Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Editorial: Jerry, you done good

by Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor, Inland Register

(From the July 3, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)

There are certain things in life you come to assume will always be there. Mount Rushmore. The Grand Canyon. New Hampshire’s Old Man of the Mountain —

Wait. Scratch that last one.

But Jerry Dufresne is like that. Jerry has been the Computer Operations Manager for the Diocese of Spokane for almost two decades. He retired this last month. (See page 6 of this issue.)

For nearly 20 years, if a computer went wonky, you called Jerry. And he either resolved it himself or knew who to call to resolve the situation. Over and over and over again, working with staff in parishes and in administration, staff with wildly varying experience and skill working with computer equipment and programs. He was there.

I was consistently amazed by his ability to deal patiently (well, mostly) with people asking questions ranging all over the map, from sensible to technical to, perhaps, not quite as insightful as they might have been (and that most assuredly includes me). That people expected him to be an expert not only in every conceivable form of hardware but also in who knows how many different release versions of who knew how many different software packages. Install, update, operate, debug, and then make it do the dishes when you were finished.

Jerry leaves an extraordinary legacy behind. There’s a widespread use of computers and consistent applications throughout the diocese. Communication is quick and thorough and dependable as a result of the diocesan e-mail system. When it all worked, nobody noticed. When it didn’t, they called Jerry. And it got fixed. That, sometimes, they noticed.

He did a huge, difficult job for nearly two decades, working with a variety of people, a variety of skill levels, a variety of personalities, a variety of management styles. And he worked, and it worked.

If anybody has earned his retirement, he has.

So go spoil your grandson, Jerry. Root for the Yankees, especially when you’re in the company of Mariners fans. Give your friends a well-intentioned, gentle hard time, and grin when they give it right back to you.

As you often told us: You done good.

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