Jerry's Baddle

Jerry kayaking the Green Narrows

Jerry "MoonUnit Beckwith"

At 10:07 a.m. on April 4th, 2006, Jerry was relieved of his suffering. Surrounded by his family, he died peacefully at the Solace hospice facility. Jerry's strength, his humor and his infectious joy touched so many of us. In one of his final e-mails, he said "I'm going to miss my greatest blessing here - my friends. You have all been a blessing to me." You were the blessing Jerry. We'll carry your spirit as we paddle clear creeks, while biking down country roads and we'll "look for rainbows EVERYWHERE".


An extreme kaya and road bike race to benefits ALS research and the Green River Access Fund

Jerry Beckwith has been described as a "giant among men" and "a member of the clean plate club of life." Whether in his career or in his athletic pursuits, he pushed his limits and left no stone unturned. He wanted to be the best kayaker he could be and led many people on their first kayak trips down the rivers in this area. Jerry considered his many friends one of his greatest gifts. Jerry believed in people, encouraging them to follow their hopes and dreams. He wanted them to succeed. He became a legend on the river and in the hearts of many.

When he returned to road biking in 2004, he did so "to see how good I can be." When asked "how did you win marathons and triathlons, what goes though your head; how do you push yourself?", he replied, with a smile, "I learned how to suffer." Perhaps it was all in preparation for his greatest challenge, ALS, with which he dealt with amazing courage. From the beginning he squeezed as much joy out of his life as was possible. He fulfilled dreams of traveling to France in July, 2005 and riding his bike on roads that would make the healthiest person crumble. He never backed down to his illness, often stating "I want this day to be the best possible."

He openly shared his thoughts with many of us via email. He moved us to tears and made us proud to be his friend. The essence of Jerry's spirit is courage and perseverance. The Baddle represents this with a challenging race and in raising awareness about a debilitating disease. We must carry on this legacy for Jerry and fight to overcome ALS. We gather to remember Jerry's strengths: his love for life, his love for a challenge and his love for hanging out with his friends, enjoying music and a beautiful day.

Jerry was having some difficulty talking, so after the race, Jerry's wife Brid, who was a competitor in the bike leg of the event, read a letter he had written. Here it is in its entirety.

Jerry's Baddle

Ok, let me clear up a little exaggeration I put up on the website. I really didn't meet 87 hot babes while sneaking around Gorilla. I met five. And I remember their names: Stacy, Katie, Andrea, Jennifer, and Pickle Girl. Actually, I don't think I really talked to Stacy, Katie, Andrea, or Jennifer on the rock while carrying Gorilla. I yelled to them while they were in the eddy below the notch. You all know those girls never carry Gorilla - so I'm coming clean before it's too late.
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