I was terribly shocked and profoundly saddened yesterday when I learned of Philippe's tragic death. I truly believed one of the bright lights in this world had been extinguished and I was left feeling the world had become a darker place due to his passing.
I've had a day now to digest this unwelcome news and I've come to the realization that I was extraordinarily fortunate to know Philippe, if only through Java Ranch. His was a first rate mind. He was a natural teacher. The power and clarity of his expression was matched only by the depth of his enthusiasm. He had a mastery of his adopted language that would be the envy of most native English speakers. He possessed a generosity of spirit that is both rare and precious. In his writing he demonstrated a kindness, a sense of humor, and a playfulness that often brought a smile to my face and I happen to believe that's no small thing.
I know he was an inspiration to me and I think to others as well. I think he has made me a better person by his example. He must have known that the world is a better place for his efforts. He has my utmost respect for what he accomplished.
I send his entire family, especially Virginie, Nic, and Max, my deepest condolences. I can't really imagine how terrible this unexpected loss must be for you and for his close friends. I believe the good that a man does during his life does not end when his life is over. In a sense the good Philippe did during his life will live on in the people who knew him and whose lives he touched. The gifts we received from Philippe can never be taken away as long as we remember them and honor his memory. I hope Philippe's spirit will continue to animate Java Ranch in the years to come.
Philippe, you will be missed and long remembered. Thank you so much for all you did.