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Jeff McLeman

Jeff McLeman

November 16, 1957 - January 21, 2020
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Obituary

Jeff McLeman passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 of an
anoxic brain injury after a fall at home. (see below for exact details).

Jeff was born in Arlington, MA and raised in the New England area, but his career transferred
him to the Pacific NW in the 90s. He would go on to work for a multitude of tech companies,
including being an integral part of many start-ups. It was another start-up that brought him back
home to the Boston area in June of 2019.

Jeff always had an unrelenting passion for technology, continually educating himself and
working with new ideas. He had an impeccable work ethic, an unwavering sense of integrity, and
loved to provide mentorship and guidance to anyone who would ask. If you were someone near
and dear to him, he would go to the ends of the earth for you. That is just who he was.

Jeff enjoyed, in no particular order, prog rock music, travel, good wine, his dogs, old cars, British
tv, Scotch, and a good dirty joke. He had a laugh that made you laugh along with him. He had a
passion for amateur radio since childhood, which he maintained as a hobby to this day. His brief
time in the Air Force made use of his radio knowledge and had him deployed with the NSA on
what will probably always remain classified missions.

In addition to his wife, Stefanie Preston, Jeff is survived by his adult son, Ian McLeman; his
brother Scott McLeman and his wife Ginya; his brother Jamie McLeman and his wife Maureen;
and his sister Donna Jones and her partner John. He had three nieces (Amanda, Sarah, and Emi),
and three nephews (Drew, Kyle, and Josh).

He will be missed more than can even be expressed in words.

An informal memorial service and celebration of life will be held at the Blake Chelmsford
Funeral Home on Saturday, February 1 , 2020 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Arrive any time you
wish.

The medical details:
Saturday evening, January 18th , Jeff suffered a fall at home. He was standing on a chair, and
apparently lost consciousness, falling forward, and hitting his head on the floor. The impact
caused severe trauma to his brain stem, fracturing C1 and C2 of his spine, and dissecting a
vetebral artery near the fractures. He immediately lost consciousness, and struggled to maintain a
pulse once the paramedics arrived and initiated CPR. He was taken to the closest hospital, where
a CT scan confirmed the C1/C2 injury and paralyzation. He remained in the ICU overnight, not
regaining consciousness. Throughout the night, Stef remained hopeful as he seemed to open his
eyes slightly as she stroked his face and talked to him.

Sunday evening, January 19th , Jeff was transferred via MediFlight to the neuro ICU at Tufts
Medical Center in Boston, a top facility. There, he showed no signs of improvement.​

Monday, January 20th , neurologists feared the worst. He would not recover.

Tuesday, January 21st , after numerous manual tests and a CT scan were run to confirm the
doctors suspicions, Jeff was pronounced dead at 4:02 pm. The family made the decision to
donate his organs. He would have been proud that in the wake of this horrific tragedy, multiple
other lives may have been saved.

Wednesday, January 22nd , donor recipients were located and surgery to perform organ removal
began, but was ultimately aborted. The doctors found numerous tumors called benign multi-
cystic mesothelioma masses near his colon and intestines. These are extremely rare in men, but if
not found in the early benign stage, quickly turn into aggressive cancer.

Jeff may have been on his way to a whole different painful path. We can only take solace in the
fact that he didn’t suffer.

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  • Visitation

    February 1, 2020 | 1:00pm - 4:00pm
    When
    February 1, 2020 1:00pm - 4:00pm
    Location
    Blake Chelmsford Funeral Home
    Address
    24 Worthen Street
    Chelmsford, MA 01824
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

Condolences

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Private Condolence
JD

John DeRosa

Posted at 07:18pm
I first met Jeff while working for DEC, sometime around 1990. My hardware team gave a presentation to his software team about the new system we were designing. It had a horrendous I/O space design that gave all the software folks fits. And we were kind of jerks about it -- this is our hardware, we are hardware gods, deal with it. Jeff was especially eloquent about our design in his own inimitable way. Getting skewered by him was an honor.

We then worked together closely on the next project, which was working on Windows NT with Microsoft. We both moved to Seattle and had many late nights together. Lots of pressure, the project was at times a crucible. But friendships are forged in crucibles and all of us from that project have been friends since then, for the long haul. And boy did he have a funny sense of humor! Dry and ironic, very very funny. If you're in a foxhole you want Jeff with you.

Jeff was smart about a lot of things, but he was particularly adept in radio, cellular, wireless, low-power embedded systems, etc. He absorbed technical information easily but really liked the radio world. He would describe the IoT hardware he was designing and the software protocols they used and I'd be blown away by what he was making the hardware do.

Jeff loved his family beyond all measure. I think one of his favorite things (not that he'd every admit it to me!) was cooking breakfast on the weekend. I remember he took pride in how he cooked the bacon. I'm like, Jeff I put it in a skillet and turn it a few times and we're done. And Jeff, of course, knows a special way to do it that it comes out perfectly every time. Oy! I loved this guy to bits!

Jeff was a great friend. I miss him.
CS

Chetan Sharma

Posted at 05:23pm
Had the good fortune of working with Jeff briefly. Extremely bright and kind. Left us too soon. Rest in peace my friend.

Rob Glaser

Posted at 04:21pm
Deepest condolences to everyone in Jeff's family and to his many friends.

I got a chance to work with Jeff closely on a few occasions. He was razor sharp, funny in an often edgy way, and someone who clearly deeply cared both about his work and for those around him.

After working together, we stayed loosely in touch on social media and I always valued those interactions. I will miss him.
JF

John Furukawa

Posted at 03:54pm
Jeff had the dubious honor of being an interim manager for me during some transition at RealNetworks in the mid 2000s , and I was essentially a non-functional contributor to project work for those couple months and made my displeasure known to whoever suffered to listen. Jeff took it all in stride, shared some war stories, and carried forward with humor. It has only been in the last couple of years that we'd been in touch after Jeff, Stef, and the Schnoodle Duo moved to Oregon. We met about his projects, we met for beer, we met to talk about future plans. We both ended up selling our companies and joining our acquirers about the same time and somehow hadn't connected in person about that.

It's not news to anybody reading this, but Jeff really enjoyed being in the mix of innovation work, with others. His stories are packed with drama, ego, wry humor, and always reflecting his fundamental drive to be useful. In these last couple of years, I gathered some strength from his offhand coping with the trials of ownership, and took some solace that he, too, 20 years my senior, would sell his thing to achieve a more desirable gig and reach. I also appreciated his obvious loyalty to Stef, dogs, friends, and coworkers. He was so very proud, and inclusive in that pride.

I had a growing list of thing to talk to Jeff about, and was imagining we'd catch up soon, on a call that would go 30 minutes over with rambling stories, sharp wit, and a sense of mattering to one another. Miss you already, Jeff. Love to your family.

April Graves

Posted at 03:53pm
Jeff was the kindest and most humble man I had the pleasure of working with. We kept in touch on social media and his wife always made me mini cupcakes that he would bring in. His pups were his kids and he adored his wife. Although we hadn’t seen each other for years we always had likes and comments on each other’s life and it made me smile to see he was happy, loved and still the amazing person I knew back at RealNetworks. I know his family will miss him beyond comprehension and my heart and thoughts are with them in this time.
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