For those of us in the Toronto climbing community, we are all collectively deeply saddened to lose someone who was so close to our hearts. With Sam, we shared the climbing gym with him a few nights a week, and for a tighter group of us - many climbing road trips.
I cannot even begin to share with you how amazing it was as an experience to climb with Sam. Many people who know Sam, know him as one of the world's most talented computer scientists. However, out on the rock, Sam was an inspiration. He was stronger than pretty much all of us, and yet, more careful and courteous than would expect someone of his abilities to be. We excepted our crushed egos around Sam, because he simply made us laugh. To this day, I try in my best of abilities to retell some of his most incredible stories. Like stealing a city transit bus, for example. (Sorry Sam, I apologize if this gets to the authorities. I promise to say I don't know anything else...). He didn't even need to say a thing, just his laugh made us laugh. Sam, your voice will carry on in my heart and memories forever.
Sam was also abundantly gracious and generous. Perhaps he figured that no one could possibly be a worse driver than him, so he often lent me his car. Once, he even let me take it on a climbing trip to New York State with my friend Guido. If you knew Guido and I, and our collective driving habits, you would realize how astonishing that gracious offer was.
Sam, I know it. Sam, the world knows it. You are a unique and wonderful soul. We will never be the same with you gone, but we would have never been what we are today without having known you. Thank you for some of the most wonderful memories in my life.
Sam Roweis died unexpectedly on January 12, 2010.
He was a truly wonderful person; a beloved son, husband and father; and a treasured friend and colleague.
This is a place for all of us who were lucky enough to know Sam to share our memories and to help celebrate his life.
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