Thursday, four weeks to the day after Amy was killed, a good man, my boss, Dr. Jeffrey Huskamp, Vice President and CIO of the University of Maryland, died. He heroically battled cancer before finally succumbing. I last saw just three days earlier at our senior staff meeting. He seemed better than he had prior. He had color in his face, was walking, engaging with us. Perhaps ending the chemo gave him a last wind.
I would liked to have known Jeff better. I only started my job at Maryland this past October. And Jeff was in and out of the office after the new year as his health declined, so our time together was limited. Jeff was a man of strong integrity and honesty, and committed to treating everyone fairly. Those times we did interact, through one-on-one meetings and otherwise, he was always engaging. Always very supportive, he gave me good advice and strong encouragement during my first weeks and months at the University. Jeff had a vision for moving our office forward and while that job is ongoing, through his leadership we have a strong foundation from which to realize his vision.
Jeff never got to meet my Amy. Neither was with us long enough. In my last one-on-one meeting with Jeff, just a week before his death, I remarked that I wish he had gotten the chance to meet Amy. He said the same. He had heard much of her work recently and expressed his admiration for her many deeds he had read and heard of. He did say that he expected to meet her in the future in some way. He wasn't specific, but his message was clear.
In grieving my wife, it's hard to get much sadder. But my heart goes out to his wife and family. I have not had the privilege of meeting them, yet I feel a kinship through our shared grief. Though we all grieve in our own ways and spaces, we grieve in the same time.
Jeff, you gave me opportunity to come to the University of Maryland, a truly special place with special people. I am forever indebted to you for that. May peace be with you.