Moved to http://www.nelsonmontalvo.com/blog
Phil Dennis: I have worked alongside Nelson in the same team at Wachovia since he joined in 2006. Nelson always struck me as a insightful software developer, and person. I have benefited greatly from knowing him, both from the technical knowledge and software tools that he shared with me, and from watching how he would deal with people and situations. Nelson would treat everyone with respect and work hard and creatively to find a great solution to some of the hard technical problems our team has faced. Recently Nelson was happy to give me good advice when an opportunity for me to do some contracting work came up. This was much appreciated. Nelson was a good person and will be sorely missed by me and many others. My thoughts go out to his family and friends.
John: I had the pleasure to meet Nelson through his brother, whom I work with. I think everyone can agree that he was a great developer but overall I think we can all agree that he was a great person. Nelson is truely a person that when you meet him he made you feel welcome and would lend himself anyway possible. My prayers and thoughts go out to his family.
Arshaad: It was not his time. I worked with Nelson at Sapient when we were just starting out in the world. We ended up working together again at BrightCorner. A good friend who always went the extra mile to help others. I will miss nmonta or nellie as we used to call him and all the times we had. We will remember him in our prayers. RIP
Keith: This is so sad. I managed Nelson as a team lead at Sapient and hired him as a contractor at Bright Corner. I always wanted to work with him again some day, and we would touch base on IM or Facebook or whatever just to stay in touch. In addition to all the things everyone’s said here, I also wanted to point out that Nelson was really a man of principle. I remember multiple times that he would choose, or more importantly not choose, to take on a job or project based on what it meant to the world, and I know he walked away from at least one lucrative opportunity for purely ethical reasons. He was a good man, someone that I know I looked up to, and I pray he’s looking down on me from Heaven.
Tim Quinn: I have also known Nelson since he started working at Wachovia. It’s rare to meet someone so talented and ambitious who also has the people skills and the kindness needed to help others. Nelson was full of knowledge and ideas and was always willing to share with the people around him. It has been a challenging time for many at Wachovia due to the recent changes and the layoffs. Many of us went to Nelson for advice and he was always more than willing to help. He helped me personally to make my next career move. I have now been working at my new job long enough to know it was the right move and I was looking forward to thanking Nelson once again for his help. It saddens me that I will not have the opportunity to tell him now. This is a tragic loss for all of us and my heart goes out to his family and closest friends. I am a better person for having known Nelson. We will all miss him.
Chris Dereadt: I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Nelson at Wachovia. He was a talented developer and good friend. When he wasn’t showing me the latest and greatest TDD approaches we would spend time talking about movies…specifically ‘Star Wars’. Nelson was a great co-worker, great person and dear friend. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.
Jasdeep Singh: I couldn’t have asked for a better colleague, a great friend and just the most humble person than Nelson. Knowing him better over the last 2 years has just been a shear pleasure. I was always struck by his promptness towards solving a problem, especially recently when the team morale was low and we saw many tean members leave Wachovia. He loved to code. A person who would wake up at 5 am and then, code. Someone mentioned principles above and he would uphold them dearly. Whether it was living his life, coding his night away or working at Wachovia. He would talk dearly about this numerous side gigs, his experiences with those clients, with the various people who would help him complete those projects, his brother Armando and how he was doing well in his life, his girlfriend Jean, his cars and his motorcycle. I preferred to be only a listener when I was around him. It was better that way if you wanted to learn something. And I will always be indebted to him for sharing that knowledge and information with me. It was shocking loss to me and all of us to see him leave this world. I can say with pride that he made everyone better around him and he and his family will be in my prayers. May god bless his kind soul.
Armando: My brother was a good man. I only hope to become half the man he was. After wishing him a “Happy Birthday” this past Friday and inviting him to dinner, he mentioned he had to go into work for a “roll-out” of some new techno whatever for Wells Fargo/Wachovia. He was passionate about his work, his goals, about giving back, and about life in general. I was proud to have my brother as one of my best men in my wedding this past summer. After the wedding ceremony and before stepping off to leave the altar, I had the DJ play the theme to “Star Wars”. Yes, at my wedding. My brother and I are big Star Wars nuts. Not obsessive fans, but respectable fans that appreciated Star Wars. My brother was the first person to recognize the song and laughed before anybody else knew what he was laughing at. It was awesome. Everybody asks about what they can do for me, but the only thing that matters is the good stuff about my brother’s life. If you have any stories, pictures, or anything related (snippets of code??) to my brother, please send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jean Peak: Nelson was loved by so many people, and he was the love of my life. He is the best, kindest, carring and most compassionate person that I have ever met and I thanked God everyday for bringing Nelson into my life. Nelson and I met a little over five years ago and we have spent almost every day togehter since. Nelson is why I am the person I am today, and I will miss him forever. It’s not fair that he was taken away from us so soon, but I know he is in a better place and hopefully we will one day, when it’s our time, get to see his smiling face again. I love you, I miss you and I will never, ever forget you. Thank you for all of your prayers.
Joe Ocampo: Its taken a lot out of me to get through this comment. Nelson was one of the most sincere humble people I have ever had the pleasure to meeting. All of us in one way or another try to embody what we do with passion, honesty, integrity and excellence. Nelson personified all these traits in both his professional and personal life. He was more than a great man he was a leader of men. Most people have to work at being a leader, Nelson posses the characteristics of natural leadership through sincerity in believing in others and always looking for the best in every situation. There were countless times I sot his council to insure I was on the right path both personally as well as professionally. I could always count on him to be honest with me. I loved talking about Star Wars with him and how Star Wars is the allegoric for all of life’s situations, political and domestic. Fun times. I will miss those talks. Nelson you will be missed and you will never be forgotten, thank you for being my friend.
