Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Magpie has died

Polverone - 12-12-2019 at 14:41

I was contacted by his son today. Magpie passed away yesterday at the age of 77.

He wrote:

Quote:

I wanted to share the news with the forum members. He respected them and loved having a group of people to socialize with who understood him. They really meant a lot to him.

Since his retirement as an engineer he spent an enormous amount of time and energy on his chemistry work, and found great joy from the interaction with your forum. He made genuine friends from this group, and was intellectually stimulated beyond comprehension.


Magpie was one of our most long-established members and brightest lights. He will be sorely missed.

EDIT: I briefly spoke to his son last night. I will be attending Magpie's funeral, probably some time next week. If you would like to share any condolences or fond memories with his family, email me (gfxlist at yahoo.com). I would appreciate it if people share some coarse grained details about their location, like their country (or state, if living in the US) so that it's clear just how broadly Magpie was appreciated. I will print out what I receive and bring it with me to the funeral.


[Edited on 12-13-2019 by Polverone]

Tsjerk - 12-12-2019 at 14:50

Too bad.. Condolences to everyone.

j_sum1 - 12-12-2019 at 15:20

So sad. My jaw just hit the floor. Wiping away tears.
My sympathies to his family and close friends.

WGTR - 12-12-2019 at 15:23

Aww, heck. Sorry to hear that. I always enjoyed his posts and keen insight.

clearly_not_atara - 12-12-2019 at 15:30

It's awesome that this forum can attract people like Magpie. He helped elevate the discussion here above our being a bunch of young adults with crazy schemes. His posts were a joy to read and I will miss seeing him on here.

fusso - 12-12-2019 at 16:23

Should we give deceased members a deceased status so newer members will know that they will no longer post because they passed away?

RIP btw. You will be missed.

[Edited on 191213 by fusso]

j_sum1 - 12-12-2019 at 16:42

Quote: Originally posted by fusso  
Should we give deceased members a deceased status so newer members will know that they will no longer post because they passed away?

Nope. We cannot possibly hope to apply that consistently.
Magpie deserves his own special status anyway.

Metacelsus - 12-12-2019 at 17:48

Noooooo!

Magpie will be dearly missed.

BromicAcid - 12-12-2019 at 17:54

One of the greats on this forum, always good contributions.

DraconicAcid - 12-12-2019 at 18:13

Damn. He shall be missed.

Sulaiman - 12-12-2019 at 18:52

I too will miss Magpie,
one of the first members to make me feel welcome here.

diddi - 12-12-2019 at 19:11

What a shame. he was always informative and interesting.

AvBaeyer - 12-12-2019 at 19:44

What terrible and devastating news. Magpie and I exchanged email messages over the years which I really enjoyed. Several times I sent him samples of things for his experiments for which he was always grateful. I only wish I could have met him personally. His contributions were always of the highest quality and his comments to others were helpful and without any malice. I believe he epitomized the very best of the hobby scientist. He will be missed.

A sad day, indeed.

AvB

OldNubbins - 12-12-2019 at 21:18

All I know of Magpie lives in my imagination, fed by words on a screen. I did not expect to feel as saddened by his passing as I do. He will be missed.

It is interesting how much respect, integrity, and admiration an anonymous person can cultivate on the internet despite how often those traits are disregarded by so many others.

woelen - 13-12-2019 at 00:41

I also received the message yesterday evening and I really had a difficult time to deal with it. Maybe Magpie's son comes on the forums, I made an account for him.

Magpie has done a lot for the home science community and I always was impressed by what he achieved as an amateur. He was pursuing real engineering results and put great effort in that. But he also was very good at communicating the results and providing us with good and detailed descriptions of how he achieved things. He will be sorely missed over here!

From this place I want to express my condolences to Magpie's son and other family and friends!

Ubya - 13-12-2019 at 01:31

i'm really sad. prepublications is full of his work, i always admired what he did, in my opinion he should be the definition of home chemist.

Pumukli - 13-12-2019 at 02:22

Oh, dear Magpie,

I missed your posts for a while and was wondering what happened to you and your contributions but did not think of anything serious.
When I praised Boffis' work on DEET hydrolisys a few days ago I actually wanted to compare his work to your great prepub writings. But again, something prevented me from bringing up your name...

In these days I accidentally came across videos and writings on near death experiences, reincarnation stories and such. These stories really help to view our life (and death) from a different angle. Now, thinking of you, if half of those stories are true then you are in a very good place in a very good company now!

