News about Mike Keran - he has passed away

jcost's picture

Hi Everyone,

I'm sorry to be sharing this heartbreaking news, but Mike is such a giving member of this group, I wanted to make sure everyone heard it. I know this is going to come to a complete shock to many of you, as we all know Mike be active - biking to meetings and playing ultimate frisbee.

Back on November 9th, Mike had a seizure - first one he has ever had. He actually emailed me since he was doing some work for us and it sounded like he was in and out of the hospital with tests. He told me he was bored in the hospital and sounded like his old self. Then this went on for weeks with no clear diagnosis. He was very spacey, his short-term memory was terrible, he had trouble finding words to express what he wanted to say, and he was in general kind of confused about things. He started getting unsteady on his feet and needed help getting around. He had CT scans, MRIs, neurological exams, blood draws, and spinal taps, but no conclusive answer until they did a brain biopsy. As a result of that, they discovered he has GBM, or glioblastoma. This the same type of brain tumor that John McCain has.

Sadly, the prognosis is not good. Straight from Joanna on 12/24:

So many times over the past six weeks I have had to do the impossibly hard thing, only to have something harder come up. On Wednesday, we found out that Mike has brain cancer. On Thursday, we found out that it is inoperable. On Friday, we found out that he is not going to get better. Given the size, location and aggressive growth of the tumor along with his already debilitated state, there is no treatment that can help him. All that treatment could do at this point is to temper the effects of the disease enough that he becomes more aware of what is happening to him and experiences it for longer.

I know it is impossible to comprehend that this is happening, because Mike is so strong and vital and alive. The only thing we can do for him now is to bring him home so that he can be more comfortable and surround him with our love. I don't know exactly what that looks like yet, but we will set it up so that you can all visit him and say good-bye. He would want that.

There is a Facebook group for Mike where the updates are being shared. If you would like to be added to that, email me ( or Rick offlist to be added. I will share updates here as well as we learn more.

If anyone knows what groups he may be involved with (I know he is involved with Drupal Association in some way) please share the news.


Adding to FB group

jcost's picture

If you email me to get added to Mike's FB group, please include your email that you use on FB.

Thanks for posting

jhodgdon's picture

Jeanne -- I'm sure that wasn't an easy post to write. Thanks for updating us on Mike... So sad! I am not on Facebook, and no longer in Seattle... but I really appreciate hearing about this.

As far as Mike's other activities... I don't know if/how Mike has been involved with the Drupal Association, but he's definitely the maintainer of the Better Exposed Filters module. Someone will need to take it over. There's a procedure to follow:
Would it help if I initiated that procedure? It appears that my elevated content admin permissions on will let me take many or all of those steps.

Or does anyone here have the interest/expertise to take the project on? If so, there is also
(procedure for dealing with abandoned projects).

Mike and his Drupal reach

jcost's picture

You're right Jennifer, definitely a hard post and wish it had been better news.

Thanks for offering to help with that process. I think it would be wonderful if someone from the group could take over Better Exposed Filters. I don't know what level of expertise is needed for that, so maybe someone on the group knows?

I don't know how involved he has been with Drupal beyond hie module (maybe working on core?). He always seemed to be in the know at SeaDUG meetings and had answers to issues we ran across. I just wanted to make sure to get the word out because I think his reach is beyond Seattle.

I tweeted your post...

jhodgdon's picture
if anyone wants to retweet & help get the word out...

My thoughts are with Mike and

arh1's picture

My thoughts are with Mike and his family.

I'm looking forward to coming together for Mike as a community in our upcoming meetups and events.

Your favorite memories of Mike

jcost's picture

Expanding on what Andy said, why wait to come together to share some of our favorite memories of Mike? I think we could start listing them here and I can make sure that Joanna gets them and can share with him.

I can go first...

Listening to live music with him in New Orleans with Elisa and Rick.

Working with him on a couple projects this summer. He worked on a big import tool for me and now it's time to import data again and I am really sad he is not here to work on it with me again.

His willingness to always jump in and help with issues even when it was not his code.

Mike, I always enjoy sitting

arh1's picture

Mike, I always enjoy sitting and chatting Drupal during SeaDUG, then grabbing a pint after, talking Seattle biking, and sharing parenting stories.

And of course our trips up and down the coast for PNW Drupal Summits, like a big, awkward and dorky family :)

When Mike was present life was good.

jdwalling's picture

I got the feeling Mike was amused and wanted to share his amusement.

At a total loss

jkopel's picture

I had lunch with Mike back at the end of the summer. It was a purely social occasion, just catching up since I had not been to many drupal events in a while. We talked about what was going on in our lives, and about the challenges of getting older while being a programmer. Mike was as sarcastic and profane as ever, and it was great to be able to hang out with such a smart, funny friend.
I will miss him.

Web developer @ tableau

Mike has passed away

jcost's picture

Saddest news just came across the FB group:

Dear friends of our beloved Mike....Mike passed away a few hours ago. I’m so sad to write this news. We have lost an amazing man, father, friend.
Joanna wanted me to share that she will be sending along a post with suggestions for those who want to donate in Mike’s memory.


adwyer's picture

So sad! It always amazes me at how many people we affect in our lives and how hard it is to loose someone we love that is so special to so many people. He will be missed. My heart goes out to Mike, his family and friends.


Ohh Really Feel Sorry for Mike!

MurshidPak's picture

I really feel sorry about Mike. And will miss him!

We miss you Mike

RockSoup's picture

I first met Mike through this Drupal group. I had the opportunity to get to know Mike more as we shared a passion for Drupal. Over the years I learned a lot from Mike and had fun as we worked together, presented at conferences, nerded out at our monthly meetings, and occasionally wet our whistles at local watering holes. Mike was quick with a smile and I admired his patience and kindness. I appreciate when life brings good people into my path and Mike was one of those people. I will miss Mike and try to honor his spirit by spreading the same kindness and love.

