January 18, 2012

A virtual friendship, but a real loss.

I checked my email before I left for work this morning, and was greatly saddened to receive the following:

Terry and Jim [Jim Smith, who writes Unfreezing],

I just wanted to let you know that Steve passed away tonight. He was diagnosed with peritoneal carcinomatosis in late September and by mid-November was in hospice care (first at home and then at the in-patient facility). I know that he really enjoyed your blogs and sharing emails and odd news stories with both of you and he considered you to be his friends--he called you his virtual friends.

Please keep him (and me) in your prayers. I'm going to miss him terribly.

Thank you,
Kathie Hendry (aka Mrs. Steevil)

I sent Kathie a short response to express my sorrow at the news, but given how I knew Steve, I thought I would do well if I opened up the blog for a little while to reminisce.

Steve first dropped by, I think, because his brother Michael Hendry (aka Dr. Weevil) was one of the early members of the Axis of Weevil. And he just kept dropping by, with a variety of comments, computations, quotes, and quips, tales of rocket surgery and LBCs (little British cars) and Baltimorons, and Yanmar diesel engine repair and the thrilling sporting deeds of the University of Rhode Island. Take a look back through the archives to see some of what made Steve such a popular source of mirth around here.

I enjoyed conversing with Steve, and as Kathie notes, I considered him a good friend, despite the fact that we'd never met. Some folks are just like that, and Steve was one of them.

Which is why this news was all the sadder--since I pretty much closed up around here, I didn't get to talk to Steve nearly as much as in years past--every once in a while he'd send along a ill-written article from the Providence [RI] Journal or some stupid diversity memo from NASA that we could laugh at, but it was sort of hit-or-miss when something would fly over the transom.

The last time I had heard from him was in October, and I hadn't a clue that he was doing so badly. And that's my fault--I need to keep up with my friends, virtual or otherwise.

To Kathie and the Hendry family, thank you for sharing Stephen with us, and may God grant you grace and peace during this time.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:21 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack