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Patricia Shanahan - July 6th 2021

We received the sad news that Patricia Shanahan has passed away, peacefully, after a long battle with cancer.

Patricia was an amazing person with a truly unusual perspective. She worked from 1970 to 2002 in various programming and computer architecture roles for NCR, Celerity Computing, FPS, Cray Research, and Sun Microsystems. She then went to UCSD as a graduate student, receiving a PhD in computer science in 2009, after which she retired. That's when she joined the ASF.

Patricia Shanahan at ApacheCon NA 2019

"After retiring, I wanted to continue programming but without the pressure and constraints of a job, so I started contributing to Apache. Open software development the Apache way is a great retirement hobby, offering social contacts, intellectual challenge, continuous learning, and the pleasant feeling of making a contribution." — Success At Apache: "Mentor Your Mentor"

Patricia made significant contributions to Apache River (later becoming chair), OpenOffice, and ComDev (community development). She was elected an ASF member in 2015 and served as a Director for 2020-2021.

What people had to say about Patricia ...

I met Patricia at ApacheCon 2019 and had the pleasure of nominating her for reelection this past year. She brought fresh insight and experience to our discussions, as well as a delightful focus on what changes are needed to improve our process for all end-users, some of whom might want to use our software without compiling it first. She often reminded me of my first job experiences in computing, way back in 1983, when the field was still largely driven by women who started in Mathematics and explored their way into the roles of Programmer/Analyst through sheer talent, determination, and boundless curiosity. She will be greatly missed.

Roy T. Fielding, Director, Incorporator, and former Board Chair, ASF

Looking at my email archives to remind myself of all the good things Patricia did for the ASF, I see such a nice collection of wisdom, kindness and pragmatic views. Patricia has done a lot for the ASF in various projects, as well as on the Board of Directors where I have appreciated her broad views and her wealth of experience. Working with Patricia was a privilege, I will miss her.

Bertrand Delacretaz, Member & current Director, ASF