Sad community news: long-time contributor whu606 has passed
Our friend John, who went by the handle @whu606 on this site, died earlier this month. He'd been ill for some time, which is why he's been around less this year. He's survived by his wife, Julie, who does know about this site and was kind enough to send us the news. If you see his account online, it's just her checking in.
John was a member here for over 9 years, making just shy of 3,000 posts. He has been a moderator here for as long as I can remember, and all of those posts are a model of persistent patience, helpfulness and kindness. He contributed as much to the longevity of this community as anyone, and we're extreme sad to know we can no longer expect to read more characteristic kindness from him.
The last time I spoke to John was nearly a year ago, in December. He wrote us to request that @R_J be more formally recognized for his outstanding contributions to the community, which I strongly agreed with. Sadly, I was on sabbatical at the time due to a death in my own family and never returned to Vanilla full-time to see thru that final request. But I think that sums up who he was to us here: Never the squeaky wheel, always the one quietly oiling them instead.
I've inquired whether sending flowers would be appropriate; I will followup with that in case folks would like to contribute. What you could do, in any case, is post anything kind you have to say about your interactions with John, as well as kind sentiments for his widow. It can feel like there's nothing good to say, but believe me, just saying the same thing as everyone else is more than enough. It's the volume of the sentiment, not the prose, that matters.
Cheers to John and his years of quiet, kind volunteerism. We'll never see another like him.