Gary Fletcher, Founding Father and Life Friend of Rotary eClub One.
Respectfully submitted, Deborah Dale Brackney, Fan and friend of Gary Fletcher.
Think back to the year 2000. Long before texting, YouTube and even so much email, the power of the Internet was just starting to be realized. In the early 2000s our eClub was lucky enough to have two visionary’s willing to put time, energy and perseverance into creating the world’s first online Rotary club.
Those two men were John Minter and Gary Fletcher. Those early years of launching the eClub were not easy. There were many questions and doubts about how a Rotary club could function without weekly meetings and other social interaction. However both John and Gary held fast to their vision and came up with an online Rotary club meeting design that emphasized service and the opportunity for Rotarians to connect worldwide, creating a truly international Rotary club. All this was done in technology, the Internet which was in its infancy.
Yesterday October 7, 2015, our club learned of the passing of our Rotary eClub life friend, Gary Fletcher. He died of cancer at the age of 71. Gary was a visionary. The fact that there are now over 300 online Rotary clubs is a testament to that. But Gary was more than a visionary. He was action oriented as well.
Gary ran his own business, he was a passionate and dedicated Boy Scout leader and the amount of his Rotary work would leave one breathless. Here are just a few of his Rotary accomplishments; Club President of the Smoky Hill Rotary Club in Aurora, Colorado, founder of the district conference resource team that created a structure and process so that district events are well produced and our District’s webmaster for many years. Gary was also an early contributor to the Districts Leadership Institute was an engaging and thoughtful presenter. He was also our club’s infrastructure for many years. He kept us going technically and functionally by serving as our Webmaster and as our bookkeeper.
But Gary was so much more than what of what he did. The who of Gary was a big-hearted, twinkle in his eye, and modest man. He never seemed very comfortable with praise or acknowledgement. Whenever recognized for his generosity, Gary would get this baffled look and offer “well, Rotary is my passion.”
To me, Gary
was a trusted Rotary friend and the man to whom I owe my introduction to our
eClub: a club that is built on the principles of the Four Way tests and true
Rotarian Gary Fletcher, pictured at left with our Charter President John Minter, PDG Matt Matson and PP Chris Joscelyne.
As we learned of Gary’s death, many tributes from our Rotary world arrived. Here are a few of the tributes:
Please note that Gary was, indeed, a Life Friend of Rotary eClub One, see https://www.rotaryeclubone.org/about/lifefriendofrotary/ , and served as our Webmaster and bookkeeper.
He was a member of the Smoky Hill (Aurora CO) Rotary Club.
Carol Lightfoot Steen, Rotary eClub One, Past President
As we mourn the passing of Rotarian Gary Fletcher we remember Gary's magnificent contribution as a founder and the inaugural webmaster of the world's first web-based Rotary club ... Rotary eClub One. Gary was an Internet pioneer and innovator who shared his I.T. skills generously and graciously.
Gary was a Past President and PHF of the Rotary Club of Smoky Hill, Aurora, Colorado.
In addition to serving as the inaugural webmaster of Rotary eClub One, Gary Fletcher was the founder of the District Event Resource Team that was so helpful to producing District 5450 events, especially the District Conferences.
Gary and his team provided a step-by-step production outline that listed how the District Conference and District Assembly needed to be arranged, managed and produced. Each year, District Governors relied on Gary's splendid event production template.
Also, for many years, Gary was the District 5450 Webmaster.
I think many Rotarians would be unaware of Gary's many years of dedication and commitment to Boy Scouts.
Gary certainly exemplified three cornerstones of Scouting, as stated by the founder Lord Baden-Powell
The most worthwhile thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others. The Scoutmaster teaches boys to play the game by doing so himself. A Scout is never taken by surprise; he knows exactly what to do when anything unexpected happens.
Chris Joscelyne Rotary eClub One,
Gary was the founder of the District Event Resource Team that was so helpful to putting on District events, especially the District Conferences. He and his team were responsible with an entire blow-by-blow outline off how it needed to be done. It was so helpful to many a DG. He will be missed!!!!
PDG 2013-2014, Peter Ewing