RIP Jack Pickard

Posted January 19th, 2010 by Rachel

Tonight I heard the sad news that Jack Pickard, author of The Pickards, accessibility guru and ambassador, and all round nice guy and inspiration to many, unexpectedly died on Saturday night from a suspected heart attack.

My deepest sympathies to Jack’s wife, family, and friends.
I never met Jack, but for a long time now I’ve enjoyed reading Jack’s daily ponderings.  The world of web accessibility has lost a great ambassador, and Jack’s kindness and enthusiasm has undoubtedly inspired many to improve their knowledge of the web and code, and Jack’s wonderful sense of humour has I don’t doubt brightened many a day.
On a personal note I’ve lost probably about half my blog readership (not that it’s been very active of late). When I first linked to one of Jack’s blog posts here on The Pickards, I never expected a response. On a number of occasions Jack left comments on my blog, but also took the time to email me privately with words of encouragement.
Jack was not only a great ambassador for web accessibility, and inspiration to many, but a thoughtful and kind man, and will be missed by many.

My deepest sympathies of course go to Jack’s wife, family, and friends.

The news was the very last thing I would have expected to log on tonight to read, and it somehow feels unreal, as shocking news often does. I never met Jack, but for a long time now I’ve enjoyed reading Jack’s daily ponderings – or as Jack once said to me, he started out trying to write something interesting and witty every day, but when that didn’t quite work out, he settled for something interesting and witty at least once a week, and preferably more often. Either way, he said the act of forcing himself to sit down and try and write something interesting and witty at least got him into writing mode and did him good.

The world of web accessibility has lost a great ambassador, and Jack’s kindness and enthusiasm has undoubtedly inspired many to improve their knowledge of the web and code, and Jack’s wonderful sense of humour has I don’t doubt brightened many a day. On a personal note I’ve lost probably about half my blog readership (not that it’s been very active of late). When I first linked to one of Jack’s blog posts on The Pickards in a post here, I never expected a response, but on a number of occasions Jack left comments on posts here, but also took the time to email me privately with words of encouragement from time to time too.

Jack was not only a great ambassador for web accessibility, and inspiration to many, but a thoughtful and kind man, and will be missed by many.

Reasons why I’ve been gone for so long and what’s been going on can wait. For now I’ll just end with a piece of advice Jack gave me a while back…

…remember, when life gives you lemons… kick it in the balls and tell it to go away and bring something nicer!

Jack, you will be missed!


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