Gerard C. Gold, 1962-2019
A version of this tribute appeared in the program at Gerard's celebration of life, Dec. 8, 2019 at the West End Seventh Day Adventist Church in Atlanta, GA.
He was known as “G.”
“G” for Gerard and “G” for Gold but also “G” for genuine, “G” for giving, “G” for “You good?” the daily text he sent to those in his wide circle.
He was a short man with a big presence. A brother. A protector. A smack talking New Yorker. A nobody-messes-with-me-man.
A deacon at West End Seventh Day Adventist church, he took the job seriously. He would come up and ask, how are you doing? Maybe you said you were good. No, how are you really doing? He wanted to know that you were okay, and he could probably help you if you weren’t.
As one parishioner said, Gerard’s “weekly texts on Sabbath morning were ministry in its purest, most unobtrusive form, always guaranteed to point you to Christ while also making you stop and think.”
The son of Marva and Raymond Gold, Gerard was born and raised in New York, along with his sister, Lauren. He was very close to his mother and his grandfather, “Buster” Brown, who he resembled in stature and personality.
When Gerard was in high school, his dad was transferred to New Mexico for work, and Gerard graduated high school in Albuquerque. He received his associate’s degree in accounting from the University of New Mexico. While in New Mexico, he met his lifelong friend and confidante Adrienne. Their connection felt like family immediately.
Gerard later received a degree in business administration (finance) from Shorter University in Rome, Georgia. After a stint as a flight attendant, he moved to Atlanta.
Even though he hadn’t lived in New York for thirty years, he still had that accent.
He was an avid sports fan. Picture him at a Braves game. A hush comes over the crowd. Gerard stands up in his shorts and sunglasses and screams at the top of his lungs, “Let’s go Mets.” Every New Yorker within sight and hearing range looks over, and soon Gerard’s exchanging phone numbers with them. Always the recruiter, he’s getting a guy a job.
He could forge a relationship through a one-time meeting with anyone. He’s talking to the bus driver, Hey man, how’s your day? Ten years later, he remembers the bus driver—and his birthday.
Gerard was a devoted husband, always looking after Tina and asking others to look after her when he wasn’t with her.
The two met at a Super Bowl party, where Gerard also met lifelong friends Wayne, Jeff, and Jerry. At first, Tina avoided Gerard, but he was undeterred. She wanted him to leave her alone, and then, charmed, she didn’t want him to leave.
After being together for several years, the two married on Gerard’s parents’ anniversary—May 2.
Gerard was a father to Ian, a father figure to his nephew, Justin, a godfather to Peri and Jaya, and Uncle G to many others.
In some ways, Gerard and Tina were opposites, Gerard, larger than life, the center of attention, Tina an introvert. “He prayed, I held his hand,” Tina says.
“I basked in the glow that was Gerard. He made my world so much bigger, brighter. He wanted to make sure I saw everything I wanted. He’d always ask, ‘Where we going next, baby?’”
Gerard worked as a recruiter, a human resources guy. He was good at his job, won lots of awards, but he didn’t just do this for work. He was a human resource. He was always finding jobs for people, both those in his circle and complete strangers, though they were never strangers for long.
He and Greg Guy had a plan for a business, G & G Investments. They even had matching cufflinks, which Gerard wore every Saturday. “That’s something I’ll make sure get’s off the ground,” Greg says. “We’ll fulfill that dream.”
Gerard loved his Coke and his chicken. He would research the best chicken spot when he was traveling, or he’d look for that “famous for” item for the area. He loved preparing the greens for the Thanksgiving meal (secret ingredient: beer) with “the crew” and always scooped off the top for Tina and kept it for later if she was working.
He wasn’t perfect. He could be hot-tempered. He liked to be in control. He could be frugal, though you’d have to look out if you thought you were going to grab the check at the restaurant. Gerard whispered in the waitress’s ear before you even sat down.
Greg Guy was one of Gerard’s lifelong friends, and the two became especially close in the last five years, often taking trips as a foursome. Gerard, Tina, Greg, and Nora traveled to Costa Rica, Jamaica, Egypt and Greece, among other locales. They rode camels, Segways, donkeys, kayaks, ziplines, busses, and trains.
Last May, the boys, aka Golden Guy adventures, packed bags for the girls and surprised them with a trip to Miami and then to Cuba.
The couples looked forward to a trip to Brazil this year. “The last place was always the favorite, and the next place was anticipated to be the best yet,” says Tina.
The four were together holding hands and praying in the hospital when Gerard took his last breath.
Inside Gerard’s casket is a plaque, a gift from Nora and Greg, with Proverb 17:17:
A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
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