Today I was privileged to attend the memorial service for Marc Orchant, storyteller. That was Marc’s favorite title – and a fitting one.
Hundreds of people filled Congregation Albert in Albuquerque, NM – the synagogue Marc attended regularly with his family. Not unlike Oliver Starr, I too have the ‘habit’ of being late. When I pulled in, the parking lot was overflowing. Attendants were directing us to nearby streets. This was when I first realized I was not alone in my feelings of respect for this wonderful human being.
Oliver Starr, Blogger, Futurist and Experienced Technology Evangelist gave the first eulogy. Marc and Oliver were business partners – and best friends. He spoke of their travels and adventures. It was apparent the impact they had made in each other’s lives.
Marc’s siblings, friends, and finally, his 23 year old daughter Rebecca spoke of memories, told stories, expressed feelings, and shared Marc’s life. While Rebecca was speaking – their wasn’t a dry eye to be found. I am sure Marc was watching and must have been so proud of his beautiful, talented daughter.
Marc touched the lives of so many people. I hadn’t seen Marc in years. I first met him about 20 years ago. We were both graphic designers. I used to love it when he worked at Subia (a local service bureau) … I would go to take a job in and immediately Marc and I would go off on a different tangent, always related to technology. We would head back to his office, look at a new device, (either in a catalog or brochure, online, – or my favorite, in real-life;) From the new Bernoulli’s, to the first direct to plate printing technologies – it was geekdom at its finest. These will always be fond memories.
After learning of Marc’s heart-attack, and then his untimely death, my heart was very saddened. I asked myself – what was it about him that made such an impact on me. Why am I feeling so much sadness? My reasoning was, I hadn’t seen him in years. Why the sadness now. I knew Marc had made a profound impact on me, but had never stopped to ponder what it was. I realized this week, it was his ‘elegance’. Sounds like a strange word to describe a man – but, for me, it fits. From his words, his kindness with others, his passion for technology – to his passion for life – it was all ‘elegant’.
Today’s memorial service made this even more clear for me. Hundreds gathered to honor this wonderful human being. Family. Friends. Colleagues. Hundreds who Marc’s had touched. As I was leaving, I ran into someone who I had recently met through some mutual friends. I asked him how he knew Marc. His response, ‘I didn’t know Marc well – I had only met him two years ago, but there was something about him that really impacted me. I just wanted to come to pay my respects.’
Do a quick Google search . . . you will find these sentiments echoed worldwide:
“You probably don’t know it, but Marc is someone who truly changed my life.” – Steve Rubel
“Like so many others, I found Marc to be sharp in intellect, positive in attitude and possessing an ease of manner which combined to make him irresistibly likable.” – Debi Jones
“Marc’s immortality is the wisdom, insight, and discussions he has shared. All of us – his readers and fans – are enriched by his contribution to our lives.” – thoughtfix
“I’d like to share with you the two life lessons Marc Orchant taught me” – Russell Shaw
. . . and they go on and on.
Whether it was 20 years ago, or two years ago, Marc continued to touch the lives of so many during his short journey. His ‘elegance’ will stay with us for many years to come. Thank you Marc.
– elaine montoya