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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

GenHaven Loses One of Its Own

Genealogy needn't be a solitary pursuit—even if pursued over a broadband connection.

Members of the GenHaven genealogy group noticed last weekend that one of the regulars—Jortis Webb of St. Petersburg, Fla.—hadn't posted for a while. Two of them grew so concerned that they contacted the St. Petersburg Police Department and asked that someone check on him.

Shortly after midnight Sunday, a paramedic knocked on Webb's door. Getting no response, he peered into a window and saw a man slumped over at his desk. Jortis Webb had died online.

"There was no sign of foul play," St. Petersburg police public information officer George Kajtsa told me via phone. "His online friends said Mr. Webb was a diabetic, and they were worried since they hadn't heard from him. Mr. Webb's neighbors had not seen him in two days." [Link]
The GenHaven group has erected a virtual memorial to honor Webb's contributions and friendship.

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