Last week I learned of the passing of Irwin DeVries. I initially knew Irwin as a scholar who I admired greatly during my graduate work. In recent years, he became a colleague, a collaborator, a mentor, and a friend. Irwin’s passing came as a surprise, and quickly since I spoke to him last, as we made plans for a writing project and future work. All week I have been wrestling with that terrible feeling that I wish I had reached out sooner, if not only to check in with him one last time.

Irwin will be deeply missed. His contributions and impact on open education, his kind and generous nature, his amazing ability to network people together, his commitment to diversity and inclusion, and his creativity were immense. Many have contributed thoughtful reflections on his work and impact, see Alan and Brian’s posts for example.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have spent some time collaborating and learning with Irwin. He will be missed, but his legacy will live on. My thoughts are with those of his family, friends, and all who felt his great energy and spirit around the world.

Thoughtful friends at Thompson Rivers University have set up the Irwin DeVries Scholarship Fund for Open Learning Students that you can contribute to if you wish. I think this would be a wonderful legacy to an incredible person.

Sharing the few pictures I have of Irwin.

Too soon, Irwin DeVries

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