In Memorium: Marc Orchant

Marc and Oliver

I received the news around 3PM today that my closest friend, business associate, co-conspirator, sometime mentor, sometime
protege and full time confidante had passed away a week after suffering a massive heart attack at his home in New Mexico. He was 50 years old.Marc is survived by his wife, Sue, his daughter, Rebecca and his son, Jason. They are wonderful people. As much as I hurt for losing my friend, I hurt too for Marc’s family. Marc was a great father, a loyal friend and clearly an amazing husband. For once I seem to be at a loss for words as I try to express my grief and my sympathy for those people closest to Marc; to his loved ones left behind.

From the huge outpouring of love that we’ve seen from the technology community over the past week it is clearly evident just how special a person Marc Orchant was. Nearly everyone whose life he touched remembers Marc with a smile. His kind ways, encouraging words and boundless enthusiasm had a positive impact upon innumerable people. Marc was always the first to lend a hand or volunteer for the hardest job.

He lent an ear to so many people and gave of his time and experience freely where many would have demanded payment for such valuable insight and advice. I cannot count the number of times that Marc listened to problems and offered solutions to me and so many others.

A wonderful orator, an excellent teacher and a productivity expert without peer, perhaps nothing says more about Marc than this; in all the times we attended events, went to meetings, flew across oceans, or spoke on the phone, this man, who was never even 30 seconds late for anything, ever lost patience with me; a person he occasionally described as “having his own time zone”. Thinking back on that now, I think that small thing defines the kind of person Marc Orchant was and the depth of his friendship.

Marc “got” me. Marc “got” everyone. His sparkling wit, warm smile, easygoing way and keen intellect will be missed in so many places. I don’t know of anyone that knew Marc who didn’t like and respect him. He was a credit to our industry, an incredible friend and an asset that the world will sorely miss.

I can’t believe my time with Marc on this earth has come to so abrupt an end. I don’t know how I’ll ever fill the void left by the passing of my friend. I am sure that I echo the thoughts of the countless people that Marc touched in his time with us when I say that I’ll miss him always, but forget him never.

Rest In Peace, Marc. So Long and God Speed.

If You Would Like to Donate to Help Marc’s Family Through this Difficult Time, You Can Do So Here:

Note: Chris Pirillo has posted an incredibly touching video acknowledging Marc’s passing.  Please check it out.  Thanks, Chris. Your heartfelt words will mean a lot to Sue and Marc’s children, Rebecca and Jason.

About Oliver

Oliver Starr is a well known blogger, speaker and serial entrepreneur. His current blogging is focused on mobile technology and applications, green (eco-protective) technologies, and entrepreneurs and their companies. He is currently engaged as the Community Evangelist for Pearltrees.com, a new social curation tool. Oliver was also a professional cyclist and six time member of the US National Cycling Team.
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28 Responses to In Memorium: Marc Orchant

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  3. Michael says:

    I’m not the guy who’s crying often, but today I did cry a whole lot. I still remember you Oliver, Marc, Sue and my wife Ewelina eating out together after the Office 2.0 Conference and I still remember how Marc was laughing saying that you’ve got this special time-zone: OST – Oliver Standard Time. I will always remember these laughs we had and will keep them in my heart. It pains me so much that I will never have another chance to talk to Marc again. He will be missed so much. Rest in Peace Marc.
    - Michael Sliwinski

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  7. Darla Mack says:

    I never had the pleasure of meeting him personally, but his name and reputation has traveled across the net well enough to make him a known entity to the blogosphere.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Marc’s family.

  8. rafer says:

    I’m so sorry, Oliver. I know how much you loved Marc. I barely knew him but I thank you for the small, wonderful introduction that I did have.

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  11. skyepilot says:

    Your post and tribute to Marc was written well. It gives me a better idea of who Marc was and how tied into your life he was, which makes for some pretty mixed feelings: deeper sorrow, knowing what a loss you experienced, and joy to know he was such a kind person.

    I look forward to seeing him resurrected to life on a paradise earth. (John 5:28, 29; Psalms 37:11)

    Thank you and God Bless.

  12. My deepest sympathies to you and to Marc’s family.

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  15. Roni and Jim says:

    Thank you Oliver for the wonderful eulogy to Marc today. His death is so painful for those of us left here. I had an earlier thought that God probably needed someone to explain all these high tech gizmos, so God chose Marc. As a true teacher that he was, he is teaching us now to live fully in each moment and to not fear the inevitable. “He has gone where no man has gone before” within the context of his living family. Marc is on a Star Trek journey now and I am convinced he has gone on to prepare a place for the rest of his family and friends. His loss is tremendous and we cried and sang him a river of love today….thank you. You were most eloquent. Thanks for the updates when he was in the hospital. It helped fill in the gaps from our phone tree. We are all here for Sue, Jason and Becca and the rest of the clan. Bless your heart.

  16. Bruce says:

    Oliver, I want to thank you for the words at todays memorial to Marc. You really nailed him, especially since I’ve known him and Sue since 1980. Although we might go months without seeing each other when we met it was the same smile, hug, and friendship that gave him a special place in my heart. I have to admit after years of listening to the Dead today was the first time I ever cried while trying to sing along to “Ripple”. You, Norm, Ed and Becca touched us all and your words will long give us comfort. Today was a great day to celebrate the live of Marc Orchant.

    Thanks

    Bruce’

  17. iHuman says:

    Thank you for the beautiful eulogy at Marc’s memorial today. I was very touched. Marc was fortunate to have had you as a friend.

