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Tribute to a Friend

There are some posts I hope never to write. One of those types of posts has to be written today. It's never easy to say goodbye to a friend whether it be for a brief separation or a longer one. It's never easy. And even though I belong to a faith which believes in heaven, the earthly separation of death is still hard. Consequently, I'm really sad to have to write a goodbye to
Clarence Whaley
who died of cancer last Saturday.

Some would say I didn't know him well, and in some sense, I didn't. I've been a Window-Eyes user for only about a year and a half, and didn't really get a chance to talk with Clarence until CSUN of 2007. We bantered back and forth, laughed and he showed me some cool tech stuff. It was nice to find someone who had a sense of humor, a humble kind spirit and a ton of knowledge. Of course, there are many wonderful people in the technology industry, but that doesn't make it easier to lose one of them.

Anyone who's been around the various tech or blindness conferences for a few years knows how exciting it is to see people you know and like. Clarence was always a friendly person to be around and shoot the breeze with. He made me smile, and I always felt at ease when talking with him. Conventions can get tricky, and there can be a lot of subtle and not-so-subtle judgment going on, but I never got that feeling from Clarence.

One other thing, he was great at presentations. I went to a Window-Eyes presentation he did and noticed that there was something for everyone. A beginner could follow his explanations, but even a somewhat more advanced user who likes to explore on her own could learn a neat trick or a new way of conceptualizing certain tech skills.

Even as I look forward to going to convention this year, I feel sad knowing Clarence won't be there. Clarence, yoou were a wonderful man and we will miss you greatly, but your contributions will live on. Thank you for who you were and what you did.

Comments

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desert_rose
Jun. 20th, 2008 02:22 am (UTC)
*hugs* I am very sorry to hear of Clarence's passing!

I only spoke to Clarence the once, but I'll never forget our phone call. He called me to let me know he had to unsubscribe me from Buddy-l. He could have sent me an e-mail, but he called, as he didn't want me to think I had been booted off the list for no good reason. That's the sort of nice guy he was. It was a pleasant surprise to receive his call.

I didn't know he was sick. IN fact, I had been wondering for many years how he was going.

I remember his chocolate Labrador from the Seeing Eye, Clay. They were a great team, and Clarence really showed just how much he loved him, and all his dogs!

May he rest in peace, and take quiet walks in the sunshine with all the wonderful dogs who have been waiting for his arrival.

He will be missed.
puppybraille
Jun. 20th, 2008 03:00 am (UTC)
That sounds like the sort of thing he would do. Having seen a lot of email list issues, I would say that goes far, and I am glad it was helpful to you. I hadn't realized that he was associated with Buddy-L, I was aware of the listserv, but never subscribed for a few different reasons, none of which were because I actually had something against it, I'd just gotten an impression that it was only for TSE grads and then had some, um, interesting experiences with the online guide dog using community and still don't belong to any email discussion lists.

And yes, he definitely was an amazing team with his dog.
jenandbronze
Jun. 20th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
Yes, Clarence was the first moderator of Buddy-L back int he very early days.

It is hard to lose anyone whom you only v know via e-mail, or face-to-face, no matter what. We think about the good the person has done, and that's what counts. I can't count how many posts I've contributed in my RL friends. I posted one whom I didn't know at all, but only online, Debbie Scales, before her passing about 1 1/2 years ago... who is behind the JFWLite web site.
(Anonymous)
Aug. 10th, 2008 03:33 am (UTC)
I should say
Brilliant!
(Anonymous)
Sep. 28th, 2008 07:48 pm (UTC)
Brilliant text.
thank you, guy
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