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Tribute to Dr. Robert Blokzijl 1943 - 2015

Mirjam Kühne — 02 Dec 2015
Contributors: Fergal Cunningham
Dr. Robert Blokzijl, RIPE Chair Emeritus and founding member of the RIPE community, died aged 72 on 1 December 2015. If you would like to leave a message of condolence or your own memory of Rob, please post it at the end of this page and we will pass it on to his family.

 

 

The Internet community has suffered Rob Blokzijl a sad loss as the man who led RIPE during its first 25 years of bottom-up, consensus-driven collaboration and decision-making died at his home in the Netherlands.

As one of the founders of RIPE in 1989 and the Chair of the RIPE community for 25 years since then, Rob Blokzijl personified all the attributes that have seen the community grow into such a positive force for bringing together those who care about the development of the Internet.

Rob’s roots were in the high-energy physics community, and earlier in his career he worked at the High Energy Physics Institute in Amsterdam and later at CERN in Geneva. He helped to build the computer networks that were essential for that branch of science. His work in this area would inform much of his contribution to the burgeoning IP networking community in Europe in the early 1980s.

Over the past 30 years, Rob has established a global reputation as a leader and a pioneer, respected for his work with organisations such as RIPE, the RIPE NCC, AMS-IX, ICANN, Nominet and NATO.

In 1989, Rob was co-author of the RIPE Terms of Reference, which stated, “The object of RIPE is to ensure the necessary administrative and technical coordination to allow the operation and expansion of a pan-European IP network.” In his role as the Chair of RIPE, his vision, expertise and effort were essential for the tremendous growth and spread of this world-respected forum, which acted as a model for many subsequent community organisations.

Rob was also one of the key figures in creating the RIPE NCC (RIPE Network Coordination Centre), the body responsible for managing the IP address space in Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia and coordinating the technical community in those regions. The RIPE NCC was the first Regional Internet Registry in the world, and this model has become the accepted way to organise the Internet infrastructure in a more regionally specific, responsive and efficient way.

Rob had a particular talent for being able to engage with all elements of the Internet community, from government and experienced operators to more recent members of the RIPE community to whom he could impart his insight and wisdom on the issues of the day. He brought much common sense to otherwise complicated discussions in the Internet community, and his mantra of “keep it simple” is one that he will be remembered for.

Those who knew Rob personally will miss his sense of humour. He was a storyteller with an outstanding ability to recall and relate the events from his working life, which not only amused his listeners but also enlightened them and informed their discussions. The recent RIPE 71 Meeting was the first not to be attended by Rob due to his illness, and so it was the first where he was not to be found with a cigarette and glass of wine in hand, enjoying the company of those who typically gathered outside the venue entrance to talk about serious matters in a very non-serious way.

His contributions were often officially recognised, notably in receiving Dutch royal honours by being awarded with the title Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau in 2010. He also received the Jonathan B. Postel Service Award in 2015 for outstanding contributions in service to the data communications community. Since standing down as RIPE Chair in 2013, he has enjoyed the title RIPE Chair Emeritus.

To many of us in the RIPE community and beyond, Rob was a mentor, a friend, a trusted confidante and always the voice of reason. His legacy stretches from the physical networks the Internet is made of to the community he built and the wisdom he injected into that community’s make-up from the very beginning. His legacy will continue to be felt as the community continues to grow and its participants often ask themselves, “What would Rob do?”

You can leave your own tribute to Rob below

 

Biography

Robert "Rob" Blokzijl was a founding member of Réseaux IP Européens (RIPE), the European open forum for IP networking. From its foundation in 1989, he was spokesperson for this forum until 2014. He was instrumental in the creation of the Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC) in 1992 as the first Regional Internet Registry (RIR) in the world. Prior to this, he was active in building networks for the particle physics community in Europe.

Rob graduated from the University of Amsterdam (1970) and holds a doctorate in experimental physics from the same university (1977). He was employed by the National Institute for Subatomic Physics (NIKHEF) in The Netherlands.

Rob was also selected for the ICANN Board by the Address Supporting Organization. He served on the ICANN Board from October 1999 until December 2002.

He was a member of the Board of Nominet, the organisation that serves as the registry for the .uk domain, one of the largest country-code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs).

At the RIPE 67 Meeting in October 2013, Rob announced his resignation as Chair of RIPE after being in the position for 25 years.

202 Comments

Nigel Titley says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:08 AM
A sad day for us all. Rob will be sadly missed.
cagdas says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:10 AM
allah rahmet eylesin. RIP
Shuja says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:13 AM
may God bless his soul. Indeed its a loss for the technical community world wide.
Dmitry Burkov says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:18 AM
We lost friend, mentor, leader...
Gert Döring says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:18 AM
Thanks, Rob, for all you've done for the Internet at large and RIPE in particular. We will miss you. Rest in peace.
Lu Heng says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:18 AM
Below is an Email I sent to Rob yesterday, 1st December 2015 after learned he is leaving us, he might never see this Email, but I will remember him as time goes, and I post this Email here to remembering him.

Hi Rob:

As I have learned from Nigel, you are leaving us, I am not sure if you will ever read this Email, but I simply afraid that if I don't sent it now, maybe you will never able to see it.

You have always been a nice person to talk to, even I was very first time in Ripe meeting back almost 7 years ago, you ware very nice talk to me for long time and tell me about how things works here in the community. You are very open about the process, and you are very good mentor.

I agreed almost everything you have said, Ripe ncc is a bookkeeper and not an governing body, a collective spirit of the internet, an open transparent internet and a free internet. I believe you are very important part of internet as I know it today, and I believe you are very important in safe guarding internet from government interference as well.

I am still learning and I will remember what you have told during the years, I am 27, Ripe was created at the year of my birth, I believe some of your spirit, your thought, and your wishes about the future of the internet, are survived by me and by many people like me, and most importantly, the community you built over last 27 years,

I wish you got chance to read this, and truly hope, if possible, I will see you one day healthy again.
Darren Marshall says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:19 AM
Sad news indeed , I met Rob on many occasions and enjoyed his company and his sense of humour greatly, one example being when I met him to conduct a site survey for a router install at AMSIX in the late 90's. On the question of power availability at the facility, Rob took me over to the window and pointed out the building housing the onsite particle accelerator - Yes we have enough power was his response. Enough said.
RIP Rob, thoughts are with you, your family and friends and all in the RIPE community who were lucky enough to work with you.

Darren
Javed Vohra says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:19 AM
Sad news. His presence in the community will be greatly missed.
Mike Hughes says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:21 AM
A pleasure to have known you, an honour to have worked alongside you. Farewell Rob.
Ray says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:24 AM
Rob can not be forgotten, let the community continue to do its work like he did, and in that way honour him.
Paolo Primiani says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:25 AM
we are close with his family pain
RIP
Roberto Nunin says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:25 AM
Never had the opportunity to met Rob, but facts spoke on behalf of him. RIP Rob
Jan Zorz says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:25 AM
Sad day for all of us. We lost a dear friend and Internet lost one of pioneers. You will be dearly missed, Rob... Last time we met was in Prague, just before you received the Postel award. Did not imagine that on that day I talked to you for the last time. R.I.P.
Carlos Friacas says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:28 AM
We lost a true leader, a key person in the Internet's global evolution.

I remember i once sat down in the same table with Rob at a RIPE meeting dinner in Amsterdam, and that's the only time we had a small chat.
I also remember him happily dancing just outside a RIPE meeting (my 1st, back in 2001) social event venue in Prague.

R.I.P.
Jan Zorz says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:29 AM
Sad news was also properly addressed at Afrinic23 opening plenary in Pointe Noire, Congo by chairman of the board mr. Sunday Folayan, followed by standing minute of silence.
Peter Beletsky says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:30 AM
RIP
Lesley Cowley says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:31 AM
I am so sad to hear this news & send sincere sympathies to his family and many friends. I remember several years with Rob when he was on the Nominet Board, where he was a calm voice of practicality and reason at a time when we were going through our first episode of growing pains.

I also fondly recall a lovely day with him and Lynn post the RIPE meeting in Rhodes, where due to an air traffic controllers strike we had to stay an extra day. At the time, I was really upset to be missing my son's party as a result. Rob and Lynn took it upon themselves to organise a day of memorable sightseeing. They were such great company and we had a lovely day of sun and history together.
Andreas Wittkemper says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:33 AM
We will miss you. ...
Hans Petter Holen says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:33 AM
My thoughts go back to the first RIPE meeting I attended at NIKEF.
Rob, quickly put me to work as scribe in one of the working-groups, and from then I was drawn into the community.

I will miss his concise interventions when discussions go off the track, and cheerful chats in the corridors and at the social events.

What would Rob have done, is a question I have found myself asking, and I could always get an answer from Rob.

But not any more.

Rob, you will be greatly missed - but also remembered for a long time to come in our community.

Internet in our part of the world would not have been the same without you.

Hans Petter
Erik Bais says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:34 AM
Dear Rob,

As a chair, friend and mentor in our community, you will be missed.

Thank you for all the work you have done.

Rest in peace.

Erik Bais
Evert says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:34 AM
May he rest in peace, thanks for all your work Rob!
Petr Didenko says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:34 AM
Huge loss. RIP.
Denesh Bhabuta says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:41 AM
Rob, your friendship, mentorship, help, advice and encouragement will always be cherished. What you did for the Internet community is second to none. It was a real honour knowing you. A sad day indeed. We will miss you. Love and peace.
Michal Krsek says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:44 AM
It is huge loss for community. Rob will be missed.

Elmar K. Bins says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:45 AM
Rob,

thank you for being the much-needed guiding light and down-to-earth realist.
RIPE will not be the same without you.

Elmar.
Valentino Cavalli says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:48 AM
today is a sad day for the community of European Research and Education Networking, which has lost one of his pioneers, a person who had strong ties with TERENA and its predecessor RARE and had a strong passion for Internet technology and networking, and who was royally decorated as Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau, which shows his tremendous value to the networking community and beyond.

In this sad moment we are close to his colleagues and family.

Valentino Cavalli
GEANT
Bert Wijnen says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:49 AM
This is really sad news.

Rob, thanks for all the work you did for our community.
Rest in peace, and I wish family and friends a lot of strength with this loss.

Bert
Alexey Platonov says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:50 AM
Rob, your friends from rosniiros and msk-ix will miss you ...
Brian Nisbet says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:53 AM
It is difficult to conceive of a RIPE community without Rob.

I remember him being so welcoming at my first meeting many years ago, never too busy to stop and talk, never not willing to give up time to bring new people fully into the community. He had the wonderful ability to ask the most incisive question, to cut to the heart of a problem and force those present to really think about the matter at hand. You always knew that when Rob stepped up to the microphone or grabbed you for a moment that you were going to have to be on top of your game!

On a much more casual note, I fondly remember chatting to Rob at RIPE 66 in Dublin, trying, once again, to get him to read some Terry Pratchett books, a conversation which had been ongoing since I discovered Lynn was a big fan.

It is hard to conceive of the community without him, but he leaves us all a huge legacy and, in truth, we will not be without him while that legacy lives on.

May he Rest in Peace.
Christian Kroeger says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:55 AM
This is a sad day for our community.

Rob has been one of the anchors of our community for a long time.
Although i only met him a few times, this makes me sad to hear.

Rest in peace
Christian
AD says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:56 AM
Rest in peace.
Dmitry Morozovsky says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:56 AM
It is the great loss.

Far thee well, Rob. You won't be forgotten.

-D.
Antonio Prado says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:57 AM
So sad that you left our community.
I want to remember you smiling with a glass of red wine in your hand during a dinner in Amsterdam.
Good bye
Ruben van Staveren says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:59 AM
Rob, thank you for bringing this band of people together, resulting in an inspiring community that RIPE still is today. This will not be forgotten
Kurtis Lindqvist says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:00 PM

Rob,

thank you for your work and contributions to RIPE, the RIPE NCC and the general Internet through tireless work and enthusiasm. I will keep many fond memories of discussions, RIPE dinners, RIPE WG-Chairs lunches and many many laughs over the years.

- kurtis -
Arnold Nipper says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:01 PM
RIPe ... I always admired your diplomacy when needed, your passion moving things forward, your kindness and your deep sense for humor. Pretty much sure we will meet again in hell/heaven of networking! You didn't leave us, you just went first! As always!
Nina Bargisen says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:01 PM
Rest in Peace, Rob
V. Volovik says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:03 PM
Huge condolences to the family and all the staff from the company "TuraTelekom" and from me personally.
Technical director of "TuraTelekom"
Sander Steffann says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:04 PM
I have learned a lot from Rob in the 11 years that I have been involved in the RIPE community. Thank you Rob for everything you have done. You will be missed.

Sander
GA says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:09 PM
I met Rob a few times long time ago, and I will always remember him as an enthusiastic Ripe community chairman.
Rest in peace
Axel Pawlik says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:09 PM
"This is not how we do things at RIPE!" is one of those sentences that embody Rob's inimitable style of running the show.

I remember having my head set straight once, early on in my time at the NCC, during RIPE 36, I think. It might not have been a comfortable experience, but one that stuck with me for the better. Over the years, I received a lot of sound guidance from Rob. As his presence became lighter over recent months, we regularly asked ourselves "How would Rob handle this?" And usually things became clearer quickly.

Rob will remain a guiding light for me, and he certainly will live on in this wonderful community he had such a great part in building.

Adam Beaumont says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:10 PM
I've been lucky to have known Rob for as long as i've known the internet. A cornerstone of the community, a friend, a mentor. His sense of humour will live on in the community. Rest in Peace Mr Blocks.
Kristian Rastas says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:11 PM
So sad news, I can not believe this is true. Knowing Rob almost 19 years and meeting him in all the meetings, I remember his intelligence, friendliness, warmth, common sense and good humor among other virtues. Amsterdam 2015 was then the last time we had chance to meet and discuss.
Huge loss for the RIPE community and to all his relatives and loved ones.
You will be missed but not forgotten Mr RIPE.
Blake Willis says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:14 PM
Rust in vrede Rob. Bedankt voor al je harde werk. We zullen je missen!
Darko Bulat says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:17 PM
I met Rob in early 90's when TCP/IP and internet were not widely known, yet alone popular, and hopes were firmly in X.25/X.400/FTAM universe. Few of us "believed " in internet and the inherent resilience of the TCP/IP stack. Those were the days when TCP/IP was "something american" and "not to stadnards" ("standard" being ISO/OSI) and promoted through some obscure entities like "EUNET" even through said X.25. And that's how internet won. And Rob was one of the persons who helped along. He will be missed and remembered! R.I.P.(E).
yasar maymak says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:17 PM
Allah Rahmet Eylesin
Dorin says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:17 PM
R.I.P.
Tassos says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:20 PM
 Rest in peace.
Alan Barrett says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:31 PM
Rob was a true leader, and he will be sadly missed. Earlier today, during the opening ceremony of the AFRINIC-23 meeting in Pointe Noire, Congo, we held a minute's silence in his honour.
Michele McCann says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:31 PM
Rest in peace. Will never forget Rob's guidance and being so welcoming! He was the first person to introduce us at our first Ripe meeting to the legendary whiskey boff and life has never been the same since.
Michiel Leenaars says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:32 PM
I've had the pleasure of meeting Rob Blokzijl many times. He was a prominent member of ISOC already when I joined, and a loyal visitor to events. Despite his respectable age Rob was always still thinking ahead, and how to improve things - a personal trait that may be linked to his physics and engineering background. Rob almost never failed to attend the annual Internet New Years event, and was generous in sharing his thoughts about what the future would bring to the internet - on stage during Chairpersons Debates and talking to one individually.

