Remembering scrump August 15, 2022 2:09 PM   Subscribe

Longtime mefite scrump has died.

Ashton had been diagnosed with diabetes as a teenager. In that 2006 thread he wrote that he hadn't been taking good care of himself. He did eventually get it together, but his blood kept silting up and over time various systems gave him various degrees of hell. In the end his kidneys gave out. He was too high-risk for a transplant, and dialysis wasn't offering him much quality of life, so he elected to stop treatment a few days ago. He died last night.

He and I had realized with some back-and-forth in this thread that we were neighbors. For years we were co-workers too: he hired me for the first MeJob, and then I hired him back a few years later.

He was the kind of friend who could, and frequently did, turn a quick grocery run into an adventure. The Bay Area (or at very least our former neighborhood) hasn't been the same since he left in 2018.

He plans to put googly eyes on his urn so the kids know he's watching them.

He'll be missed.
posted by tangerine to MetaFilter-Related at 2:09 PM (124 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

Thank you so much, tangerine, and I'm so sorry. This is just devastating.
posted by taz (staff) at 2:11 PM on August 15 [6 favorites]


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posted by supermedusa at 2:11 PM on August 15


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posted by thatwhichfalls at 2:12 PM on August 15


So sorry to hear this.
posted by heyho at 2:21 PM on August 15


Oh, no! scrump was awesome!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:24 PM on August 15 [5 favorites]


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posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 2:25 PM on August 15


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posted by Wobbuffet at 2:25 PM on August 15


Oh no.

Ashton was a kidney friend. We were in touch a while back as he was just getting started with dialysis. It's incredibly scary and no fun at all, but he had the most wonderful sense of humor despite everything:
Also, with my cardiac history, hemo is apparently not the greatest idea. These doctors and their unreasonable niggling concerns about "sudden cardiac death" and "risk factors". Give someone an MD and a fellowship in nephrology and suddenly they're an "expert" or something.
...
We're going with [peritoneal]. I am reliably informed by a nurse who looks and sounds exactly like Ving Rhames that this is the best option, and I'm not going to argue with Ving Rhames. Also I have been told that if I hit a GFR of 1 I win a prize.
...
The quease is THE WORST. I'm taking like fifteen meds every morning and I swear half of them are anti-nausea measures like Zofran and Zantac and so forth and so on. All so I can forego the indignity of the morning hworf, which as you know is the traditional call of our people.
I wish I'd emailed him again. What a remarkable, one of a kind person.

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posted by mochapickle at 2:26 PM on August 15 [23 favorites]


I knew him only from Metafilter, but he always struck me as just being awesome.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:45 PM on August 15 [1 favorite]


Aw, crud. I really loved the post on the Furries and Syrian refugees, and call back to it often.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:49 PM on August 15 [4 favorites]


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posted by clavdivs at 3:03 PM on August 15


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posted by Splunge at 3:06 PM on August 15


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posted by riruro at 3:11 PM on August 15


I'm so sorry to hear this. :(
posted by MollyRealized at 3:14 PM on August 15


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posted by janell at 3:16 PM on August 15


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posted by the primroses were over at 3:18 PM on August 15


I'm so sorry to see this.
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posted by riverlife at 3:43 PM on August 15


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posted by soundguy99 at 3:49 PM on August 15


Terrible news; thank you for letting us know, tangerine.

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posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:50 PM on August 15 [1 favorite]


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posted by niicholas at 4:00 PM on August 15


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posted by biogeo at 4:07 PM on August 15


Awwww, tangerine I am so sorry. He was a prince among men. Showed me a really good time when I was in the Bay Area in 2008, drove me, in fact, from Sacramento to San Francisco saving me some serious public transportation headaches. He had a great sense of humor, he was a great husband and father (last I knew, but we haven't been serious pen pals in maybe a half decade). Good friend. Big heart. May his memory be a blessing to all who knew him.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:09 PM on August 15 [11 favorites]


I’m so sorry, tangerine, and all who loved him.
posted by Songdog at 4:13 PM on August 15 [2 favorites]


Last email I got from him started like this.

HELLO IT IS YOUR FAVORITE INTERWEB FRIEND AT LEAST FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES YOU TO READ THIS.

Such a great guy. Cortex took this picture of him.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:18 PM on August 15 [25 favorites]


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posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 4:44 PM on August 15


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posted by papayaninja at 4:47 PM on August 15


awww fuck. he was a geezer.

two scrump classics:

Becoming A Lion In Winter and PRO TIPS FROM A HAS-BEEN PARAMEDIC

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posted by lalochezia at 4:50 PM on August 15 [13 favorites]


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posted by drezdn at 6:06 PM on August 15


Thank you for letting us know, and also for sharing your memories of friendship. He always struck me as very smart and witty, and his presence will be sorely missed. I’ve seen firsthand how rough dialysis can be, and I hate that he had to go through it.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:43 PM on August 15 [4 favorites]


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His comment about his then three year-old being Very Serious about penises is one of my all-time mefi favorites.
posted by ActionPopulated at 7:20 PM on August 15 [6 favorites]


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posted by humbug at 7:30 PM on August 15


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posted by twelve cent archie at 7:38 PM on August 15


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posted by fruitslinger at 7:41 PM on August 15


That’s really sad news. I’m sorry to hear it and sorry for your (and the community’s) loss, tangerine.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:57 PM on August 15 [2 favorites]


Here's the obituary he wrote for himself. It's in two parts, as you'll see.

