|John Hillery, 1952-2010|
|By Randy Hough|
|September 20, 2010|
John Hillery, longtime editor of The Chess Journalist and of Southern California's magazine Rank & File, passed away following an illness of several months.
John grew up in Massachusetts, became a Master in the mid-seventies, and moved to Southern California in 1981. He served as Assistant Editor of Chess Life in the early nineties. A Life Master, he increasingly concentrated on chess organization in addition to his journalistic duties. He typically organized a dozen tournaments a year (most with side events), most recently the successful Southern California Open.
His frequent comments on the USCF Forum led him to be labeled a curmudgeon, a title he welcomed. During the Delegates meeting in Irvine this year, his pithy online blog comments led one of the Board members to complain about the difficulty of keeping a straight face while sitting on the dais. John was also a volunteer on USCF's Bylaws Committee.
John's personality was not conducive to the formation of close friendships, yet he had a great sense of humor and contributed to chess and USCF in many ways over the years. His passing is a particular blow to the Chess Journalists of America, who have lost their president, vice president, and editor in a space of 14 months. RIP.
Feel free to leave your remembrances of John as a comment to this article.