Rockford Hills Condo II Group

Final farewell to Gerry Pike

April 29, 2010 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF HILL along with NANCY FAHNER-HILL Gerry Pike lived more in the last 10 years of his life than many do in their entire lifetimes. I first met Gerald Pike in the spring of 2000. Having recently purchased a new condo in the Rockford Hills Condominium community, I was outside one afternoon washing my pickup truck when a bespectacled old-timer with the biggest of smiles on his face approached me. I was about to be introduced to my next-door neighbor who shook my hand with an iron grip and said, “Howdy, neighbor. My name is Gerry Pike. I’m 90 years old and I just bought a new car! What do you think of that?” Perhaps seeking affirmation for what he had just done, I said to him, “I think that’s great.” With just those few words spoken between us, we became the very best of friends. Gerry passed away last Wednesday evening, just over five months short of his 100th birthday. In the 10 years of our friendship, I learned much of a storied life about which a book could surely be written. Time and space in this newspaper will not allow me to do so, but I can open a 10-year window and give a glimpse of a man who was the very best of men. Gerry loved the Lord, his wife Dorotha (who he sometimes described as a “real fire-cracker”), his country (every day displaying the American flag from his deck), and people. Gerry loved people and they loved him. He never had a bad word to say about anyone or anything. He was small in stature, but had a heart as big as the world, along with being one of the most generous and giving of people. In 1988, Gerry and Dorotha sold the family farm in Trufant and retired to a new life and a new condo on Rockford’s east side. Seventy-eight years old at the time and a farmer at heart who loved the out-of-doors, he quickly determined that he would keep himself busy on a daily basis (except Sunday) by picking up accumulated roadside trash—including each and every cigarette butt—along Courtland Drive NE between 10 Mile and 11 Mile roads. That particular roadway was at the front door […]