It is with great sorrow that we must report the loss of our great friend, colleague, and collaborator, Henk Penning, who passed away on May 29th, 2019.
Henk became involved with Apache before its incorporation as a foundation in March of 1999, and remained involved for the next 20 years, becoming a legal member of the Foundation in 2004 in recognition of his outstanding work. He was instrumental in many services within the technical infrastructure of the Foundation, most notably our download mirror network, ensuring millions of people have access to our software, and in essence furthering the cause of the Foundation. He was also chair of the Apache Attic project, and greatly helped automate the transition of projects, freeing up valuable time for the people involved. He also spearheaded the web-of-trust at the foundation, ensuring a clearly visualized and thought-out process for assessing digital trust between projects and committers. The importance of this process is much greater than the average person is aware of.
Henk was a visionary and a perfectionist - he saw the goal before many of us had seen the starting line, and knew where projects and tasks were ultimately heading, planning for that final vision to become reality...but he was also never afraid to compromise, and immensely patient, kind and understanding when something got in the way, or people needed time to catch up with understanding the end purpose. He was also steady in his contributions to the infrastructure of the foundation, a person you could rely on to get things done without fretting that something would potentially get lost...no, Henk had it under control, you could rest assured and focus on your own tasks at hand.
Henk leaves behind his daughters, Loura and Emma; his son, Maurits; his partner, Anna, and his two grand-kids, Hugo and Ruben.
Henk will be sorely missed by all at The Apache Software Foundation. The kindness, the helpfulness, the notable simplicity in his complex work, the even-keeled thinking, and the relaxed approach to whatever life may have in store, are not things that can easily be replaced.
The foundation wishes to express its condolences to the family and many friends of Henk, trusting they will find strength in these difficult times, see through the pain, and find the blessing that we had for so many years with Henk at our side.
Daniel Gruno, on behalf of The Apache Software Foundation.