EDWARD GEORGE NILGES
Born, November 9, 1949, in Boston, Massachusetts
Died, December 13, 2013, in Hong Kong
Edward Nilges died peacefully, after a long battle with cancer, in the early hours of December 13, 2013.
Edward was a graduate of Roosevelt University, a pioneer of computer-programming education, and an employee at Bell Northern Research and at Princeton University's computer center. At Princeton, he studied Political Philosophy and worked on a program with the mathematician, John Nash. His name is indexed in Nash's biography, A Beautiful Mind. Eventually, he would become a teacher in the English-language schools of Hong Kong.
He is the father of two sons, Edward, now deceased, and Peter; brother to Richard, Laura Marland, Mary Smith and Joseph, and son to the late Jean Elizabeth Nilges and Dr. Richard G. Nilges.
He was also a philosopher, a poet, and a painter. He never became a priest, but he started in life as a particularly devout Catholic, and ended by taking the Sacraments. A medievalist and a Shakespearean scholar, his knowledge of Shakespeare may have rivaled those who teach at the nation's top universities.
Through his website, Spinoza's Blog, and through his Facebook page, he reached out to hundreds around the globe, sharing his thoughts on philosophy, literature, art and politics, on his life, and on his final illness, a protracted battle with a strangely virulent form of prostate cancer, which he fought with a combination of exercise and intellectual engagement. In his final months, he re-read and wrote copiously about the entire body of Shakespeare's work, and then started in on Kant.
He was a serious, marathon runner, and continued to run for some time after his diagnosis in May of last year.
A sister remembers one differently, and perhaps more thoroughly. I remember Ed as a scrawny, asthmatic, nearsighted kid who couldn't play baseball, didn't make friends easily, and was always getting beaten up.
In the end, I think he finally knew he was loved, and he died like a warrior.