Jason Blue: I met Nelson about 10 years ago at a mutual client. I was instantly immpressed by him personally and professionally. Since then, we became great friends. We worked together on several projects, and he worked for me in 2003-2004. We have laughed together and cried together, and had really deep talks. He was definitely a little brother to me, and a man I greatly admired for the same reasons that all of you have already written about. I will miss him deeply, but I am happy for him and jealous of where he is right now…with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I’ll see you in the blink of eye my friend :)
Shawn McManus: I met Nelson at a mutual client in 2001. I knew I could always count on him to be honest and forthright. He had integrity, humor, and zeal. Semper Fi, Nellie! You will be missed!
Michael Wenniger: I met Jason and Nelson about 5 years ago as they worked along side of me with Essante Worldwide. They instantly became family. I love them bot so dearly. We had some great times along with some deep talks together. I was very close to Nelson and admired his passion for Family, friends and just Life. Nelson was my family too and I will misss him greatly. There will always be a place in my heart for Nelson. Thank You for being in my life. We will see you soon my friend.
Chris Taylor: Like Joe above, this has taken alot out of me to write. There is no way I can say enough good about Nelson in this small space…I could go on all day. Please pardon me if my thoughts are not as well organized as they could be. The first time I met Nelson was at a panel interview when Wachovia/Wells Fargo was World Savings. I was impressed with his humility, his understated confidence and his breadth of knowledge. I am an intellectual ant next to Nelson and I recognized that right away. Shortly after that, he came on board as a contractor and quickly showed all the characteristics everyone here has mentioned. He was a valued coworker, whose knowledge of software and processes amazed me. Every time I coded with him I learned. He took every opportunity he could to share his knowledge with others, to help them excel, without judging or criticizing. He appreciated the contributions of everyone around him. No matter how brilliant he was, he was always humble enough to learn from even the most junior of programmers. As much as he liked building software, though, he told me many times that people and relationships are what he really had a passion for. And he lived that. In the few years I’ve know him, he touched my life deeply. Through the ups and downs of corporate life and a challenging period in my own life, Nelson and I began to spend more time together. He reached out to me to encourage, uplift and support me both professionally and personally. He had a uncanny ability to distill the essence of an issue and ask one or two poignant questions that illuminated truths for me. He is a born leader. When I had the opportunity to work with him a couple of small projects, just the two of us, I began to get to know him in a deeper way. Every single time we met, without fail, he spent most of the time teaching me about our craft; inevitably, we shared laughter, pains, frustrations, personal experiences, jokes, good-natured teasing. He was passionate about software, but he was more passionate about being a loyal friend and a mentor. He went out of his way to make things easier for others if he could. He gave of his talents and insight selflessly and always seemed to find the best in someone when others might have given up. Armando mentioned the dogs Nelson adopted. His kindness and compassion became widely evident to me when I saw how he reached out to help the stray dogs in his neighborhood. When I went over to his new(er) house and met his four (at the time) canine friends I could see the compassion he had for them in how he thought of the little things that would make their lives more comfortable and fun. Nelson started out being my coworker. Then he became a professional mentor; then, a true friend. The words I would use to describe Nelson mirror those of everyone here: loyal, passionate, sincere, honest, humble, patient, kind-hearted, brilliant, down-to-earth. Lately, I’ve gotten used to getting an early IM from him nearly every day. I missed his “whaddup?” this morning. Armando, Jean, my prayers are with you and the entire family. As the song says, “I have returned” - you have returned; one day we will all return and see you again. Heck, I still owe you a beer! Nelson, I miss you, buddy. Thank you for being my friend.
Bill Ennis: Nelson…how I wish I had taken those few moments to shoot you a “happy birthday” note last week. I worked in collaboration with him for a common client, Essante Worldwide, during the course of several months. I never had the pleasure of meeting him personally, but his gifts of personability and sincerity were immediately noticed. He seemed to be the kind of man that would forever be your good friend, without consideraton given to reciprocity. God bless your family and loved ones.
Luis Guillen: May God bless him and his loved ones. There aren’t too many “good men” out there like Nelson. May we all hope to be just a glimmer of what he was.
jlockwood: Saying goodbye is never easy…the suddenness of his leaving has been quite a jolt. I have only known Nelson since 2006 but still find myself struggling with an incredible sense of loss. I’m still having a difficult time processing his unexpected departure. I hold Nelson in the highest esteem and will miss his kindness, quick wit, broad experience, and brilliant intellect. I also admire him for his candor and integrity. Nelson’s many positive qualities were an asset to us, his peers. As his brother Armando stated, Nelson is a good man…among the finest I’ve known. Through the past few years, we’ve shared quite a number of stimulating discussions and have benefited as soundboards for various ideas. Lately Nelson, I, and a number of others have been meeting every other week to delve deeper into a subject of mutual interest. His ideas and understanding are invaluable to me (us) and loss of his companionship is bitterly mourned. I dread our next meeting without him. Nelson’s passion for his craft is an inspiration to me as well as the others with whom he has worked. He has always been generous with his immense talent, solid leadership, and infectious confidence. His rare combination of competence and humility has always facilitated the growth and improvement of his fellow craftsmen. We’ve been lucky to share in his gifts. I always used to give him a hard time, telling him that he was wasting his time with the lot of us. I’d tell him he should instead be out somewhere else on some greater, more meaningful venture. Nelson has been an integral member of our special cohort of professionals here in San Antonio (not two forget Marcus and John in DFW). We’ve been members of a family of craftsmen, enjoying a camaraderie that has rivaled what I experienced in the Army. I’ve yet to find another team to match ours in World Savings/Wachovia. The loss of Nelson is akin to the loss of a brother; our family is incomplete without him. Still, Nelson will not be forgotten and his legacy remains in us. Armando, we’ve never met, but judging by what you’ve written it sounds as though you share much of Nelson’s strength and character. I am so very sorry that you have lost such a fine brother. Like you, I too hope I can grow to be more like him in a number ways. Your brother is an exceptional person and will not be forgotten. You are in my prayers. If there is anything I can do to help I am at your disposal. Jean, I can only imagine the bitter shock you must be suffering with the loss of Nelson. I wish there were some salve to lessen the sting. I know that Nelson thought the World of you, as you do him. I agree that he was taken away far too soon and I can only share a shadow of your pain. My prayers are with you too. As with Armando, I will do whatever I can to help. Nelson, you will be sorely missed. Thanks for your friendship and sage insight, if only we had more time. I envy your opportunity to meet with our Lord face-to-face and admit that I’m a bit jealous of the peace and rest you now enjoy. I look forward to our meeting again. Godspeed brother, I’ll see you on the other side.
