For many years, Marty has been a comfortable and familiar presence. As many people have said, he was an institution in Northeast fandom. At the same time, he was one of the nicest and considerate people you could hope to meet. Just genuinely pleasant and fun to hang around.
Some years back, I was having a party and museinred called. She said Steve wasn't able to attend, could she bring someone else? "Who," I asked. "Marty Gear," she said. Marty was recovering from one of his illnesses and she had been helping him and getting him out again. "Of course," I told her. Marty joined us and fit right in with my peculiar mixture of Orthodox Jewish friends, work friends, and fen. He could get along with anyone, because he started with the presumption that all people were good people worth knowing.
I am going to miss him. Something very comfortable and familiar has gone out of the world.