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IBM researcher John Vlissides passed away on November 24


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Yorktown Heights, NY, USA - 24 Nov 2005: John Vlisssides, IBM Research staff member, passed away on November 24, 2005 after a long-term battle with cancer.

John was named a RSM in 1991 and was a member of the IBM Academy of Technology since 1998. He was best known to the computer science world for his part in creating the field of software patterns. His first book, Design Patterns, co-authored with Gamma, Helm and Johnson, is recognized as the seminal work on the topic. It has served as the basis for innumerable courses in most major undergraduate CS curricula.

John served as general chair for the ACM OOPSLA '04 conference and was recently awarded the ACM SIGPLAN Programming Languages Achievement Award – with Gamma, Helm and Johnson – for their work on design patterns.

"The essence of John's greatness was not in his technical accomplishments – it was in his humanity," said Steve Abrams, John’s manager and the manager of business application modeling. "John was a pleasure to work with. He was a friend, a teacher and a colleague to us all. In the end, John faced death much the way he faced life: with strength, dignity, and courage."

Friends and colleagues are welcome to contribute to a wiki created in John’s memory.

Funeral and Memorial Services

The funeral and burial took place at National Memorial Cemetery, Falls Church, VA on Thursday, December 1. A memorial service was held at McLean Presbyterian Church, Balls Hill Rd., McLean VA on Saturday, December 3. A second memorial service took place at Grace Lutheran Church, 3830 Gomer Street, Yorktown Heights, NY (914-245-5737) on Thursday, December 8.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that contributions be sent to John's favorite charity: Children's Cancer Fund

John is survived by his wife, Dru Ann, his children, Matthew, Mark and Robert, and his parents, Matthew and Sophia.

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