Carolyn Eaton: I worked with Nelson at World/Wachovia/Wells Fargo, and he was one of the best developers I’ve worked with. That’s saying something, because the group as whole was/is truly remarkable. Nelson had that rare gift to be able to almost intuitively understand the intent of the business requirements; you could tell because he always asked the right question at the right time, and could explain how the code would work as if it were the simplest thing in the world. (It probably was, for him.) It was a genuine pleasure to work with Nelson, and I’ll miss him.
Stephanie Clarke: Thank you, Jason, for reaching me in Mexico. Things I will remember about Nelson: his half grin before it broke into a full smile; his shrug; the way he pressed his lips together and shook his head when he’d heard enough; how he laughingly agreed to give BSG another chance; his kindness and compassion. So, remember how at the end of Empire Strikes Back we thought Han was gone? I’m going to tell myself that Nelson is frozen in carbonite and I’ll see him someday in the sequel. Steph
Sudip Mazumder: Really sorry to hear the news about Nelson! I am honestly numb since morning when I heard this news. Nelson was my first friend at Sapient, he and I joined Sapient together, we went to the same orientation program together, we also worked on our first project together in Houston. I found him to be really brilliant technically, always looking at ways to make things better, always asking the tough questions that nobody wants to ask. He was also a real caring individual, I still remember the day when I was working really hard to finish a deliverable on my first project and did not have the opportunity to get any lunch, Nelson saw that and without any prompting, got me something to eat. All in all today is a real sad day for me, I lost a valuable friend. More importantly the world lost somebody with a lot of potential and a truly good person.
Heather Streit: Nelson was a dear friend who will truly be missed… My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and close friends.
Max Westerfield: Nelson has been my friend and colleague since about 2002. I am devastated by this senseless tragedy and am saddened to the core of my soul. We spoke for about 45 minutes on Monday night. I had no idea it would be the last time we would speak. When I think of Nelson, only the best of human qualities come to mind. He was intelligent, professional, and wise well beyond his years. Personally, he was kind, loyal, generous and humble. He exemplified excellence and character in every aspect of his life. I am proud to have known him. I will miss you, brother, but I will see you again in heaven…
David Ybarra: My heart goes out to Nelsons family and friends. I was privileged enough to work with Nelson for the last couple of years and will miss the passion he always had for his work and his co-workers. He was truly a wonderful person and I am honored to have worked beside him. You will be missed. Dave
Sarah Aguilar: I met Nelson about 5 years ago when he started dating one of my best friends, Jean. I remember it perfectly, it was at a Barnes and Noble and Jean was so excited. He sat there so patiently and read while Jean and I stuidied. He was an amazing guy. Nelson was very humble, caring, and genuine . Definitely one of a kind. I just want to thank him for loving Jean the way he did. He made her very happy. He will alway and forever be in my heart. .Armando I am sorry that the first time we met was the night we found out the terrible news. I wish we could of met on better circumstances. Nelson was a great man. I am truly sorry for you lost…you are in my prayers. Jean…I love you. I am here for you always. My heart breaks for you. I cannot imagine the pain you are feeling right now,always know that no matter what,I am by your side. You mean the world to me. You are in my prayers and in my heart. God Bless You! Love you!
Eric Chan: I’ve known Nelson since college. He and I had a few classes together and he’s always been a good friend. After college we sort of lost touch, but it was only a few months ago that we reconnected via Facebook, LinkedIn and twitter. My first thoughts after hearing the news: “It wasn’t his time. He still had so much to do in this world.” I will definitely miss him and remember him as one of the nicest guys I’ve met.
Cindy Yang: I also knew Nelson from college and even though we’ve lost touch over the past decade, I will remember him as having the kindest eyes . Anyone who has seen his smile would know that he was a really good soul. I was shocked to hear of his passing and my heart goes out to his family and loved ones.
Arjun: I am very sad to hear about this. We worked too many nights working at Sapient on American Airlines and ended up at some bar or the other after that. He was a good friend and someone I liked very much.
Chris Taylor: Please pardon a second post. But, I shared this with another close friend of Nelson’s and he asked me to please post it here: In all the years I’ve been watching Tim Duncan play basketball, I continue to be amazed at how efficient he is. At the same time, since he is not flashy, I often find myself not paying much attention to his play until at some point I’d realize “Holy crap, he’s got 28 points up already?” Nelson never sought the limelight, he never talked about himself. He just simply lived his life, spending time with friends, learning, reading, giving, growing, thinking, loving in small yet profound ways. For me, I had a moment several months ago when it hit me. All this time I didn’t realize the “points” he was putting up, until a small word he said to me made me realize what damn good friend he was. He wrapped the extraordinary in a brown paper bag and gave it to the world. He could have marketed himself and wrapped his extraordinariness in glitzy packaging and drawn attention to his genius. But, he just did his thing day in and day out, “racking up points” in my life and in the lives of many others. Yet, Nelson was very human. I think he would be the first to point that out if we could hear him reading what we are all saying here. And that very fact is part of what made him…well…him. He had a lifelong commitment to excellence and personal growth that became evident the longer I spent time with him. I think his humility was driven in part by his realization that he had so far to go to be the person, son, friend, colleague he wanted to be. He was content with his life, but did not rest on his laurels or become complacent about bettering himself and doing the things he could, in his own way, to reach into the lives of those he came in contact with. His extraordinariness is not because he is a god. His extraordinariness is in his human-ness. And I think he would want us to remember he was just one of us, too.
