Geoff Gillette death September 7, 2019

Geoff Gillette is at lower right, in white shirt, washed in the blood of the lamb. The occasion was a reunion, many of the friendships deepened during the time of the band Captain Electric and the Flying Lapels.

On September 7, 2019, Geoffrey Robert Gillette passed away at age 71 in Beach Haven, NJ. He cherished being at the shore where he vacationed since he was a child, so it was fitting that he would be there in his last days.

Geoff had a zeal for traveling and although he saw much of the world, he was mespecially fond of the Jersey Shore. He had great enthusiasm for surfing, sailing and just being in the salt air. Music was Geoff’s passion: singing, playing and making it. He was a world-class Studio recording/live sound and Mastering engineer. He was blessed to be able to work at a craft he loved wholeheartedly. Geoff had an infectious smile, an easy laugh and a knack for telling a good story.

Geoff is preceded in death by his parents, Phyllis and Bob. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer, his sister Deborah Hennessy and her husband Richard, his niece, two nephews, their spouses and five great-nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held at 10:00 AM, October 5, 2019 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Main Street in Chatham. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to Center of Hope Hospice, Scotch Plains, NJ.

Geoff Gillette is at left, as Tom Thornton sings. Geoff seems to have borrowed a pair of Fred Ferlic’s golf slacks.

Notes sent by Geoff’s friends:

This is a beautiful tribute Maralissa. Thank you.

On Sep 17, 2019, at 9:52 AM, Maralissa Thomas <> wrote:

Like all of you, I’m still piecing together all the fond memories of time spent with Geoff. After college, our communication drifted as I moved to the East coast and he was trailblazing in the West. But then, in the mid-80s I made a trip with my daughter to CA to tour colleges she had here eye on (went on to get a scholarship from UCLA) and Rain and I were graciously invited to stay with the Duffy’s during that trip. Toward the end of the trip, it turned out the contractor working on the Duffy’s house wanted everyone to vacate for several days so he could refinish the floors, and offered his house in Cabo for all of us to stay. Well, I extended our stay and Geoff came along with the whole Duffy family, Rain and I, and we had an awesome vacation together. All the Mexico delights plus catching up on a decade. And that cemented a strong friendship that continued through the many years I lived in Santa Barbara afterward. I always new that Geoff would be surprising me again and again with invitations to hang out with him at the Santa Barbara studio to sit on recording sessions or the Santa Barbara jazz festival when he worked it. He got me hooked on some music I might never have found otherwise. His blood and sinew seemed to be music. And when I’d be in LA visiting my daughter, I’d give him a call and it was life as usual for him and we’d end up at a party to hang out with members of The Eagles and the like. I’d be star struck and this was everyday life for him. I recall in the 90s noticing a grammy on his wall and matter-of-factly he said it was for having worked on an Eva Cassidy album and flipped her music on the stereo. This kind man, a superb craftsman, traveled the world of masterful music a gazillion miles with his whole heart. RIP Geoff 

On Sep 16, 2019, at 4:07 PM, Joseph Brennan <> wrote:

From: Joe Brennan <>

Subject:Re: Geoff Gillette Interview : Sean Kneese : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

Geoff was such apart of my life it is totally surreal to think that he is gone. He offered me a space in his house to crash for about 10 years whenever I was working on a movie in LA after Donna and I moved to Santa Cruz. We shared  many an adventure as well as a wealth of musical experiences. He will be sorely missed.My love goes out to you all my brothers and sisters on this life journey, Joe

From: “Kevin & Helena Daly” <>

Sent: Sunday, September 15, 2019 11:06:47 AM
Subject: Re: Fwd: Geoff Gillette Interview : Sean Kneese : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

Fond memory:

In 1968, my roommate Geoff, continually tried to teach me to sing…to no avail! He was quite the musician even then…obsessed (in a good way) with music and eager to share.

We had a lot of laughs over the years and I’m glad he was able to visit occasionally and to keep up our friendship.

Very sad to see him die so young. Leaves a bit of a hollow in our hearts.

