Taken from FOXPRO ADVISOR -- June 1996, The company Tom worked with...
copied from the link - http://www.dominodevcon.com/wArticle.nsf/wArticles/FA9606.GRANT39
Farewell, Tom Rettig
The FoxPro and entire Xbase community lost a giant on February 15. Tom Rettig was one of the main reasons we can use the term "community" when we talk about the group of people who work in FoxPro. At Ashton-Tate, Tom was one of the designers of dBASE III and wrote the essential reference book on it. He built the first add-on library for Clipper, pioneering the public domain tools that make all our jobs easier. Tom wrote articles for DATA BASED ADVISOR, appeared on FOXPRO ADVISOR satellite TV conferences, and spoke at many developer events including the FoxPro DevCons. Tom Rettig's Help and Tom Rettig's FoxPro Handbook taught us the intricacies of FoxPro; many of us keep well-worn copies by our desks.
Tom had every right to a high opinion of himself. Child actor Tommy Rettig had great success, starring in several movies, and playing Jeff Miller, the first owner of TV's "Lassie." Tom reprised the role a few years ago in an episode of "The New Lassie" series; he wrote the script that had Lassie using a computer (helped by himself as a grown-up Jeff Miller). This was especially fitting, because as an adult, Tom's ability as a programmer was legendary -- he was a guru with a Hollywood-famous name. Yet he was one of the most friendly, accessible people you'd hope to meet.
As news of Tom's death (from natural causes) spread, dozens of people posted messages on the Fox forums. Those messages, while deeply touching, were remarkable for their similarity. Here are a few examples:
"He spoke to people as peers, whether they were on a guru or novice level. He never seemed condescending. Once he was introduced to me, he remembered my name and always greeted me by it as if I was a long lost friend."
"What a class act: Here he is, an acknowledged guru, author and vendor of a powerful FoxPro development environment (Tom Rettig's Office), and instead of talking about himself, he asks about my (relatively piddling) work."
"Somehow when we were around Tom we got to be more valuable than we were before--smarter, funnier, more gracious. And he seems to have made everybody feel like that."
The FoxPro community will never be the same without Tom Rettig. May we all learn from the example of his life to keep it a rich, warm, friendly, open place. I'll close with this quote from another member of the community who addressed these remarks to Tom's spirit:
"Tomorrow I will be as unfailingly gracious and uplifting to everyone I meet as you were. Being like you tomorrow is the best tribute I can think of. Who knows, maybe it'll be contagious."