By Clayton on Nov 02, 2009
Three men are discussing what they want others to say at their funerals. The first says, "I want people to remember that I was someone who always gave my all." The second says, "I want people to remember that my life was centered around my family." The third says, "I want them to say...HE'S MOVING!"
-- Source Unknown
As many of you may know by now, Don Bowen passed away last weekend after a long battle with brain cancer. He was a truly passionate person in everything he did, completely centered around his family, and had a thirst for life that makes his passing almost a surprise in spite of the dire prognosis for brain cancer survival.
Don and I met in 1998 when he was at Caterpillar and I was a Motorola. Like me, he was spending a lot of time with Netscape Directory Server. He was an early adopter of some of the LDAP Perl modules that I was writing at the time and sure did have plenty of feedback! He was a very compelling guy and knew what needed fixing. He did a similarly thorough job in reviewing the book I was writing at the time.
A year later, I tried convincing him to join IBM, where I had landed after some independent consulting. He declined for a completely Don Bowen reason: "I won't work somewhere that forces me to use Lotus Notes." A principled guy...but you knew that.
We next connected after he joined a startup called TidePoint. This time he was doing the hiring and I accepted. The company didn't last long, but it wasn't from lack of trying. Afterwards, when I started OctetString, I brought Don in for a few months to do some consulting for some of our early customers. He then moved onto bigger and better things at Burton Group and Sun before co-founding UnboundID.
Don will be missed by all that knew him. Like many others, I've learned as much from Don in his battle with cancer as I did in working together with him in this industry. Don's blog (Wizard of IdM) details his journey with cancer while showcasing his strong faith and positive outlook on life.
My thoughts are with his beautiful family. He leaves behind his wife Eileen and four wonderful daughters. If you've been touched by Don, you may want to consider visiting the website for his family's trust.