On 9/12/2019 12:31 PM, mingus (Shawn Reynolds)wrote:
Hey,Don et al,Thanks for sharing that interview with Geoff.  Last time I was in LA for the Siggraph (computer animation) convention he and I and Joan went out to dinner and a club and he talked about a lot of those things, especially his prejudice toward analog over digital recording. At least 10 music people came up to thank or praise him and chat. I felt like I was with a celebrity but his natural humility dismissed any of that. He will be sorely missed…

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
Subject: Fwd: Geoff Gillette Interview : Sean Kneese : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
Gus and I spoke after Geoff’s passing and he forwarded this interview of Geoff on his career in sound engineering and the music biz. I didn’t know the fine texture and breadth of Geoff’s career. The interview covers a long span of years and Geoff’s technical insights on the way recorded sound has changed. I found it brilliant and very worthwhile, especially to hear Geoff’s own voice.
With love,

Begin forwarded message:

From: Gus Duffy <>
Date: September 8, 2019 at 6:38:26 PM PDT
Subject:Geoff Gillette Interview : Sean Kneese : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

Here’s that piece by GG
Now I’ll stop the barrage….

Death of Tom Knowles September 11, 2019

Tom Knowles, 1968 yearbook

Thomas K Knowles, 73, of Westchester, beloved husband of Diane Knowles nee Hart, passed away on September 11, 2019. He was the loving father of Molly (Ryan Day) and Ryan (Claudia Moreno), adoring grandfather of Aden, Eric, Margaret and Eleanor and uncle to many. He was preceded in death by his sister, Nancy, and is survived by his two brothers, Bruce (Mary) and Richard (Regina).

Tom attended Fenwick High School before heading to Notre Dame for undergrad and DePaul for Law School. He and Diane married in 1969 and moved to Oak Park shortly after. Tom practiced law on Chicago Avenue with Diane by his side for almost 40 years. They moved to Westchester in 2011 and were to celebrate their 50th anniversary in November.

He will be remembered by many as a loyal friend with a witty sense of humor.

Tom Fitzharris work at NYC Metropolitan Museum till Nov. 10, 2019

Tom sent a note indicating that, while the Reubens and Matisses and Picassos are out on the walls of the Met and available for viewing by the hot polloi, Tom’s own work is available for viewing by special arrangement.

Dear Friends:
I have a landscape in the Employee Art show. 
It’s up until Sunday, November 10th. (See image below.) Unfortunately, it’s not open to the public. You need an employee to get you in.  So if you’re going to the museum, let me know and I’ll see if I’m going to be there at the same time. It’s the Greek galleries where Play It Loud, the guitar show, was.


New Look, by artist Tom Fitzharris

Joe Ferry seldom visits but he writes to us

From:Joseph Ferry <>
To:Tom Figel <>

Tom –
Thanks. Your acknowledgment that we non-Chicago Metro alums can be forgiven if we feel like the ND equivalent of fly-over country in the Class Notes is most welcome.
A few years ago I dragooned Tom Weyer into getting me a mention in the Class Notes which you generously fulfilled, though not without a cheeky aside that was both warranted and clever.
After graduation, like a lot of us, I spent nearly 3 years in the service of our country as a US Army Officer, something I was privileged to do. One day, I saw a guy in the Officer’s Club in Korea whom I recognized but did not know from ND.  I spoke to him—he was getting assigned elsewhere—but haven’t seen him since, though he lives fewer than ten miles from me. Perhaps I’ll reach out to him now that it’s on my mind. Mike Basquill.
The Notre Dame Club of Philadelphia of which I was an active member in the ‘70s and ‘80s has undergone a hostile takeover by Gen X sansculottes and I’m no longer a Philadelphia resident and, to be fair, seldom awake when its confabs take place. So there’s that.
I did go to the Fiftieth Class Reunion, which see, the only Reunion that I ever attended and was pleasantly surprised at how welcoming our classmates were. I had met Tom Weyer and Fred Fertig at the ND-Temple Game the previous September. Those two are a class treasure. I had a great time and met classmates I had never managed to meet when I was a student and a few that I had. The effulgent John O’Connor bought me a drink.
In 1998, my wife and I went to Annapolis to celebrate our wedding anniversary and my birthday—I got married on my 34th birthday. The Naval Academy Class of ’68 was celebrating its 30th Anniversary and it was headquartered at our hotel. My wife alerted me to this and, pointing to a man who was about my age, said “That guy looks like he was in that class.” I approached the man and asked “Are you a member of the Class of 1968?” He said that he was. I told that I was, also but “not here, Notre Dame.” The entire weekend the Navy Class of ’68 welcomed me like I was one of them because of the ND-Navy relationship. It was very touching and I will never forget it.
That weekend I also ran into a couple of ND guys, Rich Rogers from our class, whom I had not previously known and another FBI guy whose name I can no longer retrieve but who played football for the Irish.
It’s a great time of life, Tom. Old enough to appreciate the gifts that you have been given and wise enough to know that you don’t deserve them. I hope one day to meet you.
Warm regards.

