It is with incredible sadness that we must report to our readers that long-time Books Editor Gordon Hauptfleisch passed away late last week at the age of 59. A former reviewer for the San Diego Union Tribune, Gordon began at Blogcritics in 2005. Books were very much his life, whether reading and reviewing books, managing bookstores, serving as the purchasing manager for San Diego Technical Books or editing others’ reviews here at Blogcritics Magazine.
He not only had a fabulous critical eye both in his own reviews and spiffing up those reviews he edited, he was mentor to many writers at Blogcritics in our eclectic virtual community. But perhaps, more than anything, Gordon was a mensch. The word in Yiddish (and in German) means only “human being,” but expresses much more: compassion, kindness, and caring. Gordon also had a dry and rapier sense of humor, which kept those who would converse with him on their toes (and laughing).
According to Blogcritics’ senior books editor Bill Sherman, “Gordon was a sharp critic with a fannish love of hardboiled fiction – and a clear and helpful editor in the Blogcritics Books section. It was Gordon who I turned to for editing advice over the years. As a critic of other writers, he could be blunt but never cruel. I’ll miss his witty occasional comments on my reviews. R.I.P. Gordon.”
Comments Editor Christopher Rose said, “Gordon will be missed by both his fellow editors and everybody whose work he edited. He was tirelessly committed to both the site and, even more importantly, helping writers improve their work. Even during his frequent bouts of illness over the years, the main thing he always wanted was to get on line and edit another article. His dedication and loyalty were an example to us all and his loss is a great blow to all that knew him.”
Culture editor Victor Lana said, “I will think of Gordon fondly because he was a very positive presence. Whether commenting on an article or sending me a short thank you for editing pieces in the Books section, Gordon was also a gentleman. He didn’t dispense advice but words that were encouragement. I felt like he was a mentor, and so I feel this quotation is apropos: ‘A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you’ (Bob Proctor).”
Gordon will be dearly missed by his colleagues at Blogcritics. May he rest in peace.