Friday, February 03, 2006

Goodbye to a good friend...

Goodbye to a good friend. Lex de Haan passed away this week after a long illness.

Exactly one year ago, I was in the Netherlands (Utrecht specifically). I was giving a three day seminar, much like the ones that are still going on. For the week I was there, I spent it not in the usual hotel – but as a guest in the home of the organizer, which was of course Lex. It was a really good week – shortly before his illness was diagnosed. He cared about people, he cared about his customers. And it showed. That is a week I’ll remember for a very long time. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to do it, to spend the time like that.

So, it was a sad day this week when I heard about Lex. I last saw him at the UKOUG this year in October/November. He was in good spirits then, but in some pain as well. He was basically “himself” though – presenting and attending the conference. It was inspiring to see.

He was in large part the cause behind the “mull about null” and “something about nothing” articles this week. I remember debating with him about NULLs till far too late into the night that week (after just a few beers and maybe some whiskeys). He was passionate about what he did. He knew what he was talking about. He was just a really good person. I will remember his booming deep voice and laugh. He had an excellent sense of humor.

He is missed. I will remember him often. The last day I was in Utrecht – Lex took me around shopping for a gift to take home to my kids. What we decided on after some time in the toy shops was a Dutch version of Monopoly. My son and daughter love the game – even though we cannot read a darn thing (it is of course all in Dutch). Alan translated many of the Chance and Community Chest cards using Babel Fish. Every time we play it – Lex will be there. And we play it often…

monop1
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8 Comments:

Anonymous Patty C. said....

I am in total shock. I didn't even know that he was sick. I was hoping that I would see him again at Hotsos this year. He was such a nice man - so *real*. I too will sadly miss him even though I only knew him for a short time.

Fri Feb 03, 01:48:00 PM EST  

Blogger shrek said....

from a roseane cash song:

Will you remember me, like the circled stones,
On the ancient hills where you walk alone?
Where the wind can speak my secret name,
Like the air you breathe, will you remember me?

Will you remember me, as your airplane flies?
Over foreign seas an' breaking skies.
Like a perfect child you can't bear to leave.
In your last long days, will you remember me?

Will you remember me, on the edge of life,
Where time runs slow; where song can fly.
In these shuttered rooms where we say goodbye.
When the soul is free, will you remember?
When there's no need to breathe, will you remember me?

and the answer is yes, Lex we will.

Fri Feb 03, 02:23:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Meelis from Estonia said....

I totally feel the same as you all.. I'm in shock. And though I knew he was ill, it's still a shock! In last May Lex was supposed to give 4 one-day seminars in Tallinn but theses were cancelled for the same reason - his health problems.

And I also saw him the first and last time in UKOUG last year. I remember Tom was presenting flashback features instead on Lex.. but he came next day and talked about NULLS and that was an amazing presentation.

No doubt Oracle world has lost a great SQL expert and many close to him have lost a good friend...

We will be missing you, Lex!

Fri Feb 03, 02:56:00 PM EST  

Anonymous smartin said....

Kind of puts your day into perspective doesn't it.

Fri Feb 03, 03:31:00 PM EST  

Anonymous Øyvind said....

I attended a seminar with Lex in Oslo, it was really good. Lex handed out a thick binder that I spent weeks after studying and applying to a project. It changed my view on tuning and enjoying what I was doing. He showed a nice attitude and clearly enjoyed what he was doing. Hope somebody can tell his family he did a great job.

Sat Feb 04, 04:49:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Leon Parren said....

I was there last year in Utrecht at the seminar. I did not know Lex very well but I respected him for his knowledge and passion. He wrote some of the best books on sql and sql*plus ever. I will remember and miss him when I attend the seminar with Jonathan Lewis in 3 weeks at the same place.

Sat Feb 04, 01:52:00 PM EST  

Blogger The Human Fly said....

Its really very sad to know but this is life. I pray to god to give peace to his soul.
I will remember him forever.

Jaffar

Sun Feb 05, 01:51:00 AM EST  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

This guy was a real Oracle proffesional with excelent knowledge and experience.
Rest in peace Lex.

Tue Feb 07, 06:52:00 AM EST  

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