the group.

It didn't matter if we were going to a club in Atlanta, or Huddle house up the street for waffles, or El Nopal for dinner after a good long day in he sky, Nate was always getting people together, which wasn't hard because we were all drawn to him.

My favorite memory of Nate is from when Katie and I were getting our "D" license requirements knocked out. Rick Bray was with us for a four way belly exit (yes I said belly). Since we were all freeflyers, Nate made us dirt dive the exit and the skydive probably 8 or 9 times. When it came time to exit the plane, we all took our grips, squatted in the door of the otter, gave our count, and just like that we were all on our heads in a four way round, and I was looking right across at Nate who just started laughing (I'll never forget that smile), which of course made the three of us start laughing. We got the dive back in some assemblance of docking, and everyone just laughed and smiled until breakoff.

As proof the kind of majic Nate brought to every skydive, on the next jump (still working on D license skills) some how the three guys on the skydive all docked up and weighing in at somewhere around 600 lbs floated on poor Katie (probably 120 with gear on and soaking wet) who was laughing so hard she started carving around us.

I remember being at El Nopal that night just going over and over how funny everything was, no one could figure it out, no one cared, everyone was smiling, we were just happy to be jumping with each other.

Nate, I'll never forget you or the thousands of things you taught me on and off the DZ. I miss you bro, and I'll see you when I get there.

Katie,
Anything you need, anything I can do, please let me or one of us know. We are all here for. I'll see you in Michigan Tuesday night, TJ, Shannon, Jessica, Kenny and I are all coming up together. Stay strong, we love you.

Dan

Coming soon to a bowl of Wheaties near you!!

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I am also stuck in the fog that you speak of and I can't stop thinking about Nate and my dear sister, Katie. I love them both so very much. My love and support have been extended to Katie and I pray that she is able to get through this time with the strength that God will grant her.

Everytime I speak to someone about the loss of Nate, I start to reminisce about the memories I have of him...such a beautiful soul. His smile, his laugh, his caring nature - all things I recall so well. I remember the first time I met him. (Funny...he thought I was Swedish!) It was at a small, local bar in Gardiner, NY during the 2002 PSN. He walked up and said, "so, what is your name and are you here with all these people (the skydivers)?" We ended up chatting for a while and hung out quite a bit over the next few days. At the end of my stay at The Ranch, I left with an amazing new friendship!

After NY, everytime I met up with him along the skydiving circuit, he would give me a great big hug and we'd catch up for a bit, just before I'd comment on how much I liked the smell of patchouli (the scent he wore). He'd always say, "people either love it or hate it...", then he'd giggle because I made the comment yet again!

Nate did touch a lot of people's lives and I feel blessed to be one of those people! May God bless all who are hurting from this great loss...
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Alli
P.M.S. #3

If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions.

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I'm not really sure what to say. I've jumped at ASC for about 9 months now, and I've been influenced by Nate already. It hurts to loose someone like Nate. It sucks because I didn't have the oppurtunity to know him like so many of you did. The sport has lost it's best.

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Oh Alli!!! Yes... the way he smelled. And he gave the best hugs - with his entire being. The way he would look at you... like he had a big secret to tell, devoting his whole attention to you in conversation. His teasing... neverending and always bringing a smile to my face. His silly messages he would leave on my phone because I hardly ever answered... His love for Katie and Conner (he would always tell me what a GREAT mom you are Katie), and the respect he showed to everyone he encountered.

He is my friend, my teacher, unwaivering in his support for me to become the best freeflyer/skydiver I could be. He changed the way I look at life, and I will be forever grateful of his friendship and guidance. I will never forget...

Thank you everyone for sharing.

The attached pic is from the big way camp at ASC in 2003. If you have ever flown with any of these guys, you will recognize them:
Klingel, Trevor, Sporto, Nathan, Wrong Way, Kenny, Steve (Marshall, I think you were sleeping on this one) - all looking like Angels. Even though it is from my video camera, this is one of my favorite pictures...

Joi

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Nate was such an incredible person. I only knew him a few short months, but during that time he taught me a lot of things about skydiving and how to be a nice person. He was one of the first people to come up and welcome me to ASC. I always got a hug and a hello from him everytime I came to the dz. I was on the plane with him on Wednesday and he asked where I had been at. I had missed a weekend and I didn't think anybody noticed, but he did. He cared.