This year in January he could not attend, and we exchanged new years greetings by email. It is sad to know that next year he will not be around. k13 will be missed...
Eva says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:33 PM
It's been a pleasure and honor to have known Rob. My sympathies is with Lynn and family in this difficult moment. We will miss you but not forget you Rob!
Antoin Verschuren says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:36 PM
This is sad news. I will miss the moments with Rob when we stood outside in any place in the world smoking a cigarette. I have learned from Rob how to look at things in perspective, and he was allways friendly and warm. I will miss his anecdotes from the years long passed.
Rust zacht Rob.
Stephen Dyer says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:37 PM
Gentle Rob was one of the most powerful people in the internet community and his influence came from his personality, insight and sense of what was good. I hope that in RIPE we can foster a philosophy which will continue and promote his practical non-judgemental approach.
He was one of the giants on whose shoulders we little people stand.
I miss him.
Daniel Kalchev says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:54 PM
Rob was one of the Internet pioneers I come to know from the times when RIPE was created and Europe led the way. Always a very balanced, but never giving up on anything -- Rob had enlightened the way for many. A true leader who did not insist to live under the limelight.

Every meeting with Rob was a blessing and I feel ashamed for missing many where he personally invited me.

Rest in pease, Rob. Your legacy will live on.
Elisabeth Porteneuve says:
02 Dec, 2015 12:58 PM
Gentle and wise Rob, one of very founding fathers and mothers of the European part of the Internet, and God knows how difficult it was here.
Hope they have Internet access in the Heavens.
Walid Al-Saqaf (ISOC Trustee) says:
02 Dec, 2015 01:00 PM
Thank you Bob for all you've done to make the Internet stronger over the years including in the Middle East where RIPE NCC had contributed and supported my own ISOC chapter, ISOC-Yemen's efforts. You will be missed but your legacy will live on in the great things you have accomplished. My condolences and sympathies to Bob's loved ones.

Walid Al-Saqaf
ISOC Trustee, ISOC-Yemen Chair
Sarwar E Alam says:
02 Dec, 2015 01:00 PM
"All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust" - May the Almighty bestow peace upon his departed soul and rest in peace and make it easy for his family - Amen.
Ricardo Patara says:
02 Dec, 2015 01:03 PM
I had the privilege of know him, even a little bit. Nice, charming and enlightening person.
Great loss for RIPE and Internet community in general.
Allan Eising says:
02 Dec, 2015 01:07 PM
Rest in peace, Rob. I never got to know you, but I treasure that I got to talk to you briefly many years ago.

My thoughts go out to your family.
Colin Johnston says:
02 Dec, 2015 01:12 PM
on behalf of ex psinet eu/uk folks, Rob your skills in setting up and co-ordinating a workable IP allocation system allowed many business's in UK and EU to deliver the internet promise many years ago. May this legacy carry on to the future and condolences to close family and friends.
John Crain says:
02 Dec, 2015 01:13 PM
Not really sure exactly what to say,

Rob was one of the best people I have ever had the privilege to know and call friend. He was there when I took my first steps in the Internet Industry over 20 years ago. My daughter took her first steps in his garden..

My thoughts and condolences are with those close to him.
Nate Davis says:
02 Dec, 2015 01:20 PM
Rob will be well remembered for his contributions throughout the Internet industry, specifically the RIR system. Thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
Nadim El-Khoury says:
02 Dec, 2015 01:27 PM
Never knew Rob personally, however he will be missed dearly. RIP
Desiree Miloshevic says:
02 Dec, 2015 01:27 PM
A sad day and a big loss for the global Internet community.

It was always a huge pleasure to chat with Rob and get his insights, be it during the RIPE meeting breaks or socials. You ask Rob a simple question and you get more than a 30,000 feet perspective - that resonates. And yes, early ICANN meetings would not have been the same if Rob was not as an approachable European board member to share his views and make any sense of them. Rob was one of the greatest community builders and a mentor to all of us who met him, whether you noticed it or not.
Jens Ott says:
02 Dec, 2015 01:31 PM
It was a pleasure that I had the chance to meet you and I will always remember your perfect way to find the right words in the right moment, being serious when needed and making jokes when there was a chance to. Rest in peace and continue your good work where you are now, so that we can run the heaven-net when we follow.
Birte & Frank Orlowski says:
02 Dec, 2015 01:31 PM
Rob, may you rest in peace. You will be remembered by all if us. Thanks for helping make the Internet a great place.

Our hearts go out to his family during this difficult times.

Birte & Frank Orlowski
Heusenstamm, Germany

Constanze Bürger says:
02 Dec, 2015 01:34 PM
Rob was the first, who welcomed me into the community- THANK you for ALL
Mirjam Kühne says:
02 Dec, 2015 01:35 PM
Rob was an important mentor for me since the early 90s and became a dear friend. I owe a lot to Rob and I will miss him and his ability to cut to the heart of the matter.
Sebastian Wiesinger says:
02 Dec, 2015 01:43 PM
Thank you Rob for everything you have done. We will always remember you. Rest in peace.
Joost Tholhuijsen says:
02 Dec, 2015 01:43 PM
I remember Rob's amused smile when he confused one the 2011 new years event sessions with humorous answers to question about closed and open systems.
John Springer says:
02 Dec, 2015 01:45 PM
Rob, so glad I got to meet you in Warsaw.
Erik Huizer says:
02 Dec, 2015 01:47 PM
Rob and I had our differences. Certainly at the start, i.e. around the time RIPE was established. Still his contrary views taught me a lot. And gradually we found we supported many of the same goals. He will be sincerely missed in the community.
Erik Huizer says:
02 Dec, 2015 02:41 PM
Thinking back more on my interactions with Rob a small joke of him popped into my mind. As Daniel asked to share these I will> Way back Rob and I were interacting a lot. He was starting with RIPE I was Working to set up the technical community within RARE (Now GEANT). Rob's quip was: Rare is not well-done.
Benoit Dupont says:
02 Dec, 2015 01:49 PM
I didn't know Rob personally but hope he Rests In Peace.
David Freedman says:
02 Dec, 2015 01:59 PM
Rest in peace Rob, you will be sorely missed by all of us.
Vivin Varghese Meleadan says:
02 Dec, 2015 02:00 PM
Thank you Rob Blokzijl for all your support and efforts to make Internet what it is today.
We will always remember you. Our thoughts and prayers will be with your family.
Andrei Robachevsky says:
02 Dec, 2015 02:00 PM
"Money is not a problem", - you told me back in 1994 when discussing the Internet in Russia. "Once you agree on what you want to do - money will find you". That is what you've been doing all your life - making people agree and move forward.

