We lost a friend and colleague recently; Jehue Dawson passed away last month, just a few days short of his 63rd birthday. He began feeling a little too much pain in his chest back in November, and despite aggressive treatment, slipped away late in the evening, on January 20th, in the company of Jackie, his wife of 33 years. The memorial service was yesterday.
Jay was a software engineering manager, “smoker’s lounge” philosopher, and explainer par excellence. He was a very smart, but very patient man, who could describe some very complex matters without acronyms or buzzwords, to people with absolutely no background in the subject matter. He would occasionally bring a project manager into my office to draw on my whiteboard, sort out an issue, or otherwise influence what was going on. I would marvel at his ability to convince people just by giving them the facts, like a guide in a museum, in his casual, raspy voice.
Jay was born in Compton, and spent most of his life in Southern California. He and Jackie were spending so many weekends in Las Vegas that they decided to move here, back in the early 90’s. Jay was quietly proud of his service in the Marine Corps, during the Viet Nam era, and more loudly proud of his skills at the barbecue. We’d sit around some afternoons, talking about our wives, food, and politics, as middle-aged men like to do. He was a good programmer, a good manager, a good friend, and a good man in a town with not nearly enough of them.
He will be sorely missed. Hell, I already miss him.