Thank you, crowepps

Bad news: I’m informed offline by Mattir that fellow hordeling crowepps has passed away, not particularly expectedly.

She wasn’t the most loquacious commenter here, and I didn’t know her at all aside from reading what she wrote here. But I always liked what she had to say.

She was funny:

I am boggled by the lack of logic behind “Make me a sammich.” Seriously, so you don’t want to listen to someone’s opinion, you want to treat them as having no more value than a household appliance, so you send them into the kitchen, where all the *poisons* are, to prepare food? Want a side of Valium overdose with that, or just a garnish of the traditional rat poison?

I didn’t know her well enough to say with certainty that she made the world a better place — those who knew her can weigh in on that — but she definitely made Pharyngula a smarter place. Thanks for that, crowepps.



  1. says

    (waves) Bye! I hope it wasn’t awful for you; I remember exchanging comments with you. Goodbye and we’ll all be joining you in an eyeblink.

  2. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, she will be missed. She gave a accurate reason as to why I still make my own sammiches.

  3. Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters says

    DaughterSpawn and I were both very fond of crowepps – we lit candles in her memory and discussed the Big Bang and starstuff. Crowepps was a mentor and teacher, an insightful observer of family life and political and social history, and a prolific reader. She was one of my first Pharyngula friends, and I will miss her tremendously.

  4. Amblebury says

    Both better and smarter I would say.

    I keep thinking I should feel odd, or foolish for grieving keenly for someone I’d never met in person. But I don’t feel foolish, not at all. That was Joan.

    Two things: I inherited a large box of LP records from my father-in-law, who is eighty. I shared this news and Joan informed me her uncle had been Dave Brubeck’s first bass guitarist. How. Cool.

    There was an idea floated a while back that people could send crocheted or knitted squares to a central locale, (which happened to be me) and a blanket could be stitched together, to send to people when they were down. Joan was the only person to send some squares.

    Perhaps when the initial grieving is passed, I could send the squares to one of the crafty sorts in the States. People could then send squares to that person and Joan’s Blanket could be finished.

  5. says

    Oh, yes, she’ll be missed. She was wise and compassionate and smart. Her comments can also be found on RH Reality Check. She was also kind and thoughtful. She sent material for a sewing project that I was working on.

    She was struck suddenly a couple of weeks ago with a very serious illness.

    I’ll miss her.

  6. says

    To me, she was a link to home, Alaska. She was not just lovely, but loving. She was funny and kind and intelligent and joyful.

    She was everything I aspire to be, only without the need to aspire. It all came naturally to her. Or at least it seemed.

    I will miss her.

  7. thunk, warm air advection says

    oy. that’s horrible.

    Although I’m not the most closely-connected pharyngulite, I always loved what she had to say. Crowepps will be surely missed.

  8. yubal says

    I didn’t know her well enough to say with certainty that she made the world a better place

    We all make the world a better place when we treat others better than we were treated. I am sure she did what she though was right.

    In 2 billion years or so we will be all the same cloud of stardust traveling once more those terrible voids of frozen eternity together, looking for a new center of gravity. She will be there, somehow. Even if no one will be left to remember.

  9. Crudely Wrott says

    Sombre. Sad.
    There was always something fresh in what crowepps wrote.
    I’ll miss seeing that nym above a comment. That always made my brain produce nicely expectant chemicals.

    Another immortal then. One who will not be forgotten. The still living continue living having, perhaps, learned from the up until a moment ago living.

    Crowepps is leaving in good company, though. Good night to Johnathan Winters, too. The comedic repercussions are heretofore unknowable. I can only suppose that Heaven will soon be claimed to have somehow weathered the onslaught.

    Farewell friends.

  10. John Morales says

    A familiar name to me here for many a year, and truly a sad loss.

    In Memoriam, crowepps.

  11. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    I always looked forward to reading crowepps’ comments.

    I’m sorry to read about her passing away.