The world became smaller without you, Rob!
Carl Malamud says:
02 Dec, 2015 02:01 PM
When the question came whether the Internet would be top-down or bottom-up, whether it would be controlled by the end points or by the ISP in the middle, it was Rob who played a decisive role. When it came to making sure the Internet wasn't a plaything in a few rich countries but truly reached out everywhere, Rob led that charge. And, when I needed a friend in Amsterdam to talk about a crazy scheme or just for a glass or two of whiskey, it was Rob. He was a great friend and made our world a better place. I will miss him greatly.
John Curran says:
02 Dec, 2015 02:07 PM
On behalf of the ARIN Board and community, it is with great sadness we learn of Rob’s passing. Rob was one of the true leaders of the Internet - a visionary and pioneer of the collaborative model that keeps the Internet running today.

We will miss his smile and his sense of humor, his calm voice of reason, but his friendship most of all. Our thoughts and prayers are with Rob's family and his coworkers at this time of loss.

/John
Kaveh Ranjbar says:
02 Dec, 2015 02:13 PM
Today indeed is a sad day. Rob was a mentor, a leader, very informative and fun. I will deeply miss him.
Eric van Uden says:
02 Dec, 2015 02:17 PM
My condolence go to his family and the RIPE organisation.
Fahad AlShirawi says:
02 Dec, 2015 02:23 PM
I will never forget the countless discussions and arguments and agreements I have had with this man and how at the end of it all, he was always smiling and always made us smile. Rest in Peace Rob! When I first read the announcement there were only two comments added... I sat there staring at the screen and found tears coming to my eyes. It took me a while to muster the strength to say something and even now as I say it... I find words failing and myself stumbling. What I wouldn't give for one last discussion with him! Just five more minutes! But we are on this earth from a blink and then we are gone and very few of us leave a mark behind. Rob, you have left your mark on all of us and you will not be forgotten. And for those who knew you well, maybe they will get the reference: may your white asparagus grow tall. As tall as the ache in my heart is strong right now.
James Cronin says:
02 Dec, 2015 02:25 PM
So sad to hear this news. My best thoughts are with his loved ones.

Our community, which would surely not have grown so large and successful were it not for Rob's passion, talent and wise counsel, has lost a visionary, an inspiration and a giant.

He will live forever through the institutions he worked to create and be remembered with much fondness.

James.
Misja Fockens says:
02 Dec, 2015 02:31 PM
Bye bye
Anonymous says:
02 Dec, 2015 03:02 PM
How very sad.

You'll be missed Rob. Thanks for the guidance and advice over the last 20 years. You did amazing things and inspired so many others to do the same.
Deni Indarto says:
02 Dec, 2015 03:18 PM
Rust Zacht Rob !
Ren Provo says:
02 Dec, 2015 03:19 PM
I had the pleasure of meeting Rob back in the InterNIC era. With a wry smile he would gently steer vibrant debates back to as simple a solution as could be mustered. Great respect was shown to all, in meeting rooms, hallways, hotel entrances, airports, you name it. Rob was a diplomat in every sense of the word. The grace in your leadership style will be studied for decades to come. A glass of wine is virtually lifted towards your spirits across the internet today.
Vint Cerf says:
02 Dec, 2015 03:32 PM
This news came as a shock. My mind-model of Rob has always been of continuous presence going on forever. I enjoyed so much my interactions with Rob in the early days of ICANN and admired greatly his leadership of RIPE. When he received the Postel Award from the Internet Society, I smiled because it was such an appropriate recognition. It is very hard to imagine an Internet without Rob. Like Jon Postel, Rob was a constant presence we could rely upon for advice and guidance. My life was enriched by his presence.

Jan van Raamsdonk says:
02 Dec, 2015 03:34 PM
I had the pleasure to be studying/working in the Zeeman elementary particle laboratory in the seventies, when Rob was working there too. I always liked his humor and the way in which he avoided any pretentions. In 1977 I was at his wedding party and it is the only party I have ever been where only wodka, caviar and potato chips were served. I never forget that merry evening nor will I forget Rob.
Arjan van der Oest says:
02 Dec, 2015 03:44 PM
I've never had the pleasure of meeting Rob in person, but as part of the internet community I am thankful for all he did for us. I'm confident he will be greatly missed by his family, friends, colleagues and community members.

"Only the Good die young"
Veni Markovski says:
02 Dec, 2015 03:45 PM
Rob was an amazingly good guy. It is a great loss for the whole community, and a very sad moment for his friends and close ones.
Our condolences are to his family and friends.
We are thankful for his work for the good of the Internet community in Europe.
Rob will be missed...

Sincerely,
Veni Markovski
chairman of the board
Internet Society - Bulgaria
Anonymous says:
02 Dec, 2015 03:54 PM
Thank you Rob. I think you made a difference.
Olivier H says:
02 Dec, 2015 03:57 PM
This is sad news, not in the least because its being brought to us by the tech he helped create :(

@Rob/his family; We will not forget you, thanks a million for your legacy, millions of people in Europe have made a career out of what you gave us, thank you from the bottom of my hearth.

If there is such a thing as an afterlife, i hope they don't have internet yet so Rob can continue doing what he loves best :)

Sincerely,
Olivier H.
A long time web-developer from The Netherlands
Peter Lothberg says:
02 Dec, 2015 03:59 PM
Thanks for the power supplies!
Matjaž Straus Istenič says:
02 Dec, 2015 04:10 PM
Thank you, Rob ... for being yourself.
Robert Kisteleki says:
02 Dec, 2015 04:12 PM
This is a sad day indeed. We'll all miss you, Rob!
Remco van Mook says:
02 Dec, 2015 04:17 PM
“Het is eigenlijk heel simpel.” (“It’s quite simple, really.”)

Yesterday, Rob died. He had been seriously ill for a while, and in the end cancer won. It’s a reality that those around him might even had more issues with than Rob himself. Being the physicist and the razor sharp analytic that he was, my last conversation with him was one where he was pointing out the impossibilities in the conclusions the doctors who were treating him were coming to. And he took that in good stride, like most things. As with most of his insights, after outlining a problem, his response would start with “Het is eigenlijk heel simpel”, after which he would proceed to quickly point out the heart of the issue and dismiss most of the other related artefacts as irrelevant. From there, a solution was usually easily found, but not always easily implemented.

For as long as I’ve known Rob, he’s had a very finely tuned sense of ‘what feels right’. It is in large part thanks to this sense of ‘what feels right’ that the global Internet numbering community, and specifically the RIPE and AfriNIC communities, have been able to develop into the poster child for bottom-up policy development and industry self-governance for the Internet. That’s a very short description to describe 25 years of work, and it required a great amount of political and technical skills to pull that off. An almost impossible act to follow.

As some people have already commented ‘What would Rob do’ has become one of the more critical sanity checks in the numbering community. Thanks to his tireless mentoring of dozens of people, we’ll probably be able to come to a consensus on what that means on new topics as they develop in the future. I think he would have enjoyed that.
Niall Murphy says:
02 Dec, 2015 07:09 PM
Very well written Remco and agree very strongly. "What he knew, how he knew", as James Gleick put it.
Jacob Zack (.CA) says:
02 Dec, 2015 04:24 PM
Such a staggering loss for the community.

If I could contribute 1/3rd to the community that Rob has, I'd be counting myself blessed.

Cheers to an awesome life, buddy. You are missed.
Emma Frost (nee Bretherick) says:
02 Dec, 2015 04:35 PM
So shocked to hear this sad news. Please pass my condolences on to Lynn, my thoughts are with her.
Rest in peace Rob.
Martin Boyle says:
02 Dec, 2015 04:37 PM
A real gent with a lovely (wicked) sense of humour. He'll be missed.
Tony Barber says:
02 Dec, 2015 04:59 PM
Sat down and had a beer with Rob back in the good old days, lovely man, recommended him for non exec at Nominet when it first launched. R.I.P.

