Gus Wing

Lydia Wing c/o Skydive Deland
1600 Flightline Dr. Deland, FL 32724

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God, how sad. I haven't seen Gus for 10 or 15 years, ever since he left Charlottesville. I knew him briefly in high school and then became a friend our first year at UVA in architecture school. What a gas it was to sit next to him in an intro course and listen to his hilarius running commentary. I think maybe the reason he graduated with a degree in art may have been that he was asked to leave the Architecture School.

Years later we worked together in construction, something I'm sure he did only to support his growing skydiving habit. Every day he worked hard to make the jobsite fun. Mondays were always the best as he recounted the stories from the dropzone that weekend.

Gus was always funny, laid back, kind, and I'm sure a free spirit to the end. I'm very lucky to have known him.

Bill Norton
bnorton516@adelphia.net

Lydia,

While there was no doubt before the memorial service yesterday that you and Gus were special people and touched all those that you know, after the service, it was even more apparent and uplifting. Lydia, continue to live your dreams, be safe in you journeys, and cherish your memories. Gus will live in your heart forever.

God Bless and Take Care.

Vicki Lewis
dhlvbl@aol.com

I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Gus many years ago at DeLand. Always up beat and helpful. We liked the same camera gear. We were shooting video with several other camera flyers and made a great all cameraman load at the end of the meet. I was shocked and very sad to hear that the skydiving community had lost someone like Gus Wing. I saw him again at the 82nd airborne reunion that we hosted at Orange Mass. when Orange was actually closed down as a drop zone. We used the reunion as a way to have a boogie. He played pool with my daughter at Mikes Place and took time out of the skydiver party time to teach an 8 year old kid to play a game that was new to her. (She is 19 now and has 140 jumps.) Somehow she won a watch on a bet at the pool table from an intoxicated local non jumper. Seiko divers watch. Not a cheap one. Great funny memory from good times .Skydivers and DZ owners get to meet all kinds of people over the years. I will remember and respect Gus as the very talented skydiver and photographer that everyone knows he was, but mostly as a great guy that would take time from a skydiving party to teach a little kid how to have some fun. I talked to him in DeLand 2 years ago. He was the same great guy. Gus had a life well-lived and will be missed by a lot of people. "A life well lived is a precious gift of hope and strength and grace from someone who has made our world a brighter and better place." Our deepest sympathy to his family and friends from everyone here at our dropzone.

Dave Strickland and the Staff at Airborne Adventures
Northampton, Ma.
skydiverdude100@yahoo.com

 I met him, and he helped me.

I met Albert 'Gus' Wing briefly a few years back and I will never forget what he did for me. I was a new Skydiver trying to make it through Accelerated FreeFall School at Skydive Miami. Gus was there along with Tom Berringer and others to make a movie call 'Cutaway'.

Gus was a true veteran. I was a rookie.

On my graduation jump, Level 7, (which is a real gimme)....I just tried too hard, too fast and blew the skydive. I knew it before I even pulled and went under canopy. I kept that thought flying the parachute all the way down to the ground at the drop zone.

I was some kinda down.

I sat down in a chair and was upset with myself and wondering if I was going to go back up then and make it right or not. Maybe try it another day, I was pretty far down on myself. Gus came along.....introduced himself.....sat down next to me. Told me his name, 'Wing',.....that's a pretty good name for a Skydiver, isn't it, he asked?

He listened to the rookie for a little bit......told me even after thousands of jumps....he still had off days too. Then he told me something I'll never forget..........he told me 'You didn't get this far in Skydiving by not doing a lot of things RIGHT.'

Nobody could improve on that wisdom.

And that was from a pro that took the time to sit with a new guy and cared enough to try and help him. I grabbed my rig, got an instructor, manifested back on the plane and went right back up. Exited at 15,000 performed the Level 7 skydive and this time when I went under canopy around 4500 feet, I knew that I'd made it.

Gus made that possible and I never forgot him. For those of you who never met him, he was a good guy. A decent man. 

Thanks Gus.

Scooter Hollingsworth
Skydivinglawyer@aol.com

Dear Gus's Family and friends

A tragic loss, I have been blessed to be able to have jumped with Gus a handful of times over the past ten years. Gus has captured some of the happiest times in my life jumping in Deland, because of Gus my family and I will be able to cherish these times forever. Infact the last skydive for me, for personal reasons out of my control was with Bobby & Gus. I am sure that Bob will remember this skydive as I told him and Gus that it would be my last. I hope that these words of mine can somehow help relieve the pain and loss that Gus's family and friends are feeling, My heart is with you.

All the best Simon Bartlett

Simon Bartlett
simon@sifoto.com

I met Gus in 1997 at a Tunnel Boogie in Tennessee. He had that sparkle which draws you to him. You want to be around such a positive force. I can't understand why he had to leave us.

I also can't imagine the pain his family must feel. I only hope it is eased by reading the amazing number of "love notes" about this special man.

