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In Memory of Dov Gutterman (1955-2011)

Last modified: 2013-08-17 by pete loeser
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Dov Gutterman
Sanssouci Park
Berlin ICV 2007

Dov at FOTW Gathering
Berlin ICV 2007

Dov Gutterman (1955-2011)

  His personal flag
  • Born 23 August 1955 - died 16 February 2011. He was 55 years old.

  • In Dov's non-vexillological life, he was a practicing and respected lawyer in Haifa, Israel.

  • Dov was a proud husband, the father of two delightful daughters (one is a lawyer), and a proud grandfather.

  • He was a captain of the Qiryat Haim local section of the National Guard (Qiryat Haim is the suburb of Haifa he lived in)

  • He was named "Vexillologist of the Year" in 1999 (second award) for his extensive vexiferreting of the Internet and contributions to uncovering flags.

  • Dov was an avid collector of Israeli flag information, driving to remote towns and villages from Galilee to the Negev in his quest.

  • Dov was the FOTW editor for Israel, Italy, Baltics, Ukraine, Croatia, Hungary, Central America, northern South America, and the Caribbean.

  • He was a participant at the ICVs in York, Stockholm, Buenos Aires, and Berlin. He presented papers at most of these conferences.

  • Dov had a passion for flags bearing bears in their designs. His name, Dov, is Hebrew for "bear."

  • He edited web pages furiously, often in all-day and all-night sessions, when the Mediterranean summer heat drove him into his basement lair, his "Man Cave," or should we say, his "Bear Cave?"

  • The top photo of Dov was taken by Rob Raeside after a long hot day in Sanssouci Park, in Potsdam, Germany, during the Berlin ICV.

  • The bottom photo of Dov, with Jonathan Dixon in the background, was taken by Engene Jan Oskar. It was taken at the FOTW gathering, Potsdam, Germany, during Berlin ICV in 2007.

    Messages from/for his FOTW Family and Friends:

    I have just received a message from Eli Gutterman to advise that his brother Duby (Dov) Gutterman had passed away this morning. He had flu like symptoms, but didn't want to consult a doctor and, while driving this morning, he didn't feel good, stopped the car and passed away soon after. We are losing a friend and enthusiastic contributor and editor of the FOTW community. I had the chance to meet him during ICV20 in Stockholm and I was talking not later than yesterday evening about his project to attend ICV24 in the United States. I'm deeply shocked and sad. May he rest in peace.
    Pascal Gross, Grandvillard, Switzerland

    Again we are loosing one of our best.
    J. Patrick Fischer, Free State of Bavaria, Germany, European Union

    We will miss him a lot. My solidarity to his relatives and closest friends.
    Nicolás Velásquez, Miami, Florida, USA

    It was just two weeks ago when I asked him about himself and he answered everything was OK. He was complaining only on his busy days and some comm problems, nothing else. I did not have opportunity to meet him, but I was serving for a year less than 30 km from his hometown, but I did not know this fact at that time. I am really unhappy about it. Two weeks ago I took over editing of HU pages on FOTW, and I am very proud to have a chance to continue his work. I have known him as a good man. I am really sad. We miss him. May he rest in peace.
    Zoltán Horváth, Székesfehérvár, Hungary

    Sad news indeed - the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, but I shall miss him.
    Christopher Southworth, Lancashire, England

    Heartfelt thanks to Pascal for sharing the shocking news. Another person who brought me, as to so many here, so much flag passion and humanity leaves us brutally. I have no words. Shalom, dear Bear. My condolences go to his family.
    Thanh-Tâm Lê, Essonne, France

    What sad and unexpected news. Just last week Dov was talking about catching up on his editing backlog and looking forward to having time to engage in FOTW again. As editor of 45 countries on FOTW, with over 7000 pages to his credit, his passing will be our great loss. But more so - his knowledge of flags and languages of the Middle East was invaluable, and his willingness to deal objectively with the affairs of Israel and its neighbours were precious. We have lost a true giant of a bear (Dov, Hebrew: bear) on FOTW.
    Rob Raeside, Director, Flags of the World, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada

    Dov was one of the first people that I have interacted with when I joined FOTW over ten years ago. I still remember the times we talked about Israel, politics and flags. I still have an Israeli flag that he gave me in a trade many years ago, and I sent him one of my books about aircraft roundels. I am very shocked and saddened by this news and I wish to send my condolences to his family.
    Zachary Harden, Russellville, Arkansas, USA

    I have read this only now, and am truly shocked. I met Dov once (Berlin 2007), he was a regular fellow. This is another grievous loss for FOTW-ws and more importantly, of course, for all his loved ones. Oh, 2011 is not good, not good at all.
    Jan Mertens, Edegem, Belgium

    Terrible news. I meant to visit him at some point, and now won't be able to. If anyone has contact information for the family or funeral/shiva details, they would be much appreciated.
    Nachum Lamm, Jerusalem, Isreal

    I am extremely sad to hear about my friend Dov. He contributed so much and, more importantly, he was a wonderful friend. I send care and compassion to his family and to all of us who had the honor of knowing him. Please, let us take a moment and consider reaching out to each other - our relationships pass too quickly. I am thankful for each of you! May God bless his wife and children...
    Edward Mooney, Palmdale, California USA

    This is dreadfully sad news, and coming so soon after our other recent loss, too. Rob perhaps summed it up best - an immense knowledge of middle-eastern flags and an ability to remain objective and impartial in a difficult area of research. Many heartfelt condolences to Eli and to the rest of Dov's family.
    James Dignan, Dunedin, New Zealand

