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  • In Memoriam Gary Smith

    Article: Such a small piece of Silicon, so strategic PHY IP-gs1.jpgEDA rallied today for one of their own, without caring which company any of us worked for. We even got together in a ballroom in the San Jose Doubletree that I'm sure many of us have been in many times to endure way too many powerpoint slides at EDA conferences held there over the years. The instructions were to wear orange. At least they didn't want us all to show up in white suit, but lots of us had a hard time finding orange stuff in our wardrobe. I had no problem, I like orange too. But John Cooley's orange camouflage pants won the day. Gary loved to dress in orange, his favorite color, or do his Tom Wolfe impersonation in a white suit. And orange is the new black as someone reminded us. It was a reunion of sorts of the old guard. Next to me was Doug Fairbairn, my first boss when I came to the US. And one seat over was Aart de Geus, CEO of Synopsys. It was that sort of an event. Wally Rhines of Mentor could not be there but sent a message that was read out.

    I'm not going to try and give a summary of the whole event. It was a celebration of Gary's life, not a funeral. Jim Hogan played the harmonica and sang. Andrew Khan came from Palo Alto from the semiconductor roadmap meeting where Gary had been instrumental for years. UPDATE FROM LORI KATE: Michelle Clancy of Cayenne Communications was the mastermind behind the service. She selfishly and tirelessly worked to make it so wonderful. She will take nothing from me for her services. Behind Michelle was a whole team of amazing other volunteers. She promises to let me know who later. I know Jill Jacobs did the graphics (which EDAC graciously paid for - signs, programs and the bookmarks). Paul Cohen did the slideshow video. As you rightly reported the ChipEstimate team with Sean, Steve and Roger did the video recording. Bob Gardner managed the sound. END OF LKS UPDATE

    It ran flawlessly and was a wonderful experience to be there. Gary would have loved it.

    Of course it was sad too. But we were there to enjoy all the good times not be sad that we will all miss him. Lori Kate told us about his last few days in Arizona when he went from being in great shape, "the best shape for years" his doctor said, to the crisis. She called him at the hospital. "do you need anything?" and he replied "just you and KC". Those were his last words to her He died the next day with his family.

    It was all Stockton all the time. Gary grew up there in the central valley. If you have never visited (don't bother, but I had a girlfriend whose family was from there so i didn't escape) it is surprising that it is a major deepwater port. Port? In the central valley. But several other people kept standing up to say their roots were there too. Rob Aitken has a kid living there and said that now the most important thing is to learn the difference between gunfire, a fire-cracker and a car backfiring.

    Article: Such a small piece of Silicon, so strategic PHY IP-gs2.jpg

    I learned a lot about Gary. Firstly, his birthday is a day before mine (well, the month and day). He made it to his 70s before he needed reading glasses. I made it to 59. He was in the military, I knew, but I didn't know he had done 4 tours in Vietnam. His brother spoke and since he was in the military for a lot longer he got a lot more senior. Gary never saluted him. We all knew Gary lived a richer life than just EDA. Apparently he was a catholic, converted to Judaism and then studied a lot of Chinese Daoism. Somebody pointed out he should be OK no matter what is going on up there "in the cloud" he had it all covered.

    Plus, he played bass guitar. He learned standup-bass originally but at some point someone gave him an electric bass as a present. I'm sure most of us have been at some EDAC or DAC event where he was the bass player of the Full Disclosure Blues Band.

    Farewell Gary. We will miss you.

    Also read: Gary Smith Passed Away Last Friday