On Sunday at 5:02 am, Gary Gumbert passed away at his home in Cedar Park, TX.
Gary was a great American. A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, he served his country for more than two decades as a pilot.
Gary went on to serve as the CIO at the Texas Health and Human Service Commission following a stint at MAXIMUS.
AutoGov engaged Gary to assist our efforts to gain control of our rapidly expanding technical infrastructure. His advice and counsel provide us with a much needed focus on our core offerings.
In recent months, Gary and his wife, Jackie, allowed me an opportunity to share some private time with him. Providing me insight into the life of this selfless man, Gary's words were those of one without regret who remained fiercely loyal - a true patriot - through his last days.
His struggle with cancer was a mighty one. He was fearless and fought back time and again over six years.
He often referred to me as a "dragon slayer", as side by side, we fought together on a variety of fronts. I recently wondered aloud if he realized that he was my hero, the real dragon slayer. He shrugged and said simply, "No sir."
On April 23, 1910, Theodore Roosevelt made a speech in Paris, France entitled "Citizenship in a Republic." This excerpt from the speech captures much of how my friend lived his life.
"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
Gary Gumbert's face was always marred with dust, sweat and blood. His victories where many and his failures few. He was a great man and a better friend.
You sir are my hero, the real dragon slayer.
Godspeed Gary Gumbert.