Lily and Gordie
Gordie and Lily


This is probably the first word I ever said to Gordie because I couldn’t pronounce the full “Gordo.” He was the most amazing person I have ever met. And I truly mean that. I am so glad I got to know him, and more importantly, have him as a brother.

He was always so protective, never letting me watch certain TV shows and never willing to swear in front of me. And I can tell that he acted as a big brother to many of you, too. He was always looking out for the people he cared about, and had such a great trust and faith in people. He had that amazing bear hug that I’m sure most of you would remember. And that duck walk … which definitely runs in the Herrlinger side of the “fam” as Gord would say.

He had such high self-confidence, more than anyone I know. He never cared about what people had to say about him, as long as he could put a smile on their face. And I think that is truly what he lived for — to make other people happy.

Gord had such an incredible range of talents, pursuing almost everything he was interested in, in only 18 years. He was one of those rare people that when you saw him, you just had to smile. It was so  contagious. And I even saw that when he would meet people for the first time. I think everyone looked up to him for his amazing ability to light up a room instantly.

He was one of those people that would never talk about himself. And I know this because many of the people in Dallas never knew his love for acting, which he started at Deerfield.

I think anyone who had the privilege of knowing him would agree that we all learned something from him. He taught us to always stay optimistic and always look at the good side of everything. He never complained. And he was never mad. He would always cheer up my day with his ridiculous faces and movie quotes. Most importantly, he made me feel like the most important person in the world because he was always eager to be with me.

I never understood how he could be so good at so many things at such a young age, but now I think I understand. He was only given 18 years to live and he made the absolute best of it. I believe he did more in his few years than many people have done in 50.

I never understood how he could be so good at so many things at such a young age, but now I think I understand. He was only given 18 years to live and he made the absolute best of it.

When I was little, he would always make fun of how I ordered food in a quiet voice that made me seem so unsure of myself, since he would order so that basically the entire restaurant could hear. He taught me to be sure of myself and proud of whatever I do. He was proud to be a Texan when he went to Deerfield and then so proud to have come from Deerfield when he went to Boulder. And something that I just realized recently is that what I am most proud of, is to have been his sister.

I know this is a hard day for everyone and I don’t know if this helps, but I definitely know it comforts me. The day I found out about this tragic event, I was waiting in the airport and all of the sudden, I heard from a TV next to me, “Hey Blue, there’s no ice in my lemonade. Drop and give me 10, NOW!” said by actor Will Farrell in Old School. This was probably Gord’s favorite line from one of his favorite movies. I truly think this is Gord’s way of telling me he is all right. We are all so lucky to have known him and I truly feel worse for the people who never got to meet him. He was definitely one of a kind and I think everyone will remember his happy way of life forever.

I will always love you, Gordie. As my big brother, my greatest role model, and my best friend in the whole world.

— Adapted from the tribute Lily gave at age 14 during Gordie’s memorial.
September, 2004