Dec. 9, 2011


MVP Round Up



Special Edition:  A Tribute to Nate Oliver and Mary Sauer

MVP Family Suffers More Losses


Just weeks after the Office MVP Family lost Word MVP Shauna Kelly, we were devastated by the unexpected and sudden loss of Excel MVP Nate Oliver and Publisher MVP Mary Sauer.  Nate was a vibrant young man of 35 who passed away from complications due to a weak heart valve and Mary suffered a fatal heart attack at age 73, still too young.   Both were amazing people in their own right and left a lasting mark on the community.   Nate was originally awarded MVP in 2007 and contributed in more ways to recount, including answering a stunning 10K questions on  Mary was originally awarded in 2000 and was also a powerhouse in the forums and had an extremely popular website that boasted of a stunning 2,600 sites linking in to hers.  What is even more impressive about Mary and Nate however, is the impact they made on fellow MVPs and Microsofties alike, which became obvious with the flood of emails, forum posts, Facebook messages and water cooler discussions after learning of their deaths.  We were a better, stronger community with them, and they will be dearly missed.

Remembering Nate


Nate was an extremely gregarious, outgoing and popular guy and his untimely death shocked the community to the core.  Many of us were still reeling after Shauna’s death and Nate’s passing hit us hard.  There were hundreds of messages and notes posted after his death, too many to recount, but these are just a few.

"Nate was one of those rare stars of a caliber and quality that was simply a privilege to meet." Access MVP Albert Kallal

“Nate was a good man and a good friend. There are a lucky few of us that - thanks to the Microsoft MVP program - got to actually meet Nate personally. For the many who only ever knew Nate virtually, he was quite the Renaissance geek. Yes, due his pedigree in Finance and Economics he first became exceptional at Excel. Then, after becoming dominant in Excel he then turned his attention to Access and again earned a reputation as an expert. But beyond his prodigious knowledge of Excel and Access, Nate had a passion for fast cars, football and pool.” Excel MVP Greg Truby

 “The world is missing a brilliant, thoughtful and generous man” Zack Barresse, Excel MVP


“Nate was a very smart, funny, and warm guy who never hesitated to help those who asked — and when he sensed it, to help those who didn’t ask. Nate touched countless thousands of people’s lives by sharing his knowledge and expertise in Microsoft Excel, other Microsoft and non- Microsoft applications, and his brilliant programming techniques.” Tom Urtis, Excel MVP


 “We'll miss the witty and cheerful Nathan, his sunny hearty smile and his talent to help with the ease and grace.” Vladimir Zakharov, Excel MVP


“If you didn't get the chance to interact with Nate you missed out, as he was a lot of fun, and a whiz with VBA (among other things). He got a hard time for how young he looked, but he more than made up for it with his skills and great personality.” Chris ‘Smitty’ Smith, Excel MVP


"To Nate's family and friends, with sincere sympathies on behalf of his extended family here at UtterAccess. We have all been so fortunate to have met or known Nate, and he will indeed be missed terribly.  Nate has always been so brilliant, fun and kind. His spirit and attitude are things we can hold in our hearts forever, and smile with such fond memories.  It was truly a pleasure. Thank you Nate." Access MVP Gord Hubbell

“For those who did not know Nate personally, he was a very smart, funny, and warm guy who never hesitated to help those who asked -- and when he sensed it, to help those who didn’t ask. Nate touched countless thousands of people’s lives by sharing his knowledge and expertise in Microsoft Excel, other Microsoft and non- Microsoft applications, and his brilliant programming techniques. Nate and I last spoke a month ago, with a tip he sent me about how to improve my web site for IE8 users. Nate will be sadly missed, not just by his own family but by the global technical family of which he was so valuable a part.” Excel MVP Tom Urtis


"I remember coding an Excel automation process and putting the 'close Excel' in the wrong part of the loop ending up with many EXCEL.EXE processes (bad thing). As I was fixing the problem, I was hearing his voice in my head "Doug, Doug, Doug, do not leave hanging processes like that". When we met the following Summit, and I told him the story, he cocked his head and said (while laughing) "Doug, Doug, Doug, did I not tell you to not leave hanging processes like that.” Access MVP Doug Yudovich


“I think all of us who were afforded the privilege of meeting him in person would like those of you who only ever met him in cyberspace to know that while the cyber-Nate was great; the real Nate was even better. He channeled his formidable intellect towards helping thousands of people online solve their problems. He leaves a legacy befitting a man of his good character." Excel MVP Greg Truby


"Nate was always smiling -- even when he was just walking along.  He was a good friend who was always there to help anybody who needed it. I learned so much from him, especially about exchanging data between Access and Excel.  Many code snippets in my library were written by Nate.  We shared ideas and laughed a lot -- that is what I will remember." Access MVP Crystal Long


Here’s a few of the threads you can look at for more comments and pictures:

A tribute by Excel MVP Tom Urtis on his blog

A tribute on Utter Access
A tribute on
A tribute on Microsoft MVP Facebook page
tribute on Nate's Facebook page

A tribute on the Excel Blog


Remembering Mary

Publisher MVP Mary Sauer was one of our more private MVPs, and was less gregarious than Nate, but her passing still deeply affected the community.  She was very proud to have been a MVP for 11 years, and like many MVPs, made an impact on many more people than the MVP Program. In addition to being a MVP, she was a dedicated 4-H leader for more than 25 years; taught adult literacy, supported youth soccer for years; loved to garden, loved dogs, was an avid reader, delivered meals on wheels, developed and maintained her church website for several years (and won a national honor for the design) won many cross stitching blue ribbons, and sent care packages to many overseas soldiers from Vietnam to the Gulf War.  Mary was an amazing and wonderful woman and will be missed by many. Her fellow Publisher MVP, David Foster, said this,” She and I were the last Publisher MVPs and there will never be another like her.” 


Tributes From Microsoft


“I was Nate's MVP Lead and am stunned by this news. Nate always went out of his way to help the Excel community. He was always one of my go-to MVPs who spent hours of his own time, when I reached out to him directly, to help a non-Excel MVP with a tricky issue. He was a great MVP and wonderful person. What a tragic loss of someone so young and vibrant.  I will miss him...his sense of humor especially.” Melissa Travers, MVP Lead


“With Nate’s passing, the world has lost one of the good ones—and entirely too soon. Sure, Nate was a tireless champion for Excel, but he was also a lovely, funny, and eternally patient person who made a habit of going out of his way to help anyone who asked. (And quite often, the person asking was me!) I’m really impressed by Nate’s fellow MVPs, who have already shared so many moving tributes on Facebook and on their blogs. These are sure to be a great comfort to Nate’s family, because they clearly show just how many people truly appreciated Nate and his talents. What a fantastic guy Nate was, and what a fantastic, supportive community he belonged to!” Anneliese Wirth, Sr. Writer, Office Content Publishing


“I am so very sorry and saddened to hear about Nate. He will most definitely be missed. I'll miss his quick wit and banter. Please extend my condolences to his family.” Heather Kostes, MVP Lead


“Such sad news. My deepest condolences to Nate's family and Nate's extended MVP family. Rest in peace Nate.” Joe Camp, Office Community Lead


“When I first came on board as the MVP Lead for Office, Mary was one of the first MVPs that reached out to me to say hello.  She was warm and welcoming and consistently reached out to me advocating for Microsoft customers.  She embodied the true spirit of a MVP and I’m going to miss her.”  Kari Finn, MVP Lead


Memorial Information



Memorial visitation Saturday, December 17 from 4-6 PM, with a reception to follow, all at: Washburn-McReavy Edina Chapel 952-920-3996 West 50th St. & Hwy 100. Here’s a link to his Obituary.




Mary’s Memorial service was in November, but you can still make donations to Salvation Army in Mary's name and visit her memorial page here.

Copyright 2011 Microsoft Corporation. | Legal | Privacy
posted December 9, 2011 with permission from Kari Finn, Community Program Manager - Community and Online, Microsoft

    picture by Duane Hookom
click HERE to see PICTURES of Nate and friends
If you have pictures you wish to add to this collection,

go to Nate Oliver's Blog

download zipped Word document with Nate Oliver's Blog

go to the Access MVP home page