Note: This blog post is from 2008. Some content may be outdated--though not necessarily. Same with links and subsequent comments from myself or others. Corrections are welcome, in the comments. And I may revise the content as necessary.I'm sorry to break the news, but I've not seen anyone else blog about this. Some of you may have known Glenda Vigoreaux, a widely acclaimed trainer and speaker in the CF and broader Adobe world. Sadly, she was found dead in her Glendale AZ home earlier this week, of unnatural causes.
I'll have more on that in a moment, including more about her surprisingly storied past (entirely unrelated to training and speaking) that may be a surprise to some (it was for me).
But first I'd like to remember her as I knew her.
Glenda, the acclaimed trainer and speaker
Glenda was an Adobe Certified Master Instructor who had taught Adobe/Macromedia technologies starting in 1998, including ColdFusion, Dreamweaver, Captivate, Contribute, Acrobat Connect and Presenter. She was widely praised and received consistently high marks, working for Roundpeg in Arizona (since 2005) and who before that had been on her own as GVX Technology since 1996.
Glenda was an equally lauded and popular conference speaker, winning best speaker honors at Max 2004 and CFUnited 2005 (we tied that year). You can find a podcast of her 2006 talk on CF printing and Reporting as well as her CFUnited bio of that year. You can learn more of her professional history from her LinkedIn page. She was even a speaker on the ColdFusion Meetup in May 2005, when Steven Erat was hosting.
The most tragic thing about the news is that her death has been ruled a suicide. I just can't fathom that. Besides the accolades above, anyone who knew her would say that she would seem one of the very last people in the world you could ever expect of being driven to that. In fact, if you look at the about page of her GVX site, you see that she had a clear passion for life, and for others.
Of course, I'd not talked to her in a couple of years, and naturally people's personal lives can often be masked by their public persona. Indeed there was much more to her background than many may have known (I didn't). I learned of her death today in an email from Steve Drucker (for which I'm so grateful). In it, he pointed to a news article (translated from Spanish).
The story reports that her husband found her with a gun at her side, with the "forensic and physical evidence...consistent with a self-inflicted shooting". I didn't know her husband, named there as Paul Hacker.
She came from a famed family, tragically notorious in Puerto Rico
But in that story (and with additional details found in sources mentioned later here), we learn that in fact Glenda came from a background of both notoriety and family tragedy. I never knew that hers was a celebrity family in Puerto Rico. Not only were her father and mother famous there as a TV producer and actress, respectively, but tragically, her father was brutally murdered and her mother convicted of it and jailed for 13 years. Apparently, all this was big news in Puerto Rico.
Indeed, the wikiepedia entry on her mother has even already been updated to reflect Glenda's death, and her death is listed as well in Wikipedia's 2008 deaths page with references to her notable family members, all this just 3 days later as I write. Again, clearly this was significant news to some people.
As further sad testament to the notoriety of all this, the news article above even says her house in Glendale and her family's in PR were both "full of paparazzi" (representing Puerto Rican press, I'd suppose).
I was almost tempted to doubt if we were talking about the same person, since these things all referred to her as Glendaly Vigoreaux Echevarría (the latter being her mother's famed last name). But then I found this memorial page which had that same "Glendaly" name but with happy pictures of her. Yep, that was the Glenda we knew.
A one-time TV star in Puerto Rico
The page goes on to offer still more about her family, their tragedy, and her life. It says that she herself had been a child TV star and later host, comedienne, and singer with her sister Vanesa on Puerto Rican TV shows.
That doesn't surprise me. She was certainly so full of life, which makes this all the more surprising.
So today we remember the passing of a member of the CF community, a stellar trainer and speaker, mystified by the asserted cause of her death...while a segment of the celebrity gossip world instead regards it only as another tragedy for a notoriously troubled celebrity family. It just doesn't make sense.
She will be sorely missed.
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