OBITUARY: Mike Skurski, software designer, founding member PixelGenius
By Jeff Schewe
It is with a very heavy heart and great sadness that I must announce the passing of Mike Skurski on Thursday, October 27th, 2005. Mike passed away after post-operative complications. He was at home, from the hospital, being cared for by his parents.
Only some of you may have known Mike, but many, many people knew of Mike. He was a very talented software designer and engineer. He liked to mention that he has been doing Photoshop Plug-ins for almost as long as Photoshop has had plug-ins. He received a hand written floppy disk from Thomas Knoll with the then, Photoshop 1.0 SDK-such as it was.
He started a company called Total Integration, which produced a variety of software products including the first licensed PostScript software rip. He also produced Fast Edit Deluxe, which was a plug-in for opening small sections of Photoshop files. Mike worked on producing plug-ins for the original Wacom Pen Tools and was responsible for producing the plug-in engine for Live Picture. In addition, Mike contributed to more than 50 commercial software products including Esko-Graphics PERfection, Extensis PreFlight Pro, Extensis Print Ready, Creo Brisque Export PS DFE Module and Enfocus Pitstop.
Mike was also heavily involved with the Digital Distribution of Advertising for Publications (DDAP) Association and engineered the first PDF-X Verifier. Mike was a recipient of the Joseph L. Pedone Award. This award, named for the original founders of the DDAP Association, recognizes outstanding contributions to the adoption of standard accredited workflows. He served as a member of the CGATS standards committee playing an active role in the review and adoption of the TIFF-IT and PDF/X standards.
He was a founding member of a company called PixelGenius—a collaboration with Martin Evening, Bruce Fraser, Seth Resnick, Andrew Rodney and Jeff Schewe. He was the principal software designer and engineer for the PhotoKit series of products. He was much loved by the PixelGenius members.
Mike was a fireball of a guy-sort of short on stature-but big in heart, always willing to answer questions and help anybody with anything he knew about, which was a formidable wealth of knowledge. He used to joke that his favorite recreational reading material was software and OS manuals. His extensive knowledge of software and computers reflected that. He was a true "geek" in the best and most favorable definition of that word. He was also a very loving and caring father of a pair of dynamo twins, who seem to have a lot of their father in them.
Mike was a 1985 graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in Printing Technology.
Mike is survived by his parents, his sister Paula, and his twin sons, Steven and Nicholas.
Mike has close friends around the world and I know many of you cannot attend his service. However, if you are able to celebrate Mike's life with his family and friends this coming Tuesday and Wednesday, here are the specifics.
Tuesday, November 1, 3 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Ahlgrim Funeral Home
415 S Buesching Road
Lake Zurich IL
Wednesday, November 2, 10:00 a.m.
St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church
Fr. Ronald Gollatz, Pastor
277 E Main Street
Lake Zurich, IL 60047
St. Michael the Archangel Cemetery
1185 W Algonquin Road
Palatine IL 60067