Erich Gunther
  • 57 years old
  • Date of birth: Dec 14, 1958
  • Date of passing: Jun 18, 2016
Let the memory of Erich be with us forever

This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Erich Gunther, 57, born on December 14, 1958 and passed away on June 18, 2016. We will remember him forever.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Allison Eckelkamp on 14th July 2016

"As the industry still comes to grips with losing a friend, colleague, and industry trailblazer, we can feel confident that his legacy will never be forgotten. To honor his contributions and empower young minds, the IEEE Foundation has set up an Erich Gunther Memorial Fund. Supporting this fund helps future power professionals and ambitious students, who are pushing the boundaries of current thought to make our industry better. Electricity drives our world. Together, we will create an even more brilliant future. If you'd like to honor Erich's legacy by contributing to this fund, you may do so at:"

This tribute was added by Terry Oliver on 9th July 2016

"The combination of deeply knowledgeable and open minded is rare. Even more rare, Erich engaged at every opportunity and with anyone interested in making the grid better. He was happy to follow a wild goose chase or two in discovering an elegant solution; and then helped get the solution out for use."

This tribute was added by Steve Widergren on 7th July 2016

"His light it shown so bright on those of us
Who moved beyond the shade to free new thoughts
Where walls would pause a ray to penetrate
Hold high reason and burst forth energy
In truth he bathed to wrap our lives with joy."

This tribute was added by Mark Knight on 6th July 2016

"After two weeks I still don't know what I want to say. I am still deeply saddened by Erich's untimely departure from this world but very privileged to have known him. Despite his encyclopedic knowledge of all things I think what I will remember (and miss) the most is Erich's infectious enthusiasm and irrepressible desire to make the world a better place and the way he always made me feel welcome and was always ready to listen to my views and the views of others."

This tribute was added by Sharon Allan on 1st July 2016

"This is a copy of an email I received from Japan Smart Community Alliance and am posting here on their behalf.

Dear Friends,

We are all deeply shocked to hear of the sudden loss of Mr. Erich Gunther and we would like to extend our deepest sympathy on behalf of Japan Smart Community Alliance.

Very sincerely yours,

Secretary General
JSCA Secretariat"

This tribute was added by Ram Adapa on 30th June 2016

"It was shocking to hear that Erich passed away suddenly. I knew Erich for the past 30 years. We both worked at McGraw Edison sharing the same office in the late eighties. He has contributed a lot to the power industry and will be remembered forever. May his soul rest in peace."

This tribute was added by Perry Pederson on 29th June 2016

"I will always remember his insight and calm vision as he pushed an entire industry forward."

This tribute was added by Srini Krishnamurthy on 29th June 2016

"My sincere condolences on the untimely demise of Erich, a friend and a passionate leader for all things smart grid. I had the honor of working with Erich since the early days of GridWise Council and had many exciting and compelling insights from Erich, in maturing the conversations around smart grid into far-reaching initiatives. Will surely miss his affable and gentle demeanor in all forums and events. Erich will surely be the missing voice in the room that binds all ideas into actionable outcomes.

May his soul rest in peace.


This tribute was added by Dave Watson on 29th June 2016

"A true pioneer, an inspiration and a friend!  He could always explain the most complex topics in a concise, effective way. I recently showed my teenage son some of Erich's online presentations.  What better way to inspire an aspiring engineer?

Erich's impact is immense!  As individuals who knew him and for every inhabitant of Earth, present and future, we are better off because of Erich!  

Though it is a small token of recognition, if we can try to estimate Erich's impact on the electric grid efficiency, microgrids, DER, et al., I'd be glad to lead a push to get quantity of "Rosenfelds" awarded to him through DoE/National Lab system.  A "Rosenfeld" is a unit of energy efficiency, equal to electricity savings of 3 billion kilowatt-hours per year.

My thoughts and prayers are with Erich's family and friends."

