I will always remember the great times we had together. Those early learning days at Lockheed and crazy secret missions. Remember eating at that Spanish restaurants in Old LA where you tried to convince me that those chiles weren't that HOT? I wish we had more of your humor, your insight and your intensity. You chose to do the things you did, not because they were easy but because they were hard....and because you actually could. I confess that it was me who told you about that girl in tech pubs that I wanted to talk to. I remember the day I gave you that application to Ball Aerospace and convinced you to go to Boulder. It really was your kind of place. I remember that one day that I actually drove faster than you and disappeared. In genuine Leo brillance you followed my tires skid marks and still found me. It was a good thing, as you had the wedding rings. We learned, we laughed, we partied, we worked and now we all cry together. I am only steeled by the fact that your pain is over. Did you take your Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe with you... or do I still have it? If so I will treasure it always as I do our friendship. Our love and wishes are with you on your next great adventure. It is in the best traditions of all those who have struggled to have their best work leave Earths gravity to proclaim:
Leo, You have finally achieved escape velocity!
God Speed Leo Diaz! God Speed!
You amazed me the first time we worked together on your zeal for science and math that surpassed my own. I wish you had gotten more orbits around the sun to wander in the alternate universes of mathematical topology and we could have had many more chats on the twists and turns of romance, science, politics, history and philosophy.
Through you I was blessed to be involved in the Kepler mission to prove that exoplanets are commonplace. I enjoyed our many misadventures and will miss you greatly.
I will always be proud to call you my friend.
Goodbye for now Leo. I'll meet up with you again when I too return to formless consciousness. I loved you deeply; the best part of you always stayed with me and inspired me.
I am happy for your release from suffering, finally, and grateful that you walked up to me in a parking lot in New Jersey back in 1985 to say hello.
"We are stardust, we are golden
And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden.
Then can I walk beside you
I have come here to lose the smog
And I feel just like a cog in something turning."
Love, Janet R., Carbondale, CO