When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
-Khalil Gibran
  • 78 years old
  • Born on January 7, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois, United States.
  • Passed away on July 27, 2019 in Venice, Florida, United States.
This memorial website was created in memory of our beloved father, brother, uncle, son, friend, colleague and all-around great guy, Gerry Cashion. Gerry fought the good fight - and was his jolly old self right up until the end. As he liked to say in recent weeks, he "went on to his last, greatest adventure" in the early hours of Saturday, July 27th, holding hands with his daughter Dylan. 

He will be remembered with love and laughter - and we welcome you all to add stories and photos of your times and adventures with Gerry. Thank you in advance for visiting and sharing.

May we all live as he lived - with a sense of adventure, a sense of duty, a sense of humor, a sense of right and wrong and surrounded by love, beauty and music.
Posted by Niels Marquardt on August 24, 2019
Judi and I first met Gerry when he volunteered to come run the USAID mission in Madagascar, which had suddenly become vacant. He was already long retired, and it seemed he had come to help out more out of love and interest than anything else. We were with him there for less than a year, not long, but long enough to see many of his great qualities. He became the "Dean" of our community, in terms of both life and professional experience, and his rich background showed in all he said and did -- and how he did it. Even in disagreement, Gerry always found a way to be fun, funny, and pleasant. I can still hear him laughing. And it is only since he passed away that I have truly understood what a great man he was, what a rich experience he brought to us in Madagascar, and why we were so blessed to have him then. I want to thank Dylan and Fitz for all their loving efforts to share more about Gerry now than some of us knew during his life.  We too shall miss him greatly, but we also know that he squeezed everything out of life that it had to offer. 
Posted by Joseph Brady on August 23, 2019
I don’t have a picture of it except in my mind and it is of Gerry sitting on the ground at the Kabala PCV house. In his short pants and work boots, he is greasy and engaged in replacing wheel bearings in his pale green Chevy truck. The 500 page Chevy repair manual is open at his feet next to the Star Beer, of course. To me this repair job was a daunting task and I was really impressed with Gerry's mechanical skill. For everyone, Gerry always had a mile wide, infectious grin. As a third year Peace Corps, Gerry helped newbie CD'ers in Kabala understand their role and the politics at play. I am grateful to Barbara, a wonderful person, who graciously made me a sandwich even though my visit to Gerry and Barbara’s house in Makeni was unannounced.
Posted by Douglas Ferrier on August 22, 2019
I remember Gerry from Kabala with Matt and Kent, he was a great mentor to new volunteers. Like Kent, I also shared more than a few Star beers with him.
Posted by Oumou Anderson on August 22, 2019
I am very saddened as Gerry was not just a friend but a brother to me. I knew Gerry many years ago in Bamako in the 1980's.
Throughout the years I made many American friends. Some of them became family to me and Gerry was one of them and indeed a special friend and brother. He was kind and generous and love you for who you are.
He will forever be missed by all who knew him. He was a simple, caring and loving person of great personality. I loved talking and laughing with him.
The people of Kolokani and all Mali will forever be grateful to you.
Gerry, "Allah Ka hina illa. Ki dayoro sumaya"
Posted by Jack McCarthy on August 22, 2019
An old Irish proverb, "There are good ships, and wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be." Whoever coined that must have been thinking of Gerry. He was rich in friendships and many the lucky one got to share it in a cockpit on the sea.

I first met Gerry in Bamako as a lowly PC Volunteer. It didn't matter if you were an Ambassador or a PCV, a Gov't Minister or a paysan, Gerry treated everyone the same- with thoughtfulness, kindness and respect.

I once had the 'honor' to be aboard one of his legendary Heinekin Regattas. We didn't have any podium finishes but had the time of our lives. His presence lit up everyone else's life. That irrepressible optimism was contagious and throw in a couple of 'Tullamore Dews' and you were in for a command performance.

Christopher Hichens once said, "There's a book in most of us, but in most cases that's where it should stay." Not so for Gerry. I wish he'd written that book, about his life and his perspective on life. It would have been a wonderful reference to keep close to the bedside. But we still have the memories, all those glorious memories.
Posted by Dave Crandall on August 21, 2019
I love Gerry! He was like a big brother to me in Mali, West Africa, while we were both living there. He was living with Barbara in a black magic chief's village collecting information for his doctorate while I was in the Peace Corps there from 1974-76'. During that time he taught me how to sing "Smokey Joe's Cafe" which I have sung many times for friends and family since!

One time when I visited Gerry and Barbara a man, who the black magic chief had abandoned, asked us to take him home to die with his family. It was "just a little way down the road" he said, so we all jumped in my land rover and started off down the road. What was after many hours "just down the road" we arrived at the man's village in the pitch black of night! His family was well pleased to see him but I honestly don't know if we would have carried out that "good deed" had we known how far "just a little way down the road really was"! LOL In retrospect I'm glad we took that journey as it gave me more time to spend with Gerry and Barbara!

