This page is dedicated to the memory of and preserving the invaluable contributions of past SHARE volunteers.
Michael F. Armstrong
SHARE President, 1986-1988
Mike’s first SHARE meeting was in 1966, representing the University of Rochester. He quickly became an active member of several projects during his early years, including FORTRAN, Assembler, HASP, OS/MVT-MFT, VM, and the University project. In 1980, he became the Deputy Project Manager for the CME (Computer Management & Evaluation) project, the only management ribbon he held before joining the Board of Directors in 1982. Asked about this apparent lack of preparation, he explained that his view of a senior executive was to be more of a leader or coach than a manager, and with a grin, said that perhaps this apparent lack was actually a plus. He served on the Board for eight years, as Director of Meeting Arrangements, Vice President, President and Immediate Past President. That grin (and his encyclopedic store of shaggy dog stories) served him well, whether defusing a tough debate or shepherding his leadership team through a critical issue or relaxing with the volunteers.
Mike stayed active with SHARE over the ensuing years, coaching and mentoring generations of SHARE volunteers. He had a rare gift of approachability and inclusion – even the most nervous and inexperienced of volunteers felt welcomed and part of the conversation and action around him. For over 50 years, he gave freely of his gifts and the SHARE family is greatly in his debt.
Thoughts from Liz Kaufman:
What touches your heart when you think of someone isn’t the list of big accomplishments they’ve had in their lifetimes. It’s not their managing large organizations, or bringing major projects in on time and under budget, or delivering a great presentation on some esoteric subject – and goodness knows Mike could check off the box on each of these. What stays forever are the small gestures that flow naturally from a generous, compassionate and loving soul, and that’s what we remember most about Mike.
When you spoke with him you knew he was truly listening. When you asked for advice, his counsel was specific to you. When you found yourself in a bit of a pickle, he never sought to assign blame. When an act of kindness was required, he would be there, and quite often no one even knew until years later. He exemplified Ernest Hemingway’s definition of courage – grace under pressure. Only in Mike’s case he served it up with a liberal dose of humor and a lot of love.
Mike gave us many bits of counsel over the years – we leave you with three that bring him readily to mind:
- Don't sweat the small stuff
- It's all small stuff
- And, sheep lie!
(Photo above on the right - 1988, with Lynne Schwartz (SBA Executive Director) and Cecilia Cowles Jenkins (incoming President))
John R. Ehrman
SHARE Volunteer, 1967-2018
During his 50-year tenure as a SHARE volunteer, John served the organization in roles that included member of the Board of Directors (1972-1974), manager of the Assembler Project, and IBM representative to the Fortran Project. John may be most well known in the SHARE community for his depth of knowledge in the Assembler language and his commitment to sharing that knowledge with others as one of the most active session presenters in SHARE history. John gave 260 presentations at the most recent 34 SHARE events, including a five-part Assembler Boot Camp in conjunction with volunteer Michael Stack. He also authored a textbook on the Assembler language for IBM z System Servers that still serves as a preeminent resource for mainframe programmers.
In biographies, John described his own journey into computers thusly, “After too many courses in math and physics I discovered computers, and have enjoyed working at the Assembler Language level ever since.”
The John R. Ehrman Award for Sustained Excellence in Technical Education was established in 2017 to recognize a SHARE volunteer's outstanding contributions to the technical program, both through demonstration of exceptional technical competence and knowledge, and the effective sharing of that competence and knowledge with fellow SHARE participants over an extended period of time. The inaugural presentation of that award will take place at SHARE Sacramento.
SHARE President, 1976-1978
As a SHARE volunteer, John served in the following roles: Member, CPS Project, Deputy Manager, CICS Project Chairman, CICS Accounting Committee, Deputy manager, DB/DC Applications Division, Member, Advisory Council, Member, Nominating Committee and Director of Divisions Chairman, Advisory Council. His influence on SHARE is not reflected in the short list of positions he held. John served 2 1-year terms as President -- he was the last 1-year President as the Bylaws were changed in 1977 to provide for 2-year terms.
Statement from Jim Michael:
As I think back on my years of friendship with John, I find myself deeply aware of what a kind, thoughtful, caring man he was. He was generous with his time and always ready to sit and talk with a friend, or any member of our SHARE family who wanted his insights. We talked about the light and funny things that made him laugh as his face light up with humor, and about the deep, meaningful topics that brought out the humble wisdom and keen intelligence of this special man. His dedication to SHARE was endless. He was always ready to give his time, attention, and best ideas to help advance our mission. His contributions in developing others as they grew in their SHARE careers are immeasurable. His readiness to trust others, and the trust he inspired, called us to give our best.
