Though I'm still new to this site, and don't spend any time in chat really getting to know people, I still feel the effects of the loss of @AffableGeek. @LCIII and I joined this site around the same time, he articulates it very nicely:
He was like this site's "cool professor" that everyone wanted to be around in an academic celebrity kind of way. Getting an answer from him authenticated your question and made you feel good for asking it.
I felt the same way, reading his answers you got the sense that he was a genuine scholar. I always learned something from his answers, and respected his demeanor, looking back on it now, his presence was one of the things that made this site attractive — knowing that there was a sage of knowledge who spoke with a sense of authority (be it secular, scholarly authority). Being new, I still have the benefit of reading all his old answers I haven't read yet, so it'll be a while yet before I run out of things to learn from him, but I do feel that it is a blow to the community that he's no longer making new contributions.
In honor of @AffableGeek, I wonder if there's any way that his avatar can properly be memorialized?
It's cliche, but I was thinking something along the lines of giving his avatar or his profile page a pair of wings. Given the tradition of hats on SE, I think that it would be appropriate. What does everyone else think? Is @AffableGeek's avatar going to be left alone until after years of activity until it's eventually deleted? Or can something be done to preserve the memory of such prominent users?
I have a new idea. Moderators get a ♦ next to their name, what if passed users were given a ✞ next to their name?
Affable Geek ✞