In memoriam, Igal @igalko Koshevoy

I’m incredibly sad to report that the Portland open source and startup scene has lost an amazing contributor, a crux of our community, and an incredible person. Igal Koshevoy is no longer with us.

There’s so much that Igal did for our community—largely unrecognized—that’s it difficult to even remember it all.

I’m just at a complete loss.

I remember Igal as initially timid and unassuming. But if you were lucky enough to get close to him—or push one of his hot buttons—you found a well of passion and opinion. A person willing to engage in good natured yet heated debates on whys and wherefores.

Someone who was always the first to show up—be it Beer and Blog or something more serious—and the last one to leave. And always always always with a stubborn stalwart determinism to create the best possible product in the allotted time. From developing to sprinting to hacking.

And he did it all with a smile and energy that amazed and inspired us all.

I remember Igal as someone who took the time to capture moments. With an eye that brought those events to life in still images. For many folks—me included—Igal’s camera captured what would become our favorite photos. His eye and his lens just managed to capture something. Time and time again.

Long story short, Igal’s impact on the Portland open source scene is both immediately palpable, and at the same time, practically untallyable.

If you’ve ever looked at an event on Calagator, you’ve been touched by Igal’s work. If you’ve ever participated in Open Source Bridge, you’re benefitting from his efforts. If you’ve ever attended any number of awesome user groups he helped organize, you’ve realized his contribution. If you’ve ever submitted a proposal for Ignite Portland, you’ve seen his handiwork.

Thank you, Igal. For all that you did for us. For your community. We were lucky to have you with us. And so so amazingly blessed to have had your help, guidance, mentorship, and support. I’m just terribly sorry that we couldn’t be there for you.

You will be missed. More than I can say. Such a complete fucking loss.

Finally, I’m truly sorry if I’m the one breaking this news to you. Please visit the Stumptown Syndicate post on Igal for more information.

(Image courtesy Reid Beels. Used under Creative Commons.)

  1. […] Some people who knew him better than me have written eloquently about how he touched their lives. Pouring over his Flickr photostream, I’m reminded of the events and find pictures I hadn’t seen before. He not only documented the rise of this new Portland tech community from it’s beginning, he also captured in photographs some pivotal personal moments of mine. As I commented to a friend and someone who also knew him well, his passing is kicking over a few rocks in my life to see what’s underneath. That’s a bit tough to acknowledge at the moment, but reading the last section of this thoughtful blog post by Addie Beseda struck a nerve- that it’s time be open and public about how we feel and what we need from each other. Our social apps give the power to share the most intimate yet mundane details of our day to day lives, yet that seems to me a smoke screen, a diversion from the very real feelings we hold tightly inside. Like Igal showed up for our community events and projects, we must find a way to show up for each other during the times when selflessness can paradoxically turn to a feeling of isolation. That’s hard work but I’m reminded that Igal made hard work look fun in the context of community. […]

  2. I am super sad with this news. I worked with Igal as a wherecamppdx organizer and will really miss his animated geography sessions. Those sessions were the best part of the day for me.

    I just really appreciated that igal was out there building and helping to foster community.

    A suggestion to anyone wanting to remember him is to do something to help continue Igal’s legacy of community values here in our city. This would really please him I think.

  3. […] and Rick Turoczy has also done a great job of capturing the community sentiment about this loss on Silicon Florist.  I encourage any of my friends and peers who did not know Igal to check the comments on the […]

  4. Thanks for posting this, Rick. While this loss may be felt more personally in Portland, his influence stretched into Bend as well. For one, Ignite Bend relied on his knowledge, tech savvy, and passion for community when it was in its infancy. RIP, Igal. I am sorry for the pain you suffered, I am grateful for your contributions, and… you will be missed.

  5. This hits really close to home for me.

    I remember meeting Igal at Bar Camp when I was just getting into the scene years ago. He was one of those incredibly kind, intelligent people that you don’t quickly forget. He’s always been this unseen force of nature in our community.

    I hear the phrase “battling with depression” tossed around a lot in situations like this. In no battle can you fight an equally matched opponent and /expect/ to win — especially one as smart as Igal Koshevoy. Every thrust can be perried; every jab, blocked. It’s incredibly tiring. And unless someone or something can bring you out of it, sometimes it can seem like the easiest way to win is to simply forfeit. And I suppose that this is what Igal felt he had to do.

    Igal did something that many aspire to, but few achieve: he left the world, and especially the Portland development/startup community, a little better than he found it.

    You will definitely be missed.

  6. Great post Rick. I remember I would usually see the two of you have fun banters on twitter.

  7. Thank you, Rick. This is beautiful, and it says a lot of what’s swirling through my mind.

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