May God continue to hold you in His hands my friend! Teach those angels the chorus to "Smokey Joe's" for when we sing it together again in Heaven!

Since we are both sailors I find this not only comforting but fitting:

I Am Standing Upon The Seashore
I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white
sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until at length
she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come
to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says;
"There, she is gone!"

"Gone where?"
Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull
and spar as she was when she left my side
and she is just as able to bear her
load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone
at my side says, "There, she is gone!"
There are other eyes watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout;
"Here she comes!"
And that is dying.

You are missed Brother!
Posted by Kent Winchester on August 21, 2019
I first remember Gerry, giving us new Community Development trainees a wonderful lecture on Sierra Leonean politics and history at Njala University.
During his third year of Peace Corps service, Gerry and Barbara lived in Makeni. Gerry was the general contractor building the Agricultural Officer's home, further north in Kabala. Ahhhh...the fun times at LKs bar, drinking Star Beer. I have a fond memory listening to Gerry play the guitar at the Kabala rest house..singing "put on your red dress baby...we're going out tonight." I occasionally still attempt to sing that song and recall our fun times together. We touched base a final time in Washington DC, following the Peace Corps...another wonderful reunion and lasting Cashion Adventure. You are missed! My heart goes out to you and your family. Kent Winchester
Posted by Barbara Dwyer on August 21, 2019
I knew Gerry through my husband, Matt Dwyer, a fellow Peace Corps volunteer. After Peace Corps when Matt was finished with his posting in El Paso with the Army, he and Gerry took a road trip from El Paso to Monterey, Matt's next posting, and went through the Joshua Tree National Park. There was a third member to this trip that was a forester and fellow Peace Corps volunteer who enriched the visit for both Matt and Gerry. It was one of Matt's fondest memories and he spoke of it often over the years. 
Posted by Hannah Baldwin on August 20, 2019
Gerry and Barbara shared Grad school at Indiana University with Felipe and I. Oh the memories — the drumming— the pig roasts — and the fine research and deep knowledge of Bambara culture! 

