Aaron Smith Passes Away

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Aaron Smith Passes Away

Postby kinggoji » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:16 pm

It is with a heavy heart and much sadness that the staff of Monster Zero must announce the unexpected passing of MZ co-founder and owner, Aaron Smith. Aaron passed away on Tuesday after a major cardiac arrest. He had been in the hospital over the weekend due to ongoing complications arising from an injury he suffered a few months ago. It appeared by Monday that he was out of the woods but, according to his family, Tuesday's heart attack was massive and quick, and nothing could be done.

This is a terrible loss and surprise for his family, all of us here at MZ, and indeed the entire community of Godzilla fandom. As you know, Aaron was extremely excited to share the 9th Anniversary of the site, and despite his recent health problems, was still making an effort to keep the news and the discussion up-to-date. His mother passed away a year ago after her own long illness in his care, and Godzilla fandom, collecting and MZ were the things that kept him going through the hard times.

Aaron is survived by brother Eric and sister Maria. The family is having a private memorial.

In memoriam of Aaron, we'd like to pass on the thoughts of Mark Obert, who sums up our friendship with Aaron so well:

I first contacted Aaron back in 1996 while stationed in Germany, hoping he could help me find other Godzilla fans in Europe. When I found out I was getting an assignment to Japan a few years later, our friendship really grew. We often joked after that those were the "Golden Years" for MZ. Just having someone in country to report on Godzilla events really added excitement. We both had fun and I enjoyed talking to him about it immensely. I was glad to have the chance to share it with him.

We always seemed to be browsing Yahoo Japan at the same time, looking for cool stuff. We always checked for Godzilla news seeing if we had a scoop that he could break to Godzilla fans. He really enjoyed seeing people excited about Godzilla. He had a passion for it. I know one of the things he would want everyone to know is how much he appreciated everyone’s help and support with Monster Zero. He loved doing it. I don't think it'll ever be quite the same without him. I know to me the internet already seems like a very lonely place knowing Aaron isn't going to be out there somewhere.

I knew Aaron was dealing with some health issues that he was fighting to beat. I guess that in the back of my mind I always thought he'd beat it. He always talked of getting healthy and getting to Tokyo, a place he always dreamed of going, and I had always planned on being his tour guide. I'm sure he's already made his trip there in spirit and that helps a little knowing he's finally got to a place he wanted to see so badly.

My only regret is not getting a chance to talk to him in these last few weeks. Life has been busy here and how I wish I had found the some time to take a stroll through Yahoo Japan with him one last time. I'll miss that...a lot.

Take Care, Aaron. Thanks for the friendship. Enjoy Tokyo buddy. I know you'll love it.

Robert, Richard, Gene, Mark, David, and Keith
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Postby Lord Hastur » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:35 pm

:( This is terrible, terrible news.

My God.

RIP Aaron.
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Postby Elliot Gay » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:39 pm

Damn...this comes as quite a surprise. But I suppose that explains why I hadn't seen him around in the first place.

This is all quite shocking, and very unfortunate..

RIP Aaron.
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Postby redkiryuranger » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:43 pm

rip my friend
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Postby Jim Ballard » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:47 pm

This is a very big shock, really wasn't expecting this. Many condolences.
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Postby emeGoji » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:48 pm

My heart goes out to his family & friends. Be at peace, Aaron. You will be missed.
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Postby CousinOfGodzilla » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:51 pm

Words kind of escape me at the moment..

Suffice to say, God bless and protect him. May he rest in peace.

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Postby Legacy_Of_Gamera » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:54 pm

... oh my gosh.... I'm shocked.... how can this be?
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Postby armandv » Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:01 pm

I am also stunned. We've had many good correspondences over the years.

My condolences to his family and friends.
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Postby kiryugoji04 » Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:04 pm

'Tis a sad day indeed... :(
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Postby Legacy_Of_Gamera » Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:09 pm

I think we should all post a memory we've had with Aaron or Monster Zero in general.

My first memory was about... 6 years ago. I stumbled onto this site, and found out there was a Godzilla marathon playing that very same day. Once I started browsing the site, I became so impressed of how much information was available and how fun it could be to talk to others and express my opinions about such a unique fandom. Monster Zero was the first message board I had ever joined. If it wasn't for Monster Zero, I probably wouldn't be as interested in Godzilla and other kaiju films as I am today. It's been a great 7 years since I've joined this website. I remember all the times Monster Zero changed domains, going way back to when it was owned by Cinescape (I remember the old site address was www.fandom.com/monsterzero). I owe a lot to Aaron...

I'm still in shock over this...
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Postby Joseph Goodman » Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:10 pm

He did us all (Godzilla fans) an ENORMOUS service establishing this site and keeping it running through very difficult personal & professional times, and I hope he felt repaid through getting in touch with fellows fans & knowing he was doing such a thing for fellow fans.

Is there any contact information where we could send condolences to his family?
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Postby JordanGLC » Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:54 pm

I never met Aaron but I certainly appreciate everything he has done for fans of this genre.

My condolences to the Smith family and the MZ/CT family.
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Postby Tyler E. Martin » Thu Jun 01, 2006 3:55 pm

Wow. This is most unexpected. It hurts me to think that such a large contributor to the fandom has passed on. I've been here since the Fandom.com days. Monster Zero has been the main source of kaiju-related news for myself and obviously many, many others for a long time. My prayers are with his friends and family. Sayonara, sir, and God bless.
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Postby CousinOfGodzilla » Thu Jun 01, 2006 4:03 pm

I've been thinking about it for the last hour or two and I just wanted to say this.

