Update below: Some mornings stink. I had gone offline for a few hours Saturday to wake up this morning to find that Russell Shaw died. At this point, I'm just stunned.
Dan and I were emailed by Russell's girlfriend Ellen, but details are still sketchy (see Techmeme). He died on March 14 in a hotel room. Like Marc Orchant, Russell, who covered VOIP, broadband and Research in Motion for ZDNet, passed without a hint that something was wrong. He was always quick with a joke and as Matthew Miller noted was an enthusiastic blogger.
To lose two people in the ZDNet family in just a few months is shocking. In fact, Russell, who just turned 60 in November, was on his way to cover the Emerging Technologies Conference and VON. The last note I got from him was this.
In san jose hotel. After three planes, from alabama have come down with something.
Resting now posts to resume later today or tomorrow
Russ Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
It sounded like the same bug we've all had for the last week. And then last night about 6:45 p.m. EDT, I got an email from Russell's girlfriend saying he passed away. He never made it to VON. She's trying to contact people at VON and the other show he was going to attend. His funeral will be held in Florida.
I'll update as we find out more. Rest in peace Russell. I'm just shocked. We've lost another one.
Update: Talked to Ellen. She said that Russell's funeral will be a week from today (March 23) in Florida, but didn't have much more detail than that at the moment. It's also unclear what caused Russell's death, but "he wasn't feeling well at all Thursday night" and "he thought he could sleep it off." We'll pass along more details about the funeral home and other items as we get them.