It is with great sadness that we report that Jude Melton-Houghton (aka TurkeyMcMac or jwmhjwmh) has died aged 20.
His family has provided us with the following:
Jude was a very active programmer. While he was only a core developer for a short time, he made a huge impact on the Minetest project. Jude introduced more robust and feature-complete mod storage, dependency handling, cleaner mapblocks, and so much more. You can find his own projects on his repository page and his numerous contributions here (sign in to view).Jude William Melton-Houghton, age 20, died suddenly on February 1, 2023 after an excruciating mental health struggle. He had a brilliant mathematical, scientific, and philosophical mind and was valedictorian of the Brattleboro Union High School class of 2020. Jude also had a beautiful heart. He was surpassingly kind and thoughtful, and he had a delightful and quirky sense of humor. Jude was a talented visual artist as well as a creative and innovative software developer, and he had been working in the software field since the age of 15. He kept his light under a bushel, but everyone who knew him could see it and feel it blazing.
Jude was skilled but not competitive. If he did something it was because it was interesting, not because other people would be impressed … Jude always, always did the right thing. This was part of what made life hard for him: his anxiety that he might do something wrong, even with the small things. It was private torture … But through it, Jude was unfailingly kind, attentive, and thoughtful. I don't know anyone, ever, who disliked Jude. Throughout his life he had very few friends. Many would have been willing. He did not seek them out.
Here is the most recent photo of Jude. It is a few weeks old, taken on a walk with his father through the woods to an enormous oak in a hilltop cemetery. The purpose of the photo is the walk, the tree, and the view, not the cemetery.
“He didn't work on Minetest for recognition, but because it was fun.”
I will personally miss his insights and the polite/friendly manner he always communicated with, he was a pleasure to interact with. He was talented and took pride in his work. I enjoyed what little time I had working with him and regret not having the chance to know him better.
If you would like to share anything, please post below. His family will read this thread. They also encourage making a charitable donation in his memory. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Prevention Hotline (988lifeline.org) works to prevent lives like Jude’s being cut short.