for gene.

Gene Gadd
December 15, 1931 – September 22, 2012


“Did you know that Brett shot 92% from the free throw line?”

Gene smiled at me from across the couch, his bright blue eyes twinkling. They matched his blue cotton shirt, tucked carefully into a pair of crisp khaki pants.

I had only known Gene for two weeks, and this was the third time he had rattled off Brett’s impressive free throw stats.

“Really?” I asked innocently. “I had no idea, Gene!”

I turned to Brett. “Did you play basketball in high school or something?”

Brett smiled. “A little,” he answered playfully.

Gene stared at me, not quite sure if we were joking or not. To be on the safe side, he reminded me of some of Brett’s other impressive basketball stats, just to make sure I knew exactly how lucky I was to be dating him.

As if I didn’t know.

Gene and I had this same conversation almost every time we saw each other during the first year that Brett and I dated. He bragged about Brett, I pretended I had no idea that Brett played basketball, and then he bragged some more. On our wedding day, Gene’s entire toast was about Brett. He told basketball stories and spouted off sports highlights, making sure everyone in the room, including my entire family, knew of Brett’s accomplishments. Gene took every possible opportunity to remind me how blessed I was to be marrying his son.

Gene always said he wanted to live long enough to see Brett become a dad. Last week after Gene’s passing, a friend wrote to me, “Good fathers raise good fathers.” That statement could not be truer for Gene and Brett. Nobody could have done a better job of raising the father of my child than Gene Gadd.

And for that Gene, I will never be able to thank you enough. See you in Heaven.


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35 Responses to for gene.

  1. Liz says:

    Oh dear… I’m crying 🙁 I think this is the biggest compliment you can give any person – any parent. This is so sweet and I am so sorry for your loss. I hope Brett is doing okay. Thinking of you both during this difficult time.

  2. Becca says:

    What a beautiful post. Makes me want to squeeze my parents a little tighter and remember how fragile life is. Hoping you and your husband are doing ok through this time.

  3. caprice says:

    Oh I am so sorry for your loss, he seems like a wonderful man and father (in-law). I loved your tribute to him. I bet he has a smile from ear to ear knowing that you know how much he loved his son.

  4. timsy says:

    You are such a talented writer! Teared up reading this… Once again, I am so sorry for your loss! Sending you and your family hugs.

  5. Paulette says:

    Dearest Ashlee and Brett,

    I can see the smile you described in your post. There was always a twinkle in his eyes. Gene was probably the sweetest man I have had the pleasure to know. I am so sorry for your loss, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Love you, Mom

  6. robyn says:

    oh my goodness-so sad but sounds like salt of the earth goodness. good fathers raise good fathers.
    surround each other with love
    robyn´s last blog post ..The Big Things

  7. Kelly says:

    How beautiful, sweet friend. Totally crying right now. Just read the obituary – the fact that Gene had seven children and yet remembered/loved/praised those things about Brett (and I imagine did the same for the other six) is even more amazing. What an amazing man and father. I imagine heaven is doing a little rejoicing right now. Praying for you guys.

  8. Gina says:

    Such a beautifully written post in honor of your father-in-law.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. Many prayers and much love from me to you and yours. <3
    Gina´s last blog post ..Five on Friday

  9. Lesley says:

    I join you in praising Jesus that Gene and Everett got to meet here on earth. I also love seeing Gene’s eyes on Everett. I swear, every time I see your baby I see Gene…which is weird since I didn’t even know Gene very well.

    Ash, the post is beautiful. I am praying for you and Brett this weekend, and Mitzie too.
    Lesley´s last blog post ..Saying goodbye, creativity and baby sales

  10. Briel K. says:

    So sorry to hear about this loss. My heart is going out to Brett, you, and his family!

  11. Sarabell says:

    I am so sorry for yours and Brett’s loss and just said a quick prayer for quick grieving and healing, for love and strength. This is beautiful writing Ashlee and I’m sure Gene is smiling about it right now.
    Sarabell´s last blog post ..This Fall…

  12. ashleyTIA says:

    What a beautiful post.

