David A. Wheeler's Blog

Tue, 03 May 2005

In memorium: Dennis W. Fife

My long-time boss, mentor, and friend, Dr. Dennis W. Fife, passed away on April 28, 2005. His funeral was held on May 2, 2005.

Dennis was a good man, who dearly loved truth. On many occasions he spoke the truth to those he worked for, even when the truth was very unpopular. Yet he never did this maliciously; he always did this gently, trying to help people move to a more productive path.

He was smart, and enjoyed learning new things. He wrote important documents of their time on approaches to managing software development; many of his ideas are still applied today (though not always acknowledged!). He later helped many others apply computing to solve real problems. Indeed, he was always willing to share his knowledge with others, including the mentoring of many who are very grateful for his guidance. When asked a question, he’d think about it for a moment, and afterwards he’d often reply with a helpful insight into the situation.

Dennis also had a dry, subtle wit that many of us grew to love. Dennis enjoyed comics like the “Far Side”, with its often twisted view of the world. He would often would say subtle things with a twinkle in his eye… it might take you a moment to get it, and then you’d laugh out loud.

I will greatly miss him.

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