In Memory of Tony Nelson by Adam Clapinski
I first met Tony as a junior developer at Target in 1999, he was my first boss. I didn’t know that 20 years later I would still be working alongside him to the end.
Over the years Tony became a teacher, mentor and friend to me.
He was a brilliant developer – articulate, with an amazing attention to detail and love of learning new things. There wasn’t much he couldn’t create given the time, he built some amazing pieces of software while at Target (TIR – or Tony’s IP Requester).
But it is the other things that Tony taught me that I cherish the most – things that he wouldn’t have known he was teaching me.
His calmness when the pressure was on, he never got flustered.
His loyalty – he would always have your back if something was going wrong.
And the trust he showed in me and others gave us the confidence that we could do anything.
But most importantly for me it was the way he treated other people. Everybody got treated with the same kindness, patience, empathy and respect no matter what. He would never talk badly about anyone.
I wasn’t completely sure what to make of him at first, he’d never really give much away back then unless he really knew you.
But once you had his trust and he was comfortable around you, Tony would be somewhat of an open book.
Over the years the guys in our team would hear all of the stories of his life – the good and the bad. His bushwalking adventures, his love of his dogs, his passion for motor bikes, the Geelong Cats, his days in the army and finding God.
He was never ashamed to talk of any disappointments in his past – those were what made him.
But more than anything he loved talking about his family. When he met Christine his life changed in the most spectacular way. You could feel the joy in his voice when he returned from his first trip to Uganda when he told us “I’ve met someone”. The smile on his face said it all.
Prior to that time, Tony would not have dreamed he would come to have such a full and rich life – married with 4 beautiful children, they were his life. Being a dad and a husband was what he lived for and he was a natural at it.
They are his greatest pride.
Thanks for everything Tony. Catch ya later Dude.