Like many people, I considered Chip Gerdes a friend. He died Monday morning of an apparent heart attack at his home in Quincy, Illinois. He was 42 years old and leaves behind a wife and young daughter.
When I typed the words “many people,” well, all you needed to do was Google his name in the hours and days following his passing to learn how connected and admired he was (see examples below). Chip was a big talker — but as can be seen by the tributes written by those who knew him — it wasn’t just talk.
We worked in the same office a lot during the course of 2010 and 2011 and last month spoke a few times on the phone about the upcoming resignation of the Illinois GOP party chairman as well as about what was needed going forward. In the past year and a half I was often surprised to get a call from him because of how many things he was involved in. Last month when he called me I answered by joking, “Did you misdial?” “No,” he said, and got right into the matter he called about as if we were resuming a conversation that had started earlier in the day.
Again, I know that’s how Chip was with countless people. In the past weeks we texted back and forth and last week he helped me connect a “little” friend of mine with one of his “big bully pulpit” friends. He received emails on his iPhone so even responses to emails were almost always instantaneous.
My condolences go out to Chip’s family and close friends. It was fun to know him, debate with him, talk political strategy with him, and work side by side with him for a couple of years. I grieve though I’m aware that it’s as someone who was a part of a larger political circle. I pray for those who were in his inner circle and who will miss him terribly.
Here’s Congresswoman Ann Wagner honoring Chip on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives:
From Gateway Pundit: Today We Lost a Dear Friend and Patriot – Rest in Peace, Chip Gerdes
From Breitbart.com: Chip Gerdes, a Great Loss for the Breitbart Family