A truly great man is now missing from the world. One who directly affected my life on multiple occasions, and continues to do so, in ways large and small. Through his philanthropy, he paid many years of my salary at Pacific Science Center. He currently helps pay my wife’s salary at Woodland Park Zoo.  But Paul Allen has had a much more widespread and substantial impact on our lives than that.

Whether you realize it or not, Paul’s curiosity, vision, drive, and passion for making the world a better place have affected your life too. His great contributions to our city will continue for years to come. Lake Union Park can be attributed to his and Norm Rice’s vision of a grand, green, community space over the “Mercer Mess.”  Paul’s development of the SLU area into a life sciences hub and cancer fighting dynamo, renowned the world over, literally saved the life of a close friend of mine last year. He funded the fight against Ebola, he saved the Cinerama, he built MoPop, he kept the Seahawks from leaving Seattle. His funding of discovery, from deep sea expeditions to better understanding the human brain, to AI research will continue to reap benefits for decades to come.

I challenge you, and myself, to appreciate what we have lost in Mr. Allen’s passing. I challenge you to come together, to find ways to replace that loss, and to grow it into something even larger and more beautiful.  We need to dream big. We need to leave this place better than we found it. And we need to be driven enough to make it happen. Be like Paul, and let’s make the world a better place together.

Ken DeMaria, Technologist.

Ken DeMaria is V.P. of Technology at ATLAS Workbase. He started his technology career learning BASIC on Teletypewriters at the Lawrence Hall of Science, worked at Pacific Science Center for many years, and has been a technologist in Seattle since 1991.

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