Wikipedia:Deceased Wikipedians/2023

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Colin Hall (Spinningspark)[edit]

Colin Hall in November 2019

Colin Hall, a retired engineer and project manager from England, was an administrator who wrote many articles on technical subjects, especially the history of technology. He also helped out at forums for newcomers, particularly the science reference desk and the help desk. He began editing in 2007, and in 2009 he celebrated the completion of his first featured article, a biography of the American telephone engineer Otto Julius Zobel. Spinningspark brought seven additional topics to featured status, and shepherded sixty-four more through the good article process. He made his last edit on 16 February 2023, the day before his sudden and unexpected passing.

Jo Pugh (Mr impossible)[edit]

Jo Pugh at WikiConference UK 2012

Jo Pugh was a British Wikimedian for nigh on two decades. As an employee of the United Kingdom's National Archives, he led or spoke at several Wikipedia:GLAM-wiki events, as well as being a contributor to Wikipedia, Wikisource, Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons, both professionally and on his own time. He died on 22 February 2023, several years after first being diagnosed with cancer.

David Goodman (DGG)[edit]

David Goodman at WikiConference USA 2015

David Goodman, a science librarian who began editing Wikipedia in 2006, was known for being helpful and willing to deal with a variety of complex problems, including conflict of interest and promotional editing. He was on Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee from 2015 to 2018 and then in 2020. He was also involved in Wikimedia New York City. He died aged 79 on 6 April 2023.

Thomas Hibbs (Thibbs)[edit]

Thomas Hibbs in 2018

Thomas Hibbs, an American Wikimedian since 2006, had such a great love of knowledge that he eventually went back to school for a library sciences degree. He had particular interest in preserving information on Vermont (his long time home), Hungary (where his family hailed from), vinyl records, books, and retro video games. He spent a significant amount of his own personal time contributing to Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. He died on 14 April 2023, several years after being diagnosed with brain cancer, at the age of 41. As his cancer progressed (to his great dismay), he had been less and less able to contribute, for nearly two years.

Deror Lin (Deror avi)[edit]

Deror Lin

Deror Lin, a lawyer and Israeli Wikimedian since 2004, was one of the most prominent members of the Israeli community and the Hebrew Wikipedia. He wrote over 8,750 Wikipedia articles in Hebrew and over 70 in English, and uploaded thousands of images to Wikimedia Commons. He served as a board member of Israel's local Wikimedia chapter, which he helped found in the late 2000s. Deror was part of the core team that organized Wikimania 2011, as well as the global Wiki Loves Monuments competition in 2014. He is among the most prolific 100 WikiDays competitors, having completed the challenge at least 14 times. He is also a Wikimedia Laureate. Deror passed away on May 6, 2023.

Ino Bešker in 2007

Inoslav Bešker was a Croatian journalist and academic who worked as a correspondent in Rome for various media outlets. He earned a PhD in Comparative Slavic studies at the University of Milan, and had taught at the University of Split, University of Naples "L'Orientale", Sapienza University of Rome, as well as the universities of Bologna, the Zagreb and Dubrovnik. He left 2,194 edits on Wikimedia projects. Bešker passed away on June 29, 2023.

Ingo Koll (Kipala)[edit]

Ingo Koll conferring with a fellow Wikipedian

Ingo Koll was a German who spent many years as a pastor and lecturer in Kenya and Tanzania. He was a longstanding and very active editor, bureaucrat and administrator on the Swahili Wikipedia. He was an early member of the Wikimedia Tanzania community, and created extensive editing education and training programs in Kiswahili. He had over 1,800 edits to English and German Wikipedias, as well as many edits to Wikidata and Commons, but the project he considered "home" was the Swahili Wikipedia, where he had over 52,000 edits. He passed away on July 10, 2023.

Donald Cram (Doncram)[edit]

Donald Peter Cram was an American Wikipedian who created over 13,500 main-space articles, and many more pages in total. Many of these focused on U.S. National Historic Register entries and U.S. National Historic Landmarks. He also worked on articles about NRHP-affiliated artists, architects, builders, and engineers. He participated in several WikiProjects over the years, was active at AfD, and created many excellent list articles. During his lifetime he worked as a cabbie in New York City, where he also worked as a budget analyst. He held faculty positions at MIT, Cal State Fullerton in California and at the State University of New York at Oswego. Later, after moving to Montrose, Colorado, he was employed in airport operations. He died on July 9, 2023 in Montrose of natural causes. His obituary can be found here.

Peter McCawley (Pmccawley)[edit]

Peter McCawley speaking at a book launch in 2017

Dr. Peter McCawley, an economist from the Australian National University, spent a little over ten years on Wikipedia contributing in his area of expertise, writing articles about the economy and politics of Indonesia. Outside of Wikipedia, his career history included being the executive director of Asian Development Bank, dean of the Asian Development Bank Institute, and the deputy director general of AusAID; his work was indeed cited on Wikipedia. He died on July 18. His obituary can be found here.

Eagleash, from South Croydon, London, began editing Wikipedia on 15 October 2012 and amassed nearly 109,000 edits on many subjects including his beloved Crystal Palace F.C. and Formula One. He often helped out new users at the help desk and in articles for creation. He edited every day for over eight years from 9 April 2015 until his last edit on 29 May 2023, achieving the fourth-longest such editing streak in all namespaces along with the same ranking (among non-bot editors) in the article namespace list. He died on 8 June 2023, aged 70, after a heart attack.

Theodor O. Diener

Theodor Otto Diener was a Swiss pathologist who was the first to recognize and name viroids, the smallest known infectious agent. He was awarded the National Medal of Science by the President of the United States in 1987; among many other honors. Diener died at his home in Beltsville, Maryland on 28 March 2023, at the age of 102. At the age of 96, he made 16 mainspace edits, mostly to improving viroid, and corrections to his own biography article, with oversight by another editor. Washington Post obituary (Archive).

Richard Haslam (Nosebagbear)[edit]

Nosebagbear at an MCDC meeting in June 2022

Richard Haslam was a British Wikimedian and administrator. He registered in 2012, and after a few years of dormancy, began editing in 2018. Successfully acquiring adminship the next year, he began using the tools extensively, helping out where he could in areas that ranged from Articles for Creation to sockpuppet investigations. In recent years, his focus shifted to working behind the scenes to collaborate with the Wikimedia Foundation and other volunteers across the movement on governance initiatives, including the Universal Code of Conduct and Movement Charter. Through this work he always remained grounded as a proud member of the online communities, especially English Wikipedia; bringing a persistent but pragmatic accountability to the broader Wikimedia landscape, that will make his loss all the more felt. At the time of his passing, he was serving as an elected community member on the Movement Charter Drafting Committee, helping to create new structures and policy to help lead Wikimedia into the next decade.