RIP Kim Parsell

It is with great, great sadness that I write this post. Last weekend, the docs team was struck by some truly tragic news: Kim Parsell, one of our most beloved members, died at home in Ohio.

Kim has been an integral part of the docs team for the past few years, and to say that she will be missed is an understatement. Kim was such an important part of both the docs team and the wider project. She worked hard to improve WordPress’ documentation, spearheading the inline docs efforts with @drewapicture. She was a Recent Rockstar in WordPress 3.7, and has been a contributing developer since WordPress 3.9.

But she’ll be remembered for much more than her achievements in documentation and code. The first time I met Kim was at the very first docs meetup in Cincinnati in 2013. The first thought that struck me was “wow, that lady can talk!”. And talk she did: she was open, and welcoming, and big-hearted. She shared so much of herself, and listened when others wanted to share with her. She had such incredible warmth. I will always remember the last time I saw her – when she gave me a tight, tight hug, when we said goodbye in San Francisco. She was a great hugger.

I hope, that despite our grief, that we can reflect with gladness on the last few years of Kim’s life. She has been part of a community that she loved and that loved her, a community that gave her joy. From her remote corner of Ohio, she made friendships across the world. She flourished in the WordPress community, and became part of something that made her happy. I am proud to have played a small part in her happiness, just as she played a part in mine.

Kim was not someone to get knocked down easily. She was tenacious, and she was a fighter. So the docs meeting will continue as usual, this Thursday, and rather than letting this knock us down we will keep doing what we do, and in doing so keep her spirit alive.

RIP Kim. We will miss you.