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Ash. Sending love and prayers to you and Brett.
    ashleyTIA´s last blog post ..The one where I go to Kentucky (Part 2).

  13. kate says:

    so beautifully written. i’m so sorry for your loss. sounds like he was an amazing man.
    kate´s last blog post ..Weekly Series: 19 weeks

  14. kelly ann says:

    You guys have been on my mind and in my heart everyday. Holding you close in my prayers.

    So much love. <3
    kelly ann´s last blog post york, you are loved.

  15. Annette eland says:

    Totally crying. Really, really sweet.

  16. LfT says:

    Been thinking about you guys a lot and saying prayers for peace and comfort. “See you in Heaven,” indeed. Sending love.
    LfT´s last blog post ..The Cardboard Box Diet: Week 14

  17. I haven’t seen Mr. Gadd in over a decade, but I know what a good man he was and what great sons he has! Love and prayers to your family, Ashlee.
    Katie Mahoney Blackburn´s last blog post ..little kicks

  18. Katie says:

    What a beautiful post. I am so sorry for your loss. I’ve been keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers and will continue to do so. Sendings lots of love!
    Katie´s last blog post ..good days

  19. Ashley says:

    Such a beautiful post. I’m so sorry for your, Ashlee. You and Brett are in my prayers, and I’m here if you need anything. Brett is an amazing father, and obviously taking after his own dad.

  20. Diana says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. You wrote such a beautifully worded post. I echo everyone else, sending love and prayers to you and yours.
    Diana´s last blog post ..tbt & life, lately

  21. Kyla Roma says:

    This is such a heartbreaking loss- but what a beautiful, full life. I’m glad he got to meet his grandchild, that’s such a gift you two were able to give him. I’m sending your family love & prayers <3
    Kyla Roma´s last blog post ..New Old Sounds, Shiny New Habits

  22. Michelle says:

    No words will ever make this any easier. So I will keep you and your family in every prayer. You truly are blessed!
    Michelle´s last blog post ..Married vs. Single, A Hollywood Version of My Man, and The Shattered American Dream?

  23. Jackie says:

    oh my goodness, I have chills from that obituary. It’s beautifully written, and this post is too. I’m so sorry for you & Brett & the whole family’s loss. Gene seems like he would be the coolest grandpa 🙂
    Jackie´s last blog post ..friday faves [part 5]

  24. Megan says:

    This tribute to your father-in-law has me in tears. What a wonderful man.

  25. Lottie says:

    such a beautiful post.
    Lottie´s last blog post is less than three months away.

  26. Holly says:

    Sending lots of love & prayers your way, Ashlee. I must sat that there is definitely a resemblance between Everett and Gene. I know Everett will be thankful to have that photo when he is older. My dad’s dad died before I was born, I always wanted to meet him when I was growing up – so the fact that Everett will have this photo is so special.
    Holly´s last blog post ..Color Runners

  27. suzy says:

    so sorry to hear about your loss. love & prayers…
    suzy´s last blog post ..{rush}

  28. Karen says:

    What a wonderful post. I was just informed that Gene passed away from a former colleague of Burroughs Wellcome . He was a wonderful man. He was my manager when I worked for Burroughs Wellcome. Your first line about free throws made my chuckle. That is so Gene. Gene was the best manager I have had throughout my 23 year career. I have shared that information with many. I started BW in 1989 with Gene as my manager and have thought of him often. Heaven has a another angel. Gene Gadd you had a big positive impact on my life. God Bless.

    • Brett says:

      Wow Karen – this is so awesome. I love hearing specific things about my Dad from people he had an impact on. Thanks so much for sharing. I’ll be sure to pass along your thoughts to my mom.

  29. Mitzie says:

    Hey sweet Ashlee,
    Thank you for having the way with words that you do in talking about Gene. Not only do you make me cry, you make my heart burst with joy and pride when I think of how proud Dad was about Brett being a Dad. You are a wonderful reminder of what God intended families to be. Thank you for all of your love and support!

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