Thursday, March 8, 2012

Gary DeCramer


Gary DeCramer died yesterday, and we all lost someone. Gary was a public servant, a leader, father, husband, friend, colleague, mentor, advisor...Gary was a person to emulate; a person we can all hope to be like.

I recently left the Humphrey School, where I worked with Gary for the past four years. In the busy time before my last day, I wanted to write notes to my colleagues to let them know what they meant to me, but I ran out of time.

I have been carting the stationary around for the past month, moving it from place to place as I clean and organize here at home. I figured I still had time to get these notes out because I had lost a job, not the people who I worked with and loved. Those people would still be there.

I was wrong.

So, Gary... Here's your note...

One of my biggest regrets about leaving the Humphrey is that I will not be seeing you almost every day. You have been a friend and mentor, and working with you has been a treasure and a joy. You are the kindest person I have ever met, though your gentle nature does not dampen the fierce commitment you have to the common good and to the people you care for. Your dedication to students is inspiring, and I will miss sitting in your office, listening to you work out a lesson plan or lecture. I will miss talking about our gardens as spring rolls into Minnesota. I will miss you kneeling down by my computer to work out the kinks in a presentation. I will miss the welcome that says, "I am genuinely happy to see you."

Your leadership is meshed with caring, understanding, and nuance. You can see the facts of a situation and chart the best course, even in an instant, and manage different personalities with ease, always making someone feel valued, even in his or her most vulnerable moments. You are someone I wholly trust.

You once wrote to me that my attention to beauty was not missed.

Gary, your humor, kindness, and gratitude were not missed, either.

The Humphrey School note on Gary
Marshall Independent
Pioneer Press
Morris Sun Tribune

1 comment:

Unknown said...

beautifully written. Thank you.