Jan Dithmar Wolter
31 enero , 1959 – 1 enero , 2015
Wolter, Jan Dithmar
Jan Wolter, 55, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, passed away peacefully on Thursday January 1, 2015, surrounded by his life-partner, Valerie Mates, and his brothers Klaus Wolter and Niels Wolter. Jan was born on January 31, 1959 in Ann Arbor. He graduated from Huron High School in 1977, and went on to earn a bachelor's degree, master's degree, and, in 1988, a PhD in computer engineering from the University of Michigan.
Jan was active for much of his life in the on-line community, where he was regarded by many as a voice of reason, calm, and thoughtfulness. He had a gift for saying things clearly, and for thinking through an issue to its resolution. He was a talented programmer who helped create and build many online communities, including M-Net, Grex, and WebPBN. From 1988 to 1995 he was a professor at Texas A&M University. Jan was a teacher who cared deeply about making sure his students understood the material. He was also a devoted father who loved his family and wanted them to be happy. He enjoyed reading science fiction and was working on writing his own science fiction novel. He also enjoyed walking in the park every Saturday morning, in all weather throughout the seasons of each year, with people he knew from on-line on the weekly Grexwalk.
Jan is survived by his life-partner, Valerie Mates, and their three children, Arlo Mates, Kendra Wolter, and Corbin Mates; his brothers Klaus Wolter (Deborah) of Dexter, Michigan; and Niels Wolter (Jill Andersen) of Madison, Wisconsin; his sister-in-law, Olivia Mathews (Alexander) of Newton, Massachusetts, his mother-in-law, Barbara Mates, of New York City; and nieces and nephews Keane Wolter, Kara Wolter, Johannes Wolter, Halle Andersen, Sutton Andersen, Ariana Mathews, Damian Mathews, and Torey Mathews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Reimer and Lotte Wolter, and his sister, Maria Wolter.
A memorial service where people can share their memories of him will take place at Cobblestone Farm on Sunday January 11, 2015, at 2:00 p.m.
Some options in lieu of flowers: • Take a CPR class, and keep your CPR certification up to date over the years. • Make a donation to Food Gatherers in his name. • Make a donation to the Specialty Food Pantry at Jewish Family Services in Ann Arbor in his name. • Make a donation to the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum in his name. • A group is looking into putting a bench in Gallup Park on the Saturday Morning Walk route, with a plaque remembering Jan.
- Memorial Service & Gathering domingo, 11 de enero, 2015
Jan Dithmar Wolter
¿TIENE UN RECUERDO O UNA CONDOLENCIA QUE AÑADIR?AÑADIR UN RECUERDO
RECIBA ACTUALIZACIONES CUANDO SE PUBLICAN NUEVOS RECUERDOSRECIBA ACTUALIZACIONES
27 enero, 2017 20:51:12
Valerie...look at the people who keep writing about their experiences with Jan. What a legacy...a legacy that the the two of you created. You have no idea how much I love/admire you both. I hope you are moving forward...you know Jan would want this...large boots to fill for both you and the children.
26 enero, 2017 07:10:23
Rest in peace, sir.
13 agosto, 2016 00:19:54
I am one of Dr. Wolter's students in Texas A&M University. I am so sorry to just realize he passed away in 2015. I still remember him as an open-minded, smart, and patient professor with interests in many different areas. I didn't stay in touch with him much after I left TAMU. I hope he was happy chasing his passions in life all those years.
21 abril, 2016 18:55:06
Wow, just found out today after being away from Grex for some time. he was always so nice to me. So sorry to hear about this.
16 febrero, 2016 00:34:29
As a former student of Dr. Wolter at Texas A&M University, I've known him as a wonderful teacher and extremely kind and generous person. When he ordered two SPARCstations, one colored and one b&w, he gave his 3 funded students, me included, the colored one and kept the b&w one for himself. Wish I had produced better works for him. Sorry Dr. Wolter, hope you can still hear me. Came to know about this only 3 days ago. Very sad!
20 enero, 2016 18:56:44
I just wanted to say thanks for your great work in the world of programming
Jack Maessen form the Netherlands
27 noviembre, 2015 00:00:20
I have no idea who this man was, but he seems awesome! May you find peace, Jan.
8 febrero, 2015 13:16:01
you left so suddenly and unexspected- and that on 1st of January 2015!
Whereever you may be now, send my regards to Lotte, Raimer and Maria.
Your cousin across the Atlantic Ocean, Henriette Schlote.
4 febrero, 2015 22:13:30
I've been thinking on what to say and I still haven't really come up with anything reasonable. I can only say that Jan was a great person and leaves a great hole with his passing. I know you will pull through, Valerie. Hugs.
26 enero, 2015 20:17:02
So sorry for your loss. Much love. Jan will be missed.