You will be remembered in our circles from your work of high standards and friendly, non-offensive, no-nonsense behaviour.

Σldritch - 13-12-2019 at 02:42

A great loss. While i never interacted much with him i always thought of him as a model amateur chemist to be looked up too.

wg48temp9 - 13-12-2019 at 03:12

That's unfortunate I will miss his contributions here. I hope he died peacefully and not in pain.

My condolences to his family.

Perhaps we could arrange an ecard that all who want to can sign it and have it sent to his son.

unionised - 13-12-2019 at 03:17

:-(
I hope that his friends and family get some consolation from knowing how well loved he was here.

karlos³ - 13-12-2019 at 04:12

That is really sad news.
Condolences from me to his family as well :(

Herr Haber - 13-12-2019 at 04:14

I only knew him through his contribution on the forum and feel very sad for the loss of such a brilliant mind.

morganbw - 13-12-2019 at 05:48

The man had my respect.
He greatly added to this forum and my life.

Amos - 13-12-2019 at 07:50

Such a gift to our forum and community as a whole. I suspect his posts will continue to mentor future generations on this site for a long while to come.
You will be missed, greatly.

Dr.Bob - 13-12-2019 at 08:41

I just heard about Magpie and while I did not know him personally as well as many others on here, I always enjoied his contributions and posts. It is a sad day for Sciencemadness. If his family looks here, we send our sympathy and condolences.

highpower48 - 13-12-2019 at 09:18

That is so sad. I still use his Nitric Acid synthesis post for my method for making it. May he rest in peace.

Polverone - 13-12-2019 at 11:52

I briefly spoke to his son last night. I will be attending Magpie's funeral, probably some time next week. If you would like to share any condolences or fond memories with his family, email me (gfxlist at yahoo.com). I would appreciate it if people share some coarse grained details about their location, like their country (or state, if living in the US) so that it's clear just how broadly Magpie was appreciated. I will print out what I receive and bring it with me to the funeral.

[Edited on 12-13-2019 by Polverone]

Steam - 13-12-2019 at 15:31

My condolences to his family- There are few people in this community that have made the impact that he did- He was an inspiration to all of us.

Corrosive Joeseph - 13-12-2019 at 16:23

Legend...... Gone but not forgotten.


/CJ

Chemetix - 13-12-2019 at 17:38

Terrible loss to the global community of backyarders. Few have his talent for exquisite use of OTC technology. May his cupboard be forever stocked, his fumehood running and his mind forever challenged.

Velzee - 13-12-2019 at 17:53

This is very sad to hear. May he Rest In Peace.

j_sum1 - 13-12-2019 at 19:31

Quote: Originally posted by Polverone  
I briefly spoke to his son last night. I will be attending Magpie's funeral, probably some time next week. If you would like to share any condolences or fond memories with his family, email me (gfxlist at yahoo.com). I would appreciate it if people share some coarse grained details about their location, like their country (or state, if living in the US) so that it's clear just how broadly Magpie was appreciated. I will print out what I receive and bring it with me to the funeral.

[Edited on 12-13-2019 by Polverone]

I will do this.
Thanks for representing us.

S.C. Wack - 13-12-2019 at 19:34

A real chemistry enthusiast. Not sure that defines him, surely there's more. No one's dead until they're forgotten.

*writes post, turns out lights, lights candle, plays sentimental tune, goes to bed, candle burns out*

arkoma - 13-12-2019 at 21:19

Quote: Originally posted by Ubya  
i'm really sad. prepublications is full of his work, i always admired what he did, in my opinion he should be the definition of home chemist.


That's a great thing. Sad is that there will be no more.

Cou - 14-12-2019 at 00:33

x/

hissingnoise - 14-12-2019 at 04:59

Quote: Originally posted by Polverone  

Magpie was one of our most long-established members and brightest lights. He will be sorely missed.

Indeed Polverone. I had thought from his posts that Magpie was a youngish man, younger than me, at least.

And I, too, am saddened to hear of his passing ─ we can take some hope, though, that a theory of life being something that can neither be created nor destroyed might have a grain of truth to it...

It's true for mass and perhaps for this thing we call life, too.