Jackie Strickland

Thanks for making this wonderful site - lots of memories are coming back to me and it makes me so sad but it also makes me smile at times. Gus was my neighbor too, back in 91-92 , wonder how many neigbors he had ... :)

Lots of love, thoughts and energy to Gus wife, family and friends...

Annica Bryan
annica@bryanfamily.us

WOW! What an impact this man made on me. I knew him for about an hour. I went for the first time ever to sky dive with a group of friends for my "40th" birthday and what an incredible memory I received. Of course I was nervous, but Gus Wing approached me and made us all feel at ease. I told my boyfriend that the next time we go we must have Gus - the wing man! Gus had the plane singing happy birthday to me and it's on video! What a blessed man to be able to reach so many and make them feel peace at a time to jump.

Thank you Gus Wing - I'll never forget you!

Jodie Digioia - teacher New Smyrna Beach, FL
JDiGioia@bellsouth.net

What a cool guy you were, Gus. Let's do a 2-way in the great beyond!
You are a great character--a tribute to this great sport!

Bruce B

Photo by Gus WingOne day, one encounter with Gus and Cromi several years ago was all it took to understand what a great inventor Gus was.  You may find a spinnaker design book in his library, my only gift to reciprocate to his passion. I was sailing oceans with the wind and he was sailing the sky! I'd like to think he learned but a tidbit from the book and passed it on, or kept it to himself to triumph!

Lydia, He had just proposed to you that week and though I didn't meet you, I could tell he made the right move.

We all have to be so thankful for times like these that pass through our lives.

Who could ask for more but to fly with the great aviators in his own "passion suit"?

One incredable soul to bestow unconditionally, such knowledge of design and invention on us all that Gus so loved!

My hope, in reciprocity to Gus's contributions, is that everyone treat each other as Gus treated all with his candor, passion and kindness of heart.

Bon Voyage Gus,
Thanks for the memory.

You and his friends are in my prayers.
Darla Riley
dswrkshp@bellsouth.net

Photo by Gus WingGus was a friend and mentor to my brother Bob Crossman.  Whenever people let me down, I watch the video Gus made of my first jump with Pine and my brother Bob. The still photos Gus took of us hang on the walls of my home and my special education classroom. They are a daily reminder that our bodies are prisoners of our spirits that are meant to fly.

"All those superlatives Gus!" 

Andrea DeFusco,
Cheshire, Connecticut
adefuscoct@aol.com

I work with Lydia. She is a very intense worker.  Likes to get her reports out to clients by/before deadlines, very serious.  I met Gus once at our Company Christmas Party. And I couldn't believe how calm, giddy, and happy Lydia was with Gus.  She seemed like a totally different person.  They just lite up each other. It was hard to take your eyes off them.  With this, I knew they had something special.

My heart and love is with Lydia now. I hope to learn from her strength.

Stacey
groovin900@aol.com

Gus,you were truly a unique individual, skydiver, creative aerial photographic artist, and loving husband. May you enjoy your new journey with the same passion you had here with us. 

Perhaps I will see ya again…………….one day

Jim
jteters@att.net

I first met Gus two years ago when I started transporting skydivers from Skydive Deland back and forth to the airport. Every time I saw him, he had a smile on his face and would always ask "How's The Butler today?" just like so many of the other employees of Skydive Deland. If I happened to be having a bad day and was upset with one of these "nutty" skydivers, he would put a smile back on my face. I remember I brought a group of people just recently to the Drop Zone for their first tamden jump and they were very impressed with Gus's work.  He will be missed and remembered by The Casual Butler. 

Ric Allen and Darlene Dumais - The Casual Butler
thecasualbutler@yahoo.com

I imagine the campfire blazes everywhere throughout the skydive community, while around it tales of great adventure, good cheer, close companionship and inspiring talents are lifted toward the stars. The Legend of Gus Wing is being written, so that his name will carry through the generations. What better tribute? -- may peace be with his family and friends.

A Kern

 I did not know Mr. Wing but was sorry to hear about the accident. I have a friend in St. Cloud that dives. Recieved mail from her today an she said he was a very close friend.

Very sorry for your loss.

Bruce McNeill
marshall@cfl.rr.com

Gus gave me the strength to do one of the most amazing thrills of my life. As he approached me he knew I was nervous and consoled me and said that they take really good care of their first time jumpers.  He video tapped my jump and gave me an everlasting memory.  I will never forget this man that helped me experice the excitement I felt when I jumped out of that plane. I was very fortunate to experince this with Gus four days before his last jump.

May god bless this great man and help him know that he touched many hearts, not just mine.

Katelyn Snow
sweetgirlkk7@hotmail.com

I wanted to express my thoughts on the memorial held for Gus on Friday April 29th 2005. The ceremony was so awesome & it was apparent how loved & how solely missed Gus is going to be by all that knew him. I am truly blessed to have known him.

