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On May 22, 2020, I received a message from the roommate of one of our cherished members, Phrancis (Francis Veilleux-Gaboury). She was reaching out and using his account to inform me that he had passed away the night before. Many of us around Code Review, and even in the wider Stack Exchange network knew Francis, especially those of us active in the chat rooms here on Code Review.

Francis passed without warning overnight, and his death appears to be due to prior health problems. Given the current situation, I would be remiss if I did not mention that there is no current indicated link to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is about the only solace I can take in this awful news.

I met Francis through Code Review several years ago, and since then have considered him a great friend, and an even greater mentor. Francis was a kind, caring person, and if anyone had the pleasure of speaking with him personally I would bet they would echo that sentiment. His desire for righteousness, and compassion for humans cannot be understated.

Due to Francis' connection with the Code Review community, it feels appropriate to give everyone an avenue to express their condolences, and remember him in a setting and environment that he truly loved. Francis loved the community, and especially the users he interacted with regularly. When I received the private note from his roommate, she mentioned two users in particular that he spoke of on a regular basis, which just emphasizes how he felt of the group of people here.

I do not know what date it will be yet, the current expectation is late Summer or Fall of this year, but there will be services held in Kentucky of the United States, and I will be driving down to observe them. I will print the sentiments left here to bring with me, and if permitted may also read from them or post them otherwise. To have yours included, just write an answer to this post. Additionally, feel free to edit as I won't print anything until I prepare to leave for services. As things come closer, I will update this post with the date of services and other details.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is truly terrible news. I do not have many words to share, but Phrancis was the definition of welcoming and I can only express my condolences to people who were close to him. Au revoir Francis, merci de ton engagement. \$\endgroup\$ – IEatBagels Jun 11 at 19:27
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Phrancis. Even though I never met you, I feel like this is the first time I'm losing someone so close to me. A good friend.

It's just a few days more than six years ago now that you joined Code Review. You quickly became a valuable user trying to help out as much as you could.

Just a few months afterwards, we started our big open source project together with some other people from the Code Review community, and later even some of your friends. An open source Trading Card Game called Cardshifter. You had great thoughts about how things should look and work. I bring these thoughts with me even today when working on other projects. In the chat room that was created for the Cardshifter project we talked almost every day since its creation in August 2014.

The years went on and the focus on Cardshifter came and went in cycles, but the chat room was constant. We didn't need that project to grow close. You were eager to learn programming better, picking up new languages to try, and you were just as eager to help others who discovered the chat room to learn things. Or to share what the latest trend on Twitter was.

You nominated yourself for the two moderator elections on Code Review, and I'd like to highlight some things you said about yourself in your nominations.

  • Due to many years of working customer support, as well as reading books on topics of human relations, I have developed solid people skills. I'm quick to encourage and compliment, quick to apologize, and most importantly, quick to admit that I'm wrong, especially if I have wronged someone.

  • I'm a firm believer in direct, open and honest communication. I say what I mean and I mean what I say. When a problem arises, I try to address it directly, albeit with gentleness and kindness whenever possible.

That was in 2015. Then for the second election, in 2018, you said:

  • I like helping newcomers to the site especially, I have many years of experience doing support work, and I am hoping to bring my service experience to help our "customers", that is, the site users, have a positive experience and get any assistance they may need.

  • I'm a very patient and respectful person, and I like to give the benefit of the doubt and presume that the persons I assist have good intentions, until they prove otherwise.

I now realize just how true all these things are.

Thank you Phrancis, for everything. We have a lot to learn from you.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you so much for finding the words! \$\endgroup\$ – Mathieu Guindon Jun 1 at 5:54
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Phrancis has been one of the major reason for me to participate in this wonderful community. He was welcoming, available to help and was a pleasure to talk with. He's been part of the heart and soul of this community and chatrooms for all his time here.

He's been a constant presence to navigate subjects from programing, SQL, social events and Twitter too. He had always something to say about the Twitter fire of the day or his involvement on dismantling Twitter bots.

Personally to me, he was an expat of my province who would understand some specific part of our culture, even from a distance. He was a friend who I liked to chat with almost every day and I'll miss you dearly.

Merci d'avoir été là pour moi. Je suis heureux et chanceux de t'avoir connu.

One final gniknoM to you friend.

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That is indeed a loss. I've never been great with SQL, and learned from looking at both his questions and his answers. To me, though, the question that most captures his character is this one:

"How can I make this SEDE query better?" (bad title finder)

It shows his sense of humor, his willingness to share and to learn, and, not least, his technical knowledge. I will miss him.

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I love you Phrancis. I remember the days we'd go back and forth in the now Coding Projects chat, work on Cardshifter together, and even occasionally play SimCity together when we found the time. I always considered you a friend of mine and would talk fondly of you to my peers; to me, you made this code reviewing forum more than just a forum and more like a community. I'm beyond shocked at this news that I've unfortunately stumbled upon late and I'm struggling to find words to express my sorrow. I only hope the best for your loved ones.

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