This past weekend, The Force Field lost an Admin and a friend. Renee Wright passed away.
Renee, who was known on our site and forums as Genoagirl, died August 18 after a long battle with cancer. She was 48.
I knew she was dealing with a health issue but I wasn't sure about the specifics. I had not spoken to her in awhile, so her passing came as a bit of a shock.
I first met Renee in the OnForce Forums sometime between 2005 and 2006. As a female in a male dominated platform, she held her own and quickly gained the respect of her male counterparts as a capable IT professional. She became an OnForce forum moderator and her dedication and common sense approach impressed me so that when I founded The Force Field portal, I made it a point to ask her to become an Admin. It turned out to be a good call, because her presence and influence became a great asset to The Force Field community, especially in its early days.
Although I never had the pleasure of meeting her in person, I did get to know Renee online and considered her a friend. As one of her fellow Admins, Todd Hughes said, "Renee (G-girl) was instrumental in making this forum what it is today. She spent many long hours organizing, adding content, etc. Although she was conspicuously absent from here the past year or so she will be missed by those of us that were here from the beginning and understand all she did for the FF forums."
Renee was indeed instrumental in getting these forums up and organized, and she kept them in order, especially in the early days. She wasn't always out front in the forums, but she was there, working quietly behind the scenes, and whenever there was a call to action she was usually the first to respond and do whatever was necessary to make things happen.
Renee had a lot of friends here. She was well liked and well respected by her peers. Forum communities tend to become highly charged and even volatile at times, and personalities tend to get in each other's way. Renee tended to avoid getting caught up in such conflicts and always kept it professional. She moderated with a firm even-handedness and was quick to help calm a tense discussion. Folks liked her quiet, professional approach and engagement in discussions. She helped keep the peace in the community.
She was never hesitant to contribute when the need arose and she often did so proactively. She monitored the web site and forums closely, sometimes more so than I did. It was not unusual for me to log in late at night or early in the morning and find her online, checking up on the site or performing some task.
There is something else that most members are not aware of. Renee put a lot of work into the back end of the portal on the administration side that probably no one else knows about and likely no one will ever see. She also contributed to the ill-fated wiki and was one of the few to actually take an active interest in it. There was no doubt that she took her Admin position seriously and with dedication. I will always admire her for that.
I do have one major regret. Renee had been absent from the forums for the last year or so and other than the occasional post on Facebook I had not heard from her. I had not checked in on her for quite awhile and intended to e-mail her at some point but kept procrastinating because with everything else going on with the site, it just didn't seem to take priority. This was a painful lesson for me about putting things off until tomorrow, because as the saying goes, tomorrow never comes.
It is rare that I find it difficult to express thoughts and opinions in writing and I am seldom at a loss for words. Today, however, is different, and the right words are not easy to find. I wish I could say it directly to her, but it is too late for that. I will post it here in her memory and honor.
Renee, thank you for your hard work, loyalty and selfless dedication to The Force Field. Your contributions meant more than you ever knew and I appreciate everything you did for us and our online community.
Thank you for your service as an Admin and thank you for your friendship. May God be with you and your family.
Update: I was informed by her sister that the funeral will be held Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 11 AM at the Robinson-Walker Funeral Home, 501 West St., Genoa, OH 43430. Interment will be at Clay Township Cemetary and a wake at Rayz Cafe in Genoa will follow.
We respectfully ask members and friends of The Force Field Community who would like to honor the memory of Renee Wright (Genoagirl) to participate with a donation to The National Breast Cancer Foundation.
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