Tony
Dmitry Kohmanyuk says:
02 Dec, 2015 05:02 PM
Rob Blokzijl was there for as long as I have been on the Internet. We met few times and he always remembered me, and asked questions showing that not just he knew about what was going on in RIPE, but even in Ukraine - showing his forever curious, exploring mind. He was a role model for many, and I would never forget him stepping down and me thinking, "for how long we would be blessed by his presense?"
Sadly it was not for long - but he would stay in our minds and hearts and humble and helpful person who did a lot yet never spoke about it as his own achievement... The community we have at RIPE and in Europe - including Ukraine - was shaped by cultural values of early Internet pioneers. I am thankful for chances to meet him. Rest in peace, our friend.
Henrik Kramshøj says:
02 Dec, 2015 05:18 PM
Thank you!
Peter Vermeulen says:
02 Dec, 2015 05:27 PM
This is sad news. It means a tremendous loss for the community. Rob will be missed.
Adrian Bedford says:
02 Dec, 2015 05:29 PM
A voice of reason when it mattered the most, able to cut through the blather, and up with the best when it came to making sure everyone had a voice.
Emily Taylor says:
02 Dec, 2015 05:55 PM
Very sorry to hear this news.

Rob was a lovely man. He was calm, funny and wise. I got to know him when he was on the board of Nominet, where he served with his customary intelligence, good humour and pithiness. I will miss him.
Peter Buysman says:
02 Dec, 2015 05:56 PM
Thanks Rob, for opening the world.
Maldwyn says:
02 Dec, 2015 05:59 PM
I was sorry to read this news.
Rob was always a friendly guy first and the big boss second.

As always, Anonymous said it best: "Thank you Rob. I think you made a difference."
Rick says:
02 Dec, 2015 06:06 PM
Sound strange, but without you we wouldn't be able to give you this tribute :( :) .

R.I.P. and thank you for all your hard work.
Sascha Pollok says:
02 Dec, 2015 06:08 PM
Thank you, Rob. Safe travels!
Ben Segal says:
02 Dec, 2015 06:26 PM
Thanks Rob for your courage and clear-sightedness which have helped the Internet so much since the early days. It was a pleasure and honour to know you, and so sad to say goodbye.
Lynn St.Amour says:
02 Dec, 2015 06:29 PM
Such a loss! Rob's contributions were always valuable, and much appreciated. We will miss you - alot. Peace to you and all your family.

Lynn
Gordon says:
02 Dec, 2015 06:31 PM
I am a bit lost for words. I cannot sum up what Rob meant for the Internet and so I will not even begin to try. I am not even sure right now if I can even sum up what Rob meant to me. But maybe one old story...

It was at a RIPE meeting in the Kras and I made some sort of presentation on dotEU. Rob did not agree and so he "attacked". As I left the room at the end of the session somebody asked if I was OK. Of course I was! And that evening in the social Rob and I shared a drink or two. You see for some people disagreement, even violent disagreement, need not exclude the more important things of life like respect and friendship.

I got to spend more time with Rob over the years and I really appreciated that.

My thoughts are with those who were closest to him.
Geert Jan de Groot says:
02 Dec, 2015 06:32 PM
Rob's way of dealing with matters Internet and other things has been guidance and mentor for me.

Just last week I was trying to explain Rob's WoW to friends - I could not.

Just passing away - "that's not how we do things at RIPE". Yet, that is the reality today. That is very, very strange.

Thanks Rob, for the 23 years I had the privilege knowing you. I know you'll be fixing and coordinating connectivity above now.

Geert Jan de Groot
Calvin Browne says:
02 Dec, 2015 06:45 PM
I'm not sure where or when I first met Rob. But his presence was always re-assuring. I do remember enjoying a glass of wine alongside him, and I remember I learnt something with each interaction, wine or not.
Thank you Sir.
Livingstone Kalu says:
02 Dec, 2015 06:46 PM
Being a new member in this community I am thrilled to know the contributions of Rob. We will surely miss your wisdom and advice. May God grant you solemn rest.
Martin Hannigan says:
02 Dec, 2015 06:49 PM
RIP Rob, you'll be missed.
Rick Schrijver says:
02 Dec, 2015 06:55 PM
Thank you for all the great work you have done,! I wish you the best in the afterlife.

Rest well Robert Blokzijl
Gabriella Schittek says:
02 Dec, 2015 07:07 PM
I remember that when I started in this business, almost 15 years ago, an email was sent to the email list of the organisation I was working for then (CENTR), introducing me and my arrival. I was completely new to the area, with absolutely no idea what was coming. One of the first emails from the community, welcoming me came from Rob. I didn't know him then, but I remember his email, as it was so kind and funny. Only later I realised what a huge name Rob was in this industry and was even more amazed that he actually took his time to write to a newcomer like me. Only great personalities would do that, and Rob was one of these. So very, very sad to hear he has left us.
Alessandro Berni says:
02 Dec, 2015 07:11 PM
A great loss. In addition to my condolences, I would like to convey to his dear ones the sense of my greatest respect and gratitude for the intellectual generosity and for all the contributions Rob made towards the construction of the European Internet.
Emil Gorter says:
02 Dec, 2015 07:28 PM
Rob, hartelijk bedankt voor jouw uitmuntende inzet voor de RIPE community!
Ik wens de familie en vele vrienden van Rob sterkte met het verlies.
Rogier says:
02 Dec, 2015 07:29 PM
Thank you for Internet, I hope you are at peace. My condolences to the family.
Mdobro says:
02 Dec, 2015 07:38 PM
You can't live forever, but thanks for the internet!
Aris Lambrianidis says:
02 Dec, 2015 07:51 PM
If we are seeing further, it is because we are standing on Rob's shoulders. I hope these messages give his family and loved ones the strength and courage to persevere.
Lars-Johan Liman says:
02 Dec, 2015 07:55 PM
"Those who don't laugh - don't trust them!" (Rob Blokzijl)

Your laughter has gone silent, but I will carry it within me and share it with others, aiming to create the goodness you always created.
Naomi Gilchrist says:
02 Dec, 2015 07:59 PM
Such sad news.

My thoughts are with your loved ones. Rust zacht Rob.
Daniele & Bettina says:
02 Dec, 2015 08:02 PM
Dear Rob, the European Internet would have never made it without you.
 
Thank you
Stoyan says:
02 Dec, 2015 08:08 PM
RIP!
Adiel Akplogan says:
02 Dec, 2015 08:15 PM
It is with a lot of regrets and sadness that I heard the death of Rob!. Sad news for the community. Rob has been one the rare people from RIPE region who has personally encourage me during the setup phase of AFRINIC in 2003/2004. He keep telling me how simplicity is key in operating an RIR. "Keeping low profile will help get things done while avoiding you the nuisance of interferences". You will be missed. May his legacy continue to guide RIPE Community. God bless his family!
Eric van Wijk says:
02 Dec, 2015 08:18 PM
Rust zacht Rob, zie je in heaven-IX
Frode Greisen says:
02 Dec, 2015 08:23 PM
always kind, always constructive
Fra says:
02 Dec, 2015 08:30 PM
dag, je bent kanjer!
Anne Lord says:
02 Dec, 2015 09:05 PM
Such very sad news and a huge loss. Rob's contributions and talents were many and will never be forgotten. The RIPE community owes you much Rob and I owe you much. In those early days of RIPE you taught me valuable skills of diplomacy that I'll never forget and that will always give me a wry smile.