Harristotle - 14-12-2019 at 05:49

He had a mixture of intellect, generosity, and openness. Magpie reminded me of the best of twentieth century science, of the individual collaborator who reached out across the vast distances to commune with like minds, as an equal and a peer, for the humble and open desire to uncover truths, before the institutions became so commercialised. His great contribution to Prepublications is noted. Prepublications is neither career enhancing nor of commercial value, it is just like a lit path along which fellow curious souls can wander. Magpies generosity will be missed, as will his lucid contribution. More like Athena's raven than magpie, yet as Magpie he will always be remembered to us. RIP

monolithic - 14-12-2019 at 07:16

He will be missed. Reading his posts was always a joy.

DavidJR - 14-12-2019 at 12:01

Rest in peace.

UC235 - 14-12-2019 at 21:04

What a great loss to this community. He was a brillant experimenter and I very much enjoyed reading his work, particularly because we frequently had the same ideas and interests with slightly varying approaches.

morganbw - 15-12-2019 at 15:29

I replied earlier in this thread, but I need to state that when I see the thread title that I have a heavy feeling of sadness. I just needed to state that.

pantone159 - 15-12-2019 at 15:33

Sad news indeed. Rest In Peace, Magpie, you will be missed, and were an inspiration to me.


stoichiometric_steve - 15-12-2019 at 15:43

Yet Magpie will live on as long as his contributions inspire and strengthen this community.

Death is but a transition back into the great sea of consciousness that we're all a part of.


The_Davster - 16-12-2019 at 08:27

RIP Magpie.

You were an inspiration and I loved discussing things with you, roughly 10 years ago now.

You will be missed.

jamit - 16-12-2019 at 09:51

I haven’t checked the form in a while until today. It’s a great loss to the science madness forum to lose someone like magpie. His Pre publications have been an inspiration to me personally. May God rest his soul.

SWIM - 16-12-2019 at 14:36

Engineer, Chemist, yet with a broad grounding in philosophy and the classics.

A well- rounded fellow who obviously put a whole lot into whatever he did.

I didn't know him, but some things are obvious if you red enough posts.



Tdep - 17-12-2019 at 05:11

Someone today sent me this thread online, completely out of this context, and I was reminded once again of Magpie's excellence here on the forums. One of his standout threads, some impressive results!
http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=14927

It seems strange to be hit with loss for someone i've never met or really spoken with, but I always keenly checked whatever contribution he made to the forum, and read a lot of his work. A true pillar of the community.

Finally, just wanted to mention that it is lovely of the family to have communicated his passing onto someone who could let the forum know. Its too easy for a member, however significant, to disappear from the forum, with the worst assumptions made, but only ever assumptions. If the worst happens, it is nice to know, as sad as this time is. Does that make any sense? I hope everyone's family knows how much your online friends are real friends too!

Loptr - 17-12-2019 at 07:09

Wow, I am in shock. I cannot believe this. I thought he was younger than that.

My prayers are with him and his family. He will be greatly missed here.

Texium (zts16) - 17-12-2019 at 08:00

This saddens me greatly to hear. As many others have said, Magpie set a great example of what an amateur chemist should be. He was a true role model for myself and many other forum members. In addition to providing fantastic write-ups and insightful replies, he was also very generous. Five years ago, when I was still quite new to the forum and had just started dabbling in organic chemistry, Magpie sent me three nice textbooks entirely free of charge. One day, I hope to repay his generosity to the next generation of amateur chemists. He will be missed.

His obituary

Polverone - 18-12-2019 at 13:14



magpie2.png - 2MB

As you can see, his funeral is this coming Saturday. Please email (gfxlist at yahoo dot com) or U2U me any messages you would like to pass on to his family.

[Edited on 12-18-2019 by Polverone]

TheMrbunGee - 18-12-2019 at 14:09

Always sad to lose a great mind! Rest in peace.

RedDwarf - 18-12-2019 at 17:18

I saw this notice a couple of days ago and I had the same feelings I have when I discover that an author that I love is dead and that there won't be any more books :( I loved his approach and the clarity of his posts.

georgef2545 - 21-12-2019 at 06:24

I send my condolences to his family... I am truly sorry to hear that.

XeonTheMGPony - 21-12-2019 at 07:06

It is all ways sad to hear of ones passing, but I like to look on things as such, He shall be immortal on the internet, his wisdom shared to millions and more importantly his family, Non of us escape life alive, I hope the transition was swift and painless for him and he will be deeply missed by all.

I hope good fortune to his family during these hard times, celebrate his life, and do not dwell on the past but never forget it.

Polverone - 22-12-2019 at 10:57

I attended his funeral yesterday afternoon. There were many people there. I brought a letter that I wrote along with printouts of this thread, email that members sent me, and U2Us that members sent me. I was able to give all these writings to one of his sons. I met both of his sons and his wife and tried to briefly say how Don -- Magpie -- had inspired us.

