On Saturday, September 15th, Wayne Tiffany lost his fight with cancer and passed away with friends and family by his side. He was only 57 years old. Wayne was a huge part of the SolidWorks Community – President of the Kansas City SolidWorks User Group, Southern US SWUGN Representative (2004 – 2009), a major contributor to the online SolidWorks forums, and a valuable resource for SolidWorks developers and product managers. But most of all, he was a good friend to hundreds – if not thousands – of SolidWorks users around the world. The world has lost an amazing man.
I’ve don’t remember the first time I met Wayne; it just seems like I’ve always known him. We spent a lot of time together over the years – traveling to user groups meetings, dinners at SolidWorks World, and talking on the phone several times a month. When we talked, it was always about SolidWorks.
But for all the years and all the conversations, it turns out I didn’t know Wayne as well as I thought. You see, we never really talked about anything other than SolidWorks and the SolidWorks community. I knew that he had a daughter - she got married a few years ago, and for a few weeks it was all he could talk about (I’ve never seen a prouder papa). But that was it, and I have to wonder how many of Wayne’s other friends in the SolidWorks Community knew …
- That Wayne was a singer in the choir, and played the guitar?
- That he was a deacon, treasurer, and trustee at his church?
- That he had four children and was married to his wife for 28 years?
Wayne was private with his personal life, preferring to talk with colleagues about SolidWorks and SolidWorks User Groups, and he did so with passion and gusto. When Wayne presented his “Why I Do it Like This” technical sessions, he was confident that he had passed along the best possible information that he could. Everyone learned something from Wayne’s presentations.
Most SolidWorks users probably know Wayne from the SolidWorks forums, where his knowledge and insight was highly coveted. It’s certainly not possible to really get to know someone from an online community forum, but the outpouring of emotion and sympathy from his colleagues this past week contradicts that statement. Wayne’s style and manner, even with just the written word, made him someone that you would want to be friends with.
Wayne’s passing will leave a huge hole in the SolidWorks community that will never be filled. If you didn’t know Wayne at all, you missed knowing a very special man. Wayne’s helpful posts, his presentations, and his legacy will be forever available thanks to the Internet. You can still learn about (and from) Wayne by visiting the SolidWorks forums, or downloading his SolidWorks World presentations. You will be heartened by his knowledge, style, and passion, but you’ll also be saddened that you never got a chance to shake his hand. And, if you really want to find out how much Wayne was loved and respected, read through these messages
The SolidWorks Community will continue to celebrate Wayne’s life, and Wayne’s sons Michael and Josh will join us at SolidWorks World 2013 in Orlando for a special tribute. I hope you will also be able to join us there and share your stories about Wayne and what he meant to you. If you have any special memories or stories to share, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.
Goodbye my friend; I will miss you terribly.