The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death on November 23, 2016 of Senior Carpenter Damon E. Gayer at his home surrounded by his family after a battle with cancer. He was 58.
Damon was born in Beverly, Mass., to Edward and Noelle Gayer. He studied at East Coast Aero Tech before settling down in Falmouth.
Damon began his career at WHOI in 1999 as a carpenter. In 2003, he was promoted to senior carpenter. Chances are good that Damon may have built or fixed something for most WHOI employees during his career here. Damon was well loved by all and will be remembered for his quick wit, contagious smile, and generous personality.
“The reason why Damon was so well loved is that he was the person we all wish we could be,” said Dave Derosier, WHOI facilities director.
“What we all loved about Damon is that he possessed that unique ability to cross work excellence with a large batch of humor,” said Rick Galat, WHOI senior facilities engineer. “People loved being around him because he could make anyone laugh. The laughter was often infectious and a crowd would often encircle him as his stories unfolded. It was fun to observe from a distance, loud laughter often bellowing out from the crowd, but gather in close and you were in for a treat. We also admired Damon for his strong work ethic and his craftsmanship as a carpenter. But it was his kindness and thoughtfulness that won our hearts. He was always the first to ask how you were doing before any discussion of work ensued because he truly cared about you as a person and wanted to make sure you and your family were well. He will be truly missed and remembered as one of the many people that make the Oceanographic such a wonderful place to work, and his absence will be deeply felt by many of us. A life well done and our special thanks for spending some of it with us, for that we are all very grateful!”
Damon had a passion for fine arts and painted with a community of portrait artists across Cape Cod.
He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Celia Swierczek Gayer, his daughter Anna Gayer, son Jack Gayer, and a beloved extended family. He was preceded in death by his sisters Melissa Gayer Champagne and Leslie Gayer.
Friends and family are invited to a celebration of his life on Sunday, December 11, at 3:00 p.m. in Clark 507.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions would be appreciated for the Damon E. Gayer Art Scholarship. Please send donations to Sturgis Charter Public School, 427 Main Street, Hyannis, Mass., 02601. Checks can be addressed to Damon E. Gayer Art Scholarship.
Damon’s family would like to thank all of his friends and family for the outpouring of love and support throughout Damon’s illness.