One of the founders of eSchool News has died. Larry S. Siegelman, 47, lost his battle with cancer on March 31. Part of his legacy is what you’re holding in your hands or viewing on your computer screen, but that’s not the half of it.
Surviving him are his wife, Jill, his young son, Jacob, his mother and father, and a sister. Robert Morrow, Larry’s business partner for 15 years and another founder of eSchool News, will carry on, providing the lion’s share of the corporate leadership necessary to this enterprise.
Larry’s hope was to find a way to fill the void of news and information about school technology. Early and clearly, he recognized the vast potential technology held for enhancing the quality of education, but he knew no satisfactory vehicle existed for transmitting what is known to those educators who most need to know it. And so eSchool News was born.
Larry’s role in establishing this publication and the several subsidiary programs and projects flowing from eSchool News was profound. But I don’t want to talk too much about that in this message. Rather, I’ll take a point of personal privilege as editor and publisher to tell you a little about what this man was like.
Larry Siegelman was a friend of mineeasily one of the most intriguing men I’ve known, fascinating for his sheer complexity. He was at once wise, creative, driven, and gentle. He had a business man’s head and a poet’s heart.
He was dissatisfied with anything short of excellencesometimes to the consternation of the rest of us here. In the workplace, he frequently helped us to exceed our own expectations. Larry demanded much of his colleagues, urging those around him toward achievements they sometimes could barely imagine. And thanks to his guidance and expectations, he often caused us to surprise ourselves with what we could do. He helped us to be proud of ourselves, and we loved him for that.
Larry could be intensely demanding, but he was never an SOB. He was always too liberal with his praise for that and too sparing in his criticism of others. He was always too stern with himself, but he was unfailingly generous and forgiving about the shortcomings of others.
Though he never grew old, Larry Siegelman truly was as wise as an elder. In the end, he faced death with courage and grace. Without bitterness or complaint, he sought to put others at ease in the face of his own fatal condition. It was simply his style to think first of the feelings of otherseven as he lay dying.
His time among us seems unjustly brief. Anger is a tempting emotion when reflecting on his truncated span of days. Why should a man so good have a life so short? Yet, Larry Siegelman was a man in full. In his brief time, he was ablaze with life. I believe he lived more fully in a short time than many of us will live in a long measure of years.
That doesn’t stop us missing him, though. We won’t see his like again, except perhaps if Jacob is able some day to stride in his father’s footsteps.
But here we’re all the richer for having known Larry Siegelmaneven for this too short a time. He’s alive in our memories still. And we’ll never forget him.