Aaron J. Smith 1970-2006
Monster Zero Founder and beloved friend dies at age 36
Source:Monster Zero News
As far as Godzilla’s presence on the internet, Aaron Smith was one of the true pioneers. His site, MONSTER ZERO NEWS, has been bringing fans the latest Godzilla information for over nine years now and has been at the forefront of breaking Japanese monster news for its entire run.
A personal note from Bob Johnson: “It was around that time that Aaron approached August Ragone and myself about bringing Markalite Magazine to the internet. We adopted the name Henshin! Online and joined Aaron’s site for a few years before taking Henshin! Online off on its own. Even though we were not really a part of Aaron’s site any longer, we still worked closely with him to cross-promote the sites and share news and information.
“Personally, I felt a kindered connection with Aaron, not only through our love of giant rubber lizards, but also through our personal battles with diabetes. During the tough times we could find some solace in discussing what was going on and giving each other perspective on how we were dealing with this disease in our own ways.
“Aaron was always very generous, not only in the fan community, but also with his family, personally caring for his ailing mother during years of illness. It was not always easy for him and I know he went through some very tough times, but he never complained and never gave up.
It is with a sad heart that the staff at SciFi Japan say goodbye to a friend and ally, someone who will not only be missed in Godzilla fandom, but also in our lives.”
The following memorial was posted today on Monster Zero News…
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
The Standard Democrat Sikeston, MO
1 June, 2006
SIKESTON — Aaron J. Smith, 36, died at 5:07 p.m. May 30, 2006, at Missouri Delta Medical Center.
Born Feb. 9, 1970, in Fort Gordon, Ga., son of the late Alex and Polly Lou Gestring Smith Jr., he was a 1988 graduate of Sikeston High School and a 1994 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. He was self-employed as a Web site designer.
Survivors include: one brother and sister-in-law, Eric and Reagan Smith of New Madrid; one sister and brother-in-law, Maria and Cliff Crowden of Sikeston; and one niece and five nephews. A private family memorial service will be held at a later date.
Nunnelee Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
In the short-term the rest of us at MZ are dedicated to continuing the hard work Aaron started here at MZ and we will continue to bring this site to all Godzilla fans. If anyone needs to contact us for MZ business please contact Mark Obert at email@example.com or Gene Cahill at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be gathering kind words from friends and Godzilla fans worldwide to post here at MZ in Aaron’s memory and for his family to read. If you would like to be included please send your comments to Mark Obert at the address above.
Bye Aaron. May you rest in peace my friend.