I remember that everytime he was on the same load as me he always said "Have a good jump" with that big smile he had. I'm sure he said that to everybody, but it still made me feel good anyway. I got to jump with him and TJ one time and I thought it was the coolest thing. I will always cherish that jump I got to make with him. Now he will be with all of us in the sky.

Nate was a great skydiver and more importantly, he was an awesome person. God has gained an angel. A little piece of Nate is in us all. He will always be with us to say "Have a good jump" and then fly alongside us.

Blue skies, Nate. Fly free. We love you.
I'm so funny I crack my head open!

P.M.S. #102

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Hi everyone,

In the Events Forum, there is a post about a nationwide/worldwide sunset tracking dive on Saturday for Nate.

ASC is asking for video of the dives - but also photos, written memories, "I Remember" stories, etc. about Nate for his close friends and Katie.

I would ask, even if you don't do the tracking dive - for whatever reason, and even if you don't know Nate personally - but especially if you did...

Please send photos and notes to ASC of your memories and thoughts of Nate.

The death of a loved one spurs alot of action. Planning, initial mourning, relatives and friends traveling, etc. But when things settle down, when things are quiet and the shock of it all starts wearing down - I can only imagine that to be the truly hardest part.

To be able to see and hold little treasures of love - real examples of how Nate lives on in the lives and memories of people across the country - I hope would bring some comfort to those who will feel his absence most.

So, if you're reading these posts, and feel any amount of empathy for Katie and Nate's ASC family, please jot something down and send it on.


"...Send the photos, video clips and memory notes to: ASC, Attn: Tracking with Nate, 493 Airport Road, Cedartown, GA 30125-5049.
Or e-mail [email protected]"

Action expresses priority. - Mahatma Ghandi

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I have been w/o internet for nearly a week while moving and just got the news.

My first reaction after reading some of Katie's post was tears and some anger. I went to the bedroom to wake my fiancee and tell her how much I love her.

I told her of the news as Nate was the only skydiver she knew other than myself. I went right into a "remember when".... She has a vivd memory of Nate from her only 2 trips to the DZ with me. Nate first introduced himself and then proceeded to devote 30 minutes talking to a skydiver's whuffo girlfriend about hown she should feel at home that no one is seen as outsider at a DZ that we are all family and all are welcome. He made every effort to make her feel at ease and encourage her to return.

That to me was Nate Gilbert; open, inviting, friendly outgoing, patient, caring and sensitive. I first met Nate and TJ when they came to ASC. I was a new jumper they were skygod's too busy for a lowly guy such as myself, or so I thought. I kept my distance as I was shy, always affraid to ask people to jump with me in fear of messing up someones skydive. Then i actually met Nate. He walk halfway across the DZ to introduce himself to me and ask about me and my experience, what I was working on with my jumps, what goals I had and if i wanted Mexican food for dinner. I gather that's how alot of Nate introductions happened. I am not sure anyone ever introduced themselves to Nate as he knew no strangers. With Nate you went from intro to "ya wanna come hang out or eat with us?" in about 10 minutes. It was like the man was on a mission to unite this family we all are a part of and to adopt a few from the outside as he went.

I could go on for days with "remember when" and perhaps I will at a later date.

For now I just wanna say a few things... For evey time I jumped with nate i wish I had 10 more to go with them, for every converstaion I had with Nate i wish I 100 to go with them. Nate was one of the most talented skydivers I have ever had the pleasure of knowing much less jumping with. Nate was much more than that though, he influenced me in many ways. He was a shining example of just how powerful a smile could be to an uneasy stranger. His methods of teaching went far beyond just skydiving proving that focusing on the positive can do wonders for your confidence, something I take out of the sky and into daily life on every jump beacause of Nate. If ever you meet a person that just makes you feel better by simply smiling and saying hello then perhaps you've met someone touched by the angel of Nathan Gilbert.

I'll miss that smile and that very first hello on the DZ everytime, yet I will cherish having known such a great man and forever be thankful for the tools he has left us all.

Godspeed Nathan Gilbert

Chris Goff

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