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In Honor of Thierry Declerck

The ACDH-CH grieves about the loss of a highly appreciated and outstanding colleague.

The picture shows Thierry Declerck doing what he loved most: discussing smart ideas with colleagues. The photo was taken at the eLex2019: Smart Lexicography conference in Sintra, Portugal.

The loss is a severe and painful one! Thierry was a wonderful person, a wise and persistent teacher who knew how to bring lightness to complexity. His experience was constantly enriching my view of the world of data, his serenity always gave confidence and, above all, contributed in an incomparable way to a cheerful atmosphere.

In heartfelt memory!

— Kiki Czeitschner, Senior Scientist, ACDH-CH

I am shocked and deeply sad about the sudden death of Thierry Declerck. I have had the chance to collaborate with him on several projects and publications.

He was a great colleague and he inspired me with his passion for language resources.

— Tanja Wissik, Senior Scientist, ACDH-CH

The passing of our dear colleague and friend has truly hit us unexpectedly. Deeply saddened we think of the many endeavours we worked on together, the many hours we spent on compiling papers, on writing code, on standards, on ontologies and dictionaries. We remember the excellent researcher, the universally interested scientist, the committed and open-minded scholar, the great traveller, ever-patient teacher, ever-collegial co-worker who never ceased to be cheerful even in discussion and debate. He leaves a hurtful gap and will be missed greatly.

— Charly Mörth, research director & deputy director, ACDH-CH

When I started working at ACDH(-CH) in 2015, together with a colourful bunch of young people, Thierry was one of the first “seniors” who just showed up in my office to ask me who I was, what I liked to do and how I was doing at the newly founded institute. I had the pleasure of meeting this Thierry again and again in the years that followed: A well-known luminary in his field, with a genuine interest in the people he works with. I will miss his spontaneous visits to my office as well as the numerous evenings in Viennese taverns.

Farewell, my friend

— Christoph Hoffmann, Research Software Engineer, ACDH-CH

”[…] 2 more posters, a stand at EC Village, one EC session, one session to chair, and still in use as a PC.
But all so far in the green range!
Kind regards

With these words, our colleague Thierry Declerck had commented on his tightly scheduled conference day in a hurried message. Back then, in 2012, “everything was so far in the green range” and our collaboration had just begun – numerous other projects at ACDH-CH with conferences all over the world were soon to follow.

Looking back today, this short quote is a testimony of Thierry’s tireless commitment to the international research community and to our institute in particular: His extraordinary commitment, scientific expertise and experience, as well as his open-mindedness towards new collaborations and research projects will remain unforgotten at ACDH-CH.

— Claudia Resch, Group Leader, ACDH-CH

Thierry Declerck was one of the first colleagues I met when I started working at the ACDH-CH several years ago. He immediately took me by the hand and shared his passion about lexicography, lexicographic resources, ontologies and standard with me. Being fluent in various languages, he has been a great language expert who also had a great interest in the theoretical, thus rather technical aspects of language and its concepts. This might feed into the several reasons why he loved teaching: As far as I can remember he participated each year in various Summer and Winter schools, workshops and conferences to teach the world about Ontolex-Lemon, Wordnets, Sense Linking and Semantic Web Technologies.

He had a sixth sense in detecting and finding suitable candidates to mentor and take under his wings in order to push them further into defining their research interests, and delivering suggestions to publish papers and hold presentations together, thus introducing and establishing these candidates in the academic research society.

Thierry has been a person who left no stone unturned: after the project is before the next project (proposal), with the next trip just around the corner, off to some sophisticated city to bring people together to sit on a table and discuss smart ideas.

He always wore a smile on his face and did not hesitate to make a joke or two.

Thierry, you will be dearly missed!

— Anna Woldrich, Communication Officer, ACDH-CH