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Jeff Zurschmeide

“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived that distinguish one man from another” - Ernest Hemingway

It's my sad duty to tell you that Gary Anderson, Editor of The Star 2009-2020, has passed away. His good friend Richard Simonds has written a fine tribute in this issue, and I want to add my perspective. 

A very perceptive friend once said that there's never an age when we don't need the guidance and perspective of our elders. No matter if we're middle-aged or older, we don't know it all. Gary was a mentor to me as I changed careers in mid-life to become an automotive journalist. When I met him, Gary was well-established in our field and always ready to share what he knew about being successful in an often challenging field. In his crisp, somewhat brusque way, he helped beat some professional habits into my head – habits that serve me well to this day. 

Later, I would write for Gary at The Star, and I was surprised and honored when he asked me if I would apply for his job when he retired. We did a solid year of training: I worked for him for six months, then he worked for me, continuing his mentorship after I took over. Gary stayed on as our proofreader, because no one knows our style guide like he did. 

I guess what I really want to say is thanks, one more time, to my good friend, role model, and mentor. Gary Anderson distinguished himself in life quite admirably.


To view a memory book capturing  Gary Anderson’s time as Editor of The Star, visit: