If the name Alan Mize rings a bell, it should. Alan was a longtime contributor to the Gazette and one of the founding members of the Gazette Roundtable. Over the weekend Alan passed away.
I met Alan many years ago when I was giving a talk in Raleigh, NC about the stories of Walt Disney World. His enthusiasm and knowledge impressed me, but not as much as how genuine he was. We emailed back and forth, and when it came time to start a writing group for the Gazette, I knew I wanted Alan’s voice in the mix. His passion always shined through in his writing and he was the one constant through all the shifting versions of the roundtable group. He was a linchpin of the project, and I could never than him enough for his generosity and dedication.
Alan would go on to write for other sites and do a handful of podcasts, including the Enchanted Tiki Talk Podcast. It was the day to day interactions with Alan through Twitter and Instagram that I will remember most from these last several years. Alan always found time to connect with people on an individual level through social media, which is not an easy task, but it was important to him.
If you knew Alan, then you know that the light of his life was the birth of his daughter just over three months ago. She filled almost every photo he sent out since she was born. We’ve all had the blessing of getting to know and spend time with her amazing father, and I am certain she will know of the light he brought to the world and to all of our lives. AGoFundMe page has been set up for Alan’s family. Funds from the page, while having exceed its goal, are to assist Alan’s wife, daughter, and family with medical and final expenses and to give Alan’s daughter a foundation for college tuition when it is time. No doubt Alan would want her to be a part of the NC State Wolfpack. Every little bit will help his family today and tomorrow, so I am asking each of you to do what you can for his family.
Alan was an amazing man and I cannot even fathom how much he will be missed. His brand of enthusiasm and earnestness is something this world needs more of. Thank you, Alan, for all you did for so many of us, the world is a little less bright this morning without you in it.