John Roberts: I worked with Nelson extensively for 6 months on a complicated web project. This required late nights, and weekends sometimes, odd hours. Nelson was the kind of guy that even late at night after he talked me into calling it a night, I’d come back out hours later and find that he had not quit. He would always crack a joke, or level some healthy cynicism at the situation, but then go on to succeed. He was amazing. Many people with his talent become arrogant about their craft and resist suggestions, or direction changes. Nelson had a solid humility, solid in his confidence and skill, yet humble in accepting change, and altering plans to reach a goal. Also, Nelson was caring and compassionate. He was always concerned about my life, and knew my family even though he had never met me face to face - as we did all our work remotely. Though I worked with him a mere 6 months, I considered him a dear friend. His presence on the “other end” through Instant Messaging, his consistant accessibility, and problem solving will be deeply missed, but his friendship is the loss I will suffer the most. My prayers go with his family and close associates who must surely miss greatly.
Joy Wyche: I had the priviledge to be cheered up by Nelson’s presence 5 days of the week for the past 2.5 yrs. It’s amazing to read these and learn so much about the man I only observed as quite, confident, laid back, sincere, humble, good natured - a wonderful man of integrity. RIP.
Jon Haker: Nelson had a gracious spirit and an ability to make everyone around him better. When I first started at Wachovia I remember how patient he was teaching me the ropes on my first day. I also remember thinking I’m in way over my head if they ever expect me to perform on the same level. Nelson found a way to relate to everyone. For me it was MLM companies. We started emailing about the subject before I even interviewed. It was a small act but it meant a lot. Like Tim I also owe Nelson for career advice and help after Wachovia. He put me in touch with one of his friends in Fort Worth and because of his help I now have a great job. His patience didn’t change day to day. His positive attitude was always a pleasure to be around. I feel very blessed to have known Nelson.
Monica Leyva: I met Nelson on October 10,2003, I remember the day so clearly because some friends and I were out celebrating our birthday. We were all dancing when all of a sudden Jean disappeared. A few minutes later we spotted her dancing with some bald guy. It was the night that Jean met the love of her life. Nelson, you have always been so nice to me. I will always remember all the times we hung out. We had some fun times at Niosa, shared some crazy New Years’, and thank god you and Jean spared me some boridates (remember bowling and California pizza, I would have gone crazy without ya’ll). Thank you for going to my graduation and getting me the best gift ever, a gift certificate to a spa day! You are so thoughtful. I wish I had gotten out of my car to say hi when I saw you at the gas station last week, I never thought it would be the last time I’d see you. Thank you for taking such good care of my friend, I know that you will continue to watch over her in heaven. You will never be forgotten. Jean, you are one of my best friends and I feel so blessed that through you I met Nelson. I know that you have never felt so sad and I wish there was something I could do to take away all your pain. All I can do is listen, hug and cry with you. I know how much you love Nelson and I’m glad that you guys had such a great time celebrating his birthday. I love you and I am here for you, always and forever. Armando, I am so sorry for what you are going through right now. I just want you to know that I’ve been thinking of you and that you and your family are in my prayers.
Chris Velazquez: Nelson’s passing strikes really close to home with me. We both started at World/Wachovia as contractors the very same week. I am thankful that I had a chance to work with him as a colleague. In addition to his technical prowess and great people skills, he had a knack for devising creative solutions that actually made sense (!) and he was always open to the ideas of others. We are all going to miss you lots, amigo!
Tony Lopez: I worked in the Wachovia Lab on and off the last few months where Nelson worked. During this whole time, he constantly remained me to attend software user group meetings. On the day before God took him away from us, Nelson opened up to me about his private life. I learned one thing from this conversion and that is how much he loved Jean. Jean - thanks for giving him such joy the last five years. I will also miss Nelson and his love for the software industry
Gordon Cheng: hey Nel, remember when you complimented me on my Spanish years back? Well, I still think of you when I occasionally break out some Spanish, knowing that at least one person is not laughing at me. Thank you for your generosity. May you rest in peace.
Laurie : Nelson… i never got the chance to thank you for taking such good care of my sister. You truly are an amazing man, and will be missed. Jean…I love you big sis, and know that i am here for you….i always have been….and always will be.
Christine : Nel, just realized that Monday will be the last chance to say goodbye. I will pray for you all the way over on the other side of the Earth in Hong Kong. The least that I could do is to write something gracious (try to be beautiful at least, you know my English) The following is what I could come up of, inspired from the lyrics of an old Chinese song. When I see the stars at night, I will think of you I will remember your face as in the old times That your smile shined brighter than the stars When I remember the old times, I will be lost I will sigh in despair For you have shined in my heart You were like stars in the milky way, I have modestly loved you And your tenderness enlightened me and soothed my pain When I see the stars twinkle, I will think of you When I see the resplendent night sky, you will be remembered, always
Mary Anderson: Mando - I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your brother. It always warmed my heart to hear the way you spoke of him, your best friend I’m certain. Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. The poem below has always touched my heart and hopefully it will touch yours as well. To Those I Love and Those Who Love Me When I am gone, release me, let me go. I have so many things to see and do. You mustn’t tie yourself to me with tears, Be happy that we had so many years. I gave you my love, you can only guess How much you gave to me in happiness. I thank you for the love you have shown But now it’s time I travel on alone. So grieve awhile for me, if grieve you must Then let your grief be comforted by trust. It’s only for a little while that we must part, So bless the memories within your heart. I won’t be far away, for life goes on. So if you need me, call and I will come. Though you can’t see or touch me, I’ll be near. And if you listen with your heart you’ll hear All of my love around you soft and dear. And then, when you must come this way alone I’ll greet you with a smile and “Welcome Home.”