Gerry — your absence is deeply felt!
Posted by Patrick O'Leary on August 20, 2019
Saddened to learn of Gerry's passing. i have fond memories of a stellar guy from my time with and around him and other cohorts in Makeni, Bombali and Tonkolili. Many good times from years ago when all of us were gradually become someone else than the person who first landed at Lungi and took the ferry to Freetown. Patrick.
Posted by Jennifer Galeria on August 20, 2019
Three years in SIerra Leone with the Peace Corps, your wedding in Makeni, our wedding in Kent, UK and many years since. We have shared some moments n our lives. I am glad you are at rest now but will miss your optimism and positive view of life. Love you, Gerry. Jen Galeria
Not to be forgotten: the day you bought the famous jaguar in England & your infamous stock broker days in San Francisco. We shared some good ones,,,your forever buddy, Bob.
Posted by Marc Savard on August 16, 2019
First met Gerry in 1954 as Freshmen at Loyola Academy, Chicago IL. Became good friends and enjoyed social life. Our lives then followed different directions through undergrad and grad schools with Gerry earning his doctorate degree and achieving great success in our country's foreign service in Africa. Quite by chance we reconnected in the Venice,FL area having relocated during retirement. For the past several years, Gerry showed me and my wife Julie and other friends, and his wonderful daughter Dylan and son "Fitz", enormous courage during a long and painful illness. We visited Gerry frequently and will always remember his strong and positive disposition. We will never forget him.
Posted by MIki Lang on August 16, 2019
Gerry was an interesting character when I first met him in Bamako, Mali, because he was an anthropologist and as such had a different and unique insight into the local tribes. Our paths next crossed again at a boat excursion of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers here in Sarasota. There I learned that we had both served in Sierra Leone, both graduated from Indiana University, both had Series 7 licenses and both loved to sail. Gerry had a larger than life energy and created two wonderful offspring who cared for him until the end. My condolences to you both!
Posted by Thomas Fallon on August 14, 2019
I had the opportunity to work with Gerry in Barbados and Madagascar. He was a wonderful work colleague and friend. I thoroughly enjoyed knowing him and will miss visiting him on my future visits to Florida. Patty and I send our sincere condolences to all the Cashion family. 
Posted by Rolf Hahn on August 14, 2019
It's sad for me to see Gerry gone. We both shared a love for sailing, That's how we met. In my view, he was a genuine man of depth with solid common sense. I clearly remember one time, going to his boat to replace a bilge water pump only to find out later I replaced it on the wrong boat. We both chuckled on this one for a while. Most of all, I will miss his sound advice. I now wish him the best in this, his "last greatest adventure"
Posted by Laura Slobey on August 13, 2019
Although Gerry and I both had long careers in USAID, I never had the opportunity to work with him and really didn’t get to know him until we connected in Florida.  Gerry was instrumental in bringing people together and introduced my husband and I, Gregg Wiitala, to a number of USAID colleagues. Gerry’s larger than life personality and his interest in everybody and everything made you feel special. We visited him at home after he couldn’t get out, and even then, he made sure we were comfortable, had the best drinks in our hand, and were there in time for pre-recorded sports events. Gregg and I had fun at Gerry’s sharing our experiences and bashing the bureaucracy. Gerry’s interest in people and cultures, as well as his sharp intellect and inclusive management style, made him a particularly successful development specialist. He devoted his life to making the world a better place and helping those in need in remote corners of the globe.  I am eternally grateful for having known Gerry and enjoying his camaraderie and friendship. Here’s to you Dylan, Gerry’s favorite daughter! 
Posted by Vincent Daley on August 13, 2019
Posted by Jen Peterson on August 13, 2019
We met Gerry in Madagascar, and enjoyed his cultural sensitivity (undoutbedly formed during his Peace Corps experience!), his joie de vie (same!), and his intellectual curiosity and compassion. A great father, friend and development professional, who will be greatly missed. I feel the need to develop a limerick in Gerry's honor. I don't know why - it just seems the right thing to do! I am working on it.... Cheers to Gerry and his next great adventure, and hugs to his family and friends.
Posted by Steven Furst on August 13, 2019
I’ll never forget the first time I ‘met’ Gerry. I had met him already but this was the first time I really got to know him. I was visiting my folks who were already in Mali and living next door to Gerry and Barbara. I think Barbara was pregnant with Dylan at the time. One day he yelled over the wall, ‘Hey Steve, let’s go for a ride’. I thought, ‘Wow, this is great!’ I was a wide-eyed college student looking to break into the game and Gerry was already a seasoned ‘development guy’, anthropologist and Mali hand. So we jumped in his Jeep. No doors, no top, which I thought was so cool. We headed out of town and just cruised around the villages on the outskirts of Bamako, Gerry regaling me with his stories and imparting his wisdom, stopping here and there for a beer and grilled sagasogo or just to chat with people. Of course in his fluent Bambara. And of course everyone loved talking to him. He was in his element. That voice. That beard, already salt ‘n’ pepper. That presence. I was star-struck. I didn’t know then that we would end up together for a few years in Mali, become good friends, and stay connected for life. So many more great times and great stories. But even with the many years of shared history, whenever I think of Gerry I think of that first day and the impression he made.
Posted by Wayne Walther on August 12, 2019
I knew Gerry only briefly during our Peace Corps training in Hampton VA in 1965. While we were in Sierra Leone, we lived at opposite ends of the country and did not see each other much. But once while training, we had gone to Virginia Beach and ended up in a carnival somewhere. He and I happened to ride the roller coaster together (along with others, I'm sure.) I had never been on a roller coaster before because I was a farm boy from West Texas, and roller coasters are pretty rare out there. So of course I was terrified. Gerry could easily have mocked my fear (as young men do), but instead, he made some kind of joke and got me laughing, and hence eased a terrifying moment. I think that indicates his general good humor and graciousness. I haven't thought about that for years, and now it makes me grateful that I had known him however briefly. Wayne Walther, Lockhart, Texas
Posted by Tracy Dexter on August 12, 2019
I don't imagine either Gerry or Barbara would remember me but I arrived in Burundi to work with AFricare on a USAID funded project in 1999. That was my first experience as a USAID partner and each one of them made it so much easier and meaningful. Perhaps Barbara remembers the Botanika restaurant/hotel in Bujumbura.
Keep blessing us Gerry!
Posted by Daniel Cashion on August 9, 2019
My uncle Gerry was a great human. Interesting, jovial, smart, fun. The guy had it all. From the early days of visiting his family on the farm in Indiana, to him giving me a car he wasn't using while in college, he was always a gentleman.

He will be missed, but more importantly he will be remembered. Remembered as a great father and a great friend. I will never forget him and I hope that I be as well liked by so many when it is my time to go. Miss you Gerry.
Posted by Michael Trott on August 9, 2019
Wendy and I want to express our deepest condolences to the family. It was with great sadness that we received the news of Gerry's passing. He and Barbara were wonderful friends from our Kenya days together.  Our family was just in Kenya to include a couple days in Nairobi doing a trip down memory lane. We went to Village Market as it was a famous hangout of the USAID group. TGIF but on Thursdays usually as we could not wait till Friday, and at times when things were really tough, on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Wendy even got a beer mug with our Gerry's, Steve's and my name.  It was wonderful to see that the food court area was still there and the place that used to be German point though now by another name.  As difficult as those times were, they were also wonderful due to all the exceptional people we had at the mission and of course Beautiful Kenya.  Our trips together to Ol Pajeta will never be forgotten. I am afraid that today none of us could afford the whole house as we did back then.
We last saw Gerry in Bangkok on his way to East Timor. It was a short but wonderful visit. And more lately I was glad to say we stayed in touch. In fact i was just asking my daughter on the day we received the news to give me a picture she took of Village market to send to him.  Well now I think he can see for himself.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time.  But indeed, he had a life to be celebrated.  with our highest regards, mike and wendy trott

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