This tribute was added by David Katz on 29th June 2016

"It is with deep sorrow I learned about Erich's passing as he was always kind and receptive to the many questions I would pose at the many events on Smart Grid we attended. He clearly made a significant contribution to GWAC, SGIP, IEEE, and other organizations. May we keep his passion in mind as we develop the Smart Grid he envisioned across all three countries of US, Canada and Mexico. It is fitting they are signing an agreement today to have 50% renewables by 2025."

This tribute was added by shrinath eswarahally on 29th June 2016

"I met Erich 6 years back during SGIP CSWG meetings. He was very dynamic person and was encouraging us to work on cybersecurity. He  shared lot of his experience in power industry for me to understand the smart grid.
Erich, we miss you."

This tribute was added by David Cohen on 29th June 2016

"Erich was an amazing person and he contributed so much to the SmartGrid vision.  I met Erich when we founded the GridWise Architecture Council and spent many evenings in places all over the country listening to Erich tell stories of making his own Spirits.  I tip my glass you you Erich.  You were such an inspiration to work with and you always be in my memory.  Dave"

This tribute was added by Jason Handley on 29th June 2016


I so enjoyed just getting to know you and will forever miss your unique outlook on this industry that you so loved.  You taught me something new every time we talked and I truly looked at you as a visionary for the work you did.  

My thoughts and prayers are with your family."

This tribute was added by Bob Saint on 28th June 2016

"It was a great privilege and honor to work with Erich on so many projects and endeavors over the years.  His enthusiastic, positive and professional approach to everything from making beer to promoting smart grid interoperability was an inspiration to us all.  If you wanted a concise and understandable explanation to a complex topic, just ask Erich.   He will be greatly missed.  Condolences do to his family and colleagues."

This tribute was added by Stuart McCafferty on 28th June 2016

"Erich was a brilliant visionary and engineer.  He was also a pilot, a brewer, an experimental ethanol manufacturing scientist, a sports car enthusiast, a writer and speaker, and barbeque expert.  He was also a loving husband and friend to everyone he met.  I was lucky enough to see all of these sides of Erich and considered him one of my very best friends.  I know many did.  That was Erich.  He never said a bad word about anyone, never got mad (no matter how hard you tried!), and he always saw the good in people and situations - and he was usually right.

I have seen Erich on 3 simultaneous conference calls while answering emails - many times, in fact.  Everyone wanted a piece of him - and he was happy to give it to them.  He couldn't say no.  And, he engaged in everything he did with the best of intentions and an energy that made all of us watch in wonder.

We all lost a dear friend.  It isn't right and it makes no sense at all.  There is a real emptiness that is hard to believe or accept.  We are going to miss you.  Safe travels, my friend."

This tribute was added by Mark McGranaghan on 27th June 2016

"I owe so much to Erich, both professionally and personally.  He died before I could find something that he couldn't do (I thought it was darts but he figured that out as well).  His energy, positive attitude, love of life and continuous innovation that was one step ahead of everyone have left the world a much better place.


This tribute was added by Ramesh Reddi on 27th June 2016

I was shocked to hear this news. Thank you so much for your mentorship in my advancements in the field of cyber security in the energy and utilities sectors. I will be missing you.
The smart grid field and its members globally are indebted to you for the commitment you had made to the advancement of the field. It will be very hard to fill this vacuum.
I pray God to make Your Soul Rest in Peace.

This tribute was added by eric lambert on 27th June 2016


I have great admiration for your vision, work and leadership.
Thoughts to your relatives.

This tribute was added by Mike Beehler on 27th June 2016

"So sad to hear of Erich's untimely passing......may God grant his friends and family "the peace that passes understanding""

This tribute was added by Christopher Irwin on 27th June 2016

"My friend Erich Gunther died last Saturday, and I promised myself to lift my attention from my myriad tasks and distractions to write a few words about him.  He wasn’t my friend of decades, or of daily or even weekly contact, but I consider him my friend just the same.  Another thing: when I say “myriad” referring to the many things I’m involved in, irons in the fire and all that, it isn’t jack compared to what Erich would consider myriad.  

