Bill Swan at the January 2011 BACnet meeting in Las Vegas

I received the news yesterday that my friend, Bill Swan, died after a sudden illness. I had just seen Bill at the interim BACnet meetings in San Francisco at the beginning of May, 2011. A week later he was in Germany for a BACnet Plugfest. Bill became critically ill a week later.

I have always enjoyed being around Bill. We had lots of things in common – photography, BACnet, microcontrollers, politics, family, and religion. Twice a year we met together at BACnet meetings at the ASHRAE meetings over a weekend, and Bill would always be searching out a local Anglican church to attend, while I sought a Catholic church. Twice a year we met during the week for BACnet interim meetings, usually in Germantown and Atlanta, and enjoyed the local food. We would compare photography ideas and equipment stories, talk about putting BACnet into tiny devices, and discuss elections and local politics. We often talked about his family – his wife Kathy, and his daughters and how they were doing in school.

Bill Swan at the 2009 BACnet Plugfest

Bill was a prolific writer, and wrote the BACnet Bill blog and the Continuing Home blog. He wrote numerous BACnet tutorials and articles. He wrote numerous BACnet proposols (at least 89) to create new objects and services, or fix problems in BACnet, and collaborated on many more. I recall Bill as ever the international collaborator, bringing needs from other countries into our BACnet committee. I remember when Bill took over the BACnet Chair from Steve Bushby, and how he moved from being a timid leader, to running the BACnet meetings with confidence.

The BACnet committee and working groups are a small bunch of unique individuals, and any single contributor would be missed. But Bill will be missed not just for his contributions, but for his friendship, creativity, and gentle nature that he brought with him.