    This is getting downright depressing, for a fledgling editor like me, Dov was always helpful, always encouraging, and always a gentleman. I'll miss his wise council and advice. This is another great loss to our whole FOTW family. Eli, please pass on our concern and condolences to your whole family, the sorrow is felt worldwide, Dov had a huge circle of friends and admirers.
    Pete Loeser, Laytonville, California USA

    This news of the sudden death of Dov Gutterman is very much a great loss to the world's vexillological community. We have all benefited from his knowledge and expertise in flags and developing our FOTW, for which we are all grateful. On behalf of the Executive and Members of Flags Australia, I wish to express my sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. We shall all miss his contributions both on-line and at the ICV's. May he Rest in Peace.
    Ralph Bartlett, President, Flags Australia

    It is incredible to see such terrible news of Dov's passing. He was the person who encouraged me to join the mailing list as I sent him many messages regarding the Colombian pages, which he carefully edited. I never had the chance to personally meet him, but I express my condolences to his family, friends and all his colleague and peers. It is an irreparable loss of a person who dedicated so much to the task of spreading knowledge of of flags.
    Esteban Rivera, Medellín, Colombia

    Sad news indeed. I considered Dov among very good friends of mine. We met through FOTW and the common interest in the history and present of the Israeli national and municipal symbols brought us together very soon. Eventually we had chance to meet in person during several vexillologic congresses, where we spent much time together. Even though he was always teasing me about my eating habits I always considered that as friendly gesture and was never insulted. Dov was relentless in researching municipal flags in Israel; he visited virtually every town and village traveling by car and without holding back he would enter the town halls and inquire about flags and symbols until he would get the info right. The energy with which he was editing numerous FOTW pages was great too. I was really looking forward to meet him again this year in Washington and we have exchanged vague plans to visit each other at some point. Not only I am going to miss working on flag issues with him, but I am going to miss him as a friend. Zikhrono Livrakha.
    Željko Heimer, Zagreb, Croatia

    I'm deeply shocked. A great loss for the FOTW and for Dov's family. My condolences to the Dov's family.
    Vanja Poposki, Skopje, Macedonia

    As already mentioned by others, year 2011 has started in a very unpleasant way for the vexillological community. May Dov and Jarig be admitted at the honour place in the Vexillologists' Paradise.
    Ivan Sache, Versailles, Sarkobruniland, France

    I just can't beleive Dov is no longer among us... just a few days after Jarig's departure, the news of Dov's death is overwhelmingly sad and terrible. Dear Bear, I will miss you much. I will remember the lovely time we spent together at the international congresses and the tons of e-mails we exchanged over more than 10 years about vexillology and soccer. Thank you for your friendship, Bear, rest in peace.
    Jose C. Alegria, Gijón, Asturias, Spain

    Yet another wonderful friend gone.
    Such a devastating news,
    such a sadness.
    Rest in Peace, Dov
    Chrystian Kretowicz, Rubidoux, California, USA

    As most of us, I first met Dov on-line, and the name seemed to fit his thoughtful, but powerful communications exactly. Then we met in Berlin, and at first I wondered how far I had misjudged the quick talking and gesturing man I saw before me. But as the days went by, and because we also happened into each other outside the conference, as we both stayed near the Kudamm, I came to realise that that strength was there, visible just beneath the surface, as a foundation for everything he did. Yes, with that core, I can well imagine him disrupting Municipal Halls all over Israel, simply walking in with the message that he would like to learn more about their flags. But he didn't just contribute about Israel; his images and quotes can be found on thousands of pages all over the site. Let me then add one more quotation from him, and for him, even if I can't write it in Hebrew: "May his soul be bound up in the bond of life!"
    Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, Sneek, Friesland, The Netherlands

    This is a really nasty surprise, especially coming so soon on the heels of the loss of Jarig, and so utterly unexpectedly. Dov was a robust and cheerful presence, both on the List and in private correspondence; he always said what was on his mind, and he almost always did so in a good-humored way, and when he didn't it was for usually for a good reason. We will be diminished as a community by his absence. I "really" hope this is the last one of these threads for a while. Mournfully,
    Eugene Ipavec, Tustin, Southern California, USA

    This is hard to believe. I met Dov in York at the 19th ICV and we corresponded some. My wife gave him a real hard time about smoking too much. He will be missed. May he rest in peace.
    Dave Martucci, Washington, Maine, USA

    I share the sadness and the sense of loss and disbelief at the passing of Dov Gutterman. I have not had the opportunity to meet my fellow flag scholars at any of the ICVs (though I will be changing that this summer, as the next conference will be a local affair), but I feel a sense of kinship through our shared passion for the subject, which extends over the seas. Through that bond, I knew him as a fine gentleman and scholar. To his family, though I am not of his faith, I would say, "May the Lord comfort them with all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem."
    First Jarig and now Dov...this has been a very difficult start to the year for us at FOTW.
    Steve Kramer, Listmaster Emeritus

    I still can't believe. I was looking forward to see this cheerful and open minded man in Rotterdam in 2013, but fate did not allow that. He was the one who encouraged me in Berlin in 2007 for my first vexillological lecture. We had a long talks not only about flags.
    My and my wife will miss him.
    Ivan and Marija Sarajčić, Zemun, Serbia

    in memoriam ce 2011  Image recoloured by Mark Sensen

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