I received terrible news this morning that my friend and mentor Joshua McDonald has passed away.  As I’ve passed that news onto mutual friends and colleagues I am struck by a heavy an immeasurable sadness.  To lift some of my own grief I want to share how I met Josh.

I met Josh on a tour through the Grow Interactive studio space in my senior year of college at ECPI.  We quickly bonded over a love of video games, food and an insatiable passion for web development.  Josh took me under his wing and gave a gentle guidance that let me learn how to be a programmer.

Josh would invite me to work at the Grow Studio after hours.  He would help me in PHP and JS assignments and let me look over his shoulder at relevant Grow projects to learn how web development was done in the real world.  It wasn’t long after that I earned an internship at Grow and got to work next to my mentor and friend. We worked together for nearly two years.  We shared a lot of difficult project development cycles and joyous project launches.

Time went on and opportunity took each of us away from Grow.

Josh’s patience, guidance and friendship opened the way to a career and a life I never imagined. I’m thankful for his tutelage. I’m thankful we got to spend many nights gaming with each other.  I’m grateful for the meals we shared discussing dreams for the future.   I’m thankful that Josh had my back.

I’m glad Josh got to find love and married someone who felt the same way.  I think fondly of the toast him and his wife shared with me when they told me they were having their first child.  I am proud to have called him my friend.

I am sad beyond words that it has ended so soon.

Rest well buddy.

With all my love,