Rest in Peace, Gayle O’Connor

I was shocked over the weekend to find out that one of the most delightful people in our industry, Gayle O’Connor, passed away suddenly this weekend.

Gayle was such a joy to be around.  I can’t remember a time that I was with her where she wasn’t smiling and upbeat.  She was also one of the nicest people I’ve known in our industry. 

Of course, I met Gayle through my experience working with her husband, Tom O’Connor, and Gayle and Tom have not only been a great match, but also a true breath of fresh air in an industry of conformity.  Gayle and Tom have always had stood out in a crowd (in a good way) and Gayle’s enthusiasm and smile makes it impossible not to stop and chat with her in any industry gathering I’ve been at over the years.  It was always a highlight to spend time with her at any event.

Gayle was one of the first people to reach out to me when I left CloudNine and I really appreciate her concern for me in that situation and how she always made a point to reach out to me in chat when we were in a Zoom meeting together.

Craig Ball had a terrific post about Gayle in his Ball in Your Court blog where he said “Gayle’s luminosity was no accident.  She worked at it.  Gayle turned heads.  Gayle danced in front of the band.  She dressed to the nines in footwear that defied gravity and description.  Gayle was a canvas for her art and her art was celebration.  I’ve seen Gayle spin atop the bar in a packed Vegas biker bar.  I’ve sung Viva Las Vegas with Tom and Gayle at the top of our lungs beside the Bellagio fountains.  Just a month ago, Gayle sang Happy Birthday to me in her unforgettable Marilyn Monroe-Seducing-John-Kennedy style. Gayle was a seductress.  She unapologetically called herself “Cougar.”  Gayle’s tales of trysts with rock stars in the 70’s could have inspired Almost Famous.  Gayle lived large and loved large.  The public Gayle was sensational.  She defied age to change her, and age demurred.”

Bob Ambrogi also had a great post yesterday in his LawSites blog about Gayle where he said “what truly made Gayle so special was not her outward appearance, but her inner soul. She was a warm and thoughtful and funny and vivacious person who lived life on her own terms. She lit up every room she entered and was the life of every party she attended. The legal tech world has lost one of its brightest lights.”

Jo Sherman, Founder and CEO at EDT Software (where Gayle had worked) also published a post on LinkedIn about Gayle and several people also responded with their thoughts and emotions regarding Gayle’s passing.  Tom also posted a tribute to Gayle on Facebook to which 193 comments (and an additional 129 reactions) have been added — to date — with thoughts about Gayle’s passing and prayers for Tom and the family.  Needless to say, that’s only the “tip of the iceberg” of people who were impacted by Gayle’s bright light in this industry.

Gayle was unique and delightful and I will certainly miss her.  Rest in Peace.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

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