The Seattle Times: Local News: Pilot, 40, worked at Amazon.com: A Magnolia man who died after his plane crashed in Renton on Sunday afternoon was one of the earliest hires at Amazon.com.
I wrote in the acknowledgement of my dissertation: "John Gehlen--through his consistent, kind encouragement and cheerful disposition, as well as his solid scientific judgment--has been a great blessing to me during my time here." John was one of those really kind people (in the midst of many not-so-kind folks) who helped me get through my graduate studies. I lost touch with John many years ago but wondered about him over the years. I knew that John was living in Seattle and suspected that he was still working at amazon.com. When I visited him in Seattle many years ago, he showed me around what was then just an emerging company. I had heard that he was happy. I am now so sad that such a lovely man should perish in a terrible accident. R.I.P., dear John.
I just learned of this today, 12/13, and I wholeheartedly agree with you that John was one of the really kind people who helped me make it through my short time at Berkeley.
I, too, had lost touch with him after he left Davis and moved back to Seattle, until a couple years ago when he was taking a sabbatical from amazon. He was flying his plane across country and visiting friends. Getting mail from him was a great surprise, and it was even better that he said he was going to stop in Austin and visit me and my wife. We got to spend about two and a half days with him after his planned one day stop got extended by bad weather. It was great seeing him again, and he was the same old John. Super nice, and very happy with where he was. I am glad that I got to see him again.
Trevor Sosebee (email@example.com)
I was waiting for somone like Trev who actually knew you to put something in here --- I know your name but not your face, I'm sorry. John truly made life in Lewis Hall more bearable, whether it was playing softball on the parking ramp field, wiffle ball on the plaza, or going to lunch at Bongo Burger. One of my favorite ways to help the guys upstairs out was calling when I saw the door plaza door in Hildebrand open, and a certain someone would be on their way to Lewis. (I think Head-Gordon's group owns those offices now.) I was able to keep seeing John after he became a postdoc at Davis, and I came to UOP. After that, we gradually lost touch, but thinking of him always made me smile, as it will continue to do so, though now it will be with a bit of sadness.