Wikipedia:Deceased Wikipedians/2021

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Rest in peace, deceased Wikipedians. We promise we will never forget your contributions.

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Father John H. Zupez, Jzsj, was a Wikipedian with more than 30,000 edits since April 2015. He created 420 articles, mostly about Jesuit schools and other religious topics. He died on February 21, 2021. He was born in St. Louis on October 21, 1936, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1967. He held various teaching positions and served as a pastor. His final assignment was to serve as a prison chaplain in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. Besides Wikipedia, he wrote articles to various Catholic magazines and newspapers until the very end. His last Wikipedia edit was on 24 December, 2020.

His death was reported by the Central and Southern Jesuits.

Pi zero, real name Dr John Nathan Shutt, died suddenly on February 25, 2021, at age 56. As well as making over 3,000 edits to Wikipedia since 2007, he was deeply involved with the sister projects English Wikibooks (where he was an administrator) and the English Wikinews (bureaucrat), making nearly 240,000 edits in total. His mother was Elsie Shutt, the noted technology entrepreneur. His death was reported on Wikinews.

Yoninah's final edit was on 18 January 2021, an abrupt end to a long and prolific tenure on Wikipedia. At the time, she was among our 400 most active editors. She was especially active at Did you know (DYK), where she mentored new contributors, reviewed nominations, and prepared sets of "hooks" to be published on the Main Page. Over the years, there had been offers to nominate her as a Wikipedia admin, but Yoninah politely refused each time, saying she was happy just being an editor. She was so omnipresent on the DYK project, that her sudden absence was felt immediately among the community. Several editors began to post on her talk page on 28 January, ten days after her final edit, to wish her well and hope for her speedy return. Sadly, she never did.

Yoninah was an editor since 3 July 2005, first interested in Roots: The Saga of an American Family. She resided in Jerusalem and identified as a Jewish professional editor, writing articles for Wikipedia about (in her order) rabbis, Breslov personalities, Jewish personalities, Hasidic dynasties, yeshivas, streets, neighborhoods, landmarks, cemeteries, Jewish themes, books and films. She might have also included food and women biographies among her contributions. Some of her articles reached Good Article status, including Birds' Head Haggadah, Chaim Topol, Chavrusa, Downtown Triangle, Schwester Selma and The Precious Legacy. Yoninah, who enjoyed photography, was also active on Commons, where she contributed several images related to Jewish holidays and themes, along with photos of people and places in Jerusalem.

She became the soul of DYK. Yoninah assembled diverse and interesting sets of DYK "hooks", brought her knowledge of a wide array of topics to the project, and always put our readers' interests at the forefront of her work. She contributed hundreds of articles to DYK; among her last was Psalm 148, written in collaboration. She added Hebrew text and facts about use in Judaism to almost sixty of the Psalms. She was known as someone who could find high-quality, visually intriguing images to use for DYK. As one editor noted, it's not an overstatement to say that "Yoninah has touched the lives of almost every English-speaking person in the world with access to the internet—not primarily because of the articles she wrote, but the huge positive effect she had in our community."

Her death was announced to the community at Wikipedia talk:Deceased Wikipedians on 17 March 2021, and confirmed privately by various editors. However, out of respect for Yoninah's privacy, additional information about her real-life identity and her death have since been suppressed. We never knew what she looked like, or any other personal information that did not relate directly to DYK and Wikipedia. Yoninah's gift to the world was what Wikipedia was created for—a sharing of knowledge that renders invisible the boundaries of geography and politics.

Over 60 Wikipedians have left testimonials on her talk page, including:

  • "Losing her not only left a pretty noticeable gap at DYK, but her death also makes me feel like a cherished friend has vanished."
  • "Yoninah just quietly got on with the work and made a huge contribution to the project that will be truly missed."
  • "Yoninah's contributions to Wikipedia were immense, and she was an exceptionally collaborative and helpful colleague."
  • "תהי נשׁמתה צרורה בּצרור החיים." ("May her soul be bound up in the bond of life.")
  • "Yoninah was a true guiding light in Wikipedia."
  • "What a wonderful, generous spirit she held inside her earthly vessel."
  • "You were always there for us on DYK, you were a rock, Yoninah."
  • "She will be missed, and we will have big shoes to fill to continue her work."
  • "Her commitment to the tidiness of the DYK section was magnificent."
  • "Yoninah was a god-send when it came to images. Terrific lady, she was."
  • "נר ה' נשמת אדם" ("The spirit of a woman is the candle of the Lord.")
  • "The DYK community will feel less without Yoninah."
  • "A true Wikipedian, the likes of which I'd never seen before on Wikipedia."
  • "What a shattering loss. How tremendously valued she was in life."

Yoninah was beloved by many and will be remembered. May her memory be a blessing.

