On Jeffrey McManus

This afternoon, as I was wrapping up lunch, I got a phone call and learned that Jeffrey McManus passed away last night in his sleep of a heart attack. He was 46 years old.

Man. Where to start.

I am fortunate to know Jeffrey - as well as his wife Carole - as long as I have. At Yahoo!, I knew Jeffrey as the head of the Yahoo! Developer Network, then got to know him better as I worked directly with his wife, Carole. After Yahoo!, Jeffrey became my mentor as I worked with him on some of his various projects, including Platform Associates and his product, CodeLesson. I’ll forever be appreciative that he took me under his wing to offer opportunities, tell me about the wonderful things - and yes, the things that sucked - about being an independent web developer.

But Jeffrey (never Jeff, because that would be his cue to call me Ernest) was also my friend, and I was lucky to have him as such. He was funny as hell, with just enough fire and snark to remind the people around him what he was passionate about. (Like his political Twitter exchanges between him and - of all people - game show host Chuck Whoolery.)

He adored his wife. The type of adoration that people should take note of and write relationship blog posts about. One time, Jeffrey, Carole and I were working on a project in a cafe, and I asked if was okay to hand in something at the end of the evening.

“I mean you could,” he said. “But it’s date night.” And he turned Carole and winked at her and they both giggled.

One year, he was so excited to take his daughter to her first zombie march flashmob that he made a customized shirt specifically for the occasion. (The photo will randomly pop up on my Apple TV slideshow, even now, six years later. It always makes me smile.)

He had an appreciation of DJ Mark Farina - enough where we showed up at Ruby Skye to watch him spin on a Wednesday night because, why the hell not? The music was good. He did a pretty amazing rendition of Devo’s Whip It whenever there was open night karaoke.

The McManus’ were there at my going away party when I had left the Bay Area the first time to Canada, and they were there again at my going-away party a second time, after announcing that I was going to move to Miami. And I’m mad that the tables feel like they’ve been turned and Jeffrey has left and there is no final hurrah, no going-away party, no opportunity where I can walk up to him, shake his hand and say, “thank you. Thank you for everything.”

And so I write this.

Carole & kids & family: I’m so very sorry. He will be deeply missed.

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