God Bless.

a Friend
myitchy@yahoo.com

Words cannot describe our sorrow to have learned of Gus'passing. Over the last three years he was our unofficial greeter, and positive pep rally extrordinaire to our family's reunions skydiving adventures. We remember Gus well. His generous nature, magnificent photos of some of our family's most precious moments together, and unwavering smile were his trademarks to us. We are gathering again this August for what is to be my 79 year old grandfather's last skydive, for whom Gus made his first, three years ago, so special. We were all looking so forward to seeing Gus again. However we know that even though he won't be there in the physical sense, he will be there with us! And, for that we are thankful.

To Gus, thank you for all of the irreplaceable memories and moments that you helped our family share together! Know that you will be missed and thought of often!

Natalie Thompson
TSANatalie@aol.com

I wish to extend my condolences to Gus's family and friends. I made a tandem jump 3 yrs ago at Deland through the encouragement of my brother-in-law Bob Crossman. It was an experience I'll never forget.  Though I did not meet Gus it is obvious to me what a great guy he was. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

Paul Podmore
East Longmeadow, MA.

I WAS VERY SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT  THIS TRAGIC ACCIDENT. I  DID MY FIRST SKYDIVE  AT DELAND, AND  I WAS LUCKY  ENOUGH TO HAVE GUS  WING  ALONG FOR THE RIDE. I ONLY MET  HIM THAT ONE TIME. HE WAS  A REAL PROFESSIONAL AND HE MADE IT A LOT EASIER JUMPING OUT OF AN AIRPLANE.  I ONLY WISH THAT I COULD HAVE  GOT TO KNOW HIM BETTER.  WHENEVER  I LOOK AT MY SKYDIVE VIDEO I WILL BE THINKING ABOUT HIM.

MICHAEL  DARRAH
DARRAHNASHUA@AOL.COM

I had the pleasure of meeting Gus in June of 2003 when my aunt, mother and I all went skydiving for our first time.  I could not believe how moved I was about his death. Now, in reading all of the other peoples thoughts I see that I am not alone in my emotions. He had a way with people that made you feel so relaxed and special. I will forever have my video of him chatting with us before our dive as a lasting rememberance.  Thank you Gus!   

Erika Olson
olsoner3@msu.edu

This past April, Myself and two of my friends visited Florida over spring break. We had planned weeks before to have our first skydive at Skydive Deland. Our names are called and we are brought into the changing room.  There we each met our tandem partners and camera men.  The 3 of us each spoke to each other about how suprising it was to see an older man jumping with us. Gus had such a warm welcoming presence.  He made us all as comfortable and scared as he could, just all in good fun. He surely helped to make our first skydive something to remember.  He did an amazing job with the video, editing and all. When we first heard of the incident, there was an overwhelming feeling.  Our words were just, I hope it was no one that we jumped with.  After research we found out that it was Gus.  This was heartbreaking. Even if it was only a matter of a half hour spent with him.  It was hard.  I cant even imagine how hard it has been for the family.  My best memories, are of my friends jump that Gus taped. It is sad though watching it knowing that it was the same man filming this.  It is nice though that we have this memory to take on with us forever.  He will definetly be apart of our lives.  I still plan to skydive again and everytime that I do. Gus will be jumping with me everytime. I give my best wish to his family. I feel privlleged to have no Gus even just for the short time. Best wishes

Jeff Jenkins
MrBungle5223@aol.com

Lost for words. Pray you will find some solace in time Lydia. Also pray for The Skydive DeLand family. Thinking of you all. 

Tom & Jackie Samuelson
sammyone@charter.net

 I went to college with Andy in Lynchburg. Had the honor and privilege of meeting Gus on a number of occasions and he was a class act. I am so saddened by this and can only say that Lydia and all of Gus's family are in my prayers.

Kathi Gillin
katgillin@aol.com

Gus - You inspired me and gave such great encouragement during my AFF. You captured the moments that changed my life. I could neve rhave believed that one experience culd make such a difference. I me tyou for only such a short time but you made a difference. Thank you.

Float high in the blue skies.

Jeremy Price
jeremy@kore-co.co.uk

Gus your my boy. I'll always remember you. I can thank you for being there to keep me on my toes and become a better man because of it. I love you  and I'll catch  you on the flip side my man

Ramsey Kent
cyberam420@hotmail.com

Now that I have touched a link located in a forum on the website of "http://www.dhv.de" I suddenly found myself at the contribution page of "Gus Wing" and I can not but admit that I am overwhelmed with emotion... being moved to tears...and I really have a lump in my throat... although I never heard of this hearty person.

The wonderful song truly does fit to the whole atmosphere... dealing with Gus and his spirit.
As to the numerous contributions it seems that Gus seldom had been at odds with hisself but in fact dealt fairly with other people he had met.
I personally feel confident that Gus completed his self-imposed mission on earth and he certainly would be proud if some of his fellows would spread his thoughts and most impressing traits around the world to make it a better one.
Sincere condolences to his family and all the people who had the chance to get to know him...
Gus - if the sun shines... please make another jump and give us a little smile from above the clouds... -)

Thanks for your presence...

Andreas
Germany/Munich (sorry for my bad english)

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