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Dick Sabot, 1944 – 2005

My dear friend and mentor Dick Sabot passed away (suddenly and unexpectedly) Wednesday night.

Dick was one of the founders of Tripod, and he gave me my first “real” job there… which may still be the best job I’ve ever had. He founded Geekcorps with me, generously supported our work and steered us through and beyond our merger with IESC… and the decision of all the founders to leave the organization. For the past ten years, he’s worked with me on every major project I’ve pursued, either as a partner, or as a supportive critic – for the last decade of adventures, he’s been journeying beside me, or the first person I looked forward to telling about the trip when I came back.

Dick wasn’t just my dear friend and mentor – he guided and advised hundreds of people as scholars, activists and entrepreneurs. Bo Peabody and I, talking immediately after his death, agreed that Dick given us more than many parents give their children… which is made all the more extraordinary by the fact that Dick gave his wife and four children even more.

I’ve been trying, and failing, to write a proper post in Dick’s memory and have realized that it’s going to take longer than a few days for me to process my thoughts and emotions. There’s a memorial service for him in Williamstown this coming Sunday – I’m looking forward to seeing some of the other people whose lives were touched by Dick, hearing their memories and thinking about his extraordinary life, in the hopes of properly remembering him in the future.

My wife, Rachel, has a beautiful remembrance of Dick on her blog. And the obituary in the Berkshire Eagle gives a sense for the richness of Dick’s life.

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