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Thanks for the Memories, Tom

By Steve Jones,

I had other things to do today. There's no shortage of work, I travel this week, and I'm behind on a few things, but that all ended this afternoon.

I saw a note on Tom Roush's Twitter account from his daughter. Tom passed away on Tuesday, Jan 30, 2018. I'm saddened, with watery eyes and a heavy heart this afternoon. I've known Tom was ill for some time, battling cancer, and it always brought a little joy to my heart when I saw a new post on Facebook from Tom. I was also a little saddened after reading, wondering if this was the last communication I'd get from him.

He's one of the few SQL friends I have on that platform, and I've enjoyed keeping in touch and communicating. Tom and I lived in separate cities, and rarely had the chance to sit down in person, but we've exchanged a lot of private messages over the years, and getting the chance to chat with him in the middle of a busy day was always a treat.

Tom has been a DBA for a long time. He has had a blog for SQL stuff, but he has really shined in his storytelling and communications. Tom supported others, with always a kind word of praise, advice, or a suggestion, given at the right time to help someone. Tom was truly a wonderful soul in our #sqlfamily.

A couple years ago Andy Warren and I put on a Game Night at the PASS Summit. This was another of our experiments at trying to find new and interesting ways to engage people at the Summit. Many of us are introverts, and both Andy and I dislike the loud, crowded environments. For years we'd debated doing this for the SQLServerCentral party, but the popularity of the Casino Night kept us from experimenting.

This year we managed to procure a room and spent an afternoon shopping for some games for people to play. We weren't sure how many would come, and I was planning on staying only a short while because of work commitments. We got the room opened, the bartender inside, wrote some signs by hand and stood around. A few people wandered up, some bringing their own games.

As the evening progressed, I was about to leave when I saw Tom walk up to the room. An older, weaker Tom that wasn't attending the conference made the effort to come out to the community, despite weakened from illness. We found him a chair and a beverage and sat down to spend some time.

I stayed longer than I should have, given the demands of my day job, but that 30 or so minutes, where Andy and I could sit and chat with Tom was worth it. I'll cherish that time for the rest of my days. We didn't have any great epiphanies, no life altering conversation. Just a few friends shooting the breeze, talking about the current events in our lives, reliving memories, and just catching up.

RIP, Tom. You are a great man I'll always remember.

Some wonderful stories: Red Converse High Tops (from Ken Fisher), Brent's favorites, The Paul Mile, and Life Lessons.

If you'd like to donate to the family, you can do so here.

 
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