NemZ Has Passed Away

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NemZ Has Passed Away

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Postby Monk Ed » Wed May 17, 2017 9:10 pm

Brian Paul Schlitt, known to the EvaGeeks community as NemZ, passed away just over a month ago on April 12, 2017, at age 38. We found out just yesterday when his brother notified us by posting in the staff section using his account, linking us to his obituary. For those of who you might ask, all we know about the cause is that he had "a brief illness" before passing away suddenly in the hospital.

NemZ was always very public about his real identity, so there's no reason to hide it, but because we knew him as NemZ, that's how I'll refer to him.

NemZ has been a fixture of the site for nearly a decade. He evolved considerably over that time: from a rabble-rouser to a moderator; from a self-described libertarian to a self-described liberal; from a graphic artist to a lawyer-in-training (yet still finding time to keep making new banners for us) -- but he was also a man of uncompromising principles, which helped guide each of these changes. And even as he certainly stayed true to his custom title of Token Misanthrope (as we in the community would joke from time to time), he seemed to maintain a jocular attitude about his own jadedness, and an optimistic outlook about his own abilities and prospects.

And for that, I looked up to him -- truly. What does it take in a guy for him to change the entire course of his life at age 37 and join law school like he could have done it any time he wanted? And by all signs, things were going great for him there; the obituary mirrors my own perception when it describes him as feeling that he had found his true calling. And this wasn't his first reinvention, either; he was a high school teacher before he started his graphic design career. He was a habitual, seemingly almost casual, self-reinventer. I say with the utmost sincerity that he is a major inspiration in my own life, his example doing much to assuage the concerns that I've had about starting my career in my thirties.

On the site, I knew NemZ as an argumentative and sometimes frictive fellow who nevertheless never seemed to rub me the wrong way -- which might explain why we got along so well despite our differences. During the first many years of our time on the site, we shared many of the same spaces, but we didn't really "meet" until he sent me a PM greeting me in a characterstically chummy (and politically incorrect) manner on the occasion of our simultaneous induction to the EvaGeeks moderation team. We quickly found our roles in that capacity and became fast friends both on and off the proverbial job, consulting each other often on matters both administrative and personal. It helped that we were both natural night-owls, frequently around when the other was and no one else. I remember many a late-night conversation we had that lasted hours beyond their intended length, because they were just that fun -- because he was just that fun to be with.

I'll miss you, buddy.
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Re: NemZ Has Passed Away

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Postby Ray » Wed May 17, 2017 10:50 pm

Oh My God. Too young.

I just, don't know how to feel. I mean. I never expect anyone we nerd out with to die, so when they do. . . it's wow. So sad. He was always one of the peacemakers on the forum. I didn't know him that well, so what else can I say?

Death always makes me sad. I hate thinking about it, and when it busts into the area you go to not think about it. Where you go to talk about a Japanese TV show you're a fan of. I'm really depressed he won't be there to see Final with the rest of us.

The forums never going to feel the same without his username popping up in the notification box.
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Re: NemZ Has Passed Away

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Postby Sachi » Wed May 17, 2017 11:15 pm

While I didn't know NemZ personally, we worked together as colleagues here on the site for years. I always held his opinion in high esteem, finding myself agreeing with him more often than not. Even though I joined the moderation team well before him, I kinda disappeared for a while and by the time of my return he was already a much more experienced moderator than I and he had already greatly impacted the forum in ways I could not. I looked up to him, and I enjoyed working with him during all these years. He was another Gendo fanboy I could relate to, and that's hard to come by.

Hearing of his passing was a devastating blow to say the least. It was completely unexpected and deeply troubling for me. Although I never met him in person, or even seen a picture of him online until now, I still considered him family, as I do many of you here on these forums that I've grown up with all these years. He had recently returned to school to pursue a law degree; he had a plan and a future he was looking forward to, and that has now been tragically taken away from him. I'm truly going to miss him and I will continue to think of him every day when I see the multitude of banners he's contributed to our site.

Good bye, old friend. I'll remember you always.
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Re: NemZ Has Passed Away

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Postby C.T.1290 » Thu May 18, 2017 1:06 am

I may not know him, but still, it's sad to hear that he suddenly passed away like that. I saw his username pop on here once in awhile, but I never got a chance to know him. It's one of the sad things in life, where a certain illness or circumstances takes away the life of good people. And what's worse is that some of people never get to achieve their goals, and they never get to experience future events, what they been looking forward to.

So I'm here now, wishing to pay my respects for a good man. Hopefully somewhere out there, he will be watching over his family and loved ones.

May he rest in peace.
Last edited by C.T.1290 on Thu May 18, 2017 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Reichu » Thu May 18, 2017 1:44 am

Learning about this news was immensely surreal for me. I still don't think I've really processed it, emotionally -- only intellectually. It takes time, I suppose.

NemZ was only about four years older than I am right now. I like to complain about "being old", but that's just acknowledgment of how quickly time passes. There's still the expectation that one in their mid-to-late 30s has much aging yet to do, much life left to be lived. You don't expect to die until decades later. So the sadness surrounding an abrupt tragedy like this has a unique poignancy, and one I've never truly had to deal with before. One month, NemZ was there; the next, and we learn he's been gone, a full stop placed on his very existence. All that remains is what he's left behind. His unique voice will never speak again. It's terrifying to think about. We fear death, and struggle over tens of years to find meaning and leave our mark, but the process could be ended at any moment. And if it did, it wouldn't matter -- not to you, the deceased, because you're dead. I suppose this whole thing has made me a bit existentially reflective; tis human.

