Phil Pilgrim, Rest in Peace (January 13, 2023, age 73)
Dear Parallax community,
With sadness in my heart, I'm letting you know that Phil Pilgrim suddenly passed away last Friday. His best friend Ole gave me a ring on Monday. To give you an idea of his contribution to this community, he had 23,514 posts and was last active on 1-13-2023 at 17:05. I don't know what timezone our forums use, but this could've been very well near one of his last efforts since his computer was close by with e-mail being open at the time.
Phil was a very generous person and worked with us closely for 25 years. He volunteered to teach programming, robotics, and project-based learning at Port Townsend High School and worked in the local theatre program. I visited Phil with my family about 15 years ago and we were impressed with his generosity, simplicity of life, and really messy shop. Many of our community knew him well and the team at Parallax worked with him on different projects (S3 Robot, ColorPal, TCS230 Color Sensor) and he participated in our Expo events. Working with Phil and making a business arrangement was so easy and almost all of his efforts were shared publicly.
Most recently, Phil made a CO2 sensor with a data collection system. I have one of these in my office. Prior to that (and documented on these forums), he was wrestling a mommy raccoon (and family) out of his basement and even used one of our robots to survey the situation. Somebody can find that link and post it here.
Phil drove a really old (mid 70s?) brown Mercedes diesel that he kept nursing along even though it belched black pollution. He lived in a small home on a hill in Port Townsend, Washington with a shop next to it (and a really low ceiling where he could hit his head at 6'4" height). He had a rickety picnic bench outside and deer would come by to visit. For many years, he had a special cat named Browser. Browser may have been the only cat who was tamed to do tricks and then eat shrimp, and knew how to navigate a special wooden ramp built for him to get to the window sill when his hips started to fail. Browser had a super caregiver in Phil.
Personally, I had one of my longest calls with him just a few weeks ago where he was checking in on my well-being after my own difficult year involving a significant loss. Phil was a very understanding, sensible, and compassionate person who gave so much of himself for others.
Thank you to all of you who made his intellectual work productive for him. This discussion forum was a valuable part of his professional and personal existence, according to his buddy Ole.
Phil never talked about himself and I couldn't easily pry a picture from him, but after some pressure I got him to write this for Parallax a few months ago: https://www.parallax.com/tell-us-your-parallax-story-phil-pilgrim-designed-several-products-for-parallax/
Rest in Peace, Phil! We miss you and valued your contribution more than we ever told you. In his honor, we can share what we do with others who are also interested.