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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Alas, Joe Butler, we knew you well

Last night, a dear friend and college, Joe Butler, passed away after two months in intensive care fighting for his life. Joe was our webmaster on the other site, leader of one of the two main playtest groups, and the Origins Desk Judge for the national tournaments.

It was Joe who showed up at Origins every year and held the tedious and boring job keeping records at the desk. He did so with charm, professionalism, tact, and courtesy.

It was Joe who built www.starfleetgames.com and kept it going. It was Joe who ran the discus BBS and had the thankless job of dealing with those who could not follow the rules. It was Joe who hunted down the address of people who illegally posted our products on their sites and got the ISP to yank the material.

Most of all, it was Joe who (as part of a very small team) kept the Star Fleet Universe going during the interregnum when our previous publisher went out of business. It was Joe who ran the Origins events for that one awful year when no one from Texas could go and there was doubt that the Universe would last another year. It was Joe who told the most loyal of fans to keep the faith, that SVC would fix the TFG mess given another few months. And it was Joe who was the first to be told that the contract was signed and to take the site live and send out the announcement we were back in business.

On the other BBS, a hundred people have posted their messages of sympathy and condolence, which have been a great comfort to Stacy, Joe's fiance and the love of his life.

Joe did a lot of nice things for a lot of nice people, and we could not have made it this far without him. Fear not, another webmaster will take his place, but it will never be quite the same without Joe.

Joe, you'll be missed. Now rest some, you earned it.