NemZ has been part of the scene here for so long that he's engraved in the character of this community, part and parcel of many fond memories. His voice was distinctly his own. He was an intriguing fellow, intelligent and quite funny, with a unique slant on things that he refused to compromise. We didn't always get along so well, due to conflicts in personality and ideological differences, but at the end of the day it was fine -- he never held grudges, so how in the world could I? As a fellow oddball creative type, NemZ was an important source of support for my off-again on-again creative endeavors; his reactions were always interesting. I'll miss him.
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Postby Stillborn » Thu May 18, 2017 2:36 am

Damn, one of the few people I actually liked here. I'll miss him just for that.
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Postby pwhodges » Thu May 18, 2017 3:58 am

I have been lucky, at my age, that only one of my immediate circle of friends and acquaintances has passed away. So the unexpected death of someone I felt I knew who was younger than any of my children came as a considerable shock.

NemZ was a considerable character who contributed significantly to the nature of this forum. He held strong views, and could be resolute in defending them against a dissenting majority - his implacable preference for the original form of Evangelion before the addition of EoE and the Director's Cut versions of some episodes was a notable example. I disagreed strongly with some (not all) of his political views, as well. But he didn't hold a grudge, even if his unwillingness to compromise might sometimes have felt that way to some. One of the last private exchanges I had with him on Skype was an enquiry he made after my well-being - I had expressed some disagreement with more frustration than is usual for me, and he wanted to check whether there was some more serious underlying reason.

I will miss him; the forum will miss him. But we have his posts, and the banners which he made us over the last couple of years, to remember him by.
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Postby Justacrazyguy » Thu May 18, 2017 4:52 am

I don't know how to feel. It's not like I knew him that well or anything, but I've been on this forum long enough that I was used to his presence. And now he's gone, just like that.

RIP
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Postby Dr. Nick » Thu May 18, 2017 9:59 am

"Surreal" is definitely an apt word here. The forum has lost one of its statesman-level posters. Rest in peace, man.

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Postby Snow » Thu May 18, 2017 10:25 am

My condolences.
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Postby BobBQ » Thu May 18, 2017 11:30 am

NemZ sent me a nice greeting after I was dragged kicking and screaming into the staff's secret lair.

RIP, dude. May your banners decorate these pages for many years to come.

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Postby robersora » Thu May 18, 2017 7:16 pm

I'm really saddened about this. I didn't know him too well, but his banners alone made me happy whenever I saw them. Not to mention all of his other contributions.
RIP, Nemz.
This was much too early for you to go.
The saddest part is, that he's not here any more to witness how much we appreciated him... As always, whenever someone has to go, this really is a reminder for me to be more appreciative to all the people I know and love. They are gone much too fast.
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Re: NemZ Has Passed Away

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Postby Literary Eagle » Thu May 18, 2017 10:25 pm

I'm really in shock here... NemZ and I had some very different opinions on a number of things, but even still he was always nice to me, and he said encouraging things about my writing as well. I know that his banners made a lot of people happy, too. He will be missed.

My condolences to his family and friends.
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Postby RadicalRandy » Fri May 19, 2017 1:48 am

As a relative newcomer to these forums who lurks rather than posts, I hardly knew NemZ- especially within the same capacity as most of the members in this tight-knit community. Although our time of overlap was brief, I was quite aware of his well-established presence and resounding contributions that he made. I lend my condolences to those that knew him; he will be missed.
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Postby child of Lilith » Fri May 19, 2017 4:07 am

Rest in peace, Nemz. I never thought I'd have to say goodbye to you so soon. I came in here yesterday thinking that maybe someone had received a ban only to see the news of your passing. I felt like I'd run into a wall full speed. I didn't always agree with you but I always respected your resolve and willingness to stick to your guns even if you had to go it alone. I really admired that about you and it's what made you my favorite mod. Evageeks is never going to be the same place for me now that you're gone.
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Postby Chuckman » Fri May 19, 2017 4:04 pm

I'm at such a loss for words I haven't been able to say anything since I first saw this announcement. The passing of such a young man is an incredible shock. This is a terrible loss, for this community and for NemZ's friends and family. My deepest condolences.

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Postby Sicarius VI » Fri May 19, 2017 9:49 pm

Oh my, I'm at a loss. I always liked Nem, Rest in Peace man.

My prayers to his family.
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Postby CommanderFish » Sat May 20, 2017 12:09 am

I've always seen NemZ as part of the very essence of this place, ever since I started lurking here; and so it's rather surreal to hear that he's passed. I did not know him well, but he was so unique from everybody else that it did not take long for him to set a very clear impression of himself for me. He is a presence that I will truly miss. My condolences for his family and anyone else close to him.

Rest in peace.
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Postby xanderkh » Sat May 20, 2017 5:29 pm

When I saw the notice on Evageeks talking about what happened to NemZ, I was literally stunned for words and couldn't really comprehended what I was reading. We often try to prepare ourselves for moments like these, because we explore and discuss many of the deeper issues on the forums, but when this moment finally comes, there's not a way you can prepare yourself for it.

I've known NemZ ever since I first arrived on Evageeks since 2011, and although I didn't see eye-to-eye on some of our topics and disagreements, he wasn't the kind of person to hold grudges or default a person on their beliefs. I could tell he was a person that stuck with his ideals, which was a trait that I admired both in our discussions her on Evageeks, or even off the forums.

I can't believe that he's gone now, it's so surreal to see. I'll miss him. He held a presence here that I won't really forget.

Rest in Peace NemZ, Brian. We'll miss you.
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Postby Guy Nacks » Sat May 20, 2017 11:55 pm

This is a total shock. My sincere condolences.
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