23 enero, 2015 13:28:04
12 enero, 2015 19:01:11
I have never known a better community than that founded by Jan. He promoted kindness and helpfulness, and was unbelievably generous with his time. I am so sorry for his family and community. He benefited so many people, and asked nothing in return.
11 enero, 2015 18:35:52
I will hold your family in the Light. Much love to all of you. I'm so sorry for the loss of a kind man.
11 enero, 2015 13:51:35
Jan and I shared an office as research assistants to Prof. Richard Volz at the University of Michigan. I enjoyed and learned much from our long discussions about everything. He was brilliant but modest and always willing to help. My deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones.
9 enero, 2015 19:48:46
Valerie, I am so sorry for your loss and offer my prayers to you and your family. Through Jan's genius and gift of his puzzle website, he has enriched many, many people's lives. May he rest in peace.
9 enero, 2015 15:07:59
I knew Jan through junior high at Tappan and on to Huron high school in Ann Arbor. Ocasionally I would run across his Internet writings and would think back to the days when two guys who seemed to like the scientific world and what those impressionable years would hold for us in the future. I know he has made an impact on how we use and see the power of the Internet. It's always a shock when you see the name of a friend from long ago who has left this sector and moved on. My son's are now at the University of Michigan studying computer engineering. I hope that they can impact the world and information systems as well as develop the strong friend base Jan has done in his all too short years. My thoughts are with your family during this time.
9 enero, 2015 02:51:07
Jan's webPBN has always been a good place to destress, and it has developed a virtual community that is just as strong as a physical one. He will be missed by us all. I admired Jan's measured and considered opinions, and his restraint in administering WebPBN. He always thought about what he wrote. And even though he did so much for us and our community, I know we have the poorer claim to him. My sympathies go to you and your family.
8 enero, 2015 13:22:01
Valerie, I am so, so sorry. Jan's passing is a terrible loss for everyone whose life he touched. His gift to the webpbn community went far beyond just sharing a fun puzzle program. He always encouraged us to go out and make the world a better place. May you find peace and comfort in the love of those near to you.
8 enero, 2015 07:35:56
My thoughts are with you Jan!
I have fond memories of working with him.
7 enero, 2015 17:32:26
Dearest Valerie, Kendra, Arlo and Corbin we are in Illinois but think warmly of you in this trying times. As we witnessed at AALC you have a solid family unit and we believe in your capacity to recover.. independently and together. I have seen Jan at the last talent show and since I did not meet him personally I can only say - he was a handsome person with a certain positive energy radiating about him. May his spirit live on trough things he taught you all ! Stoica family,Downers Grove,IL
7 enero, 2015 16:31:03
Both of you had such faith in me during a very experimental part of my DIY career, and I will forever be grateful. I am very lucky to have met Jan, and I know the Ann Arbor community has been made better by his presence.
7 enero, 2015 16:08:21
It's been inspirational getting to know Jan from his website and the stories of family and friends. He was a unique treasure and will be missed by many. Prayers of Peace for the whole family and all those he touched in life.
6 enero, 2015 21:52:04
I'm sorry I didn't get to know Jan better, but I can tell what a kind, generous and influential man he was by the comments here. To Valerie, Klaus, Debbie, Niels and all his family & friends: I'm so sorry for your loss.
Jan & Cheryl Bachman
6 enero, 2015 19:15:31
Klaus and Debbie,
Our thoughts are with you.....
Jan & Cheryl Bachman
6 enero, 2015 19:13:57
Klaus and Debbie,
Our thoughts are with you.
6 enero, 2015 16:00:13
I am so sorry, Valerie. May you and your children have peace and know that Jan is also at peace.
6 enero, 2015 15:23:08
My sincere sympathies to Jan's family--I never met him but feel I know him from the Webpbn site.
6 enero, 2015 10:05:34
Jan touched so many lives that it is hard to state his impact. The world will be less without him.
5 enero, 2015 09:12:46
I was very surprised and sorry to hear this. Jan was one of the smartest and most thoughtful people I ever met.
5 enero, 2015 01:06:08
To Valerie and your children: internationally Jan will be missed but not as much as locally includng all of us on GREX and M-NET, past and present. I've very rarely known a more creative and compassionate person. We all know how wonderful he was from coding to walks to everything else he touched. We can;t feel as hurt as you do but it comes very close anyway. At antime you can count on me to assist you four in any way needed or wanted. alsohurt,ts
(inside joke - glad he dated you and not me)
4 enero, 2015 16:25:50
I first met Jan in Kindergarten. While we have not been in touch for a long time, it's still hard for me to imagine a world without janc in it. I guess it always will be.
4 enero, 2015 13:28:40
so sad to learn of Jan's passing prayers to you Valerie!
