In Memory: Darrell North

This past week, the community lost one of its own. Darrell G. North, 56, passed away Monday. While few may recognize his name, most members would recognize his moniker – 1GorillaHawk. (A KU fan since the Wilt the Stilt glory days!) Darrell acted as a moderator for since its inception and spent the past four years in service to the online community he helped build.

In his final post before his heart attack, ‘Rilla posted a favorite quote from Knute Rockne. "One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than fifty preaching about it." In retrospect, this was fitting. ‘Rilla served as a leader of our community through quiet example and discrete discussion. He leaves his mark on this web site, as well as the individuals he touched during his time here.

In memory of Darrell, the posters and staff have chosen to rename the off topic forum The Ape Room. Not only will this honor Darrell, but it seems a fitting title for the jungle of wild and assorted discussions that can be found there.

Darrell's family has established a memorial at:

First Christian Church
128 W. Elm
Columbus, KS 66725


"(Life's) a little like wrestling a Gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired -- you quit when the Gorilla is tired." ~~~ quote from Robert Strauss

That was 1GorillaHawk's signature line. Rilla, as we fondly called him, wrestled for many years with a serious heart condition. He defied the doctors and lived longer than any of them thought he would. He took great joy in beating the odds. (He also took great joy in beating his docs at golf.) Today our good friend -- or "pfhriend" as Rilla would have typed -- finally grew tired. Believe me, he was ready, had his life here on Earth in order, and would not want us to shed a tear. He leaves behind his loving wife Bev, a son, two gorgeous granddaughters who were the light of his life, and more Phoggy friends than you can count.

I first met Rilla on another Jayhawk message board in the summer of 2000. He had medically retired from a career in education and spent his spare time following the Jayhawks, like the rest of us internet idiots. Rilla was no idiot, though! When Tom started, Rilla was one of the first posters to come on board. He was soon asked to become a moderator. He loved this, because it gave him something to do with his retired hours; and he kept some strange hours. As Phog grew and changed, Rilla hung in there and rode out the storm through several board changes and the final move to Insiders.

Rilla's messages were always colorful and full of animation. Oh, how I'll miss those nodding chimps, jumping monkeys, intentionally misspelled words, and his wit and wisdom. Many of us got to know Rilla though his inspirational emails that were guaranteed to bring a smile to the face or a tear to the eye. It breaks my heart to know I'll never again see his name as I open my email. I hope none of us forget the positive impact he had on this board and on our lives. You never know what you've got until it's gone.

Rilla, I'm fixing you a double banana, almond nut, dutch chocolate shake with strawberry twists! Enjoy, keep the lights on for us and give Wilt a "Rock Chalk".

Your Phoggy Pfhriend, Peach Top Stories