  12. Minnie The Finn, qui devient bientôt vierge says

    She was amazingly wise, warm and witty. She will be missed, but also remembered for a long time.

  13. brazenlucidity says

    Boo! Death sucks. Still, life and death are two sides of the same coin. You can’t have one without the other. Glad for her life, lived as she chose fit.

  14. says

    @ Mattir

    Does crowepps family know that she wrote here? At some time in the future it may give them joy to read through her writings on Pharyngula and know that she had friends even in the wilds of cyberspace.

  15. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    She was witty, wise, and inspiring. And is missed.

  16. kate_waters : So Vile That I Offer Helpful Advice. says

    Crowepps was a brilliant commenter, and from what little I know of her a kind and caring person. My sincerest condolences to her family and friends.

  17. opposablethumbs says

    damn. Crowepps was smart and compassionate and funny.

    My condolences to her family and friends.

  18. Emrysmyrddin says

    Aw, fuck. I always appreciated crowepps incisive take on things. My condolences to her family. What terrible news :(

  19. says

    (*Oh hell, I’m crying again*)

    I never had the privilege of meeting Joan in person, only knowing her through her writings here, and on a personal basis I owe a debt to her (that is obviously beyond repaying) for being one of the many friendly people who encouraged and unreservedly supported me when I came out as trans*; I’ll miss her sharply incisive intelligence and good humour. Thank you Joan. ♥

    *clenched tentacle salute*

  20. carlie says

    Oh no. We will miss her so. And thank you, Mattir, for passing the information along.

  21. says

    I have an advantage over the rest of you: I can go into the control panel for the wordpress software and tell it to just show me all the comments and only the comments written by crowepps. There were 227 here; she was also a regular on the scienceblogs site, but unfortunately, NatGeo demolished all the comments there in the transfer (she posted there as just plain “Crow”).

    She was a great contributor: thoughtful, intelligent, fierce. We need more like her, not fewer.

  22. Parrowing says

    I’ve never talked to crowepps because I was a lurker until recently but I enjoyed reading her comments and will miss her. My condolences to her friends and family.

  23. rorschach says

    I will miss crowepps, she was awesome and much wiser than me. Incidentally, I miss Algernon too.

  24. Bernard Bumner says

    Ah, shit! Very sad news to hear. Condolences to all who were close to her.

  25. MG Myers says

    Sincere condolences to crowepps’ family and friends. She will be missed very much.

  26. Louis says

    (Raises glass in Joan’s honour)

    My sincerest condolences to Joan’s family. She was a wonderful person to talk to, and she made wise and insightful comments. What higher compliment can one of her many devoted Pharyngu-friends pay her? She will be missed.


  27. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    I looked forward to her comments. I will miss her. My condolences to her family.

  28. mythbri says

    I remember crowepps. I liked her.

    My deepest sympathies to her friends and family.

    So it goes.

  29. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    One of the earliest handles I remember noting individually – when I first came on it was hard to track personalities, was just lurking and reading generally, not for relationships. But I like intelligent snark, and she had it. She’s one of the people who – all together – made me come back a second time, and a third, and then start coming for the comments as much or more as the OPs.

    To crowepps.

  30. macewan says

    I didn’t interact with crowepps here, am a long time lurker on this site. I used to post as Janine along with crowepps at RH Reality Check. I remember first meeting her, and always looking forward to her brilliant commenting. She has some of her quilts on facebook – so very beautiful. She is irreplaceable and will be missed.

  31. Randide, O che sciagὺra d'essere scenza coglioni! says

    We are all a bit worse off today. I find myself more sad over this news than I have been when finding out that people that I knew face-to-face have died.

    A few years back, I was dealing with personal drama and looking for everybody to just feel sorry for me. I might have been feeling more than a little MRAish that day too. crowepps smacked me around a little bit and, in her special way, cut right to the immediate reality of my situation and pointed me back in the direction of reality.

