In Memory

Edward Gassek (English & Drama 1965 To 1980)

Much beloved drama teacher, Ed Gassek, passed away on May 21, 1984 from a brain anurism.  He is survived by his wife, Geraldine Gassek and his daughter, Laura Lewis.  Mr. Gassek loved teaching and his students adored him.  He is still deeply missed to this day.

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04/14/14 09:26 AM #1    

Peter William Morgan (1970)

In my sophomore year, I took Drama from Mr. Gassek.  While I never took another course from him, I have to say, he influenced who I am today more than most teachers I had since.  Imagine a classroom of 15-16 year olds learning to speak with passion in front of their peers, whether doing a dramatic reading, showing off diaphragm driven stage voice, or reciting Shakespeare without worrying about being embarassed in the process.  I was an athlete going into the first class with him, and a changed person at the end of a year.  I ended up teaching his class for him when he went out for surgery in the fall of 1974, then I taught English at Fort Hunt the 2nd semester, taking the place of a teacher on maternity leave.  Ed taught me how to be as comfortable speaking in front of thousands as I am talking with friends in our family room.  You will always be remembered and honored in my heart.

04/15/14 12:18 PM #2    

James David Gibbs (1972)

I had the privilege of knowing Ed as a great teacher, sometime mentor and always generous heart. His oral communication course (described so well in other comments) was one of the most beneficial I have ever taken. You were a gift to us, Ed Gassek! Thank you.

04/16/14 06:21 PM #3    

Russell Emanuel Simonaro (1974)

I remember Ed Gaddek in Drama class. After FHHS, I went into Toastmasters and became a docent at Ford's Theater and the Arlington House.  For a quiet guy in FH, Mr. Gassek brought out the public speaking abiltiy in me.  RIP Russell Simonaro .  74

04/17/14 01:38 PM #4    

Karen Lewi (Cropper) (1977)

Ed Gassek was one of my favorite teachers and one that I will never forget. I had him for both English and drama and I even babysat for his daughter a couple of times. I will never forget his humor, his charm, his wit, and his tenacity when it came to making sure all his students could diagram a sentence properly! As much as I hated it then, I am so grateful to him for making sure we all knew the parts of a sentence and how to speak and write English properly. It made a difference in my college and professional careers, and for that I am grateful.  And to his lovely wife and daughter, I know you still miss him to this day, as do all the students who were lucky enough to have them in their lives. He made a difference. Thank you Ed!

09/26/14 01:27 PM #5    

Susan Byers (1970)

If you were lucky, you had one or two teachers who changed your life. For me--and for so many others--Ed was one of those rare and gifted people. He was not just a teacher; he was a mentor and friend, even after high school. He shared his family with us--I remember when little Laura Lenora Gassek was born, and later babysitting for her; and time spent at his and Gerri's home.  Among the greatest gifts he gave us--as others have noted--was either self-confidence (at an age when few have little, if any)--or the ability to bluff your way through almost anything.  Transferring out of the typing class Mom made me take ("so you have something ot fall back on") and into Drama was one of the smartest things I ever did ... even if I did have to play Miss Mazeppa as my first assignment ("Who needs an extra person?") ... I got a C, but A's after that, and by the end of the year, I coulda done Mazeppa with a convincing bump and grind.  The world was sadly diminished when Ed Gassek was taken all too young--but in a very real way, he lives on in those whose lives he changed. We were, indeed, very lucky.

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