John Gage ’68

2 December 2009

Class: 1968

Deceased: October 30, 2009

Alumni survivors: Mr. Bill Gage ’64 (Sibling)

John W. Gage passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 30, at his home in Berkeley, Calif. John was born on Feb. 28, 1946, to Robert P. and Frances W. Gage in Rochester. John graduated from John Marshall High School in 1964 at the top of his class and was an All-American swimmer. He attended Carleton College for three years, then transferred to the University of Minnesota, where he received his M.D. and Master’s of Medic al Statistics. In 1974 he took the opportunity to join his brother, Bill, in California, and two other colleagues as one of the four founding co-owners of Adaptive Science Corporation, late SBE Inc. A computer programmer, John retired from SBE in 1994 to pursue his own projects, and later did consulting in the broadcast industry. Finding Quaker Christianity a good fit, John visited Berkeley Friends Church in 1982, where he met Nikki Nahmens of Berkeley, and they married in 1984. At BFC, he helped facilitate countless worthwhile church endeavors, served as clerk of Stewardship & Finance, clerk of Ministry & Counsel (Elders), and representative to Yearly Meeting. As a member he always gave his best consideration to all matters. Though no children ensued, John and Nikki provide each other with a full life of family, friends, hobbies and recreation. Every year they spent Thanksgiving with a special group of close friends, all meeting at one of their homes, in turn, whether in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota or California. John knew lots of songs and composed touchingly beautiful instrumental pieces on piano and acoustic guitar. Even more than running his Lionel trains, he loved planning layouts, building them, and selecting engines, tenders, cars, and accessories for an especially pleasing display. In home maintenance he became skilled even in areas where experts have all but disappeared because he wanted to preserve what used to be. In all of his endeavors, John worked as long as it took to master every detail. He loved making things look good—whether designing artwork for DVD labels, putting on a slate roof, shining the chrome on his motorcycles, waxing his VW camper, setting up knick-knacks, or pruning a tree. He savored overland travel: hiking/backpacking; bicycling; driving his VW Eurovan; riding Amtrak; motorcycle touring. Many times he journeyed to see the progress of Crazy Horse monument in South Dakota. Only once did he travel 350-plus miles a day for nine days on his Harley to pick up Nikki at the Anchorage, Alaska, airport. All who spent time with John can easily recall his spontaneous sense of humor, infectious laughter, and kindness. John was quietly generous in every way. He will be very missed by his family and friends. John is preceded in death by his father, Robert P. Gage (Rochester), of the Mayo Clinic and Gage Elementary School. John is survived by his wife, Nikki (California); his mother, Frances Gage (Minnesota); brother, Bill Gage (Nancy) (California); sister, Polly Gage (John) (Colorado); nephew, Jonah Drescher (Thamra) (Colorado); niece, Willow Monterrosa (Antonio, with children, Joaquin, Cinnamon and Sabrina) (Alaska). A memorial was held Nov. 21 at Berkeley Fields Church, 1600 Sacramento St., Berkeley, CA 94707. A memorial in Rochester is being planned. If you wish to make a donation in John’s memory, you may give to Berkeley Friends Church and designate The Food Pantry, or directly to the charitable, educational or social organization of your choice.

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