Go happily, Gary Sasso; you did good
Let us remember a giant
Some of us already know that Gary M. Sasso died 27 March 2022. It’s a substantial sadness for many of us. But let’s remember that Gary was a good guy.
We academics in special education knew and admired Gary, He was among the good peeps, those whom we seek for conversations about important issues, when looking for smart pals at conferences or other places where advocates for helping kids with disabilities gathered. Gary was there for us.
As a youth, Gary resisted war, but he served as a medic in the military. After studying SpEd at Kansas, as an aspiring academic, Gary grew from being one of we many puny professors to someone who had substantial authority. He chaired a department and served as a dean of a school. Cream rises to the top. His smarts and people skills had consequences!
If you didn’t know Gary personally, I’m sorry that you missed him. He was one of the most wise, witty, and dedicated special educators who walked the planet in the past half century. Many of us will miss his incisive observations, intelligent (and funny) comments, and his dedication to helping kids with disabilities and their families. And, many of us will miss his laugh!
Gary was the real deal. He was a top-of-the-line contributor, a human who gave a damn about kids with disabilities and devoted his life to helping them.
I encourage readers to learn more about him. There is a wonderful report (In Memoriam: Gary Sasso, Former Dean of the College of Education) about him from his last univserity. I expect many other colleagues will have similar tributes. I hope some of them will post their memories here.
As for my view, my equation is as follows:
Good + Smart + Considerate + Caring + Savvy + Effective = Gary.