This past month, we here at CodeWeavers and the wider Wine community suffered a devastating loss. Our friend and colleague, Józef Kucia, died at the age of 30.
Józef first contributed to Wine in March of 2012, showing remarkable skill with Wine’s D3D technology. He became a key contributor to Wine, submitting over 2,500 patches. He also contributed to other open source projects including Mesa and Debian. Józef founded and led the vkd3d project and provided insight and guidance to the Vulkan working group.
Józef joined CodeWeavers in 2015, and quickly became one of our most valued employees.
While technically brilliant, Józef was a man of few words. He carried a quiet kindness, but it could be difficult to draw him out.
One topic that would get Józef talking was his love for caving. Similar in spirit to mountain climbing, caving is a sport of discovery and exploration. Groups of explorers seek to uncover and map new cave systems while enjoying the startling beauty of the underground world. Caving is a physically and psychologically demanding sport, requiring the ability to maneuver in very tight spaces, often in absolute darkness.
A group of us at CodeWeavers had the good fortune of sharing in Józef's love for caving in conversation and on a trip to a local climbing wall last year. In his quiet way, Józef impressed us all with his skill and grace. It was clear from his talents and his joy in conversation that caving was a passion for Józef.
This August, Józef took an extended vacation to the Tatra mountains to explore the longest and deepest cave in Poland, Wielka Sniezna ("Great Snowy Cave"). While exploring, he and another member of his group of six became separated by an unexpected flow of water. Despite an extensive rescue operation, Józef and his companion died.
Words cannot express the sorrow and heartbreak we feel. All of us at CodeWeavers extend our heartfelt condolences to Józef's family, friends, loved ones, and everyone else who grieves his passing.
We take some solace from knowing that Józef died doing something he loved, with full understanding of the risks involved. We admire the courage and ambition he displayed in pursuing his passion. While his life ended far too soon, it was a life well and fully lived.
There will be Holy Mass for Józef at 2 PM in Św. Mikołaja Cathedral in Bielsko-Biała on September 11.
Rest in Peace, Józef.