    I did thank her then. But I probably didn’t thank her enough.

  32. Gregory Greenwood says

    Crowepps’ comments were one of the highlights of Pharyngula for me. This is a sad loss for the atheist and rationalist community. The world is worse off without her.

    She will be missed.

  33. magistramarla says

    Just adding my condolences here.
    We will miss Crowepps here among the hoardlings.

    BTW, Pteryxx @38 – That Dr. Who link is so very appropriate!

  34. Sastra says

    Damn damn damn. I didn’t even know (or didn’t remember, which is worse) that crowepps was sick — but I certainly remember how much I enjoyed her posts. She’ll be missed in cyberspace. Condolences to her family and friends in meatspace.

    The internet allows us to spread who we are around. We got lucky when she came into Pharyngula. Damn.

  35. shawn says

    Shit. I’ve lurked for years and only started posting somewhat rarely recently so I’ve only ever read her comments and I’m not sure if I ever directly interacted with her. I still feel a sense of loss. I hope that says something.

  36. anchor says

    I remember crow with great fondness. She was a fabulous contributor to knocking out the bullshit. I shall miss her input.

  37. Tigger_the_Wing, Can Fly (provided xe uses an aeroplane) says

    Goodbye, crowepps. You were a very special part of this place. You didn’t comment much, but you didn’t need to. One comment from you held more pertinent information than a dozen from most other people.

    You left the world far, far too soon.


    To my horde friends:

    Don’t let anyone ever tell you that internet friendships aren’t ‘real’ friendships.

    If the pain we are feeling at the moment is anything to go by, it merely confirms that the important part of a friendship is the meeting of minds; the meeting of bodies is just a bonus.

    She was the kind of person I wished I could be; if only I were braver, brighter, better.


    My heartfelt commiserations go out to her family. She leaves a hole in the world that no-one else can fill.


    Fuck cancer.

  38. spamamander, internet amphibian says

    :( I originally knew her from RH Reality Check, before I started posting here.

    Always passionate and intelligent. She will be missed.

    Fuck cancer.

  39. twincats says

    Another mostly lurker-type. I come for the posts and stay for the comments because all of the regular commenters here are awesome.

    Now there is one less and that hurts.

    Crowepps was one of those that makes it well worth reading through dozens, hundreds and sometimes even thousands of comments.

    Gonna go get a drink now so I can raise a glass to her.

  40. Ogvorbis, broken failure. says


    She was a voice for reality. Smart, witty, good.

    Cancer really bites.

  41. Amblebury says

    Muse unless you’re a moderately famous band, I can’t find you on Faceberk.

    Esteleth will be coordinating the blanket. I’m sending the squares I have from Crowepps (which are 6 inch crocheted) to hir.

  42. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Very sorry to hear that; condolences to her family and friends.

  43. Mattir, Another One With Boltcutters says

    Crowepps’ daughter told me that she’d told her mother during the brief illness that the Horde (via FB) had sent love and concern, and crowepps had started to cry. Her daughter attributed the tears to how much she had felt connected to and cared for by all of us.

    I would like to take this chance to thank PZ for creating a blog where such amazing people congregate. Sure, Pharyngula can be a pretty harsh environment. Sometimes the group dynamics are incredibly frustrating. But ultimately, many of my best friends and most challenging intellectual correspondents have come from the commenters on this blog. It was a very good day for me and my Spawns when I clicked the link to one of PZ’s anti-homeschooling posts in 2009.

  44. Portia, worn out says

    I didn’t know crowepps very well myself, but I echo so many others in saying there was always certain to be a great comment following that ‘nym. My eyes are filling with tears at the love and affection displayed here. My sympathies to everybody.

  45. David Marjanović says


    I’m with comment 65.


    (*Oh hell, I’m crying again*)

    *pounce* *hug*


    Algernon! What joy in this unlikely thread! I’m so happy to see your name again! :-)