I never met him but around five years ago he took an interest in my Wild West campaign which used the hybrid D&D 1st Edition & Boot Hill rules he created for the 1st Edition DMG. He read and posted comments to the ENWorld Story Hour of the campaign and we then exchanged around twenty emails, where he suggested plotlines and NPC's for the campaign.
It's a measure of the man's impact that I come home from practice and there are a dozen e-mails in my in-box passing the news along. Friends I have not heard from in years passed along happy memories of our times gaming in the past. That's what Gary's innovation brought to me - a great excuse to make new friends and spend time together.
I'm glad I got to thank him in person many times - but one more time - Thanks Gary!
A player in my game informed me of the news this afternoon. My reaction was "nurr?", as it completely broadsided me.
We're getting together tomorrow night for our regular game tomorrow night. I'll have to think of something fitting in his memory.
I'm not a religious man, but it's a quaint thought to imagine him in the great beyond, designing the Great Campaign for when Al Gore, Nichelle Nichols, and Stephen Hawking get wherever Gary went... (Go watch Futurama!)