A few weeks ago, an article about an old professor and mentor of mine, Christian Navarre, hit the homepage of the University of Ottawa. He was being featured for the great work he was doing with his Car Internet Research Program, a research program that looked at how the Internet affected the automobile industry.
I was one of Professor Navarre’s employee back in 2004, and when I saw the article, I thought to myself: “It’s been a heck of a long time since I’ve been in touch. I should email him, see how he’s doing, and how his life is going.”
Then I put that aside in my to-do list and kind of forgot about it.
Yesterday, a different kind of article about Professor Navarre hit my Twitter stream: the news of his passing, at 66 years old, after having battled cancer.
This news hit me like a ton of bricks. Even though I had not spoken to or seen Professor Navarre in almost 6 years, I could not believe that this man, who gave me a job after graduation so I would not have to go back to France, who mentored me in and outside of the classroom, was gone forever, without me actually getting the chance to talk to him again, and to tell him how thankful I was for his help and advice back then.
I will always regret to reaching out to Professor Navarre before his death and expressing my gratitude. I just hope that wherever he is, he knows.
Rest in peace, Christian.