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Richard Barthen Gorman (Bart)

Died: January 18, 2016

Sometimes there is no time to say good-bye. Richard Barthen “Bart” Gorman died of arrhythmia and heart failure at his home, getting ready for bed, according to his wife Virginia. It was sudden and totally unexpected. It was about a week shy of their 42nd wedding anniversary.

A native of Charleston, West Virginia, Bart prepared for Yale at the Portsmouth Abbey School in Portsmouth, R.I. Among other activities, he had been active in the Boy Scouts and was an Eagle Scout. Within weeks of arriving at Yale he auditioned and was selected for the Freshman Glee Club. He was chosen for the Apollo Glee Club his sophomore year and for the Yale Glee Club his junior and senior years. A History major, Bart was chosen to be the Club Historian for his senior year. One of his lasting memories was the Yale Glee Club’s “Round-the-World Tour” in 1965, led by Fenno Heath and financed entirely by Yale alumni and friends. Bart also played soccer for Pierson College all four years at Yale, and he likewise was a member of Army R.O.T.C. all four years.

After graduating from Yale, Bart attended the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor. His first job was with the Federal Communications Commission, but it was quickly followed by a 19-month tour of duty as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in the 6th Battalion of the 37th Artillery of the 2nd Infantry Division, stationed largely in South Korea. Bart returned to the F.C.C. in 1972 and remained there until his retirement in 2010. He was well regarded and respected at the agency, one of his colleagues writing on his passing, “ . . . He was a true gentleman and a pleasure to work with. We will all miss him.” At the F.C.C. he had the full range of administrative experience. With the Office of Opinions and Review Bart was involved in enforcement and regulation of broadcast stations (including the celebrated case involving Howard Stern), and he was also extensively involved in the F.C.C.’s rule-making process. The latter included regulation of cellular radio licenses and auctioning off parts of the radio spectrum (providing the U.S. Treasury with nearly $19 billion).

Bart married Virginia, or “Ginna” as she is known to friends, on January 26, 1974. Ginna graduated from the University of North Carolina and was for many years an elementary school teacher. Like Bart, she, too, had an interest in history, and they worked together on family history and genealogy. They had two children, Joseph and David, who share and whose careers reflect their parents’ interests and careers. Bart was very much a family man. Ginna and he enjoyed playing tennis together, and they traveled a lot, often to be with one or the other’s family. Bart coached his kids’ basketball and soccer teams, and they were both active in their church. Bart is survived by his wife Ginna, sons Joseph and David, and six grandchildren.