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2009/05/02 Farewell to G.A., Cookeville, TN

We had an opportunity for a weekend visit with G.A. Swanson shortly before he passed on.
When G.A. Swanson released the news that he would soon been passing on, a group of us quickly scheduled for a visit.  Convening at the Nashville airport, Jennifer flew in from the UK, I flew in from Toronto, and Gary drove down from Kentucky.  We rode together to Cookeville.  Paulette had been visiting G.A. to help out, and hosted us with a welcome in a show of southern hospitality.

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I first met G.A. at the 1998 ISSS meeting in Atlanta, which I’ve cited to many as the single best educational experience of my life.  G.A. had encouraged me, as well as Jennifer and Gary, to become more and more involved in the systems community over the years.

We spent the evening catching up on news, and reminiscing.  In his home, the photographs and souvenirs of world travels suggested not only a man who was known internationally, but who might also have been a Southern rebel in his youth.  The next morning, we moved a few things around to take G.A.’s car to the university.

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While I first met G.A. in his role as ISSS president in 1998, he had long been a professor of accounting at Tennessee Tech since 1982.  His office was in the College of Business at Johnson Hall.

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We helped G.A. finish cleaning out his office.  He had sent in his last paper for publication, and said that he wouldn’t be needing any more references.  In the inner room were years of books not only on systems research, but also on accounting.

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G.A. had a complete archive of systems research.  Jennifer packed up some of the old artifacts that are hard to find. Continue reading2009/05/02 Farewell to G.A., Cookeville, TN

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