The community mourns the passing of Richard “Cyberlot” Thomas

December 10, 2010

Uncategorized

Today, the PHP community mourns the passing of a friend. Three weeks ago, Richard Thomas, community member and friend to all who knew him passed away. I had planned on writing this post today and am ashamed that I put it off so long. Thanks to Jeff Moore’s post and Paul M. Jones’s post I was reminded of my duty to my friend.

I didn’t know Richard as well as some. I hung out with him on IRC and we swapped work horror stories and coding tips whenever we met at conferences. I was privileged to see him just days before he passed when we were both at CodeWorks Portland. I got to talk to him for a bit at lunch and between sessions. Sadly for me, that conversations centered around topics so trivial that I don’t even recall the details, just that fact that it was with Richard.

From Jeff’s blog:

Richard is survived by his wife Lisa and four year old daughter Nicollette. Donations are being accepted to assist them. Even if you haven’t had contact with Richard, consider making a donation if you’ve done freelance work, as Richard was doing at the time of his death. Donations can be sent to:

Niki Fund, 4818 Davis Place #G, Renton WA, 98055

While I never like to hijack a moment, Paul made an excellent point on his post that I’ll repost here for all because it is sagely advice from a man I highly respect.

And now, a practical note: A lot of PHP folk out there are freelancers or independent consultants, or are in other kinds of unstable job situations. If you are one of these, and you have a family, *please* consider purchasing term life insurance to take care of your loved ones if you pass suddenly. Get it even if you are very young. It is not expensive. It’s not the only thing you should do to prepare, but it’s an important thing.

Richard died at his computer doing what he loved, programming. We will miss you Richard, the world is a little darker place without you.

About Cal Evans

Many moons ago, at the tender age of 14, Cal touched his first computer. (We're using the term "computer" loosely here, it was a TRS-80 Model 1) Since then his life has never been the same. He graduated from TRS-80s to Commodores and eventually to IBM PC's. For the past 10 years Cal has worked with PHP and MySQL on Linux OSX, and when necessary, Windows. He has built on a variety of projects ranging in size from simple web pages to multi-million dollar web applications. When not banging his head on his monitor, attempting a blood sacrifice to get a particular piece of code working, he enjoys building and managing development teams using his widely imitated but never patented management style of "management by wandering around". Cal is currently based in Nashville, TN and is gainfully unemployed as the Chief Marketing Officer of Blue Parabola, LLC. Cal is happily married to wife 1.28, the lovely and talented Kathy. Together they have 2 kids who were both bright enough not to pursue a career in IT. Cal blogs at http://blog.calevans.com and is the founder and host of Day Camp 4 Developers

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