I've been around this board for a fairly long time. Three or four years now. Back to when the board was on the other server. And I lurked a bit even before that. Before that even, I was a daily reader of MZ when GINO news was the order of the day. So while I never knew Aaron, I did witness the vast majority of what he did for fandom, and it's not lost on me.

There are a lot of lousy places on the internet. Places where you can't sneeze without being trolled. Club Tokyo is not one of these places. The people are friendly. Discussions don't get contentious too often. No one busts your chops if you ask a question that's been asked a hundred times. And I can honestly say that I enjoy posting here, even at a time like right now where fandom activity has died down a bit during the current Godzilla hiatus we're under.

So to people like Aaron and company, who strive to make this a good hospitable enivornment, and the people who continue to work towards improving the quality of fandom in general (I.E.The crew now working on the CM DVDs- Kieth, Ed, Steve and company.) Thanks a lot. I appreciate it.

That's all I got.

"THIS, is where the power lies, brother!!!"
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Postby Robert Saint John » Thu Jun 01, 2006 4:36 pm

I think Aaron would have really appreciated that, CoG. I feel that Aaron (and MZ, and many of us admins) often got a bad rap. All of us MZ members bring different personalities and styles to the board, sometimes they clash. But it was always important to him that MZ remain a place that remained relevant, friendly, family friendly, Toho friendly and so on, so that the board and fandom would continue to grow and thrive.

I think that he at times felt personally beleaguered by some who wanted a more free-for-all atmosphere; but for the most part he was just excited to get that one piece of news, that one new scoop, that one great picture out to everyone else. And I never saw him do it as a competitive or ego thing. He truly shared the highs and lows along with everyone. And that's why MZ is still here, and still strong.

I hope he knows that he left us with a pretty great legacy in MZ, and that his contribution was, itself, a contribution to Godzilla and kaiju history. The thing that leaves me so saddened about this is knowing that he'll not see GAMERA THE BRAVE, JAPAN SINKS, NEGADON, and all the other great things still to come (GINO2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO!) :lol: .

On the other hand, who knows, perhaps he's got the best seat in the house now! :)
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Postby Danny B » Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:14 pm

This is an absolute shock to me. I'm profoundly saddened as Aaron was too young to leave us. Despite our disagreements and political clashes he and I were always on cordial terms. With all the in-fighting that's been plaguing the fan community these past months I think now is the time we should all come together to honor the passing of a prominent fellow G-Fan.

May God bless you, Aaron.
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Postby Cookie » Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:14 pm

Let me just say that Aaron will finally get his wish and go to Japan.

He has done many wonderful things for the fandom of Kaiju. I wish his family and best friends to be ok, he was a great guy. RIP Aaron, we'll miss you.
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Postby Andrew Nguyen » Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:44 pm

Oh man, this is shocking and very sad. It shows that death can sometimes come at us without knowing and that there is nothing that we can really do.

My condolences go out to his family and friends. I also share my profound respect with you all for what he has done in creating one of the main Godzilla websites that we all go to.
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Postby Legion » Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:55 pm

I didn't really know Aaron at all, but I know we will all miss him.


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Postby kidnicky » Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:58 pm

I've always liked kaiju eiga,but I only started to LOVE it after coming to MZ,so I'll always owe him that,the genre is truly something that I love.
Personally,the guy was great. Fun to talk to (post to,actually),friendly,a class act all the way. Never gave in to this bashing stuff that goes on on the internet.
I have no idea how all the behind the scenes stuff works here,but if Aaron's been putting up a lot of it,and MZ or CT would have to close down,I'll definately chip in what I can. (unfortunately not much). He would definately want the site to go on without him.

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Postby Bruce R » Thu Jun 01, 2006 6:30 pm

"Wow" is all I can think right now. I didn't exactly know him. Only talked to him once, only because I had a question. But I know he was a great guy, and will be certainly be missed.
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Postby CyHunter » Thu Jun 01, 2006 6:42 pm

Wow...I learned of this just now through Elliot's bulletin on MySpace and had to come here and see what everyone else was saying. A sad day in the fandom, indeed. And I'd like to share in the sentiment that he managed to create something here that I haven't seen in many (if any) other corners of the internet: A place where an online community could be active enough to be lively, yet remain sensible and friendly.

Thanks, man.
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Postby The Shadow » Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:11 pm

Well said CousinOfGodzilla, well said.

Thanks for helping to bring together such a great Internet community Aaron Smith. If it wasn't for Monster Zero I'd have nowhere to discuss kaiju fandom or even know about most all of the kaiju related news since, in my experience at least, we are a rare breed.

So thanks again Aaron Smith for helping create a place where my kaiju fandom can really grow.

Rest in Peace, Aaron Smith and godspeed.
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Postby Brick Side » Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:17 pm

I've followed this site for years now (6 or so) and this is just extremely shocking. I never had any 1-on-1 convo's with the man, just discussions on the boards like a lot of others have; but he damn well did a hell of a lot for the fandom. I honestly think that he's a big reason the fandom is as large as it is today. May he rest in peace, and enjoy watching all of his favorite monsters movies up there in heaven with God. RIP
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