I just logged into twitter through it’s actual website so I could edit who I was following. Scanning down the list of names I saw the friendly, sunglass wearing face of BlueCollarSci. My heart stopped for a moment. In real life BlueCollarSci was Jeff Medkeff, an astronomer (he called himself an amateur, I’d argue with him), a computer person, an EPO specialist, and a blogger (and more). I never met Jeff in person, but we commented to each other and followed one another’s tweets and blogs, and I’d come to respect him through these new media interactions. Last spring Jeff was diagnosed with cancer. I’d hoped to meet him before he died – we have a mutual friend who was going to bring us together. Sadly that didn’t get to happen. Jeff died rather suddenly of unexpected complications to his cancer. Many tributes have been written to Jeff, and I’d encourage you to read them here and here.
I miss seeing Jeff’s posts and tweets, and in this strange internet age he remains there in my Google Reader and in my Twitter “Following” list. He is a reminder to me to live every moment, lookup often, and be a mentor and a friend where ever I can. He was an excellent role model and he leaves a legacy of discovery and of people who are able to make new discoveries because of what they learned from him.
Blue Collar Scientist, you are missed.