Heartfelt condolences to Lynn and to Rob's family near and far.
Cara Mascini says:
02 Dec, 2015 09:05 PM
Rob made the Internet happen, "as simple as that". Rest in piece Rob , my thoughts are with your family
Carsten Brückner says:
02 Dec, 2015 09:32 PM
I met Rob at first at the Newcomers introduction during RIPE66. The second time I sat next to him on my trip to Athens for RIPE67. During our journey I got the pleasure, that he and Daniel told me everything about the history of RIPE and the NCC. I learned so much from him. Many thanks for all you have done! Rest in peace!
Carsten Brückner
Maxim Alzoba says:
02 Dec, 2015 09:34 PM
This has been a huge loss for all of us. Robert's vision, and his clear
understanding of the principles of a consensus driven community, acted
as a lighthouse to us all. Furthermore, he provided a sterling examples
of how to deal with the challenges brought about by the ever-changing
world both in, and outside of, the IT sphere.
Steve Crocker says:
02 Dec, 2015 09:38 PM
I've posted this short blog, copied below, on the ICANN web site at https://www.icann.org/[…]/we-lost-rob-blokzijl-this-week .

We Lost Rob Blokzijl This Week

Robert "Rob" Blokzijl passed away yesterday. He was a gentle man who radiated warmth and optimism, while working constructively in the Netherlands, in Europe and, indeed, throughout the world to foster the development of the Internet. He served on the ICANN Board in our early days (1999-2002), and is best remembered as the chair of RIPE for an astonishing 25 years.

He started his career as a physicist and, through his work in physics, became interested and active in helping scientists collaborate. The combination of his deep technical background and his attention to the collaborative aspects of research, combined with the happy accident of being in the right place at the right time, naturally led him to jump into the development of the nascent Internet. His combination of principle, pragmatism and positive attitude was the perfect balance and served all of us well.

He was honored with the Jonathan B. Postel Service Award last year, richly deserved as much for embodying Jon's characteristics of service and humility as for his particular contributions. He was also honored with the title Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau in 2010, and was given the honorific title of RIPE Chair Emeritus since standing down in 2013.

For those of us who were privileged to have known him, we note his passing with sadness but remember the twinkle in his eye.

Steve Crocker
Chair, ICANN Board of Directors
Dannii Cunnane says:
02 Dec, 2015 09:56 PM
You were always the voice of reason and your presence will be missed. RIP Rob.
Elise Gerich says:
02 Dec, 2015 10:09 PM
Rob was a dear friend as well as a trusted colleague and kind mentor. What I will treasure are all the memories of the good times! For example, on a NATO trip to Kazakstan, it was raining and we were traveling to a meeting out at the Olympic Sports Camp. We (about 6 of us) stopped at a roadside stand to buy some water. A man at the stand started playing the accordion and we all started dancing in the rain. Here we were, on an official mission to help build networking, and we were all dancing in the rain to an accordion by the side of the road. What fun, what joy! So many good times and the work got done too!
Peter says:
02 Dec, 2015 10:26 PM
My thoughts are with your loved ones and I want to thank you for everything you made possible.
Jaap van Till says:
02 Dec, 2015 11:13 PM
We have very much to thank Rob Blokzijl for. He was a wise man and very kind at the same time. may he RIP.
Bart B. says:
03 Dec, 2015 12:19 AM
Condoleances aan de nabestaanden en een boodschap aan Rob daarboven: thanks ouwe voor alles dat je hebt gedaan voor het internet! :)
Niall says:
03 Dec, 2015 12:26 AM
Rob's inspiration will stay with everyone who knew him, even though we can no longer look to him for more of the wisdom and encouragement which he was ever ready to give. Rest in peace, Rob.
Oscar Koeroo says:
03 Dec, 2015 12:43 AM
Here I am typing a message on an IP connected device as you've mentioned it would one day be as versatile. Or the IP connected door locks from before 2003. At the NIKHEF coffee corner we gathered around to drink coffee, together as a group with people from all departments talking about science, the Internet, politics, economics, life, the universe and everything.
When you were at the lab you added a certain gravity to the table based on your achievements but also just because you where there and then at the lab.
This detail is so special as I learned as a student back then that you traveled all over the world to keep the Internet developments going in the right direction. The stories upon return (old and new) inspired me a lot at those coffee tables.
Willem van Leeuwen often quoted you. One of the best that stuck around in my Grid computing carrier at Nikhef and now at KPN is: "is dit beleid of is er over nagedacht?" / "is this policy or did somebody thought about this?".
The world has lost an inspiring person. I truly hope his legacy will live on in how the Internet will further develop.
Joao Silveira says:
03 Dec, 2015 12:47 AM
Lot of thanks to Rob for his work on our Europe Internet community. My condolences to family. R.I.P. Rob.
Brian Carpenter says:
03 Dec, 2015 12:49 AM
I am honoured to have known Rob for many years and I hope his family is proud of his achievements. I am glad to have met him one last time in Prague this year when he was presented with the Postel Award. Rob's greatest achievement was to help infuse the early networking scene in Europe with the spirit of pragmatic collaboration that was already so strong in high energy physics. When people started to take positions of principle, Rob would always bring the conversation back to practical aspects of resource sharing. If that meant being undiplomatic, Rob was always ready to be undiplomatic in the nicest possible way.
Marc Peters says:
03 Dec, 2015 01:34 AM
Dear Rob, thank you for your wisdom and fervor in making the internet what it is up to today, self-gouverned by a rare breed of academia and free-spirits that have a good sense for what is fair and in the interest of the greater good.
Joe Provo says:
03 Dec, 2015 02:07 AM
I did not know Rob as well as some of my colleagues and friends, but the times we talked I was always impressed. Even those building "the next new thing" who will have never known him have lost today. His humour, kindness and sheer depth drove a thoughtful inclusiveness core to principles of those of us who work "for the Internet".

I know I'll keep asking “What would Rob do?”
Ivan Beveridge says:
03 Dec, 2015 02:39 AM
It is with great sadness that I read the news of Rob's passing.

Whilst I only had a few short chats with him, his presence and authority was stamped on innumerable RIPE meeting discussions through simple logic and a calm voice.

Rest in peace, Rob - your calmness, logic, and community spirit will be sorely missed but never forgotten.
Toshio Tachibana says:
03 Dec, 2015 03:17 AM
R.I.P. Huge loss of our community.
Tim Legdeur says:
03 Dec, 2015 03:29 AM
R.I.P sir.
Tim Martin says:
03 Dec, 2015 05:27 AM
RIPE
Taiji Kimura says:
03 Dec, 2015 05:31 AM
Dear Rob, your gentleness had been reached and and have impressed to the people of Asia like me.
Jay Daley says:
03 Dec, 2015 05:32 AM
To chair any Internet body takes patience and skill, but to do so successfully for 25 years takes genius and a very big heart. When I first entered this industry Rob welcomed me warmly and was generous with his time and experience, setting a standard to aspire to. He will be missed.
Sandra Gijzen says:
03 Dec, 2015 07:40 AM
Such a big loss. May his soul rest in peace.
My very deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones.

I feel very fortunate and honored to have known Rob over the last 17 years,
and I am very grateful for his time, stories and inspirational words.

I will miss you lieve Rob
Jared Twyler says:
03 Dec, 2015 08:10 AM
It truly is a sad day when such a leader like this passes away. We all must ensure that the work and visions carried out by this man over 3 decades isn't forgotten and continues to lead us forward into a new generation of internet that follows in the footsteps of one of its pioneers. Let us never forget Rob and what he has given us through his leadership role in the RIPE NCC. May you finally be at peace Rob.
Mona Azad says:
03 Dec, 2015 08:47 AM
May God Bless Him.
Samia M'timet says:
03 Dec, 2015 09:36 AM
Sad news for the community.

