Gerry Oates, 1956 – 2011
It is with great sadness that we record the passing of Gerry Oates during October 2011.
Gerry was a friend and an inspiration to many members of the worldwide PROBE Network, as many messages of condolence have confirmed over the last few weeks
The last time we heard from Gerry he said “I’m feeling a lot better” which, considering it was only a few days before his untimely passing, seems to sum up the essence of our dear friend and colleague. At a time when all of his family and friends were fighting to come to terms with how Cancer had stealthily spread around his body, Gerry was still looking forward, still planning his next overseas trip, still being the enthusiastic ‘Duracell bunny’. Gerry would never slow down; he was always working on the next sales strategy, planning the next presentation, making the next phone call. He was totally committed to the work we were doing and that commitment transmitted itself to everyone Gerry met. Of the numerous comments and tributes we received from around the world, two seemed to resonate as the embodiment of how we all feel.
“The world is moved forward by the risk-takers, not of the bungie jumping or mountain climbing variety but of the little risks that move things along a step: those who say yes when others might say no, those that reach out to others and say “How can we make this happen?” [Those] that are generous with their precious time because that is indeed what none of us is rich enough in. Gerry was all this and also so blazingly calm and centered. Gerry was an important person to me: unusually generous, kind, open, a believer in people and ideas”
“Gerry was an Irish gentleman. My memories of him are of one who is passionate about his work and benchmarking in general. He is also gentle, considerate, helpful and has a good sense of fun. He was one of the most important drivers of the benchmarking community in Europe. It is our loss that we did not tell him this when he was alive. Gerry will be missed by his many friends. His memory will live on with his positive attitude and his desire for viable solutions”
Gerry will be missed by everyone involved with the PROBE Network. Replacing his skills, commitment and enthusiasm we cannot fully hope to achieve but we are inspired by them as we seek to move forward. Gerry was one of those people who, when things appeared to be at their lowest point, he never worried. He’d just get up and brush himself down because tomorrow would present a whole bunch of new opportunities and even today, at our lowest point, we will do the same.
We lost our dear Gerry on Thursday 6th October, the day after Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Gerry lived by bold visions and it is an irony that he shared such a sad and auspicious date. Knowing Gerry we like to smile thinking he’s advising Steve now on things he could have done better and bigger…….all followed by the wink and a hearty, hearty laugh.
Rest In Peace Gerry
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