I also spoke briefly in remembrance to say how he had touched lives around the world as well as the many people he was close to by geography or geneology.

The church bulletin contained the same obituary that was in the earlier newspaper scan so I haven't scanned it, but there was a clearer picture of him which I am attaching here.

magpie-life-and-death.png - 338kB

karlos³ - 22-12-2019 at 11:03

It is even sadder if you have a good picture, not even mentioning the condolences in the newspaper which alone are enough to make one sad.
Despite never having spoken to him directly, I read many of his experiments and he was a great addition to our community.
Rest in peace Don!
It was good to have you here :)
I hope it is much better where you are now :)

Thank you Polverone for being such a good guy and attending the funeral, I am sure you made his family happy with the things you could report to them :)

I just noticed he was born at almost the same day as me, how touching, for being such an almost irrelevant coincidence!


[Edited on 22-12-2019 by karlos³]

fusso - 22-12-2019 at 23:37

Quote: Originally posted by Polverone  
I met both of his sons and his wife and tried to briefly say how Don -- Magpie -- had inspired us.
So you did mention his SM username to his family?

Polverone - 23-12-2019 at 11:56

Quote: Originally posted by fusso  
Quote: Originally posted by Polverone  
I met both of his sons and his wife and tried to briefly say how Don -- Magpie -- had inspired us.
So you did mention his SM username to his family?


His family already knew. His son initially contacted me and woelen when they found his account and extensive post history here. Most of the messages I delivered from members also referred to him as Magpie.

Phosphor-ing - 25-12-2019 at 20:36

Rest In Peace brother. I will alway think fondly of our conversations on alternate fume hood fan designs, 10+ years ago. His demeanor and clarity in posts are the benchmark the rest of us should strive for. I can only hope to be as inspired in my retirement, years from now, as he was to chemistry.

cyanureeves - 26-12-2019 at 19:38

rest in peace.

Fleaker - 2-1-2020 at 13:01

Just now saw this.

RIP Don, you were an example to us all. I will miss our talk of autoclaves and all the knowledge and great stories you shared on and off forum.


Ozone - 2-1-2020 at 16:21

Oh dear.

It's tragic to hear of his passage and know that this corner of a tiny world will glow less brightly. He was a voice of patience and reason (often when severely tested), and a mentor to members new and old alike (apparently in-keeping with his off-line life, which is a great thing reflecting real character). He had my respect, and now my condolences. I sincerely hope that his family can get something out of the fact that he meant so much to so many, here.

RIP,

O3

solo - 3-1-2020 at 12:03

My respect to his family for the loss, he will be missed my only contact with him was obtaining studies for him....he will be missed and his posts will continue to be with us guiding us through what he did best.....solo

Elemental Phosphorus - 6-1-2020 at 16:27

That's very sad news, this forum, and the excellence of some of the contributors on here were what made me interested in amateur chemistry. He was one of the best, a real scientific man. I never had contact with him but his posts and syntheses were always excellent and reliable.

May he rest in peace.

yobbo II - 7-1-2020 at 15:57


Another asset gone.
One sometimes does not appreciate what is there until it is gone.

RIP.

Yob

aga - 9-1-2020 at 01:33

Magpie was a Huge Inspiration.

Seeing what he did was like adding fuel to an inquisitive mind on fire.

His contributions will be deeply missed.

To my shame i have not yet repeated his Congo Red preparation, which i promised him i would do

http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=66391

j_sum1 - 9-1-2020 at 02:00

Well, good to see you aga.
I share your feelings on Magpie. A couple of weeks after the event and I am still stunned when I think about it.
Maybe doing the congo red will be just the thing...

happyfooddance - 9-1-2020 at 10:28

Thank you Magpie for your contributions here (and elsewhere).

You were always kind, helpful, and encouraging, and I am grateful that we chatted even a little bit!

Thank you Polverone as well, for bringing it to our attention, and posting the obit., etc...

:(

Lytzu - 9-1-2020 at 14:56

I never met Magpie. In fact I did not know of his existence until today, having joined this form after his passing.

However, just from reading what has been said about him here I am saddened by his death. It would have been an honor to know him and to work with him in these intellectual pursuits. We should all strive to be more like Magpie, and I know I will.

ordenblitz - 16-3-2020 at 14:16

This is so sad.. he was a friend.