הַ֥לְלוּיָ֨הּ הַֽלְל֣וּ אֶת־יְהֹוָה מִן־הַשָּׁמַ֑יִם הַֽ֜לְל֗וּהוּ בַּמְּרוֹמִֽים

Pier Luigi Rocco, Moroboshi, was one of the true pillars of; an extremely important user and admin, he joined the Project in 2005 following his passion for manga and anime. But his great wise mind brought him to care about almost any corner of the Italian encyclopedia. In the course of time he became a reference point for his gentle yet solid approach to users and contents. An example of what and how an admin should always be.

He died quite young, at 54, by a sudden heart attack which put a silent end to a lifelong illness.

The Italian Wikipedia is astonished. Pier Luigi's memory will always stay with us as a model and an indication, we will remember his kindness and we will keep on loving him, grateful for each and any of his 16 years of edits. For each and any of his exquisite words.

Ciao Moroboshi

Image of a mural prominently featured on SlimVirgin’s userpage for many years

SarahSV aka SlimVirgin died in early May 2021 after a long illness. Her first edit was in November 2004, her last on 18 April 2021. An administrator since 2005, Sarah made a total of over 170,000 edits with another 4,500 edits at Commons.

Sarah was a major contributor to many featured and good articles listed here. Often these articles were on notoriously difficult subjects, such as Female genital mutilation, the Killing of Muhammad al-Durrah and Night. She created many Did you know? entries, and she was instrumental in the development of several policies and guidelines that are considered today to be some of Wikipedia's most fundamental principles, such as biographies of living persons, no original research, verifiability, and conflict of interest.

In 2006 she proposed[1] the attribution policy[2] to replace Project:Verifiability and Project:No original research. Her first post to the mailing list[3] demonstrated a long-standing interest in such things. The name "verifiability" had not been the only name for the original policy; Jimmy Wales had called it "confirmability" in 2003,[4] for example. Both names had, and still have, the problem that people confuse "verified" with "verifiable" (and "confirmed" with "confirmable"). SlimVirgin wanted to address this problem with "attribution".[2] Within 2 days, the proposal had generated 214 kilobytes of discussion.[5]

In 2013, she founded the gender gap task force (GGTF), and in 2015 she wrote the essay Writing about women.

The references section is herewith in her honour.


  • SlimVirgin (2006-10-11). "Wikipedia talk:Attribution".
  • SlimVirgin (2006-10-11). "Wikipedia:Attribution".
  • SlimVirgin (2006-10-13). "Wikipedia talk:Attribution".
  • slimvirgin (2004-12-10). "NPOV and credibility (was Re: [WikiEN-l] Original research)". WikiEN-L mailing list.
  • Wales, Jimmy (2003-11-07). "[WikiEN-l] Partial solution to rampant deletionism". WikiEN-L mailing list.

At the start of 2020, SV was honored with the Editor of the Week Award. These are the words of User:Sj in his nomination. They speak to her greatness and the effect she had on WP:

"Our first editor of the new year is User:SlimVirgin, a 15 year veteran well known to many. She is one of WP's most respected editors; built on her integrity and dedication to building an encyclopedia that we can all be proud of. She is strong while wielding a steady collaborative persona. Her high quality contributions are related to multiple important topics and intersect with multiple WikiProjects. She highlights COI issues and calmly combats paid-editing on Wikipedia's top articles. She helps articles evolve into interesting and informative reading for our readers bringing free, complete, accurate, up-to-date health information to the public. She is a rare bright star among the sleeping throngs. The Wikipedia community appreciates her important efforts at quality improvement on this site at such a high level."
Comments at that time: 15 year veteran, known by many, respected by all. Wields a steady collaborative persona. Highlights COI issues and calmly combats paid-editing on Wikipedia's top articles. A rare bright star among the sleeping throngs. Improves WP at a high level. One of the top five or ten all time best WP editors ever. Few editors are able to be so hard-nosed when need be and yet so able to use a softer stance, what some may term "feminine" attitude, when that is required. Without SV Wikipedia would not be what it is today.

SV was also honored with the Precious award in 2017. In the kind words of Gerda Arendt:

"Thank you for quality articles such as Ezra Pound, Female genital mutilation and Night, performed in collaboration, for defense against self-promotion, for clarifying and amending, - you are an awesome Wikipedian!".
– Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 08:59, 10 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Andrew Cooper (GuillaumeTell)

Andrew Cooper, who edited as GuillaumeTell, died in June 2021. He was an active editor from 2005 to 2015, especially in the areas of opera, architecture, and York.

