My old friend and co-worker Mitch Gelman, Executive Editor and chief muckety-muck for CNN.com for the last several years was feted before the new year as he left CNN, Turner and Atlanta for greener pastures out in Colorado where his wife is in veterinary school. Mitch and I started within a few weeks of one another back at CNN/SI, he taking the path into the editorial world while I moved more and more into technology. He’s one of the smartest guys I know, with tremendous instincts as a journalist and manager. He will be missed around these parts. In this image above, Simit (on the plasma screen above Mitch) does his best impersonation of Mitch being pissed off, if I recall correctly.
Update: Doug’s obituary has been published in the Johnstown, PA Tribune Democrat, his hometown paper. Memorials to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis, 1251 Waterfront Place, Fifth Floor, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222 would be appreciated.
This is my old friend and co-worker Doug Vogel doing what he loved to do most – sitting back, wearing a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey and watching some good hockey action circa 1999. The Thrashers mascot polishing his bald head is a nice touch I must say, and makes me recall the soft side of Doug – he could be tough as nails, but had a great sense of humor. I learned this morning that Doug passed away in his sleep suddenly last night after a few days of flu-like symptoms – he was far too young and had far too much in front of him to go at such an early age. Jon Anderson, another former CNN/SI developer, noted that he learned from Doug’s family that he had suffered from cystic fibrosis – something he never let most folks know. Doug was just a regular guy – hanging with the boys, playing stupid video games (Goldeneye, anyone?), and prowling Buckhead getting into stupid alcohol-fueled misadventures. He certainly lived life to it’s fullest, leaving CNN/SI to pursue the startup life on the West Coast, but post-bubble, heading to the midwest for a job with a government contractor in Kansas City. Doug is the second of the CNNSI.com ‘originals’ to pass away after Jon Barkan’s passing in December. Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families and friends.
I heard the news the way things happen in this age. Via instant messenger. That’s what makes this all the more unreal. Jon was literally, larger than life. Gregarious, warm, a bear of a guy. Seemingly invincible. We spent several years together at CNNSI.com during the height of the web bubble, and Jon always had an amazing head for sports and journalism. Great family, great kids, great philanthropist, then this. Snatched unexpectedly at 39 from his friends, his family and his community. It’s so difficult to understand. Even moreso in this digital age. His last Facebook update posted less than 24 hours before his passing says ‘Jon Barkan is surviving another day on this planet.’ One of his last Twitters said ‘ OK – this three kid thing is tiring … guess I will have time to sleep when I am dead, huh?’ And there he is on his blog, smiling back at us, holding Lord Stanley’s trophy, and posting the Peanuts mashup version of Outkast‘s ‘Hey Ya!’
Well, HEY YA to you, Jon. You will be missed by all those you touched in your too-short time with us. We all need to remember to embrace every day on this planet as if it were our last – take nothing for granted. God bless.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to:
- Davis Academy, 7901 Roberts Drive, Atlanta, GA 30350
- American Israel Education Fund, 980 Hammond Drive, ste 775, Atlanta, GA 30328
- AJC.com Obituary
- College Hockey News Remembers Jon Barkan
- U.S. College Hockey Online
- Former? Employee Jon Barkan Remembered – Atlanta Thrashers