Toutes mes condoléances à la famille de Rob, à ses proches, à ceux qui l'ont côtoyé, chéri, admiré, apprécié.

Bon voyage Rob vers les étoiles ; on ne meurt jamais complètement.
Amanda says:
03 Dec, 2015 10:07 AM
I'm a writer for the RIPE NCC. When I first met Rob in 2010, I was a bit intimidated. He was a revered figure in the community and I was a newbie into the tech world. And then I got to work closely with him on a policy on the RIPE Registry. We sat together every week for months and it was then that I got to know him better. It gave me insight into everything we do and why we do it. He had the best bullshit-detector of anyone I've ever met. I consider myself very privileged to have worked with him. I also remember when we wanted to start bringing new ideas to RIPE Meetings - we had to get Rob's blessing before we implemented any changes. I remember presenting the new badge booklet to him and being so nervous that he'd hate it. But he didn't, he liked it! As "old school" as he was in the way he worked, he was also open to new ideas as long as they had purpose, were well-thought out and always, always were for the benefit of the RIPE community. My condolences go out to Rob's family, friends and thousands of colleagues and peers in the RIPE community. He will be missed.
Camilla Meidell says:
03 Dec, 2015 10:45 AM
Rob was an inspiration to me, so wise about much more than RIPE. I'm so sorry to hear of his passing. My heartfelt condolences to Lynn and family.
Patrik Fältström says:
03 Dec, 2015 11:20 AM
Dear Rob,

You have inspired me for so many things since RIPE-1 that they can not be listed here. Most notably how important it is to trust in the beliefs one have, cut the crap and move on. Do things.

My thoughts goes to Lynn and family.
Anna Karakhanyan says:
03 Dec, 2015 11:41 AM
Condolences are to his family and RIPE organisation from ISOC Armenia. R.I.P. Rob Blokzijl
Cristina Vistoli says:
03 Dec, 2015 11:50 AM
Hi met Rob in my first international meeting RIPE-7 in November '90. He was an inspiration at my first working steps.
Sentite condoglianze.
Piotr Strzyżewski says:
03 Dec, 2015 01:08 PM
Sad time to all of us.

As Rob said many times - He was the number one. It was hard coded in the registration database. He still is number one for us and I strongly believe that Rob's spirit will still be among us during RIPE Meetings. Even that those will be not the same meetings without him.
Michiel Wurfbain says:
03 Dec, 2015 02:34 PM
Thank God for people who have integrity to defend the internet from those who want to control it versus govern it. if i understand correctly, Rob, you were one of those knights in shining armour. Bless your soul.
Cathy H says:
03 Dec, 2015 03:01 PM
A truly exceptional man who will be missed. Sincere sympathies to Lynn and the family.
MAEMURA Akinori says:
03 Dec, 2015 03:52 PM
It was during the APNIC Executive Council's retreat in Guam to know this very sad news. The EC passed a resolution to express our condolence and announced it - http://blog.apnic.net/2015/12/03/vale-rob-blokzijl/ .

I always admire the RIPE community for its maturity as the community which maintains the spirit to sustain the Internet and has obtained the confidence from various stakeholders. I know a big number of people have been involved, crafted and grown RIPE up together, but I believe Rob's leadership has so guided people who gathered at RIPE to do that. It's a huge loss, but Rob's words and thoughts will stay now and in future in hearts of RIPE people and even of us in Asia Pacific region.

It was my great memory with Rob that he gave me a lot of suggestion on my company JPNIC's history project when he came to the APNIC Conference in Xi'an in 2013. His wisdom inspired me a lot over evening refreshment, and his talk on the early days of RIPE and the NCC demystified a lot of things.

He will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace Rob.

Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ says:
03 Dec, 2015 04:10 PM
The Coordination Center for TLD RU expresses its deepest condolences to Blokzijl’s family and to his colleagues at RIPE.
It was with Rob’s support and direct involvement that the Eurasia Network Operators’ Group (ENOG) was established in 2010 to become one of Europe’s largest forums for the Internet technical community.
In 1989, Blokzijl became a founder of RIPE and for 25 years served as its chairman. His enthusiasm, professionalism and ability to look beyond the event horizon made him a driving force in the development of relationships between the Internet communities of the different countries making up RIPE.
We were always pleased to see him in Russia where we met at various global conferences. With his optimism and faith in the work he was committed to, Blokzijl inspired others to find new solutions and move forward.
Rob Blokzijl, a good friend of the Coordination Center for TLD RU, died on December 1 at his house in the Netherlands. He was 72.
Martin List-Petersen says:
03 Dec, 2015 07:31 PM
RIP. The end of an era.
Nick Hyrka says:
03 Dec, 2015 07:57 PM
Rob was one extraordinary man. Gifted, wise, calm and determined, he was an inspirational leader - and a funny man, too. I learned a lot from him over the years for which I am grateful.
For Lynn and those of us who have been fortunate to know and work with Rob, we’ve lost a great man. For those who never had the opportunity, it's inevitable that for many years to come, Rob's work and accomplishments will touch them nonetheless.

Rest easy, Rob. You did well.
Mike Blanche says:
03 Dec, 2015 10:41 PM
Rob, thank you for the dedication to building something great for the world.

Heartfelt condolences to your family.
Alexey Berezhnev says:
04 Dec, 2015 02:28 AM
I have met Rob twice in my life, the first time was in in 1995, when I was 14 when he took my parents and me for a walk across Amsterdam, when I grew up, I've met him couple years ago , during ENOG in Moscow.
I must state that Rob was a true scientist with a brilliant mind, and enthusiast of the Internet. An openminded person and a brilliant interlocutor
Since we last met, I really hoped that we would meet again at ENOG, but I will never chance to.

My condolences to the family.

Rest in peace, Rob.
Sergey Gorbunov says:
04 Dec, 2015 10:01 AM
Deep condolences on behalf of RU-CENTER – a company regularly hosted RIPE regional meetings in Moscow in the past with Rob’s support and active participation. He provided great expertise and inspiration to the whole community.
Mayssam Rahmatian says:
04 Dec, 2015 11:11 AM
Rest in Peace , you are still a great man for us ,
ADPDIGITAL
Daniel Karrenberg says:
04 Dec, 2015 11:43 AM
I lost a true friend and mentor. It hurts.

I first really met Rob at a meeting on the French riviera in the early spring. We were walking back along the seafront from a nice dinner late at night. It was a pleasant evening, already warm enough, light breeze, the sound of waves. A young colleage was continuing an argument about OSI vs Internet protocols. At just the appropriate moment Rob said, with a very straight face: "It is really simple: We are all doing this work so that we can enjoy the company of bright and enthousiastic people, have nice dinners and walk together along the seaside on a pleasant evening such as this." Most people laughed and we enjoyed the walk without further argument. That is when I decided I liked this man.

Please honour him by adding your story, however small it may seem to you.

A true scientist, Rob did not believe in an afterlife. But he did realise that he will live on through both the community he helped to build and the individuals he touched. Let's honour him by keeping alive the spirit he embodied. "What would Rob do?" is indeed a good question to ask sometimes.
Boudewijn says:
04 Dec, 2015 04:23 PM
My memories of Rob are memories of happy times; those times I met Rob it was events of celebration. It was with a shock I learned he passed away. I feel sad for those close to him; keep up your spirits.

