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Gary Peek

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Damn. The parachute opening studies he was involved in, from the 1990s onwards, as a jumper and electronics designer, were interesting. There isn't a lot of civilian, non-commercial work on such stuff, so he became known to me through the things that Parks College Parachute Research Group published.

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(edited)

Gary Peek was found dead in his house yesterday morning. Concerned neighbors asked for a wellness check because they had not seen him around in recent days. Gary took an early morning walk every day.

 

A few weeks ago Gary was in a car accident were his SUV rolled 4 times. He was treated and discharged by a hospital. No one knows, at this time, if this had a relationship to his death.

 

Gary was a long time USPA Central Regional Director. In fact, he had the longest tenure of the current board members. Gary served on the Safety & Training committee during several of his terms. He chaired the Constitution and Bylaws committee last term. He was a strong advocate for the needs and concerns of small DZs and many were in his region. Gary also served on the Group Membership committee during several terms.

 

Gary was also a prolific speaker at the PIA Symposiums. He gave talks on various subjects, including opening forces that he measured with custom strain gauges and recording devices that he engineered. He was also one of the test jumpers. One year he made a bunch of itty-bitty LED circuits with a 555 timer chip that could plug into expired CYPRES batteries and give a light show with blinking LEDS.

 

Gary was well versed in the happenings at every DZ in his region. He called, emailed and visited the DZs frequently. After he bought his Cessna, he was able to visit the DZs more often. Gary posted in rec.skydiving and DropZone.com. He wrote several articles for DZ.com.

 

Gary was instrumental in getting me a gig as a load organizer at the WFFC in 1996. He also recruited others as LOs for the WFFC. After I bought an arduino, Gary helped me with my tinkering with microprocessors. He even brought back issues of Nuts and Volts to the board meetings. He told me who the the best electronic component distributors were. There are a bunch more stories about Gary and the board, electronics and jumping.

 

Gary Peek will be missed by many, as he touched so many people's lives, whether you knew him as a jumper, an electronics guru or board member.

 

Blue Skies Gary Peek.

RIP

 

Edited by MakeItHappen
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Gary and I had worked together on several projects for Dan Poynter of ParaPublishing.  We talked at least every couple of months so this was a total shock when I got called and informed of his passing.  He was a good friend and will forever be in my thoughts.

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Truly a terrific guy with a great heart and a true passion for the sport....I spoke with him frequently over the years about some local airport access issues and some of the politics that goes with USPA. He was always a strong advocate for the everyday skydiver. I spoke with him just a couple weeks ago even though I have moved out of his region. Very sad to hear this news.

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So sorry to hear of Gary's departure.  I had so many great conversations with him at PIA Symposiums, often early in the mornings after he returned from his walkabouts.  I most admires what I call his "respectful skepticism, which led to so many great chats.  Rest easy, Mate.

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He was dedicated to USPA Members and a sane voice on the BOD.  He was one of the nine BOD members who voted no on wasting any USPA money for the Skydiving Museum building.   

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I met Gary in '94 at the WFFC when he came on as lead LO. As an organisizer of LO's he made many improvements to the process. We also shared an interest in homemade digital logging altimeters and he made many helpful suggestions.

Of all the places/folks I have ever worked at/for/with, Tent #1 in Quincy under Gary Peek's leadership is at the very top of the list of favorite endeavors. Best days on Earth! IMneverHO

Blue Skies my friend

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No! Gary had contributed various articles to the site over the years, he was always looking to help bring knowledge to others and share his wisdom.

Through all our correspondence he always seemed enthusiastic and friendly.

We will definitely miss him on the site. I'd appreciate it if anyone close to Gary could drop me a PM so we can put together something on the site in his honor.

BSBD sir.

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Damn this is a huge loss.  Gary was a big man with a big personality, yet also soft-spoken and mild-mannered.  Epic moustache, epic ponytail (did I ever see it unfurled?).  Every year he was in charge of 60+ load organizers at the World Freefall Convention, which was a monumental task, but he did it with maximum efficiency and little drama.

He did not play a part in my first becoming an LO at WFFC, I have DJan Stewart and my friends David “Duk” Miller and Todd Jacobson (RIP) to thank for that.  However, once I earned my hat, Gary was my biggest advocate and supporter, even when a jilted lover from a previous year caused a ruckus at tent #1.  His speech was basically “pick less psycho women, or keep it in your pants”...haha, the good old days.

He was a big dude, not fat, not a bodybuilder, just big.  A barrel chest and big trunk.  Huge calves.  When I first met him, I think he was jumping a Man-o-War 320, and his Vector was so big it looked like a tandem rig.  He liked being safe and was in no hurry to get down.

He enjoyed working with students and newer jumpers, and he had many other interests.  He was a genius-level computer programmer, an accomplished musician, and a budding scientist with a focus on (what else) aerodynamics.  Oh yeah, and he was on USPA’s BOD for more than a quarter century.  Not bad, eh?

I had not seen much of him since the convention disbanded, and I am very thankful that I had a 30 minute conversation with him at last year’s nationals in Chicagoland.  We reminisced about the glory days, then I let him vent about his current gripes with USPA, of which there were many.  Same ol’ Gary...I’m gonna miss him...sigh.  BSBD my friend...

 

 

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Fly free Gary - I enjoyed our time at WFFC with your Load Organizing tent next to my AFF tent 1993 - 1998.

Thank you for inviting me for input with the single AFF instructor/wind tunnel training approval in the USPA regs last year.  You gave a lot to our sport and we appreciate it; sorry I did not see you recently but at least we spoke on the phone in the last year or so.  BSBD - Frank, D-8200

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I spoke with Gary many, many times by phone before we ever met in person.

We discussed an array of issues in the sport and also discussed numerous folks that were running some scam DZs.

When we finally met at a DZO conference we laughed over a few beers about all sorts of stuff and hit it off even better in person.

We had some difference of opinions but we respected each other’s positions.

We continued to speak often about all sorts of issues.

He had the backs of small DZs and USPA members for sure.

Fly Free my friend...

 

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It’s been weeks now without your weekly calls to pester me about airport access, or fill me in on the on going issues of concern or cool stuff people are doing.  I’ll miss our long banter of arguing about all things skydiving.  Those cds you gave me of your music tracks that you made take on a whole appreciation of your talents.  As with all my old timer friends who fill the slots on the other side, you take with you a vast knowledge, much of it not written in books but stored in your lifetime of working in this sport and it’s now lost forever, but for those who truly listened to your teachings.  Thank you for all the support you gave to me personally and professionally in airport access. Blue skies my friend, rest in peace  you will be missed by many! 

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