The man was amazingly engaged: on dimensions of time, space and technical depth in so many forums that it makes me dizzy to contemplate them all.  I smile a bit thinking about the number of organizations, standards groups, thought leadership circles, national and international conferences, issue forums, and commercial and government confidants writing in remembrance about Erich’s leadership, personal touch, and critical role he played in helping them understand and navigate their own complex landscape.  If we printed them all out, I expect the stack would rival the three-foot-high one he often cited that comprised the important parts of the standard for the USB port - that paragon of interoperability that makes “plug and play” understandable.  

I was walking near the beach with my wife and two daughters Monday night, and was treated to the sight of a beautiful yellowish full moon rising over the ocean, still low in the sky and creating a path of light on the water.  That led me of course to thinking of the word moonshine, which of course led me to think of Erich.  For all I know he made it as biofuel for his aircraft hobby, but it tasted good too!  (Apple pie scented contrails??) Anyway, I got a bit sadder thinking that he was no longer alive to see such a sight, but chances are he would not have been looking at the moon.  He would be at some late evening meeting, some large communal dinner, some gathering being part of a vibrant exchange of ideas.  Erich, an architect of many things, was an architect of salon culture in our world, an essential ingredient to any human endeavor some laptop-at-night-in-the-hotel-room people should try.  Wikipedia states: “A salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation….Salons, commonly associated with French literary and philosophical movements of the 17th and 18th centuries, were carried on until as recently as the 1940s in urban settings.”  As an instigator or as a participant, Erich was a man in his element in these settings, and my fondest memories of him are from times like these.  

I thought momentarily of ways we remember people we respect, and briefly imagined “The Erich Gunther Award”.  Yes, The Erich Gunther Award would be bestowed each year upon the individual who best embodied Erich’s work ethic, tireless dedication, intellect, technological know-how and expert grasp of the human dynamic in advancing energy systems the world over.  The problem is, I’m not sure anyone could win it…ever.  When I heard about Erich’s passing and the shock and personal tragedy worked their way through my mind, one of my next (slightly ashamed) thoughts was, how are we going to replace him?  We can’t – not for a long while – it will take a dozen or more people to fill those voids from a professional standpoint, and it won’t be the same.  When a very large tree in a forest falls, it isn’t “replaced”.  Other smaller trees fill the space and the forest moves on, but if that was one of your favorite trees, you’ll know where it once stood every time you walk by.  I will miss my friend Erich Gunther."

This tribute was added by Michael Marullo on 27th June 2016

"Erich was a friend and in many ways, a kindred spirit when it came to utility automation. He was a person who was always ready to pitch in and help, whether it was to offer advice and counsel, discuss new ideas and concepts or share his knowledge and insights at an industry event. Above all, Erich could always be relied upon to help us understand things better and sometimes, in ways we never would have -- or could have -- without his unique perspective. He will be missed in more ways than anyone can imagine. Rest in peace, my friend..."

This tribute was added by Reji Kumar Pillai on 25th June 2016

"Erich, though we met at several events during the last few years we could never spend personal time. I always planned to invite you to India for one of our events which could not happen and now will not happen. So sad to hear about your sad demise. Our prayers with your family, colleagues and friends. RIP."

This tribute was added by Michael Burr on 24th June 2016

"I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of Erich. He was a bright light in everything he did. He will be missed. Peace to all who knew and loved him."

This tribute was added by Roger Levy on 24th June 2016

"I met Erich in the mid 1980's when he was doing a coding project for a small firm in California.  Being confined to a desk was not in his demeanor.  However, it didn't take long for him to develop the very clear thinking and communication skills that distinguished him throughout his career.  Our professional paths crossed many times and I was fortunate to bring him into another of my projects several times in 2011 and 2012.  
Rest easy my friend."