    Marc touched the lives of so many people. I hadn’t seen Marc in years. I first met him about 20 years ago. We were both graphics designers. I used to love it when he worked at Subia (a local service bureau) … I would go to take a job in and immediately Marc and I would go off on a different tangent, always related to technology. We would head back to his office, look at a new device, (either online, in a catalog – or my favorite, in real-life;) From the new ‘Bernoulli’s, to the first direct to plate printing technologies’. These will always be fond memories.

    After learning of Marc’s heart-attack, and then his untimely death, my heart was very saddened. I asked myself – what was it about him that made such an impact on me. Why am I feeling so much sadness? My reasoning was, I hadn’t seen him in years. Why the sadness now. I knew Marc had made a profound impact on me, but had never stopped to ponder what it was. I realized this week, it was his ‘elegance’. Sounds like a strange word to describe a man – but, for me, it fits. From his words, his kindness with others, his passion for technology – to his passion for life – it was all ‘elegant’.

    Today’s memorial made this even more clear for me. Hundreds gathered to honor this wonderful human being. Family. Friends. Colleagues. Hundreds who Marc’s life touched. As I was leaving, I ran into someone who I had recently met through some mutual friends. I asked him how he knew Marc. His response, ‘I didn’t know Marc well – I had only met him two years ago, but there was something about him that really impacted me. I just wanted to come to pay my respects.’

    Whether it was 20 years ago, or two years ago, Marc continued to touch the lives of so many during his short journey. His ‘elegance’ will stay with us for many years to come.

    To you Oliver, I am sorry for the loss of your friend and business partner. The loss was apparent today in the eulogy you presented. What a gift you were to each other in your lives. What more can we ask. My condolences.

    Thank you for sharing with the rest of us in attendance.

    - elaine montoya

  18. Roni and Jim says:

    If there is any comfort in this, I want to add that as we got near Sue’s home for the shivah service, the Grateful Dead channel on Sirius, played “Ripple”. It sent shivers up our spine. Marc will always be with us. We just need to quiet our hearts to find him.

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  20. Roni and Jim says:

    This was in the Albuquerque Journal’s TECH BYTES today, 12/17/2007

    BLOGGER REMEMBERED FOR TECH EVANGELISM: The local software industry, and the consumer technology world in general, lost a champion with the passing last week of Albuquerque “storyteller” Marc Orchant.
    Orchant, a prolific blogger, podcaster, author and productivity guru, died Dec. 9, a week after having a heart attack in his home office. He was 50. He is survived by his wife and two children.
    “He was one of the most well-connected people I’ve ever known,” said Brad Key, president of the New Mexico Information Software and Technology Association.
    Key described Orchant as a “tireless” advocate for not only technology but for educating the next generation of technologists. He frequently advocated for technology programs and career pathways in schools.
    “He was just one of the most brilliant lights in the community,” Key said. “This is a tremendous loss.”
    Orchant, a native of Freeport, N.Y., had lived in Albuquerque for 28 years. He worked for several local companies, including graphic design firm Subia and security software company Van Dyke Software, where his official title was “chief storyteller.” He also worked for Florida-based project organization software developer Foldera, and authored books on Microsoft Outlook and other products.
    As a blogger on officezealot.com and ZDNet and other sites, he wrote about personal technology, from pen-based PCs to mobile phone accessories, as well as using software and hardware to maximize task efficiency and personal productivity. His readership was international and numerous, as evidenced by the raft of comments last week lamenting his passing.
    “Marc was always able to look at an upcoming technology and tell if it was going to have an effect on our lives,” mobile device fan and blogger James Kendrick wrote on his Web site. “He loved differing viewpoints, and discussing them.”
    NMITSA founder Randy Burge called him an ambassador for the state.
    “He was a bridge between the larger world and New Mexico in a very unique way,” Burge said. “He was always going into the tech world and bringing back his ideas and thoughts. He was one of those guys you know is out there working, and his energy was always radiating. Whenever I needed some gas myself, I’d just think about him.”
    Among other projects, Orchant helped organize and promote a 2004 program that distributed 40 computers to schools and students.
    “I really got from him the passion and enthusiasm for exposing the next generation to technology,” said Jonathan Wolfe, of the Fractal Foundation, a local math and science education nonprofit. “He really helped foster the creative community here.”

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  22. Daniel Jomphe says:

    Wow, I just found out about Marc’s passing out. I read the news in chronological order, hoping he was now alive and well. I feel really sad about Marc’s loss.

    I started reading Marc probably in 2001 or 2002. I saw him blog in 4 different networks, and read almost religiously what he wrote until he moved to blognation. There, I lost him in the last months because blognation changed the address of the subscription feed for some reason and I wasn’t really happy with blognation in general so I kept thinking about him but delayed on catching up with him.

    Marc and I exchanged a few comments on our respective blogs (mine is off since 2005) and we also exchanged emails through the years. I’m quite distant on the blogosphere, that’s how I am, but I must attest to him that he’s the first blogger to which I felt at ease to personally send an email.

    Marc has had a profound impact on some aspects of my life. I highly considered him, both on the professional and personal sides of his person. I loved to learn to know a bit more his family through some posts about Batman or educational software for example, and see how much he cared for his family. I would really have liked the opportunity to see him in person. Moreover, he personally encouraged me to show my thanks to other people who are important in my life on the web, either for their blogging or for the software they design. This encouragement, although I’m still waiting to apply it, followed me along. There’s no month I wouldn’t think about Marc and about taking action on his advice. For personal reasons, though, it was not a great timing to do so, so that’s why it’s still to be done.

    In any case, I am truly sorry for this loss of him and I’d like to pass my condolences to his family if it’s proper to do it this late. I hope you are – or will be – able to find happiness in great memories and contentment.

    Sincerely

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