A long-time coworker and friend of mine, Gabe Rosenberg passed away on May 29, 2014.
It's very rare to meet a person that combined brilliance with modesty, and humor.
Gabe excelled in mathematics, chess, music..... and trivia. I once called him the "keeper of all worthless knowledge". One time we were walking in Manhattan. He stopped, pointed to a building, and said "this was once an alimony prison". I just shook my head, and we kept walking...
Speaking of humor, he told me about the time he was awarded a nice chair at the university in which he taught. He said to me "it's not the first time a Rosenberg got the chair, you know"......
Gabe was responsible for my best chess tournament game ever, he had coached me in a certain surprise opening, and in 1988 I got to spring it on a stronger player and won in 20 moves, turning around a previously unsuccessful beginning into a moderately successful result (1988 New York Open). This game is on my website, and Gabe is mentioned. (Gabe Rosenberg recommendation). Gabe's games are quoted in several chess books, one of which I own (Blackmar-Diemer Gambit by Gary Lane). About nine of his games are in the Chessbase Correspondence database (6 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw)
Besides his brilliant ideas in chess, I was fortunate enough to see him lecture in Mathematics twice. He combined humor, with a lecture style that made difficult subjects easy to understand. A 2 hour lecture seemed to take 1/2 hour, and that's not easy to do in Mathematics.
But more important than all his excellence in various subjects was the type of person he was. Easy to talk to, easy to get along with, interesting, considerate, fun. I was not in so much contact with him the last few years, but am fortunate to have seen him one last time about a year ago. I appreciate his and his family's hospitality, and I enjoyed the day immensely.
I am going to miss him tremendously.