Intertel and Region 7 lost a valued member when John Gieniec passed away in St. Luke's Hospital, at 5:55 PM on Friday, December 21, 2001, due to an accident at his home.
John was 63, having been born in 1938 in San Antonio, TX. He'd been a member of Intertel since 1981. In his later years, he retired from his position as Physics Professor at CMSU-Warrensburg, MO., and enjoyed traveling to both AGAs and AGs.
I first met John in person at the 1999 Denver AGA. After years as a physics professor, his still lively interests in science and biology were sparked by overhearing Jim Avery's description of his experiments into human biophysical responses to sound. Before long, John and I were sitting on the couch in my "quiet" hotel room, hooked up to the Jim's laptop and assorted black boxes.
I remember John as a large, affable, soft spoken man who had trouble walking due to botched surgery on his feet. His voice was more tenor than base - perhaps a bit higher pitched than might be expected from a man his size, slightly nasal and "breathless", with a bit of an indefinable "somewhere in the Midwest" accent. He was clean shaven, and didn't wear glasses (except perhaps for reading - not sure about that). His dress was conventional - tending toward sport shirts and slacks. Seems to me I saw him wearing plaid shirts more than once.
John was one of the individuals I was particularly looking forwarding to seeing again at the Tampa AGA in 2000. In addition to good fellowship and conversation in the hospitality suite, he shared one of his many other interests with us in his presentation "Forever Jung".
In between AGAs, John was an active participant on Top1, Intertel's email discussion list. His posts tended to get a bit terse when the arthritis in his hands was acting up, but he still managed to contribute his thoughts to the digital conversation.
The last time I enjoyed John's company in person was at the Worchester AGA in 2001. He could still manage to put up a good show of interest in my latest computer adventures, and even took a disk of my utility software home with him. I don't know if he ever used it - he might have just been being polite. He was a gentleman in the traditional sense. I was looking forward to seeing John again at the 2002 AGA, but will now have to make do with his memory.