Clifford Platt: Nelson and I were close in college and spent a ton of time together, often sitting at a computer and hacking away or brainstorming at a whiteboard. Regrettably, we have lost touch over the years, but I have continued to think often about Nelson and the rest of our “punks”, hoping that we each have found our own version of happiness and success. The last time I saw Nelson in person was a few years back, and it seemed very much to me that had found his happiness and peacefulness in his life in Texas. Nelson was never someone that demanded much (except from himself). He was able to find peace with just a computer and an impossible puzzle to solve. He was modest, kind, brilliant, thoughtful and caring. nm2h, I will miss you very much. Thank you for being such a special person in my life.
Brandis Davis: I met Nelson for the first time on October 31st, 2003 shortly after he started dating my friend Jean. I remember seeing them kissing in the corner of the dance floor that night as if they were in their own little world. Everytime I was with him and Jean whether it was New Year’s Eves or dinner at Momak’s, Nelson was always nice and seemed truly interested in what others had to say. I do not have the right words for a loss such as this, but all I can say is Thank You Nelson. Thank you for loving my friend, and allowing my friend to love you for more than 5 years. Jean, just know that through you, Nelson’s family and friends his memory will never be forgotten. We all love you and are here for you. Armando, I am truly sorry for your loss and my prayers are with you and your family.
Beth M: I wanted to pass my condolences on to Nelson’s family and friends. Nelson and I started work the same day together at Sapient- it was our first job out of college and we became fast friends. I have great memories of us riding roller-coasters at Six Flags and planning to celebrate the first day our net worth reached zero :) He was both modest and incredibly talented, which is a rare and special combination. I feel lucky to have known him.
Kevin Washington: Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught. Nelson told me this once (well in lay-men’s terms at least) as I lamented never having finished any number of university Majors. Not that it inspired me to actually go forth and complete those majors unfortunately, but I tell you this only to serve as an example of the extraordinary depth of intellect and unbridled human compassion that was as common-place from the man we know as Nelson Montalvo as the Sun rising in the East and setting somewhere else other than the East, unless perhaps you are at the North or South Poles at which point things become a point of conjecture and speculation based upon perspective. I’ll try to keep this brief. If still waters run deep then there could be no true gauge to fathom the person that Nelson was.. his interests seemed so varied, yet exciting, charming, and intellectually stimulating. Always the consummate gentleman, I cannot recall a single time Nelson was perfidious or overly negative towards anyone or anything. Good-natured with an almost mischievous rogue-ishly boyish charm, he was instantly likeable and commanded trust and respect with his thoughts and his actions. He was probably one of the very few people I know who could sit and patiently listen to me give an hour long lecture on the sociological importance of Naruto or worse, my even lengthier theories upon the dichotomy of the extremist views practiced by both the Jedi and the Sith. I met Nelson through a friend before he worked at World, and it was always a kind of ‘brotherhood’ bond between us two. In fact, I often joke that it is I who was responsible for Armando and his lovely bride being such a wonderfully married couple, because it was I who broke the ice that fateful night at the Bombay Bicycle club in my usual clumsy fashion of meeting women by attempting to balance an appropriate level of courage inducing alcoholism with fleeting moments of intense bravery. Such conversation would have Nelson and I cracking jokes and laughing for hours in the parking garage at work, and I always felt that the affection between us as friends and peers was nothing if not absolutely genuine. This has been a hard week for everyone who loved and knew Nelson. It is rare in our lifetimes to come across people so unique, so genuine and passionate and humane that it only makes the stark reality of their passing even more so difficult to bear. The Chinese have a phrase, “chi ku” which means literally to “eat bitter” The phrase, as many things tend to be in Chinese philosophy is deceptively equivocal, having a positive message: That we must suffer to gain benefit. We have lost a good friend, loved one, and family member, but we will always have the memory and the model of how we should live our own lives. Nelson was the exception not the rule, the standard and the model of how a human being living in the 21st century of human civilization should act. I shall miss Nelson, our talks, our laughs, his knowledge and experience and his compassion beyond all else. My heart-felt condolences to his family and his friends all of whom are members of a great fraternity of people whose lives were blessed by knowing Nelson. Godspeed Nelson, and may you now explore the greater beyond with the same vigor and wonder that you approached your much too short time here amongst mortals.
Lucas Torres: Please accept my condolences and know that our family’s prayers go out to Nelson and his family. It was a privilege and honor to have worked with Nelson while I was with ILS. Nelson was a professional in every way and had wisdom ahead of his age. He was more then just a co-worker he was a friend and mentor while I was with ILS. We will miss you Nelson.
Nabeel Alsaadi: I had the honor of working with Nelson at Sapient and he was a wonderful, kind and brilliant person, he will definitely be missed. My sincere condolences and prayers go out to his family and loved ones
Rishi Khanna: “Nelson, brother, wherever you are, we miss you.” I met Nelson through my friends at Sapient. I got to know him after Cory (one of his closest buddies from Sapient) joined my company, ISHIR. Nelly and I would exchange emails all the time and he would share his experiences from his consulting gigs with me. He was a brilliant software developer and he was really passionate about coding. He had a lot of potential. He will be greatly missed. I exchanged emails with him recently so I was really shocked to hear about him.
Nesta So: Although I didn’t know Nelson well at college, through other people, I knew he was one of the kindest people on earth. He was warm, sweet, and kind to everyone around him. May him rest in peace. My sincere condolences and prayers go to his family and his loved ones.