This tribute was added by Kirk Graves on 24th June 2016

"I have never met anyone like Erich Gunther before.  It was hard to imagine that someone that was so brilliant had such energy and personality.  Over the 6+ years that I worked with Erich on a daily basis, I became to realize he was truly a unique person who had the ability to relate to people from all walks of life.  He truly wanted people to be a part of everything that he was doing, from inspiring and visionary thinking to just hanging out and enjoying the hobbies that he loved.  God directs our paths, and I am so grateful to God that he led me down the path that included Erich Gunther.  Mr. Gunther, everything about you has had a significant impact on my life and I am honored to have been a part of it all.  God gives us people for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.  Erich will have an impact for a lifetime."

This tribute was added by Ben Boyd on 24th June 2016

It was a cold rainy evening in Chicago when we rode the train to O'Hare together. We talked about the differences in working for a vendor and being a consultant. I said "I think I would like to try it from your side of the podium." You said, you might be able to arrange it. The rest is history. We tried to persuade state commissions to prepare for the world of interoperability and we succeeded in raising awareness. Neither of us knew how long the process would take. Sorry EnerNex ran out of time and resources to continue the project. It wasn't your fault. Be at peace, my friend. You will always be remembered."

This tribute was added by Phil Davis on 24th June 2016

"Erich was a main pillar of our community; and both professionally and personally an inspiration. For years I served on the board of a charity for medically fragile children, and Angel Flight was a Godsend for so many of our kids. Perhaps this is an area where Erich stands tallest.

My professional career was all about leading edge ideas, and Erich was very effective at shooting them down... then there would be a "But ya know..." and brilliance would ensue. Erich was all about unifying his community and helping all to understand and advance. He could represent so many points of view so ably and build a consensus path forward. It is no wonder that he held so many prestigious offices and that Enernex is (and will remain) so highly regarded.

Raising a Gunther Beer in memory of a legend I was privileged to call friend."

This tribute was added by Grant Gilchrist on 24th June 2016

"Erich had so much energy he sometimes seemed to be three people at once, and he made it clear that he loved everything he did, whether it was changing the power industry or enjoying a good glass of wine.  Unlike many visionaries, he always came across as "just another guy" and had a knack for making game-changing ideas seem like common sense.  Thank you, Erich, for everything you taught us."

This tribute was added by Cristina Cervantes on 24th June 2016

"It was clear to see that Erich was a man of many talents, had a true passion for his work, and showed a positive outlook on life and in people. I am truly grateful to have been given the opportunity to work for such an inspirational man who showed what dedication and passion can do. I am honored to have known Erich Gunther."

This tribute was added by Rebecca Kelly on 24th June 2016

Your legacy will continue and your passion will be remembered by each and all of us."

This tribute was added by Tim Morgan on 24th June 2016

"Thank you Erich for your foresight, your passion and vigor for our industry in helping promote interoperability for the electrical grid. Your efforts will always be remembered by your industry peers and appreciated for generations to come. May God bless you and comfort your family."

This tribute was added by Dalibor Kladar on 24th June 2016


We have great admiration for your vision, work and leadership.

Your vision's followers from Calgary, Canada

Dalibor (Dali) Kladar
Kladar Virtual Automation
Aspecto Canada"

This tribute was added by Terry Oliver on 23rd June 2016

"Erich's easy demeanor and technical competence combined to forge friendships and progress. His work made much of BPA's smart grid related R&D both possible and effective. I worried about him flying. It turned out to be the wrong worry. I miss you and we all miss you and we will collectively fulfill your dreams."

This tribute was added by Sharon Allan on 23rd June 2016


Your work, life, and friendship touched so many.  You will be forever missed.   We've created this site to honor you my friend as a recognition that you have left a legacy by impacting and imparting your wisdom, joy, and enthusiasm in all of us.

Psalms 94:19 When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul."

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This memorial is administered by:

Sharon Allan


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