It’s always sad and strange when someone you know dies suddenly. When the circumstances are violent, the tragedy is tenfold. And when the loss is a kind and gentle soul who was also a consummate professional, well, the heartbreak is overwhelming. Like everyone who knew Rex Farrance, I was shocked and saddened to learn this news via PC World:
PC World lost a treasured colleague and friend Tuesday, when Senior Technical Editor Rex Farrance was killed during a home-invasion robbery attempt. For 19 years, Rex served PC World with professionalism and a passion for accuracy.
When Rex was hired at PC World, I was managing editor. It’s entirely possible that I hired him, in fact, although my memories of day-to-day events from nearly two decades ago are understandably dim.
My memories of Rex, however, are bright and clear. I remember my initial impressions: Who is this strange older man (40 years old!) taking an entry-level editorial position? Why does he wear such snappy clothes? What’s his story?
Over the next two years, I got to know Rex as a quiet, kind, slow-talking, hard-working man who had a thirst for knowledge that wouldn’t be fully satisfied until the first Internet search engines appeared nearly a decade later. It’s a tribute to his talent and persistence that he rose from those early days to become so well respected among his peers.
As the testaments on PC World’s page make abundantly clear, Rex possessed the rare talent for making friends and admirers the old-fashioned way. He earned the respect and admiration of his colleagues by pitching in and working hard and by performing acts of kindness with no expectation of reward.
My heart goes out to Rex’s immediate family for their devastating loss, and to my friends at PC World, who must surely be numb with grief.