Dave Quinn: I met Nelson when we went to college at CMU. My first day there I walked into what would be our dorm room together for the next three years and there he was, unpacking. I knew from the first moment I saw his good-natured smile that here was a good guy, a good friend. Over the years we made a great run of it - studying hard and helping each other through the tough times, but also laughing and joking around with the rest of our friends on the hall. And even tho Nel had a very private side to him, even in such close quarters, I knew that my friendship with him meant as much as his did to me. Nel, I will miss you man. I couldn’t imagine those days without you and I’ll keep those memories close to my heart forever. And I know that no one but me and you will really understand, but I want you to know somehow that I’m jacking the thermostat way up right now. Gonna be texas hot in here, just the way you liked it bro. Rest in Peace.
Veronica: I did not know Nelson Montalvo but I will pray for his family and friends moarning his loss. I was driving down 1604 around 12pm that day and saw the end result of the accident. It just stuck with me I felt as if I needed to know this person, that was someones son, brother, cousin, friend, or maybe father or husband. So tragic it gave me chills. My prayers go out to his loved ones.
Ross Abbey: I knew Nelson back in High School, where we were in Academic Decathlon class together. He was a friendly and brilliant guy who will be missed.
Vincent Mak: Your time here was too short but when you where here, you were full of life. Now that you’re gone, you’ll live on in all of our memories, and we’ll all better off for it. Rest in peace my friend.
Javier Lopez: My condolences to the Montalvo family on their loss. He had a very sharp mind, I knew him through a few side conversations and some valued help on a project. He was always a friendly guy and willing to offer assistance. A great designer now part of a greater design.
Hildebrand and April: We met Nelson about a year ago when we became his neighbors and moved across the street from him. In that one year we grew a great relationship with Nelson. We remember wondering what our new neighbors were going to be like? Nelson being our neighbor explains it all, he was very caring and would do anything to try to help others. We really don’t understand, but we know he is in a better place. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones. Nelson, we wish we had more time together you will truely be missed but never forgotten. .
Becky: All souls were created in the beginning and are finding their way back to whence they came. ~ Edgar Cayce My heart is heavy with our recent layoffs at work, saying goodbye to dear friends and now… losing Nelson. The small glimmer of hope is to rejoice in Nelson’s new journey. He is now in a galaxy far far away….living his dream. May the forces always be with him.
Lauren Reilly: I have been very sad thinking about Nelson the past few days. We met back in college. We shared a floor in Mudge House…the dorm that would become our family away from home. The group of us were very close, and spent the next four years together. I’m very sorry that as I lost touch with the group, I lost touch with Nelson. He was a warm, sweet, smart, quietly funny kind of guy. It makes me happy reading all of these comments to hear that he wound up having such a fantastic life and touching so many people. I’ll never forget the late night coding sessions (Nelson was always the calm, rational, helpful voice), playing Doom with the doors open to shout taunts down the hall, throwing spiced wafers at passing cars, mattress surfing, the Jungle Party, hanging with the Punks, the wonders of 3D animation (thanks Christine for the bathroom post), snurgle, Fluffy, group zephyr chats, and visiting what was apparently Nelson & Dave’s sauna (I don’t remember the heat–probably because I like it Texas hot too!). To Nelson’s girlfriend and family…I’m so, so sorry for your loss. He was a great guy. To Nelson, wherever you are, you look bad-ass on that bike!
Jose Jusino: I am Nelson’s cousin. I remember we stayed together for a while at my grandmother’s house in Puerto Rico. Of course as we grew older we all parted ways but my mom stayed in touch with my aunt Milagros. My aunt Milagros even came to visit when my daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Anyway I was shocked and could not speak when my wife called telling me what Titi Milagros told her about Nelson. I still can’t beleive It. I wish I had the time to catch up on things. Rest now brother.
Stephanie: I work at Wachovia and was on my way there to pick up my son who also works at Wachovia. When we came up to the light I immediately started to pray as I saw the car and the 18 wheeler. I prayed that God would heal the person in the car and that if he’d taken that person, I prayed that God would give the family strength. Give them strength Lord, keep them in perfect peace…..I continued to pray as I went through the light and I said to myself that is someone from work. As employees of Wachovia each time something happens anywhere in that area we always wonder if its someone we work with. But I knew,,,, I just knew! I too like someone else that wrote wanted to find out and today I search mysa.com and found that indeed Nelson worked at our company. So I say to Nelson’s family and friends, God will give you strength and there are those that you don’t even know that are praying for you. Keep the faith and know that your Brother,Son, and Friend touched many lives as is witnessed via the blogs. I will continue to up the Montalvo family. Prayers for you and deepest condelences! Stephanie G.
Stacie Armendariz Healy: I met Nelson through my sister Christina and brother-in-law Jason Meridth. I was holding my brand new nephew in the hospital when Nelson and Jean walked in to visit Jason & Christie. I remember how happy Jason & Christie were to see them. Nelson and I had that awkward moment of transferring a newborn from one set of arms to another without dropping him. Nelson looked so excited to meet the baby; it was very sweet. I didn’t know Nelson very well, but I know the impact he had on my sister & brother-in-law. They loved him very very much. I’m praying for them as much as for Jean, Nelson’s family, and all his friends. I think it’s amazing that despite being taken at such a young age, he has an incredible legacy to leave. Reading over all these comments, the message from Jason, and his obituary, I’ve seen how many good things he did in a short period of time. To those who knew him and loved him he is irreplaceable, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Nelson, on behalf of Christina & Jason’s family, thank you for everything you did for them, and how much you loved them and supported them. Your impact will never be forgotten. ~Stacie Armendariz Healy
Edward Salinas: It was a pleasure to have worked with Nelson at Wachovia and a blessing to call him a friend. I share the same feelings and thoughts of all the blogs on what type of person Nelson was and how he led his life. He was truly a great person. Intelligent, Compassionate, Humble and always a pleasure to be around. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.
Justin Hildebrandt: Nelson and I made the transition from college to work at Sapient together. It was so refreshing to have someone I knew from Carnegie Mellon there with me in Sapient Bootcamp and Field Training. I remember Nelson as always being fun and smiling. He had such a wonderful spirit of compassion, always willing to help even in the sometimes competitive workplace, and just an all around great guy. Nelson you will be missed terribly but always live on in fond memories.
