Death of a Classmate - Gerald (SMOKY) Gard - 9th Co.

Gerald (SMOKY) Gard  died 3 February 2020.   He was raised in Laconia, NH. 

 At the Naval Academy following  his appointment ceremony in Memorial  Hall, when "at ease" was announced, Gerry  decided to smoke. An officer immediately rushed over  and asked him what he was doing. He replied that his mother  approved of his smoking. The officer asked "Do you know where you are?   Don't these memorials in this room mean anything to you?" Gerry responded with a  "No". The agitated officer ordered him to put out the cigarette immediately. Gerry looked  around and saw no ashtrays, so he dropped the cigarette on the lovely parquet floor and stepped  on it.  

 The  officer  almost exploded .


  As a result of this incident everyone said Gerry wouldn't last the week before he was discharged.  But he survived four years at the Naval Academy and became "Smoky" to all his classmates. He was  in the 9th company and lived in the 5th Wing of Bancroft Hall.


 Smoky  graduated, became a  naval aviator and spent the  next four years flying ASW helicopters  in the North Atlantic with HS-7,  home based Norfolk. In August 1959 he left   active duty and accepted a position as Helicopter Test  Pilot at Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford CT. Nineteen years with  Sikorski included flight testing, marketing, and international sales.  Highlights included being the project pilot on the Presidential VHA helicopter,   successful sales to the Spanish and Brazilian navies. Also he was manager of the LAMPS  II air vehicle and the MH 53 mine warfare countermeasure program.

 In   1977 Smoky accepted   a position at Bell  Helicopter Textron as the Washington DC  representative, A significant achievement   was the initiation of the V-22 OSPREY program.  It was accomplished by Smoky during his tour with Bell   Helicopters.    


 Following retirement from  Bell in 1990, he was offered a  position with Eagle Technology Logicon   as a Contract Support Engineer. Smoky was a principal  engineer to the technical staff of the Naval Air Systems Command,  working on the avionics and software in the USMC V22 OSPREY program.

 Survivors are his loving wife  Jacquie, 2 children; Gerald III,  and Lisa, 3 grandchildren; Jeffrey Gerald  Gard, Reilly and Marley Gagnon.

 The Gard family lived in Oakton, VA, but spent their summers on  beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee in Meredith, NH. A celebration of life ceremony was held at Ashby Ponds in Ashburn, VA where they  lived the last nine years.  

 Smoky will be buried in the family plot in Meredith in the summer.      

No comments: