Remembering

Dewey Winburne

1957 - 1999

A living memorial

  portrait of Dewey Winburne
UPDATE: The annual Dewey Winburne Community Service Awards Ceremony is free and open-to-the-public. This year it will be held on Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 7:00 PM at St. David's Episcopal Church's Bethell Hall. Additional information on the Dewey Awards

It's only appropriate that Dewey be remembered by his friends and family in the digital medium that he spent so much time dedicated to. We've gathered here to share our love, grief, respect, and thanks for the man who gave so much to all of us, but asked so little for himself. May Dewey's gifts to the world and our industry live on here and forever, and may we never forget what he meant to us all.

If you have any stories, photos, or any other media you'd like to submit to remember Dewey by, please email memories@deweywinburne.org .

Friends ask that memorials in honor of Dewey Winburne be sent either to an educational savings fund for Isaac Winburne or to the Winburne Family Fund, c/o 3900 Becker, Austin, TX 78751.

Dear friends of Dewey,

There are so many words I want to express to so many of you. My heart is filled with such gratefulness for your kindness extended to our family. For now I will simply say thank you and offer the following prayer-- a gift from my heart to all of you.

Dorothy Gilbertson-Winburne

  Deep peace of the running wave to you,
Deep peace of the flowing air to you;
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you;
Deep peace of the shining stars to you;
Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you;
Deep peace of Christ the light of the world to you;
Deep peace of Christ.
Scots Celtic prayer
     


With Isaac at SXSW 96

 

Printed in the Austin Chronicle
Tuesday, February 16, 1999

Letter To Dewey's son, Isaac:

We've been thinking about you. We loved your dad too. He was unique. He was tender and smart. He was a dear friend. In our profession, the business of technology sometimes darkens the eye and dulls the heart. Your dad was our shining conscience. He won awards, true. But that 's not what he most sought. By example, he reminded us that the best award is obtained, serving others. He never let us forget, interactive multimedia provides an unparalleled chance to educate, rehabilitate, elevate and liberate. Bless us. Caught up in the daily shadows, we were forever tempted to think it had to do with bandwidth and IPOs. He reflected much more light than he ever knew. He was a fighter of shadows. It's been said that when a soldier falls in battle, blame the war, not the man. Your father was a soldier of faith and light. That is how we remember him. It's also our highest wish for you. That you too will be a soldier of light and faith. A shining conscience.

With love and prayers,
Your dad's friends and colleagues

 

One of my favorite stories regarding Dewey happened sometime in the beginning of the multimedia boom - the early 90's. The good old days. It seemed Austin was a major hub of interactive media production at the time. And there was a real sense of community. I had just started Human Code with some ex-Design Edge folks and we all were pretty excited about what we were doing. That year we finished some projects for Apple Computer, Putnam New Media and the Discovery Channel.

One day, I got a call from Dewey. He asked me if I had heard of the Invision Awards. Of course I had - they were the "Oscars" for multimedia and in fact the first year Design Edge had received an Award of Excellence for a project we had done for NASA. He commented the winners had just been announced - and this I also knew. I proudly mentioned to him we had received a Gold, Silver and Bronze along with the coveted Award of Excellence. He mentioned he too had received an award. In fact, he and Rick Ligas had worked together on a project entitled "Addiction and its Processes" and it won Best of Show. WOW... I was floored.They only give one of these. It meant Dewey and Rick had authored the single best multimedia project in the world that year. What an outstanding accomplishment. Dewey's voice trembled as he told me the details. This truly was a clean sweep for Austin and a special accomplishment for Dewey and the American Institute for Learning. And it was Dewey at his best - for Dewey was a multimedia activist. He believed in the momentum of the new technology and how it would eventually empower and help educate all types of people.

And thank you Dewey for nurturing our community. Thank you for starting SXSW multimedia festival. Thank you for opening your heart and mind to those outside so they can understand our community. And most of all, thank you for who you are -- always bravely standing for what you believed in. You are already missed.

Chipp Walters

 

 


With AIL R&D Team at Invsion Awards


Dewey with Isaac and his father

  I first met Dewey Winburne at AIL when he was an instructor over ten years ago. I watched as he moved into devising some early interactive "tool box" programs for teaching math. I delighted as he invented and developed the new multimedia division of AIL. I was amazed at the development of the "Addiction" laser disk. When it won the "Best of Show" at Comdex, I was there in Atlanta to see him accept the award. I saw there the respect he had from multi-media gurus from all over the country.

I remember all these things, but most of all, I remember Dewey's concern and patience for his students and his enthusiasm for trying new and better ways of doing things. Our world is diminished by his passing to a better place.

Joe Jerkins,
Chair Emeritus,
American Institute for Learning

 

One day dewey set up a meeting to talk about legal and financial matters. we spent the whole day running errands in his van, moving computers and furniture, playing with cd roms and talking poetry, religion, economics and literature. The shoulder bag, the Guatemalan vest, the sparkling eyes, the vortex of people and ideas and passion and purity and spirit; we will never be the same.

Gary Kissiah, Akin Gump

 

 


Dewey, 2nd grade

 


Dewey & Dorothy at their wedding

 

I will always remember Dewey because he gave me my first break in Austin. It was in the fall of 1994 when we met. I had lived in Austin about two months. I was calling on people to ask for help with a multi-media project and someone suggested I get in touch with Dewey Winburne. When we met, he was open and generous. He seemed like a long lost friend. He told me about SXSW and, after finding out I was a videographer, asked if I could help shoot the mutli-media conference. Through Dewey I was introduced to SXSW which opened up contacts within the Austin video market. I am grateful to Dewey for reaching out to me. Dewey continued to be supportive and helpful and I will always appreciate and remember him for that.

Michael Bullington, Freelance Videographer, Salem, Oregon

 

Dewey officed with us for a short time at Virtual Studio. All he brought with him (besides his "purse") was a ratty, old chair; we really didn't even want it in our office. But Dewey had an unique way of seeing value in things that others had given up on -- whether it was a chair, an idea, a student, or a friend.

Collin Cole, frogdesign

 

 


Dewey and Isaac

 


Dewey and the AIL R&D Team

 

Dewey showed up at my office for the first time one day in 1993 - without an appointment of course - and asked to speak to me. I took him out on the front porch, intending to get rid of him as quickly as I could, since I was busy.

He started talking at about 300 words a minute about how SXSW was missing out on all this great new media stuff being done around town, and that we needed to jump on the bandwagon as soon as we could, and how he had an idea for a new event that he could do for us. I told him - stop right there - don't say another word, because I've already thought of this, and we don't necessarily need you to do it.

As it turned out, I was wrong about that. Dewey was a force that would not be denied. He kept on talking. He was really hard to get rid of, and I'm usually pretty good at that sort of thing. After a little while, he captured my interest and we ended up talking for an hour or two.

I didn't know it on that day, but Dewey was going to be a part of my life. And he turned out to be the catalyst for launching the SXSW Interactive Festival. As we got to know each other we discovered that we had a lot in common: numerous friends, similar religious backgrounds, political connections and more. We were from the same tribe, but had never met.

He had a knack for showing up to see me at odd hours during crunch time, and immediately launching into a lengthy discussion of his latest idea, unperturbed by the chaos of putting on SXSW that often swirled around me. His mind able to move in too many directions at once for me to easily follow. I told people that Dewey had the perfect mind for dealing with interactive media because he was nonlinear in his thinking . There was no beginning, middle, or end to Dewey's ideas. They just were.

He was one of those people who just burned too bright; who moved too fast for this world. And now he's left us with a mystery never to be solved: why didn't he know how many people truly cared about him?

Roland Swenson, SXSW Managing Director

 

Meeting Dewey years ago, I was a journalist asking a very brief summary of his current public service project. Two hours later, still listening, I knew I had found a good friend. Dewey always: cared, worked hard, believed, ran late, loved his family and friends, helped anyone/anytime, and brightened our lives. I'm sad he's gone, but I'll always be glad he was here.

Gene Crick, AAMA

 

 


Dewey, Dorothy & Isaac

 


Dewey & Rick Ligas at the Invision Awards

 

Dewey was one of a select few grounded enough to dance in the awkward space between industry, academy, and government. His shared vision of strategic synergy in the Austin new media community was a major factor in convincing us to move MONKEYmedia and the rest of our lives to Austin from San Francisco in 1996. Personally, his friendship is experienced on a daily basis through all of the wonderful people and organizations he's introduced us to, including those at Human Code, Frog Design, the University of Texas, the Austin Children's Museum, and SXSW. His passion for catalyzing collaboration in relationships that could easily fall into competition will continue to inspire us all.

Eric Gould & Janna Buckmaster, MONKEYmedia

 

I remember a few years back getting ready for SXSW...Dewey and I were on the air at KUT-FM promoting the festival one morning. Dewey was speaking about the importance of storytelling in multimedia. He painted a timeless image of people around a campfire, sharing their imagination. Dewey always held the efforts of the interactive community to a higher standard like that... It wasn't about how much money we could make, or how many awards we could get- but about how many lives we could touch. Everyone who has met or worked with Dewey (and there's quite a few), still benefit from the example he gave us- humility, humor, hard work, and boundless optimism.

Craig Negoescu, frogdesign

 

 


Dewey and Dorothy, 1983

 


Dewey at SXSW Interactive, 1996

 

Of Dewey's many memorable characteristics -his shrugged walk, amiable smile, and boundless empathy-- I'll fondly remember Dewey the nonlinear thinker. His was a brain that followed no apparent path, to my constant amazement and occasional befuddlement. Dewey could make a direct connection between Handel's Messiah and a number 10 envelope; this was his incredible creative gift. We, the hyper-logical of this world, will miss Dewey greatly.

Sue Hinton, former SXSW panels coordinator

 

I'll remember with a smile, those times I'd cross his path and he'd have Isaac, his two-man canoe, and fishin' tackle loaded in the van, headed for his favorite fishin' hole. I know Dewey really loves that boy, still.

Dusty Sexton, freelance videographer

 

 


Dewey at Interactive Architex

 


Dewey and Isaac

 

 

So many wonderful experiences come to mind when I think of my "BROTHER" Dewey. His energy, his desire to do good things with multimedia, his nature to share knowledge instead of hoarding it, his special talent of putting a team of disparate members together and keeping those egos in balance. My best experiences have to be all negotiation hoops and hurdles we had to jump through and over to get Microsoft as our first major sponsor to the early years of the Interactive SXSW festival. Even better were our experiences at City Council sessions where Dewey and I were preaching the Wonders of the Multimedia. It was so exciting educating our public officials on the benefits of the multimedia industry for Austin. How we promised them world-wide recognition for Austin, all the undiscovered talent that was here, the promise of new talent, major companies, paying good money would come, if the City would focus on supporting the Multimedia industry. Only those close to Dewey know how many hours he devoted to get the city to pass that first Multimedia Referendum. This industry and City owe him so much for what he did to put us as a leader on the information autobahn. He was truly a mover and shaker, I know I'll miss those wonderful dreamworld discussions. So many many times we pondered the future-What will Austin be like 10 years after the first interactive SXSW festival. I'm even more convinced now than back then that we can exceed Dewey's dreams for Austin. It was my good fortune to work side by side with Dewey on so many things, "BROTHER" we're all going to miss you.

George Cummings AVCA

 

I remember very clearly the first time I met Dewey. It was in 1995. He was extremely well known in the Austin Multimedia community, so I expected him to be arrogant - someone too cool for the rest of us. But much to my delight, Dewey wasn't that way at all. He was genuine, unassuming, and truly philanthropic. He was one of the fathers of Austin multimedia, but more importantly, he was a great person.

Jason Fellman, FG SQUARED

 

 
Dewey growing up with his two brothers.

Dewey, Isaac, friend, and fish.
 

Dewey introduced me to the Austin multimedia community, and by his example and his leadership, showed me how valuable the Austin multimedia community is. He will always represent the best of what multimedia can do. No one in my life has cared more about how to use multimedia to help people.

Jim Butler, City of Austin

 

I met Dewey at the Multimedia conference that later became SXSW Interactive. I recall our first conversation. We were in the trade show, diverse companies showing their wares and filling the air with commerce commerce commerce, but Dewey was talking like a social worker and educator, thinking how the technology could improve the lives of people who don't wake up to sunshine and eggs every day, people whose lives are totally below the radars of most high tech entrepreneurs. Dewey had been a teacher, and I think he hated to see people fail, and was impatient with a system that would toss its failures into the wastebasket and not into the recycling bin. He wanted to use technology to help people. He cared. With Dewey gone, the rest of us should look for ways to make that kind of caring part of the plan.

Jon Lebkowsky, wholefoods.com

 

 
Doing magic tricks for Isaac.

Dewey and Isaac on vacation.
 

The thing I'll remember most about Dewey is that he never stopped working. I ran into him at the park one day with our kids -- Dewey was talking about South by Southwest. Saw him at the Austin Music Awards -- Dewey was talking about the American Institute for Learning. Stopped him in the hall of the Technology Incubator one day -- Dewey was hatching a plan for an ambitious statewide multimedia initiative. Went outside with him during a meeting so he could smoke a cigarette -- Dewey was scheming about the Texas Interactive Media Awards. He was always willing to bring his considerable focus and energy to projects that would bring him no monetary or professional gain. He couldn't help himself -- he was brimming over with good feeling about the world he was in.

Julia Null Smith

 

At the birth of SXSW Interactive, meetings with Dewey could wear me out - he nearly vibrated with energy and ideas. But when the work was dreary, his enthusiasm could carry a roomful of people. And I choose to remember him for his crazy, sprawling vision and his gentle soul.

Mike Shea, SXSW Meeting Planner

 

 
Dewey and Isaac in the bluebonnets.

Four generations of Winburne men.
 

I met Dewey ten years ago when we were both producing interactive videodiscs. Dewey was a little hard to pin down and was always over committed, but each time I saw him, we chatted like old friends. Nothing was ever too big for Dewey and no one was ever too much trouble. Dewey wanted to do it all...he wanted to make a difference. The Dewey perspective, the Dewey style, the Dewey twist...these will be missed.

Pam Knight, Isis MultiMedia

 

I remember the day Dewey enlisted me to go and get this huge paper mache dinosaur out of his backyard, so that it could be in our SXSW staff photo. To this day I have no idea what it had to do with the our event, but he and his son Isaac and friends had spent all day working on it, and so for that reason alone, it was quite important to Dewey. I didn't ask questions... so off we went, in my truck, to put this dinosaur that barely fit into my truck, and unloaded it at the office, and it was part of our staff photo that day, much to the consternation of many SXSW staffers. I remember Dewey as wacky, zany, especially fun loving, but also a very patient, very focused man. Around me, he was always upbeat... he was a master of getting people together for a common cause. I am quite grateful for his involvement in this community and in my life. I will always miss him.

Peggy Ellithorpe, SXSW Volunteer Coordinator

 

 
Dewey and Dorothy's first Halloween.

Dewey, Isaac, Dewey's parents, and grandparents.
 

Dewey just showed up. He attended every multimedia taskforce meeting the Chamber held. He arrived early and stayed late. He always had ideas. He often brought people the rest of us needed to meet. He was the network.

Pete Hayes, Sicola Martin

 

I remember Dewey's help with starting the Texas Interactive Media Achievement Awards in 1997. He was the natural choice to help bridge the gap between SXSW and the Austin Area Multimedia Alliance. Dewey, having worked with both SXSW and AAMA, brought us together and obtained an outstanding venue for presenting the awards. Without his help, we would never have been able to bring the awards program together to make it a much anticipated multimedia event.

David Bluestein, Interactive Internet

 

 
Dewey and Isaac on Father's Day.
   

Dewey always impressed everybody he met. For me, the first time I met Dewey I liked him. He had an open sense of trust and honesty that made those around him more open and honest themselves. After a while, I came to realize that Dewey's personality was not just the way he was, but an actual deliberate attempt on his part to be a better person. His life had not always been easy, and I know he had defeated a drug addiction earlier in his life. Dewey overcame his shortcomings and developed himself into a person that I admired for both his deep and honest religious beliefs, and for the way he presented himself in such a way that made everybody he met a better person, just like he had done for himself.

Vahid Friedrich, former SXSW Interactive Tech Coordinator

 

If Austin is one of the most connected cities in America, Dewey is one of the people most responsible for it. He came to the Telecommunications subcommittee meetings during my term on the city council (1993-1996) and served as our tutor, inspiring us with his uncontainable enthusiasm for the new technology and helping us understand multi-media, the internet and the high-tech revolution that was headed our way. Without Dewey's selfless guidance, I'm certain we would not have understood the importance of trying to provide universal access to the net through a city-wide fiber optic system. Other cities will follow the predictable pattern of providing those services to affluent areas, but thanks to Dewey Winburne, Austin will offer those services to all its citizens.

Brigid Shea, a former Austin City Councilmember

 

   
   

Dewey was a warm, mischievous, heartfelt brother. We worked together, closely, on several projects. He bounced off the walls, drove me nuts, and had trouble sitting still working out details. But he made himself do it anyway because that's what had to be done. He was at his best working a room. He made you feel like you were his best friend, or could be, and he was sincere about that. He was a righteous guy, really. He could be a thoughtful philosopher and he was a Christian, and he made no bones about it. But I never once saw him hold himself above anyone in any way. He believed in God-Everywhere, the Family of Humankind, and he believed in helping other people. He loved his wife and he made it a point to spend time with his son. He knew how important that was. As far as "New Media" serving humanity's highest good, he saw it, and he did it, and was acknowledged for it. But he just couldn't raise the money for the next big step. Somebody with real money (he knew more than a few) shoulda just paid Dewey to be Dewey. Look at all the good he did! But his buds with the cash just couldn't see the payoff (for them) and, of course, Dewey would "wow" them with 45-minute non-stop, hyper-tangential conceptual discourses. I told him to try asking questions and making peace with the silence, he said okay (of course) but Dewey was a preacher. He had a good heart and had to let it come out, and EVERYBODY knew it. He could be so effortless and sweet in front of a crowd. A beautiful guy who loved his friends. As sad as I am to say it, I guess Dewey did what he had to do. I don't know. I do know Dewey loved me. Dewey's lesson for me is to treasure each other now, while we're still here and can touch each other. I know I'll always remember Dewey, right here in my heart.

Jonathan Walker

 

Dewey and I walked downtown Austin one morning in 1996. The subject under consideration was interactive media, a subject on which we pontificated a great deal in those days. It was fun. We were good friends and didn't't mind arguing the relative merits of Macs against PCs, or laserdics versus CDs. It was heady dialog, if I remember. We kicked around the questions of what interactive media should do. Educate. Enfranchise. Ennoble. Enable. Entice. Ahhh. Given a good solid vowel like that, we could rage for hours. As we walked, the conversation would just start rolling, when someone on the street would walk up and interrupt. A young man stumbled forward, thanking Dewey for helping him with a class. Half-a-block later, a woman appeared from nowhere, asking Dewey for a telephone number. Strangers to me, but not Dewey. A few steps more, someone else butted in. I was mildly upset at having been interrupted mid-sentence. And yet they kept coming. Finally, an old man shuffled up.

Where the others had been younger, this old gentleman had skin like a boot and only two teeth in his head. In a snit, I stepped back, hoping Dewey would see I had an urgent sentence in the wings. He smiled in my direction once. He got it. But the old man rambled on. After a moment, I started picking up on what was being said. "I haven't touched a drop in three days Dewey. God's truth. Look!" He held out a relatively steady hand for Dewey to judge. Suddenly, I had a divine rush. An embarrassment from heaven. I took another step back, this time in circumspection. What point did I have to make, more important than this? Interactive media? Jabber as I would, Dewey was a living definition of the subject. His interest in nameless strugglers, revealed divine media. A work-in-progress. That day, while our conversation was on the back burner, I was treated to a resonant, liberated view of interactivity. A vastly expanded view. One I'll hold dear until I die. As those nameless brothers and sisters were enfranchised, ennobled, enabled and enticed the interrupted geek standing two yards back, waiting through clenched teeth got educated.

Floyd Wray

 

   
   

When I was interning at AIL in 1994 Dewey was a constant source of awe and inspiration. He knew everyone, and wouldn't hesitate to introduce me to them. On numerous occasions I'd pull into the AIL parking lot and run into him on his way out. "Jump in!" he'd say, and away we'd go in his van. Once it was to a softball game. Once it was to a cybercafe. Another time it was to a panel at the SXSW film festival. But every time was equally entertaining and educating. After I left AIL I didn't see Dewey that often, but I knew we'd always run into each other. I just felt like our lives were woven together that way. It just isn't the same without that knowledge that Dewey will be right around the corner ready to change my life again.

Patrick Curry

 

Dewey Winburne
A song by Erick Dahl, 3/3/99

Middle of the night you forget about the sun
but it's still gonna rise.
See, there it is,
fractured in these eyes.
Stays cold all evening
and the field at dawn is covered in dew
with a glint of light, diamond bright
for each of you.

You know he believed being linked together makes us sane,
and he was the kind that loved to build that chain.
He always had some shining idea breakin through,
gentle and real as diamonds on the Texas dew.

He told me, "Don't you give up yet I got this idea,
a few more tricks to play.
Just let me think about it,
there's gotta be some way.
Hey I know a guy
who knows a woman
who'll know what to do,
and there's someone else
who needs a hand from you."

You know he believed being linked together makes us sane,
and he was the kind that loved to build that chain.
He always had some shining idea breakin through,
gentle and real as diamonds on the Texas dew.

You know he believed being linked together makes us sane,
And we're the ones that have to fix that chain,
Cause this is where the shining ideas come through
Gentle and real as the glint off a Texas dew,
Gentle and real as the glint off a Texas dew,
Gentle and real as the diamonds in the Texas dew.

   
   

We landed in Oakland, Calif., on the way to my son's piano competition. Last Sunday, we left the airport and headed north into Sonoma County to stay with some friends for a few days before the competition started. It was hinting rain more than threatening but the vegetation was a sodden green, as though drenched.

Sonoma is beautiful. We followed the directions and found ourselves on a winding country road. The deep greens blended into the dark browns as we drove through alleys of trees.Our friends' house, built onto the side of a hill, was stunning. It was surrounded by the rich colors of the landscape rolling down and out from the back porch of the house.

Soon after we arrived and said our hellos, I was on the phone calling the offices to find out what was happening with the Chronicle, but, more importantly at this time of year, SXSW.

Talking on the phone, I was given the message. The colors faded to grey, the landscape leveled off to a thin black line. There was a feeling of nothing and one of pain. I didn't know what to do. My friend, our friend, Dewey Winburne, was dead.

Dewey Winburne first exploded into my life in late 1993. We were working on the first SXSW Film Conference and Festival (held March, 1994). We had already talked about doing a multimedia conference and had geared some of the film conference toward cutting edge technologies. One day we got a phone call. Dewey Winburne had some ideas for some multimedia panels, he had already spoken to Roland Swenson, and was following up with us. Nick Barbaro, Dewey, and I met. Being Dewey, in no time he had us meeting with others. Soon we had a multimedia track that at the first 1994 SXSW Film Conference proved to be as popular as the rest of the conference. The next year SXSW debuted a multimedia conference to complement film and music (Hugh Forrest, working with Dewey, actually ran it).