SOBER DIGNIFIED VERSION

Robert Ashton Treadway, 50, of Mechanicsburg passed away at his home from complications of kidney failure, surrounded by friends and family.

Over the course of his fifty years, Ashton filled every hour full of minutes.

He was a 1990 graduate of Trinity High School and attended Elon University and Dickinson College. He began his Internet industry career in 1995, working at pioneering companies like Digex. His later career as a technical writer took him to Silicon Valley for 20 years, where he took assignments from San Francisco to Manhattan to Tokyo.

He was immensely fortunate in his friends, surrounded by generous and beautiful companions who lived legendary lives of their own. His friendships took him around the world and resulted in some of the most outrageous Ashton stories.

He was beloved for his storytelling, often turning near-catastrophes into fantastic exploits; by his own reckoning he was on life 8 1/2 by the end, if not extra innings. Early in his life he fulfilled a childhood dream by becoming a volunteer firefighter, and later in life he fulfilled another dream by undergoing the arduous training to become a paramedic.

However, it was in the outdoors where he found some of his deepest fulfillment, whether it was sea kayaking in Monterey Bay, snowshoeing in Kings Canyon, or backpacking throughout the Sierra Nevada.

His greatest pleasure came from sharing these places with his family. In Monica, James and Edward he found willing partners in the wilderness. He delighted in being a son, a husband, an uncle, a brother, and most importantly a father.

He is survived by a galaxy of friends, his wife Monica and his sons James and Edward, as well as his parents Blaine and Susan and his sisters Suzanne and Dorothy.

ACCURATE VERSION

The universe and the odds finally caught up with Ashton Treadway after 50 years of narrow escapes, close calls, and tempting of fates both large and small. He is, to the best of our knowledge, really, actually, truly dead this time.

We’re almost entirely certain.

Ashton was a walking catastrophe of epic proportions, frequently dragging his friends and family into near-disaster with him. Ordinarily sober citizens and upstanding moral exemplars would find themselves strapped into the back of a rented 4x4, barreling down a logging road in the Sierra Nevada, the words “this is going to be GREAT” ringing in their ears.

Ashton has been cremated, thus thwarting the desires of his friends to see him safely interred under a large rock where he can no longer get to them. Those of us who wanted to see his gravestone read “It seemed like a good idea at the time” will remain frustrated.

Despite showing no outward signs of mental illness, Monica Funston, a Stanford graduate, got hoodwinked into actually marrying Ashton. Even more embarrassingly, she allowed him to father two children with her. We are relieved to report that neither James nor Edward are showing any signs of whatever genetic abnormality afflicted their father in lieu of a sense of humor.

Ashton was the life of the party whether anybody wanted it or not, and in much the same way as a fungal infection is the life of an old pair of shoes. Despite this, people insisted on inviting him to gatherings where he would do things like light himself on fire, vacuum peoples’ hair, engage in chile de arbol eating contests, and so forth. All of the foregoing incidents actually happened.

Trinity High School forcibly ejected him in 1990, and he subsequently made a mockery of higher education at Elon University and Dickinson College. He was somehow gainfully employed for over thirty years in the Internet industry, most of it in Silicon Valley. As far as we know, he was not responsible for any major natural disasters there.

He was very proud of his time as a volunteer firefighter and later as a paramedic, but he was even more proud of his sons, who were both major improvements on their old man.

He is survived by his family and friends, as well as the unwitting populace of Central Pennsylvania.
posted by tangerine at 8:04 PM on August 15 [101 favorites]


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posted by gentlyepigrams at 9:30 PM on August 15


Thank you very much, tangerine, for sharing those. I love that the funeral home published both versions.
posted by dg at 9:39 PM on August 15 [4 favorites]


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posted by Lawn Beaver at 6:15 AM on August 16


I am so sorry for your loss, tangerine, as well as the loss to his family, of course, and to MetaFilter as a whole. I never got to meet or know scrump but clearly his passing is a deep loss to many. He sounds utterly wonderful. Now I want googly eyes on my urn, too.

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posted by Bella Donna at 6:26 AM on August 16 [4 favorites]


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posted by Kitteh at 6:29 AM on August 16


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posted by The Great Big Mulp at 6:36 AM on August 16


dammit.