Armando: Thank you everybody for the kind words. They have been difficult to read because it reminds me of the great positive life Nelson had. Just when I think I’m strong enough to be happy for an hour, I get overwhelmed with my brother’s death and start crying again. I’m a tough guy and I dare any of you to confront me toe-to-toe on a bad day, but mention another good story about my awesome brother and I become a pathetic mess of emotional slush. I miss and love my brother dearly, but he would want ALL of us to continue in life in his positive manner and in His positive manner. This has been the longest, but shortest, week in my life. I have never had to choose a color for a casket before. Nor a gravesite. I mean, I just had a conversation with my brother!!!!! We’re supposed to meet for MY birthday this Friday!!! We talked about him and Jean coming over for dinner!!! Darnit, this is the longest nightmare I’ve ever been through. At least in a nightmare, I can wake up, but this one continues. Never ceasing. I must lean on my faith to get my through. Faith that my brother didn’t suffer at all, or if he did, that he didn’t suffer too long. I pray and hope he’s holding some super secret clearance with God and didn’t want to tell me he was going back because he couldn’t compromise his position or his mission in life. Yeah, that’s what I’ll stick to from here on out: Super Secret God Clearance. I mean, he gave me hints along the way. For example, he was making payments on the Honda he died in and every month he woutitle the PayPal payment as “Payment for November”, “Payment for December”, then he sent me this: “Payment for whenever”. Go figure that one. Well, he was a super star in my life and in the the lives of others. I will miss my brother forever. -Nelson’s little, but taller, brother
Debbie Garcia: When I think of Nelson, I think way back to a time in Denver, Colorado when Milagros was pregnant with him and just moved to the states from Puerto Rico. I remember the night he was born, Milagros almost giving birth in the back seat of our car (Milagros, remember that yellow and black Comet GT that Carlos used to drive you to the hospital and your water broke?) From that first day we saw him at Fitzsimmons Army Medical Hospital we knew he was special. What a wonderful, beautiful baby….so happy and inquisitive! When I read these blogs, I see that these great qualities served him well in life. I remember when Nelson was a toddler and Milagros babysat for my son. He was my son’s first friend! But, that spot was soon taken by another. Armando came along and they began their lifelong bond of brotherhood that can never be broken. One can easily see how close the family is and I proud to think back to when it all began. Even though time has passed and lives have gone in various directions, Carlos and I hold a special place in our hearts for Nelson Jr., Armando, Nelson, and Milagros. We feel blessed to have known Nelson for the short time we had, and we know that God is holding him close now. We pray for the family that God gives you all strength during this time of your loss. From the outporing of sentiments fom family and friends, Nelson will be greatly missed and the world was a better place with him in it.
Armando: Debbie Garcia - Actually, I was the one born in Aurora, Colorado (Fitzsimmons Army Medical Hospital). Nelson was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. I’ll take all your compliments, though! I am still inquisitive and still (trying) to be happy!
Kalyana Prattipati: I was Nelson’s roommate our senior year at Carnegie Mellon. I have so many great memories of Nelson from that year. So many late nights just hanging out talking about the future. Even back then we all knew that Nelson had a plan for the future and he would be successful no matter what he did. Those conversations and all of the time I spent with Nelson had a profound impact on the way I’ve lived my life since as I tried to be as organized and prepared as Nelson tried to be for every possibility that life threw at him. The world has lost a really great person way too soon. Nelson, you will always be remembered and missed… thank you for all of the great times we had together and all of the great advice you gave me. To Nelson’s family I am deeply saddened by this loss, my heartfelt condolences go out to you.
Damir Trninic: I’ve just heard so sad news. I’ve worked with Nelson on a few Web projects in the last two years. I cannot even remember have we even chat (I’m in Serbia), but I can say from email communication that Nelson was a great guy, very professional and kind. It was my pleasure to work with him. My first impression was that all his hard work was for nothing, he could have spent more time with the family and his friends. However, after reading your kind posts, I know he we simple a great person, with capabilities to work hard but in the same time to live, love and be loved. I have emails when he called me a friend. I’m honored. My friend, let me greet you with “Vecna ti slava”.
Jason Newman: I was only fortunate enough to hang out with Nelson a few times over the last year+. But to meet him was to know how special he was. He was such a warm and likeable person, and, based on the response to this bog, he obviously touched the lives of many people. Our family is extremely happy to be “in law” with the Montalvos. And we share their loss with all our hearts.
Armando: It’s been over a week and I’m still feeling the loss, considerably. I can’t stop thinking about my awesome big brother. My big brother was a very good man. I miss him from the time I get up in the morning to the time I go to sleep. Sometimes I get up in the middle of the night and miss him then, too. I love my brother like mad, but I know all my feelings and all my love for him won’t bring him back. I’ve tried putting together a Google Group to collect details on my brother’s accident, but my attorney politely advised me to squash the effort. I respect my attorney, but I’d like to do something to honor my brother. I’d like to write about my brother and the stories I’ve collected about him, but that’s only a thought. I have a lot of energy (sad and angry energy) that I would like to redirect to a constructive project. Does anybody have any advice on what I can do, or, perhaps, a book I can read to offset this energy?
Kevin Washington: My suggestion Armando… is to sit down and think about what cause Nelson championed the most. Was it animals? Was it poor Africans? Was it hungry americans? Find out what that was and then start a foundation.. a group that focuses on helping those people. Create a website, organize people, start by helping one person or one cat.. then another and another and have those people you help get involved. Let it grow.. and grow. That way, Nelson has a legacy that will live on and on and touch infinite numbers of lives.
