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We are very sad to hear that Gil has passed away.

We met Gil and his friend Leon on a 15-day cruise through the Panama Canal aboard the `Summit` in April 2007. We were seated at the same dinner table, together with an American couple and a couple from Singapore. Right from the start, we had great fun together despite (or maybe because of?) our age difference (we could have been their grandchildren). We found Gil to be a very warm, interesting and sophisticated person and soon grew very fond of him. Even though he knew so many important people, had led such a rich life, and we felt so insignificant and inexperienced in comparison to him, he always treated us with respect - as he did with everyone, staff and fellow passengers alike. We soon found out that his and Silvia’s birthday were on the same day - June 2nd - and the two of them never tired of telling everyone what superior beings Geminis were…

Gil gave a series of lectures on the ship, talking about his days as a radio actor and sports commentator. In spite of the lovely weather outside, there was always a crowd of people to attend, and even though coming from another country and not having a clue about most of the celebrities he talked about, we found his lectures very entertaining and everyone seemed to truly enjoy them.

On a couple of nights, after dinner, we went to shows together and once saw a movie - The Constant Gardener - at the board cinema. To Leon’s and our amusement, Gil slept through most of the movie, at times snoring loudly…

Gil and Leon didn’t go on land excursions - partly because they had already been to most of the places and partly because they thought the excursions were too strenuous - but sometimes left the ship and took a stroll around the harbour. When we returned from our exciting trips they were already curiously waiting for us to tell them about our adventures.

As Gil, Leon and the two of us all stayed on in Ft Lauderdale for a couple of days after the cruise, we agreed on meeting for dinner and drinks the night after arriving. We went to an Asian restaurant, and that’s when we confided in them that we had got married the day before the cruise ship left Los Angeles. They were delighted to be the first to know about it as we hadn’t told anyone, not even our family and closest friends, and they were so nice as to treat us to dinner.

From that day on Gil always called us affectionately `his favourite newly-weds` or `his favourite Swissies`. We kept in touch, exchanging cards, pictures and e-mails, Gil forever reminding us to use a bigger font size so he could read our e-mails better. He and Michel had animated e-mail discussions about sports - UK football (Chelsea) and other `guy`stuff. He told us about his health problems but in his last e-mail he said things were looking better. A few times he talked about maybe going on a cruise to Greece this fall and we were hoping he’d stop over in Switzerland so we could see him, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Gil often talked about his family, about his children who he was very proud of, and his wife Dee who he thought was still the most attractive woman in the world (he sent us several photos of her to show us just how beautiful she is).

We feel privileged to have met Gil and miss his good humour very much. Our deepest sympathy to his family, to Leon and everyone who loved him.

Silvia & Michel


Added: October 18, 2008
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Comments:
It broke my heart today to hear that Gil had passed. Although I hadn't spokenen to him for some time I always felt close to Gil, he had a way of making you feel like that. Even though he and I where many years apart, so much so that I didn't know about his history until later in our friendship, he was warm, giving and always smiling. Gil was never at a loss for a firm handshake, a big smile and a hearty embrace. I could feel without a doubt that he truly did care about what was going on. Probably the thing that impressed me most about him was that he was so giving of his time and energy. I remember many a nights sitting around having coffee and great conversation. I remember him coming with me to visit a sick friend in the hospital. No was not in this mans vocabulary. There are a lot of celebrities in this town but not many inovators and history makers, Gil was both. The funny thing was I never knew it until I had the opportunity to visit him at home and saw the picture on his wall making a call in the old California League. It took some prodding but I eventually got that story and others out of him. My life is considerably fuller because of the memories I have with Gil Stratton. Dee it pains me to think what your going through. Please know that our thoughts, prayers and condolensces are with you. Should there be anything we can do for I would be thoroughly disappointed if you didn't ask.

With Love,
Christopher Chase


Added: October 17, 2008
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Dear Dee and all the Gil Stratton Family,

My deepest sympathy and heartfelt hugs to all of you. I was totally shaken by this news, especially because Gil and I just worked together in Seattle this past summer, and he was brilliant, as always. I will miss his warmth and sweetness and positive attitude. In fact, he will be missed by a multitude of friends and fans. Thinking of you especially, Dee. With love, Janet


Added: October 17, 2008
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Comments:
Goodby, Gil. Please give my love to Charley when you see him.
Hello, Dee. I'm so sorry that Gil has gone, but I'm sure that Charley will welcome him with open arms.
There are so many fun things to remember from our "other life." Don't let go of your memories. They'll sustain you. They do me.
I remember "Mr. Dillon." Do you?
With love and tears,
Joannie


Added: October 17, 2008
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I had the good fortune to know and work with Gil from his joining KNXT in 1954 through the years of The Big News. As a director and then producer, I learned about sports and sports reporting from Gil, an amazingly accomplished pro. He was at home on the court, the field, the dugout, the locker room and the track. He knew EVERYONE, players, managers, refs, owners, trainers and jockeys. He spoke their language and had the gift of translating it for his viewers.He truly did "call 'em as he saw 'em."

Added: October 17, 2008
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What a lovely man and what an extraordinary life! I came late to The Big News (1969) but Gil treated a green kid like an old friend. It was a joy and a privilege to know him. Condolences to Dee and the rest of the family.

Added: October 17, 2008
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I remember when Gil bought the radio station in Hawaii (I visited him there during the '84 Ironman race I was participating in).
I saw Gil the next year after he sold the station and moved back to L.A. I asked why he sold the station so soon, he replied "I didn't like firing people".
That sums up Gil Stratton to me, a very kind, caring man that treated everyone with great respect. There are never enough Gil Strattons in the world, he will be missed, but I'll remember his compassion forever.


Added: October 17, 2008
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Although an American living in London for the past 20 years, having left CBS to pursue further education at Kings college, I had the pleasure to speak with Gil at our retiree yacht club luncheon two years ago. We spoke of those innovative and creative years in early television, admitting to how formative they were. Having worked the show, II still chuckle aboutl the antics of 'That's My Boy,' and his role in it. He always called them as he saw them, his ideas sharp, his voice clear. They don't make them the way the used to!
My heart goes out to you at a most difficult time.
Sincerely,
Steve, CBS engineer; MA, Ph.D. Faculty, Kings College London


Added: October 17, 2008
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In 1962, I began a 25 year broadcasting career when I was hired as a page at Television City. I left CBS in 1968 but my memories of that time under the "EYE" are still some of my most vivid.

Of course, I remember Gil's sportscasting but my fondest memories are of Cookie in Stalag 17 and Mouse in The Wild One (Oscar-worthy both, in my opinion).

My sincere condolences to his family and to all whose lives he touched. While I never met Gil in person, I will miss him (but will only have to turn to my DVD collection to enjoy my fondest memories of him).


Added: October 17, 2008
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I was so sorry to hear of Gill's passing. We go back to the days of Pacific Pioneer Broadcasting and to the many years I chaired the SPERDVAC Radio Conventions.
Gill was always such a classy man and so much fun to be with.
He always made time for both John and me and I will always be grateful. We also had him on our radio show, "Same Time Same Station", and he was always so very gracious with his time.

He will certainly be missed.


Added: October 17, 2008
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