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posted by kimberussell at 6:36 AM on August 16 [1 favorite]


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posted by gudrun at 6:51 AM on August 16


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posted by goodbyewaffles at 6:56 AM on August 16


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As a long-time but mostly lurking member of the site, Scrump was one of those usernames I would recognise whenever I came across a comment or post of his, and who came across as a MeFite in good standing, if you know what I mean. He sounds like a great friend. I'm so sorry for your loss, tangerine.
posted by greycap at 7:32 AM on August 16 [4 favorites]


This is sad to hear. RIP, scrump. You had many friends here.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:39 AM on August 16 [3 favorites]


Fuck. He gave me a ride and maybe a place to crash years ago when I was traveling for meetup stuff, maybe the first time I ever went out of town for that, and we kept up for years after that in and around site stuff. He was one of those guys who cared a ton about people and was genuinely passionate about it to the point of getting in his own way sometimes; I think he buttoned a half dozen different times over the years because it was that or just post more and louder than he felt okay with. He was kind and deep and a good person to know, and one of the first MetaFilter people I knew personally from Not In Town, and I wish I had kept up with him better recently.
posted by cortex (retired) at 7:40 AM on August 16 [9 favorites]


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posted by dismas at 7:45 AM on August 16


I'm so sorry for our collective loss. May you find your sense of humor in your next life, scrump, and thanks for sharing it with us in this one.

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posted by Lynsey at 8:07 AM on August 16 [3 favorites]


Sorry to hear this. I did not know him except as a familiar username but the comments here make it clear that this was a great loss.
posted by vacapinta at 8:51 AM on August 16 [8 favorites]


I so agree with what vacapinta said.
posted by y2karl at 9:48 AM on August 16 [2 favorites]


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posted by svenni at 1:02 PM on August 16


Thank you tangerine, and thank you and all of Ashton's friends for telling us about yourselves and Ashton, and thank you all for your lovely information and thoughts and stories about a lovely person. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend Ashton - and please accept my honest hope and respect and best possible wishes for you all here, dear hearts.

And I just want to quote so many words you've all written about Ashton, just to echo some of the smart and beautiful celebrations of him from you all, because he undeniably deserves a celebration, and so I want to celebrate him and your smart and beautiful celebrations of him ...

... the kind of friend who could, and frequently did, turn a quick grocery run into an adventure ... he had the most wonderful sense of humor ... remarkable, one of a kind person ... awesome ... a prince among men ... a great sense of humor ... a great husband and father ... Good friend ... Big heart ... Such a great guy ... a geezer ... very smart and witty ... utterly wonderful ... a great friend ... one of those guys who cared a ton about people and was genuinely passionate about it ... kind and deep and a good person to know ...

... and even all our thread's single dots are loving and respecting and teardrops ... from and for a dear heart.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 1:31 PM on August 16 [19 favorites]


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posted by schmod at 1:49 PM on August 16


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Well this sucks.
posted by annieb at 2:40 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]


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posted by spinifex23 at 5:53 PM on August 17


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My condolences to those who knew him well.
posted by spitbull at 5:32 AM on August 18 [1 favorite]


Eternal rest and perpetual light unto him O Lord, may he rest in peace.
posted by jquinby at 6:32 AM on August 18 [3 favorites]


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posted by zamboni at 6:53 AM on August 18


Oi. I met scrump a long time ago on a goofy email list I really had no business being on. He worked with my sister, and would walk her to her car when she was leaving an abusive relationship. I had lost touch with him in the decline of Instant Messenger. Very sad to read this news.
posted by frecklefaerie at 11:21 AM on August 18 [5 favorites]


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posted by Mouse Army at 8:14 PM on August 18


What terrible news. Thank you for being a friend to him (and for letting us know).

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posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 5:08 AM on August 19 [1 favorite]


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posted by jaruwaan at 7:46 PM on August 19


Too young, too young.
I did not know him - but I recognize his username, and enjoyed his contributions.
I am so sorry for your loss, tangerine.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 12:23 AM on August 20 [1 favorite]


My deepest sympathies to all who knew and loved him. May you find peace, comfort, and strength in your memories.

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posted by terrapin at 5:56 AM on August 20 [1 favorite]


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posted by wheek wheek wheek at 9:50 AM on August 20


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posted by harriet vane at 2:57 AM on August 21


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posted by essexjan at 8:26 AM on August 21


Thank you for letting us know, tangerine. ♡
posted by Eideteker at 9:00 AM on August 22 [1 favorite]


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posted by St. Hubbins at 8:21 PM on August 23


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Tangerine, I'm so sorry you and others have lost such a wonderful friend.
posted by vers at 8:59 AM on August 24 [1 favorite]


One of the few MeFites I’ve met IRL. One of even fewer I remember — and fondly.

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posted by obliquicity at 11:17 AM on August 24 [1 favorite]


well, damn, that sucks.

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posted by mygothlaundry at 12:14 PM on August 25 [1 favorite]


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