Sunday, December 09, 2007

Gerry Chatterton, RIP

It is with great sadness that I must report the untimely death of my good friend Gerry Chatterton. While most people are more familiar with his scuba diving brother John Chatterton from the Discovery Channel, Gerry Chatterton was very well-known during the 1990’s New York computer boom, one of the original NYC dot com zillionaires, employing hundreds of consultants.

Gerry was widely known for his contagious, manic enthusiasm and hardly an IT manager from the Financial District to Midtown did not know and like Gerry Chatterton.

I first met Gerry in Los Angeles in the mid 1990’s when I was speaking at the Oracle Openworld conference. Brilliant and congenial with contagious enthusiasm, Gerry arrived at Oracle World like a King, replete with his family and his entourage of personal assistants.

That year Oracle rented Universal Studios for one evening, and while Andy & Jen relished the no-lines access to the rides, Gerry and Adrian won us over and we became fast friends.

Gerry was generous to a fault, and Janet and I soon discovered that we should never admire anything in a store, lest Gerry whip out his wallet and buy it for us. Over the years we met Gerry and his family for outings, our kids played together and we all came to know and love him.

I’ll never forget the evening in 2000 when Gerry flew me and Janet up to NYC to celebrate his wedding anniversary. We dined at Windows on the World in the 107th floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center, with an unforgettable view of the Manhattan skyline.

107th floor of the North Tower, WTC

During dinner, Gerry snuck off to the gift shop and surprised me and Janet with a pair of extremely expensive WOW leather jackets. As a memento of the World Trade Center, it’s probably worth a small fortune on eBay, but it’s worth far more to me as a gift from a dear friend.

Gerry retired in 2000 to relax and enjoy his retirement, and his untimely death was both shocking and tragic. Gerry will be sorely missed, both by his friends and business associates. Our hearts go out Gerry’s wife and family . . .