Thank you for what you have build for all of us.
Steffen Voigt says:
04 Dec, 2015 07:41 PM
RIP Rob. Thanks for all.
Leo Vegoda says:
04 Dec, 2015 10:11 PM
I was very sad to hear the news. Rob was always caring, thoughtful and insightful. I remember how he made sure my brother had some time to present his work on an IP address management tool in a WG session back in 2000 and commented on it being "real work", which my brother very much appreciated. That was Rob through and through. He was friendly and focused on making things better.
Hector M. Ramirez says:
04 Dec, 2015 11:10 PM
My thoughts and sympathies with everyone in this times.
Marc Handelman says:
04 Dec, 2015 11:24 PM
Our condolences to the family, and the RIPE community.
randy says:
05 Dec, 2015 09:12 AM
talk is cheap. you have left a legacy of deeds, changing the face of communication. it's just damned hard to think you're not here.
Alex says:
05 Dec, 2015 11:59 AM
our sorrows and prayer to his family i also use this opportunity to remember my friend who gone like wind
Wolfgang says:
05 Dec, 2015 06:33 PM
What a sad news. I remember our discussions at the ICANN Studienkreis in 2001 in Zürich when he gave wise recommendations what to do with ICANN´s At Large elections. Too nearly to go.
Wolfgang
Christopher Wilkinson says:
05 Dec, 2015 07:01 PM
Rob Blokzijl has departed this world too soon. He was a founding, indeed the first, father of the Internet in Europe. I met with Rob on only a few occasions, but they were turning points for both of us. I went to a RIPE meeting in Amsterdam in 1997 to make the case for European involvement in the forthcoming (first) 'transition' for IANA which subsequently became ICANN.
Initially sceptical, “Here we deal with addresses, not names”, Rob became persuaded that RIPE had a potentially global role, which he was prepared to exercise. In due course, Rob joined the ICANN Board.

At the same RIPE meeting, the ccTLD community was encouraged to play their part in the global reform of what nowadays would be described as Internet Governance. Again, RIPE was initially itchy about that, to say the least. But as a significant concession to the nascent European 'names' community, a RIPE birds-of-a-feather group was authorised. Arguably, that group was the seed that grew into CENTR and ultimately created the political preconditions for the European application for the creation of .EU and EURid.

Looking back, and reading now between the lines of the many tributes that have already been posted to Rob's memory, I latterly see the presence of a hand in a velvet glove, that I was not expected to perceive at the time, but without which, most probably, we would not be where we are today.

Thank you Rob Blokzijl.

CW

Cristian Chaparro says:
06 Dec, 2015 04:58 AM
Mis mas sentidas condolencias a su familia, Robert esta ahora descansando. Un gran abrazo desde Santiago de Chile.
Neri says:
07 Dec, 2015 09:46 AM
My most sincere condolences to his family and friends. RIPE community will miss you.
Gerard Leurs says:
07 Dec, 2015 12:22 PM
Dear Rob.

I know you for over 25 years. First as a colleague in the computer department of NIKHEF and later as the chair of RIPE (when I started working at RIPE NCC). RIPE 31 was my first meeting to do technical support, and although you were chair, and busy with lots of important internet stuff, we chatted a lot.
You had an eye for detail, and our late evening chats helped me to understand the whole bottom-up way of work. I thank you for your support, guidance and all you did.

You were always full of anecdotes about any internet related thing, with lots of wisdom. "Keep it simple" and "keep the big picture in mind" was your motto. It was impressive how many people you knew.

Although the last years were not the best you always smiled and had time for a friendly chat.
It was a pleasure to have known you, and an honour to have worked alongside you.

All the best to your family and close friends !

Géza says:
07 Dec, 2015 01:28 PM
As Daniel said, it is an appropriate question "What Rob would do?" "What Rob would say?. However, I do not know the answer, many times and this is painfull.

I relied in Rob"s answers many times. He and the RIPE community at large served as a model of communication, inclusion,problem solving. I learned a lot, never enough.

It was a joy to take part.

I also know and share what Daniel said. "A true scientist, Rob did not believe in an afterlife."

However, let me write a limerick as we would. This is just a joke, I regret not to hear Rob's laughing.

Here you are:

Rob, your flight went away without landing
Your mailbox turned to state never sending
But questions are still there
I beg, please, answer:
Is the Heaven RIPE enough? Which section are you charing?


Carsten Schiefner says:
07 Dec, 2015 04:19 PM
Where ever you are now, Rob - they now can and hopefully also will make good use of your insightful advice on a broad range of topics and your great humor over there, too. I met you first time at my first RIPE meeting in Amsterdam in 1997 - and enjoyed any and all forthcoming encounters ever since. My thoughts are with Rob's family and with Lynn in particular.
BK says:
08 Dec, 2015 02:02 PM
A very sad day for all of us.
Our thoughts are with Rob's family and beloved ones.

Bill
(931052)
Eugenio Pierno says:
09 Dec, 2015 02:01 AM
Addio Rob.
So many people owe to you the freedom of the Internet as it it now, without even knowing you.
I met you at Ripe meetings and at the "Singel garden" for a cigarette and a chat during the late 90's, and I feel lucky for this.
Rest in peace, and if you feel like coordinating the Cloud, the big picture in your mind is now also under your hands..
  
Eric Sebera says:
09 Dec, 2015 10:36 AM
Condolences to the family of Dr. Robert Blokzijl. May his Soul rest in Eternal Peace.
Gaetano says:
10 Dec, 2015 09:52 AM
I'll pray for you and for your family. Rest in peace..
My absolute respect
jeroen says:
10 Dec, 2015 07:32 PM
Thanks for all you did, always keeping focus on the bigger picture. Your vision, enthusiasm and dedication will be dearly missed. One of the greater spirits of this world is moving on. Thanks for being part of our world as without you the internet and therefor the world as we know it would not have been the way it is today. Thanks again, may you rest in peace.
jaap says:
10 Dec, 2015 11:19 PM
My first meetings with k13 was with when we were thrown in the
committee supervising the construction of the buildings what became
the nucleus of the WCW. Soon I learned that Rob might not like the
choices people, he always respected them as long ad they were not
based on silly arguments. In all further meetings on various occasions,
too numerous to enumerate, that was always a leading theme. Don't
take everything for granted, analyze and study using while applying
a healthy dose of humor in the process. One time on the road to a
meeting he remarked "Join ICANN, see the world". It was more than
a quip, it also displayed the interest in learning how others are connecting
and networking.

Just as many have said before me I will dearly treasure my memories
to him.
Suzanne says:
11 Dec, 2015 08:45 AM
Rob, I'll never forget your kindness in making me feel welcome at my first RIPE meeting, and many other times. I'll also never forget how hard Liman laughed when I said I was a little intimidated by you back then!

Thanks for everything you did for the Internet and for the people who made it happen with you. I miss you already.
Michael Ade Alabi says:
15 Dec, 2015 07:15 PM
Thank you so dearly Dr. Robert Blokzijl for your efforts. The Internet Community will miss you so greatly!!!
Rest in peace.
Milan Sterba says:
01 Feb, 2016 11:23 AM
There is a small number of people whom I keep in my mind as real masters and mentors and Rob was one of them. He has been one of the few who inspired and embodied the spirit of RIPE, a true cooperation, respect, deep understanding, perseverance and why not say it, wisdom and humanity. Thanks Rob, you'll stay in my heart forever.
Salster420 says:
07 Feb, 2016 02:49 PM
I send out my deepest sympathy to all of Roberts Family to all his friends and students I ask them to remember Robert and look forward as he aways did. the OUTERNET is growing and it needs to be managed. Peace and Love
Kurt Kayser says:
31 Mar, 2016 02:58 PM
Rob was a great guide for me personally how to use the Internet to do something good for the world.
I miss him and wish I could have spent more time with him during the last years. Rest in peace, good friend.
.kurt
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