Driven by Dewey, the idea was that here would be a place for the Austin new media to gather, meet, and interact, and also serve to showcase them to a more national audience. Dewey was all about meetings, about ideas, about connecting. If there were three people in a conversation, Dewey would suggest six projects they could do together in various combinations.

If Dewey had one idea it soon blossomed into a half-dozen more and those ideas all spawned new ideas. The best way to achieve those ideas was to connect people to each other. Dewey did as much of this one-on-one as he could manage but he was always looking for ways to bring more people together. Helping to found the Austin Area Multimedia Alliance was one way. Working with us to create SXSW Interactive was another.

SXSW provided the opportunity to meet the locals he didn't know, to introduce everyone he knew to each other, and to try and attract national attention to our flourishing interactive/new media scene.

Somewhere in there, I started getting to the office early in the morning, long before anyone else. This had to do with dropping my son off at school but it gave me a quiet time in which to work. Dewey began dropping in regularly and we would talk about everything, about SXSW, about family, about his life and his plans. At the time he was riding high on a stunning victory when CD-roms he had produced with his students at the American Institute for Learning won national awards. The future seemed limitless, though Dewey had more than enough ideas to fill it up anyway.

There was a gentle presence to Dewey, something soothing in the love and joy he exuded, as he tried to hide the troubled waters running deep inside him. These mornings were special. Filled with possibility and ideas, Dewey was hot. He knew everybody. Everybody wanted to work with him. There is nothing as exciting as launching a new event and there was a genuine thrill to this adventure.

Over the years, we grew apart. My involvement with SXSW Interactive became marginal as Nick Barbaro and I concentrated on SXSW Film. Dewey, though also a consultant for SXSW, had become more and more involved in his own projects over the last few years. We saw each other rarely. We hugged when we met. There was a deep warmth and real love but no time. We talked hardly at all.

When we did talk the news was not always good. Dewey had so many ideas and so many good ideas. Translating them was not always so easy. Business developments kept getting in the way of vision and possibility. When we did talk he would always speak of his deep love for his family and his excitement about the future.

I was in Sonoma and missed the funeral. Friends estimated over 1,000 people had turned out. If only, in the minutes before it ended, Dewey had called out for those who loved him and cared about him. Certainly, they would have reached out. I know I would have gotten back in the car and headed to the airport if I got that call. There are so many people, all over the country, who would have dropped what they were doing if Dewey somehow had called. Dropped what they were doing and come by to ask how they could help, to say they loved him. Certainly that incredible interconnected community that is spread out over the city and had mostly Dewey in common would have preferred to have gotten together with him alive, rather than at the church after he was gone, to celebrate his life.

Standing there in Sonoma, looking out the window, I remembered Dewey sitting across from me, carrying the bag/purse that was always with him, his eyes alive and his mind going full speed in every direction. Talking like a hippie in a TV show, he radiated affection. The building was usually empty then, but even now, when full, it rarely feels as alive as it did those mornings when Dewey Winburne was going full steam.

Louis Black, editor, Austin Chronicle, from the February 26, 1999 issue.

 

     

If you have any stories, photos, or any other media you'd like to submit to remember Dewey by, please email email memories@deweywinburne.org .

Friends ask that memorials in honor of Dewey Winburne be sent either to an educational savings fund for Isaac Winburne or to the Winburne Family Fund, c/o 3900 Becker, Austin, TX 78751.

Each spring, SXSW Interactive honors Dewey's vision with the Dewey Winburne Community Service Award. This award celebrates the spirit of community in Austin that we think is unique to SXSW.

In December of 2011, Steve Guengerich wrote this lovely article about Dewey and his legacy.