Have you ever known anyone Larger Than Life? That was Perry DeAngelis in every sense of that expression.
Today is the anniversary of his death, which was August 19th, 2007
Many of you know him from the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast but all of us on the show were close friends with him long before that. Even Rebecca, who never actually met him face to face, shared a special bond with him revealed in the always entertaining and playful banter between them on the show.
Perry was the spark that ignited the formal Skeptical activist group consisting of himself, Steve, Evan, and me, morphing years later into the SGU podcast. He noticed that the Skeptical Inquirer magazine had no listing for a Skeptical Society in Connecticut and thought we should form one. The Connecticut Skeptical Society was born and then quickly became the NESS or the New England Skeptical Society as we created chapters throughout the New England states. Our membership grew as did the popularity of our newsletter, The New England Journal of Skepticism. His articles were always as entertaining as they were acerbic.
Perry also made a important initial contribution to the podcast as well. In 2005 emails flew back and forth for days as we tried to think of a name for our show. He sent an email with a final salvo of ideas and embedded in there was “The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe.” The Douglas Adams reference resonated with us instantly and we made it so.
The podcast was wonderfully suited to showcase Perry’s wry humor and absolutely hilarious personality. He quickly became the favorite of many listeners. So much so that to this day, we still get emails from people who only recently started listening to the show and needed to convey their sadness and condolences to us when they learned of his death in the chronology of the show.
Perry, you have been missed and will be missed for many years to come, but I think it would make you happy that your unique wit will be preserved in cyberspace for much longer.