I just found out today that Chris Iwanowski, a friend I’ve known for a long time passed away late last night after a two year fight with cancer.
I haven’t seen or talked to him in quite some time, but I fondly remember working, laughing and playing with Chris (alias, The Busman) during my time as a front-end developer at Barking Dog Studios, a company he co-founded with his partner Julia.
Chris was an enthusiast. A classic Volkswagen enthusiast, particularly where his beloved ’78 Westy (pictured above) was concerned. He had recently become a contributor to the the VW enthusiast website Volksbloggin where he shared his knowledge of the classic air-cooled VW world with other Volkswagen enthusiasts.
He was an Apple enthusiast, in a way that only Steve Jobs could match. His exploration and experimentation with online technologies was a source of amusement and fascination for everyone who knew him.
He was a talented photographer and had a deep appreciation for a wide range of music that often left me speechless.
Above all, Chris brought the same passion and driving enthusiasm to parenting his two small children Alex and Anna that he brought to everything else he did.
He was and still is a man to be admired, a rarity in a world overstuffed with manufactured role models. And I haven’t even mentioned his civic pride and involvement in the city he lived in, his love of food, or a million other things that I could. I don’t need to. Like I say, Chris was an enthusiast. For everything. For life.
Now, it is true that Chris and I didn’t always see eye to eye. We disagreed about many things, and we argued about them often enough. But clashes in our opinions didn’t change the admiration I had (and still have) for him, for his approach to life. Indeed, I like to think that I learned from him, things I can someday pass on to someone else. That’s a hell of a legacy.
My thoughts are with you Julia, and with Alex and Anna. While I can feel the loss of a friend, I cannot ever begin to imagine the emptiness that the loss of such a partner and father would leave.