Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Stefek Zaba

Yesterday I heard that an old and dear friend had died. By old friend I mean that I'd known him since 1985, but he wasn't yet 50. He died on Monday evening at Hewlett Packard in Bristol.

As I've not been at HP for almost 11 years Stefek was no longer part of my work life, nor had I been able to keep up with him socially. But once he, his wife and children were a big part of my life; and my heart goes out to those he has left behind - I weep with you Christina, Helena and Paul.

I'll remember Stefek as the Polish boyscout who never grew up; someone who smiled readily and was easy to work with, always ready to lend a hand. He was also very good at his work, a joy to be in the same team with. In 1987 we put together a proposal for a group, KEG, that meant we got to work together for a couple of years - probably the two best years of my working life. Certainly the funniest - his sense of humour was infectious.

I've been unable to excavate any of my own photos of Stefek to add to this post - I'll add one in if / when I find one. Meanwhile there is a great recent photo of him on: Goodbye, Stefek Zaba and the one I've borrowed here is from his home page which is also on his HP Labs Inventor Profile.

Update: His funeral service will be held at Clifton Cathedral on Pembroke Road a week Thursday, 5 April. Time yet to be confirmed. Everyone who knew him is welcome.

15 comments:

GreenishLady said...

So sorry for the loss of your friend. It's really a nice thing that you pay tribute to him here.

Caroline said...

Thanks Imelda. I know there are many others who will be missing him so very much...

andrea said...

So sorry to read this, Caroline. Funny -- I had a thought yesterday while swapping emails with an old friend from California that he will be 50 in a little over 2 years and for some reason his mortality came to mind. No idea why, so it's weird to read this.

Take care.

Cream said...

Caro, sorry about Stefek.
The death of a friend always reminds us of our mortality and that life is finite. Condoleances.

Caroline said...

Andrea & Cream - thanks - I'm not feeling very talkative - sorry if I don't stop by for a while...

suzie q said...

So sorry to hear this sad news Caroline. Thinking of you and Stefek's family and wishing you peace. Hugs, Suze xXx

Jo said...

So sorry for this loss, my thoughts are with you

Guyana-Gyal said...

Caro, I am so sad to read about your friend. I know it will take time to recover. xxx

Tony LaRocca said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. Take care & keep peace in your heart.

tinker said...

This is such a caring tribute to your friend. I'm so sorry, Caroline. (((HUGS))) to you across the Internet.

tammy vitale said...

Sorry for your loss.

Reluctant Nomad said...

Sorry to hear about this. I'm sure he'd appreciate the way you have remembered him here.

Caroline said...

Thank you for all your good wishes - Stefek's family have been in contact and appreciate all the comments too.

Donations for the Polish Scouts House will be collected at the funeral.

I'll be back to blogging as usual on Monday, I hope.

Potato Print said...

Obituaries fascinate me. I am partilarly addicted to the lengthy, blow-by-blow biographies of "great" people in the New York Times Sunday edition. I always wonder what drove that person to accomplish so many things in one lifetime.

But your friend's achievements are ones that I truly admire: "someone who smiled readily and was easy to work with, always ready to lend a hand." It reads like a list of Buddhist precepts. He has inspired me.

Christina said...

Thanks so much for these words and thoughts, Caroline.

Just to say that the funeral is tomorrow Thursday 5 April, SS Peter and Paul Cathedral Church, Pembroke Rd Clifton, at 11.30 a.m.