Rest in peace Mike.

Mike Keran


Mike Keran's passing

tgodfrey99's picture

I only knew Mike a little bit. He did solid work for Fuse IQ. He communicated honestly, clearly, did what he said he would, when he said he would do it.

On a personal level, I had a few short conversations with him, the most substantial this past summer, looking out at the water, talking a little bit about life. He just struck me as a warm, authentic human. The world could use more like him.

Godspeed Mike

Mike Karen

mortona2k's picture

Mike was a staple member of this community for years, and it's hard to see him go. He was friendly and helpful at meetings and fun to hang out with afterwards and at conferences. I looked up to him as an experienced developer who was always well informed and had some major contributions. While I'm disheartened to hear that he's gone, I'll always remember his positive vibe.

Thank you, Mike

PapaGrande's picture

I will miss your good humor, willingness to help others in a humble manner, and love of beer. Of course you were much more than the local Drupal community, but I'm grateful I got to know you a bit in that capacity.

[I can't make the next meeting, but I've been thinking of ways we can honor Mike's contributions to our community. Please let me know how I can help in any way.]

Food in Mike's Memory

laurajeans's picture

I didn't know Mike but I can see that he left an impression on this group. I'm part of a volunteer group for the Rain City Rock Camp For Girls and heard about Mike's passing through Joanna. There is a group that's been organizing food for Joanna, and now for Mike's visiting family, for the next week. If anyone is inclined to make or deliver food, I can get you in touch with the person organizing.

It's nice to see that both Mike and Joanna have a caring community honoring his memory.

Charities on behalf of Mike

jcost's picture

This was also posted on the FB group if you would like to donate in his name. These are related to his Ultimate Frisbee activity and I would love to see us find something Drupal related in his honor as well.

I have not heard anything about a memorial or service at this point.

GoFundMe to support Devin, a Seattle high school ultimate player who was hit by a car on his way home from a game in September

All Girl Everything Ultimate Program (AGE UP): mission statement "invest in the transformative capacity of youth in South Seattle, especially young women of color."


PNWDS Tribute to Mike

RockSoup's picture

During the opening session of the PNW Drupal Summit which starts at 9am on Saturday, Feb 3, we have set aside time for a tribute to Mike Keran.

I plan to say a few words and open the floor for others to do so as well. Please attend and come share as we remember and celebrate Mike.


That sounds great. Thanks for

arh1's picture

That sounds great. Thanks for getting that organized, Jared.

Thanks, Jared. Looking

sprocketman's picture

Thanks, Jared. Looking forward to catching up with all of you at the summit and celebrating Mike's life!

Jared, great idea. Let me

PapaGrande's picture

Jared, great idea. Let me know if you need any help.

I had some ideas about ways we could honor Mike such as an award in his name for community contribution, a scholarship to PNW Summit, etc. Perhaps we should do a BOF at the summit to discuss.

Jared, great idea. Let me

PapaGrande's picture

Jared, great idea. Let me know if you need any help.

I had some ideas about ways we could honor Mike such as an award in his name for community contribution, a scholarship to PNW Summit, etc. Perhaps we should do a BOF at the summit to discuss.

Better exposed filters

jkopel's picture

I have been discussing the Better Exposed Filters module with some local folks. In order to honor Mike's contribution to Drupal and to make sure that BEF is able to proceed, I am offering to maintain it.

I just wanted to post here and say that if any of you would like to help there will be plenty of work to do!

Web developer @ tableau

Thank you for that Josh. I'm

jlockhart's picture

Thank you for that Josh. I'm on board for helping. I may not be able to help deep in the weeds on the D8 side but I'm sure there's a way for me to useful.

Count me in

rlhawk's picture

Thanks, Josh. I would like to help also.

Since I don't think @jkopel

iamEAP's picture

Since I don't think @jkopel has the permission/role for security team coverage, perhaps you could volunteer as co-maintainer with Josh here:

Security coverage

rlhawk's picture

I've volunteered to be the security coverage maintainer.

Better Exposed Filters

jcost's picture

Thanks Josh for stepping up! Really appreciate you offering and then seeing the others come forward.

Jennifer Hodgdon had the ability to start the process of turning it over to someone else. So maybe she can get the ball rolling.

Ball is rolling

jhodgdon's picture

I've been following/updating the issue where we're trying to get ownership officially transferred to Josh and Rick. It is in the works, and I don't anticipate there will be any objection, so hopefully in a day or two? I don't know how long it will take.

Meanwhile, Josh, Rick, and whoever else wants to help could start looking through the issue list for this module. For instance, you could start with reviewing patches on issues that are marked Needs Review, and/or making patches on issues that are marked Active or needs Work. And probably issues also need triage/testing to see if they are valid, if the patches work, etc.

Here's the project page:

And here's the issue list:

You can also subscribe to issue updates in this project by going to the issue list (previous link) and clicking on "E-mail notifications". If you want to be an active, involved maintainer, I recommend this -- it will keep you updated on new issues, and activity on existing issues that you may need to respond to.

I'm glad the Seattle community has stepped up to do this -- a wonderful way to honor the contributions that Mike has made to the local and global Drupal communities over the years. I'm also glad I could play a small role in facilitating this transition.

See you all in Portland in February...

Josh, I can help out too.

PapaGrande's picture

Josh, I can help out too.

Mike Keran

Shawn Conn's picture

I'm saddened to hear this. I got to known Mike a little better last year as we happened to run into each other outside of DrupalCon Baltimore and had a friendly beerside chat about craft beer, the great PNW, and how we both fell into Drupal after career in corporate america. He'll be missed.

Thanks to everyone in stepping up here.