For all the tributes to Steve Jobs that have been published since his death at the beginning of the month, the best is perhaps the eulogy delivered by the Apple founder’s sister, Mona Simpson, at his memorial on October 16, and reprinted by the New York Times yesterday.
Simpson, a novelist and a professor of English at UCLA, describes meeting Jobs in 1985 as she was trying to get her first novel published. He had tracked her down after meeting their biological mother, Joanne Schieble Simpson, earlier in the decade.
Not long after the two met Jobs was ousted from Apple, something Simpson says was ‘painful’.
"He told me about a dinner at which 500 Silicon Valley leaders met the then-sitting president. Steve hadn’t been invited.”
Simpson goes on to describe Jobs’ loving attitude towards his family, even as his success grew.
"When a family member called him at work, his secretary Linetta answered, ‘Your Dad’s in a meeting. Would you like me to interrupt him?’”
Finally, Simpson closes on the moment of her brother’s passing.
"Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them.
"Steve’s final words were: Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”
Go here to read the eulogy.