Gerard J. Dullea, (1943-2018), “A Fantastic Mentor but also a Good Friend”

Former US Chess Executive Director and Chess Life Editor Gerard J. Dullea,  died on Sunday, July 29th at the age of 75. Dullea was a professor of English at the University of Main before his work at US Chess as Executive Director from 1978-1988 and 1999-2000.  Joan DuBois remembers in depth and quite fondly their work together, and recounts some memories below.

In the late 1970’s US Chess was faced with a staffing situation at the director level so the Executive Board brought in George Cunningham to try to get things back on track. Although George was not named “Interim Executive Director” but rather “Staff Director”, he immediately took over the helm and got things in order. Within a few months, the Executive Board hired Gerard “Gerry” Dullea as Executive Director. I recall the first day as our new Executive Director (ED), he met each employee at the front door with George at his side and introduced himself– we were impressed! At that time, we were still transitioning to computerizing many of our operations – Gerry was dedicated to this huge task until he left in 1987. Gerry ran a “tight ship” but he was fair and knew how to be a good boss and a good friend. He had a personality which allowed us to be able to chat with him about work and personal issues we were dealing with. Of all of the Executive Directors, only three stayed on for a nine-year hitch and Gerry was one of them.

Much to our delight, in 2008 Gerry drove to Crossville to visit with staff. We were quite touched at his caring enough to have done this as he was facing some health challenges at that time. Gerry, you will remain in our hearts as not only being a fantastic mentor but

also as a good friend to us all who were fortunate to have known and worked along with you. 

Gerard requested no funeral services or viewing. Find out more here.


  1. I lament the passing of Gerry Dullea, one of the finest USCF executive directors I ever knew. Even before he became ED in 1979, I had known Gerry and his University of Maine colleague George Cunningham from their deep involvement with chess in New England. George and Gerry ran a very good chess column in the Bangor Daily News – a column they started in October 1971. This column continued for at least two decades. And in 1975, Gerry and George hosted a 13-part weekly TV program on chess on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network. Gerry’s love of chess was quite evident. The chess community has lost a dear friend of the royal game. May he rest in peace.

  2. Close friends and family had a “celebrate Gerry” gathering mid August. Stories and memories were shared.

  3. Both George and Gerry were my coaches at the University of Maine Orono in the early 70s. They interacted with me and fellow students as equals regardless of chess ability. Both were instrumental in getting the Maine Chess League going on a steady basis and that lead to many fine competitions around the state between clubs. Club meetings were always enjoyable and I think a lot of that was attributable to their personalities.

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