A Gentle Giant
Gerry Roberts, who lived at our Connelly House residence, passed away on July 2. A former deputy sheriff for the City of Philadelphia, he joined the Project HOME community back in 1997, and had a deep impact on all who knew him. His fellow resident Mike Kozisky wrote this reflection about him.
I knew Gerry since 1997 when I first came to Project HOME. I moved into Kairos House, and Gerry was the first resident I met. He was very nice, and we got along. We lived together at Kairos along with fellow resident James Brown.
In 1998, Gerry moved out to his own apartment, then several years later he moved into Project HOME’s In Community program. Who was the first person to meet him and welcome him there? Me.
Gerry Roberts was one of the nicest, kindest persons I ever knew. I never saw Gerry mad—except one time I did something years ago that made him mad for some reason. I’m good at making people mad.
Gerry never said anything bad about anybody. Gerry is a better man than me—I couldn’t be that nice. Gerry loved everybody. I always saw him saying hello to everyone. I called him a gentle giant.
He and I were always in the same groups together. Nobody knew how much of a bond Gerry and I had. I’m really going to miss him, I’m going to miss always seeing him. I’m really going to miss being in groups with him, looking across and seeing him in the same room.
I loved that man. I hope when I die one day and arrive at the gates of heaven that Gerry is the first person I see—and I hope he lets me in.
Goodbye Gerry, my one-time housemate, my friend, my brother.