Armando: I’ve been having very good dreams of Nelson for the past three nights: My first dream: He showed up and told me he was getting ready to work out. He said he knew about the accident he was in, but didn’t remember what happened. He said not to worry about it because the physical Nelson we knew was NOT him now. He had sparring gloves on and was moving a stationary bike somewhere to use it. That was it… Next dream: It was understood in the dream that when I was with him, we could travel through time, teleport to different places around the world, and at least he could morph into other people. So, he was curious about my experience in Iraq, so we went to the installation I was stationed at (Tallil AB (COB Adder), Iraq), but we went there in the present time or in the near future. The place I went to had many buildings taken down, as if it was being dismantled and decommissioned so I know it was either now or in the near future. Either way, I showed him around. He wore a vest with all kinds of things on it (like smoke and explosive grenades) to “fit in”. Then an officer walked up to me and I saluted him. When I turned to Nelson, he had morphed into another regular looking soldier and saluted the officer, too. He looked around, smiling, asking me questions about the place. It was weird, but that was it for the most part. My last dream, from last night: Nelson took me to another universe or dimension in which he lived through the accident. However, he was in the hospital for some time and eventually released as a partially disfigured paraplegic. He was in a wheel chair for life and could not be a programmer any more. Although he died here in this universe, he indicated that we all had it better in this universe. He also made a reference to him being okay by showing me the right side of his head and face and it was all normal and healthy looking. He smiled and said not to worry about him, that he was okay. He wore his gray beanie cap and seemed to like it a lot. It was understood that he wore it because he’s still here in San Antonio and can feel the cold like we do. Once again, the dream is weird, but the purpose is positive. Those dreams are either good revealing dreams or my body has a way of healing itself from the entire ordeal by designing these dreams for me. I doubt my mind made them up because Jean confirmed many things about Nelson that I could have never known about. If you have any input, please let me know. Thanks. That’s all for now.
H. Lucas: I just found out what happen by an email from Armando. I have not spoke to Nelson since 1991. He and I went to the same middle school. I lost touch with him when his parents had to move (Air Force). I located him in September 08 and chatted with him via email. Wanted to visit with him and catch up since we were now close by. All I can remember is of him in his teenage days. He loved video games, Star Trek TNG, and karate. I still remember playing TMNT and Altered Beast in his living room. He had this 10 speed that he rode everywhere. He was very intelligent and caring person. He will be missed.
Kevin Washington: Dreams are interesting phenomena. Simply put, Science has no “real” explanation for them. However, it does have a few guesses. Quite frankly I wont go into them all, because in all honesty i’ll either weird you out or bore you to tears (whichever should transpire first) but i’ll give you a quick run-down of why your dreams ARE significant in my opinion, why dreams themselves are more than just ‘flights’ of fancy, and why science supports my beliefs. In short, Dreams occur during REM (not the band, although… er.. nevermind) where the body is at a state of absolute rest but the BRAIN is actually functioning at nearly an awake state and in some cases there is more function during sleep for some people than there is when they are awake! (in other words, they seem to use FAR more of their brain in dream sleep than when they are awake normally. There has always been the theory of a collective unconsciousness that floats around. This is some underlying consciousness or energy or whatever you want to call it that connects us all on some level. Some would call it instinct. Some call it a small telepathic link. The collective unconsciousness is usually used to explain things like ‘automatic’ life functions.. like, why we do not have to be taught to walk, or to verbalize or to fear certain things like heights or fire (although some of us toss fear aside as babies and valiantly put our hands where they do not belong anyway, in which case we learn by DIRECT interaction). This may also explain feelings of deja vu or even past lives. Some people supposedly can tap into this more than others. It’s how some people can have the same idea while never having met, or for example the recorded feeling of depression or angst that seemed to spike right before 9/11. Call it what you want, some how humans are connected by an energy. The second thing is, there are MANY dimensions in our universe, not just our reality but infinite other realities. When you choose to eat the salad instead of a chicken sandwich, in another reality you choose the chicken sandwich and in a third you might be allergic to chicken or the chicken eats you. Again i’m keeping these concepts VERY basic because otherwise i’d be typing here all night. If anyone IS interested in being nerded out ad nauseum i’m sure i can arrange to find some free time to smoke a dozen cigarettes in your presence and bore you with the inner workings of what i like to consider a gifted mind trapped in an unappealing body and secured by a vast anchor of insecurity. But anyway.. Energy. The second law of thermodynamics (science 101!) in an isolated system, concentrated energy disperses over time,. Essentially everything gives up it’s energy in the end. The first law of thermodynamics states that energy cannot be destroyed but constantly always exists. Why did i state that in this way? Because if you apply the laws of thermodynamics to the concept of human beings.. the 2nd law states that over the course of our lives we expend our energy.. we are bundles of it.. but at some point, inevitably, the energy will leave our bodies. if you want to call this a soul, go right ahead, you’d be about as right as anyone. The 1st law supports the idea of this ‘soul’ simply because ENERGY cannot be destroyed. So while our BODIES will continue down the path of entropy (which falls under the 2nd law, in which it has to continue to break down and redistribute it’s energy back into the universe from the isolated system of our bodies, to be used by some other life form, the 1st law advises us that our ENERGY.. can NEVER be DESTROYED.. it just returns to the ether.. the universe. So long winded orchestration aside.. Dreams may be the window, the KEY into tapping into a universal ENERGY so to speak.. an etherial plane of infinite realities where all things since the beginning of our universe return to, essentially the Energy that created US returning to it’s origin. My theory is this. In your dreams, you tap into that energy. Thats is what creates dreams. this is why dreams can be fantasies, or tell the future, or warn us of things or play on our fears. It’s a realm of possibilities. Nelson, being returned to God’s realm, his soul now has returned to it’s home, and can freely move about in this energy. Through it, he was able to contact you.. or perhaps YOU contacted him. Long story.. not so short I guess.. Nelson is still out there somewhere doing whatever it is that he’s interested in doing now. But while it feels like a gulf of distance separates you, in reality, he’s always as close as .. well.. a simple dream away.