Thomas Lord: 1966-2022

This blog has lost a longtime friend and comrade, Thomas Lord.

From the Berkeley Daily Planet:

Thomas Lord was born April 26, 1966 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he lived until the age of 10 when his family relocated to western Massachusetts.

He graduated from Phillips Academy Andover in 1984.

He attended Johns Hopkins University and Carnegie Mellon University, and in 1987 began his career as a software engineer at Carnegie Mellon, working on the Andrew Project.

During this time he became interested in the free software movement (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/philosophy.html) and thereafter dedicated himself to developing and supporting free software (aka libre software or open source). He worked as an employee of the Free Software Foundation, developing for the GNU Project, for several years in the early 1990s.

In 1995 he first moved to Berkeley and began spending time in People’s Park, a place and a society that held great meaning for him.

He returned to Pittsburgh PA in 1998, then came back to the Bay Area in 2001 and relocated permanently to Berkeley in 2004.

In 2007 he married Trina Pundurs, his life partner since 1992.

Upon settling in Berkeley, he began engaging with city politics and policymaking. His interest led him to contribute to the Berkeley Daily Planet, and his work with Planet editor Becky O’Malley drew him further into city and regional issues, especially housing, displacement, and homelessness. In 2016 he was appointed by then-Councilmember Cheryl Davila to serve on the City Housing Advisory Commission.

In 2018 he was profoundly moved by a news report about scientists weeping in the aisles at COP 24, where the IPCC presented its Special Report on the impact of global warming of 1.5° C (“IPCC SR15”). Upon studying SR15, and following the work of Greta Thunberg, he became a tireless advocate of speaking the truth about the climate emergency and treating it as an actual emergency.

In addition to his climate and housing activism, he spent several years volunteering with students at Longfellow Middle School as part of the Writer Coach Connection program.

He died unexpectedly this week of a massive brain hemorrhage.

Thomas is survived by his wife Trina Pundurs, mother Luanna Pierannunzi, uncle Christopher Lord, aunt Sharlene Jones, and many cousins and extended family.

*****

Turn our sorrow into strength!

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