233 East King StreetApartment 304Malvern, PA 19355
Home = 215-836-9298 
Mobile = 215-806-8965.

Mike Crutcher correspondence from China

   A number of classmates wrote, including this one from Mike Crutcher,

Mike Crutcher, 1968 yearbook

Dear Tom , 
Been in China since 2006 . Came here to do ‘ humanitarian ‘ work .. making peoples lives better through the revelation of Truth ( worldview ) and empowering grace . FYI : Because of where I live some vagueness in details is better in this email .
Met my wife here in 2007 , married in 2008 . She is what the locals call ‘ foreign born Chinese ‘ . Born in Malaysia , raised in Hong Kong , then family moved to Australia . Education is our mainstay ..mostly teaching English . She has
A little background on me : after ND … USAF/ANG pilot , then lived in DC for a while , back home to Big D , real estate business there , age 31 my ‘ born again ‘ experience which radically changed my lifestyle and priorities . Opened my heart and mind up to a more eternal perspective rather than the temporal pursuits … the Big Picture . Was led to go to graduate school to study theology/psychology .
Best ND buddies .. the Coyote (Dave Martin) by a long shot ( so blessed to have him as a loyal friend along with the lovely Jan and daughters )  , Dennis Withers , Chris Murphy , Rocky Bleier , Dan Harshman , Steve Anderson , Jay Jordan .
Life is good ..asking the Lord for another healthy 20 years to do His bidding by loving Him and loving others .
Thanks for your time !

The provocative Richard Pivnicka turns his attention to Notre Dame Magazine

Reading of the most recent post Jay Schwartz added to his blog, One More Thing. . . (click on, prompted the Honorary Czech Consul General Richard Pivnicka to send a copy of ideas he has proposed to Notre Dame Magazine.

Subject:Jay’s blog and ND Magazine
Date:Mon, 28 Oct 2019 12:08:09 -0700
From:Richard Pivnicka, Consul General <>
CC:Tom Figel <>

Hi Jay, Tom Figel just sent me your Blog… and I am sending him my thanks….Your blog is really very well done! Enjoyed reading several of the articles, particularly the plastic article.

Richard Pivnicka

Occasionally I email the editor of ND Magazine, Kerry Temple suggesting a few topics for the magazine since ND’s award winning magazine does not seem to  take on tough, self-critical topics, like ND being the number university having “legacy students.” (Stanford at 15%, is half of ND).  I think the most far out issue in recent times….but not by global standards …. was that fashion issue a few years ago that was criticized by some but I thought it was surprisingly interesting…up beat and fun.  Pls see a recent exchange of emails with Kerry below. 
Perhaps with your credentials and moral authority you could encourage the ND Magazine to address some important hot topics of the day:
1. Concussions in all contact sports. Am aware that a startup, Hitcheck can diagnosis a concussion but have not heard of much about materially reducing concussions except for some rule changes. And Rene Torrado, who you know (ND ’69, Sorin basement) is a legal authority on the topic, and former President of the Chicago Bar, just retired.
2. Priesthood: what are the canonical and other objections to married men becoming priests (as they are trying to do in the Amazon) and ordaining woman as priests? (Think the latest version of Canon Law was 1983).
3. McCloskey (like in Tom) New Ventures Competition at the Idea Center. The best new ideas coming out of ND are among the 165 teams presenting in the annual McCloskey startup competition. Its in its 19th year with over $400,000 in prizes…and you never read about some potentially great achievements.
4. Why isn’t ND among the top 100 “green” universities in the country (considering GREEN is in its DNA) except for a recent article mentioning that this year ND is the second school in the nation to install the Emerson Electric Grind2Energy system which turns organic scraps into clean power.   
5. Peace Institue at ND….what’s going on here? …..Originally funded by Ms. Kroc, the McDonald heiress. 
6. My wife Barbara says ND should be awash with articles and an issue on how to solve the immigration crisis humanely considering it claims moral authority and was founded more or less for Irish Immigrants to go to college. She says ND could be internationally known for this topic… and, its ND’s to lose!  Like at Michigan?
7. How about a rundown on Mayor Pete?
But for these hotter topics, I think the ND magazine does a first rate but could use a topical update?  
Wow, do I feel so much better getting all this off my chest!:).

Go Irish!Best,Richard Pivnicka ‘68