Of course, one of the great gifts that John shared with us was his love of music, and of bringing out the music in all of us. To spend an evening singing with him at SHARE was one of my favorite parts of the time we spent together. He put his heart into his playing and singing with us. We'd tear into the rocking numbers, soar with him through the quieter ballads, and laugh out loud at some of the more colorful songs in his repertoire. At least once, we had hotel security, tell us that the show was over! I'm so grateful to have spent many evenings swapping songs and stories with John, and so many of you. I know we'll all look back on those times with a smile.
While those nights of singing could get loud, I find myself remembering John as a quiet, thoughtful, man. He knew how to have a good time, and he also wondered about the big questions in life. He read, and sang, and looked at the stars. He worked, and played, and loved his family. Somewhere, he is singing still, or talking, and listening with care, to friends. Someday, we'll sing and talk together again. It was my pleasure to have known John, and my honor to be his friend. I will miss him.
SHARE President, 2002-2004
As a volunteer, Ken also served in the following roles: Member of the Technical Support Management Project, SHARE Senior Management Team, Board of Directors (Deputy Director, Operations; Director Member Relations & Sales; Director of Marketing; Director of Operations; Vice President, Immediate Past President), Finance & Audit Committee, Future Conference Committee, Nominating Committee
Statement from President Harry Williams:
SHARE and the SHARE Community lost a true friend in Ken Ebbe. He was always there with his infectious smile willing to help. A quiet mentor to many, whispering wise counsel to many. Those of us who were fortunate to have worked with Ken are better for having known him.
Celebration of life for Ken Ebbe will be this Saturday, July 15th, from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Paul's Neighborhood Bar. Ken and his wife talked many times that after "all of this was over" they wanted to go to Hawaii. So in lieu of flowers and as a memorial to Ken, his children have set up a "Mahalo for Mom" Go Fund Me page because they know she would never ask for anything for herself but Ken would love to be able to send her.
SHARE Director for Volunteer Resources 1999-2001
Patricia (“Pat”) began her SHARE career focused on office systems. She served as Project Officer and Deputy Project Manager for the PROFS project, Project Manager for the OWL (Office, Workstations, LANS) project, Cluster Leader for Office Systems and Business Technologies clusters, Manager of Human Resources, and subsequently the Director for Volunteer Resources.
Statement from Mike Stack:
When I met Pat, she had an unpronounceable last name, and everybody struggled with it. I think all of the SHARE volunteers were grateful to Don for his role in changing her name from Berastegui to Egen.
During my early years at SHARE, I worked in the Basic Systems Division, but by 1985, Bill Steven’s Management Division fit my responsibilities better, and it’s where I met Pat. Not too long after that, the SHARE management structure was altered so that each division had two clusters, and Pat was our cluster leader, or as we called her, "Cluster Mom." Her leadership as we evolved into the new organization showed me what a warm person she was. In an organization often dominated by confrontational men, her ability to resolve issues without confrontation was oh, so welcome.
And, a few years later, she called me at work one day. She was on the Nominating Committee, and she spent an hour — an hour — trying to convince me to fill out the form to submit my name as a candidate for the SHARE Board of Directors. I had no idea that I could think of so many reasons why that would be a bad idea. Worse yet, I had no idea that each one of those reasons could be so easily shown to be fatuous. At the end of the hour, I was exhausted and agreed to fill out the form if only Pat would leave me alone. She laughingly agreed, and because of that hour, I spent six years on the SHARE Board, including two each as Secretary and Treasurer. Pat was a fierce believer in the value and power of volunteering and always acted on those beliefs — coaching, teaching, mentoring, hand-holding, and even debating with people (like me) who wanted to be part of SHARE and who might have needed a small nudge.
My heart goes out to Don and family, with my hope that their memories of Pat will help them through this difficult time.
Longtime SHARE Member and Speaker
Bob spent his civilian career in software engineering and retired from Rocket Software Corporation in 2016. Bob was a top-level mainframe developer, systems programmer and manager. His deep knowledge in subject matters and breadth of interest gained him national recognition in the community, and for many years, he was one of the most respected leaders and speakers at SHARE conferences.