4 enero, 2015 10:17:51
Thank you, Jan, for sharing the world of WebPBN. May you rest in peace.
4 enero, 2015 07:21:42
I suspect it will be a very, very long time before I don't miss Jan while on a Saturday morning walk. He was special in so many ways.
4 enero, 2015 03:30:55
He was the father of Grex, and in a way he was the father of my first steps on the internet. How come? Well, in those text based days a colleague of mine wanted to introduce me to internet and he said I know some discussion platform in Ann Arbor, that might be a first step. Where? Little did he know that Grex would become a daily habit. Grex was the medium that made me get rid of most of my prejudices against Americans. Grex - the people there - made me go there too, all the way from Netherlands, just to meet Grexers, on three occasions. In 1998 Valerie and Jan hosted me for a couple of days. I introduced them to salty wine gums (without the sweet and with the salt): black Dutch treats. They were the loviest hosts. I loved Jan's tongue in cheek sarcastic eloquence. His diction often made me grin, and was often pot on. Grex and me grew apart, but Jan and Val never left my heart, so we friendend in Facebook. Even from 4000 miles (or about), he will be missed. My condoleances, Valerie. All strength and wisdom for you and your loved ons. XX, Cleese
Stephanie (Staci) Fields (AndrÃ©)
4 enero, 2015 02:19:59
I cannot remember a time in my life without Jan and Valerie. They were kind to the child in a room full of adults, raised my unexpected guinea pigs, and let me watch their own kids when I was older. Jan gave me the best marriage advise I've yet to receive, probably without knowing it. I will always appreciate his calm and collected, yet unwaivering, approach to defending what he believed in. His legacy lives on in an amazing woman and wonderful children. I am so sorry for your loss, Valerie. My heart is with your family.
Raymond Fuller Jr
3 enero, 2015 22:16:15
I only "knew" Jan through his website. He gave me hours of relaxation and relief from stress. He will be missed.
3 enero, 2015 21:06:47
Our deepest sympathy to you Valerie, and to your children. You are good neighbors and we will miss seeing Jan sitting in the driveway, reading and watching Corbin, among other things. We are here for you all if you should need us. Much Love to you all.
3 enero, 2015 20:53:35
Condolences to Jan's family. I am part of the Webpbn community and am very sorry to hear of Jan's passing. His creative genius and generosity has truly reached a global community. His legacy is far reaching.
3 enero, 2015 20:37:12
I believe we change the universe hour by hour with the positive and negative energies we send out. Over the years, Jan's gift of webpbn has consistently glowed with friendship and good will...all because of his idea, his work and his care of it and us. Valerie, you, Jan and your children are in my thoughts and prayers. People all around the world share your grief.
3 enero, 2015 20:05:30
Jan built a wonderful web site and community. I'm sorry for your loss, Valerie.
3 enero, 2015 19:26:44
30 years of his sense of humor and creative commentaries ala pixels. Jan took the ego out of IRC as he did with most of his inventions. I hope a real AI can bare his name one day. Best to you from me.
3 enero, 2015 17:06:56
It's amazing how one can be saddened by the death of someone one has never met in person. Jan's contributions to the world of puzzling with WebPBN and the community he has brought together there will serve to be his lasting legacy. My deepest condolences.
Mary Jo Hausmann
3 enero, 2015 16:04:24
A great loss!
May his family and children find confort in his legacy!
3 enero, 2015 13:14:43
Jan also had a forgiving heart. I experienced it first hand a couple of years ago. He will be miss daily seeing I'm another one of the pbn members and one of his contest judges. My prayers for the family.
3 enero, 2015 12:18:46
His genius created an amazing community of good friends on webpbn. We will miss him. My sincere condolences to his family.
3 enero, 2015 07:25:00
My condolences to you and your family. Jan brought pleasure to so many through webppn.He touched lives in such a positive way across the globe.
3 enero, 2015 02:39:56
Valerie, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in this time of loss. Jan's selfless and generous gift of Webpbn.com to the world made a difference in my life and I will forever be grateful to him for that. Thank you, Jan, for sharing. May you rest in peace.
3 enero, 2015 01:16:37
Much love and healing light for your family in this time of grief.
3 enero, 2015 00:24:11
Valerie, I am deeply sorry for your loss. Jan was a great and good man. I'd fallen out of touch over the last few years but knew him as insightful, compassionate and warmly humorous.
2 enero, 2015 22:09:08
Much sympathies to Valerie and all of Jan's family and friends. A great loss. His online creation gave hours and hours of pleasure.
2 enero, 2015 21:20:31
Deepest condolences to Valerie and your children at this time of devastating loss. I didn't know Jan personally but his gift of webpbn brings me so much enjoyment that his legacy will live in that respect among many others for so many people. Rest now, Jan.