  • That he trained to great profit at Oxford under perhaps the greatest literary critic in English of the post-war era, Christopher Ricks, showed in all of his contributions to Wikipedia, Sit terra tibi levis, dear fellow Nishidani (talk) 14:36, 11 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I am very sorry to read this. GuillaumeTell helped me greatly with the first FA I worked on, William Burges, and his deep knowledge of architecture, and of Wikipedia processes, was of huge assistance. We interacted sporadically thereafter and I noticed and regretted his diminishing involvement. Another considerable loss, among an increasing number, to our collective effort. KJP1 (talk) 20:26, 11 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I will miss his collegial advice. It was GT who first suggested to me to write articles about Sidney Jones (composer) and Ivan Caryll. He was astonished that such famous composers had only stubs. This led me down the rabbit hole of Edwardian musical comedy, from which I did not emerge until I had added hundreds of new articles about composers, librettists, lyricists, actors and musicals, from 1890 to 1925. -- Ssilvers (talk) 21:38, 11 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hridayeshwar Singh Bhati with his chess variants(Invented).JPG

Hridayeshwar Singh Bhati (3 September 2002 – 15 June 2021) was an Indian student who invented various multi-player circular chess variants. He died in 15 June 2021 after a long illness from Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

James G. Howes (JGHowes)

J Howes.jpg

James G. Howes aka JGHowes, died on 14 September 2021 at the age of 75. He was a pilot, an airport executive, and a radio host. [1] JGHowes was an administrator on the English Wikipedia, where he made over 25K edits, and on Wikimedia Commons.

Jörg Schilling (Schily)

Jörg Schilling, who edited as Schily, died on 10 October 2021. He was an active editor from 2006 to 2017, especially in the areas of open-source tools.

Sir William Reierson Arbuthnot (Kittybrewster)

Sir William Reierson Arbuthnot, 2nd Baronet of Kittybrewster, passed away on 7 October 2021, having battled Parkinson's disease for some years. The son of Sir John Arbuthnot, 1st Baronet, he was a prolific contributor to articles on the British Peerage, as well as articles relating to Britain and Ireland.

Roger Hui that was interested in J, APL, mathematics/programming puzzles has died on October 16, 2021, from cancer. He was an active editor from 2005 to 2021.

Daniel Jolliffe (Possibly)

Daniel Jolliffe, aka Possibly (formerly ThatMontrealIP), was a prolific Wikipedian and member of WikiProject Women in Red, for which he created hundreds of stub articles on notable women artists, as well as creating and improving articles on a variety of subjects. His personal favorite creation was the candy bar protest. He was active on the Teahouse, NPP, and at AfD. He touched many people here with his helpfulness, intellect and sense of humor and he will be sorely missed. He passed away on October 30, 2021. His death was reported by his nephew on his talk page.[2] Rest in peace.

I had only good experiences with this editor. Another good one gone. BD2412 T 06:09, 10 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I couldn't have said it any better BD. — Ched (talk) 06:46, 10 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
ThatMontrealIP was the first to welcome me to Wikipedia and the first to help me resolve a dispute. Thank you for the warm welcome! I'm still here in part thanks to the good judgement you showed. Jno.skinner (talk) 20:49, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
ThatMontrealIP aka Possibly was a kind editor who helped me many times during AFDs, and sent me nice greetings on occassion. I've missed him. Curiocurio (talk) 19:35, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Igor Peker (Igorp lj) passed away on 12 November 2021 from a myocardial infarction. He was very active on the Russian Wikipedia, but also contributed frequently to the English Wikipedia regarding Israeli topics. His death was reported by his son Eugine on Igor's Facebook page.

זֵכֶר צַדִּיק לִבְרָכָה

Christopher Kent Keen (Twofingered Typist)

Twofingered Typist, one of Wikipedia's most prolific copyeditors and a cornerstone of the Guild of Copyeditors, died on November 19, 2021. A resident of South Bay, Ontario, and a dedicated birder, he was an active Wikipedian for most of the past decade; his first edit was on December 17, 2014. A Guild of Copy Editors coordinator from July 2019 to June 2021, Twofingered Typist devoted most of his efforts to requested copyedits. His work on them was greatly valued, and he was elected to the Guild's Hall of Fame in June 2018. Twofingered Typist was active in the GOCE's November backlog-reduction drive, and his last edit was the day before his death.

Per this content, it seems likely that Darxus passed away in mid-December 2021 per some of the links provided. His last edit was made in March 2021 and was mostly active in his earlier years from 2009 to 2013.

Steve Gustafson (Ihcoyc)

Ihcoyc, also known by his signature Smerdis of Tlön, died on December 19th, 2021 of chronic health conditions. A retired attorney from New Albany, Indiana, he was one of Wikipedia's longest-tenured administrators, having been promoted in November 2003. He had a great love of linguistics and philosophy that he brought to Wikipedia, and also worked hard to ensure articles about businesses and products, especially computer software, were written as proper encyclopedia articles. Besides Wikipedia, he was also a prolific contributor to RationalWiki and DeviantArt.

With sadness, it was announced that Brookie had passed away on December 22, 2021. Brookie began editing in January 2005 and became an administrator eight months later. He was an avid editor on UK and cricket topics.