We’re deeply saddened that Oscar Merkx recently passed away. Floris Merkx announced on Oscar’s Facebook page that he passed away after a horrible illness and that family and friends have been quite shocked by the short time of diagnosis and his passing away. Oscar passed away on November 2nd and the funeral service was held on November 11th in the Netherlands.
I got to know Oscar last year. He was interested in becoming part of the Toastmasters Podcast Europe team. We had a few Skype calls, exchanged quite a few emails, he was looking forward to doing some interviews, and I was looking forward to the excitement that I could see burning in him, being part of the enterprise. I also recall how excited he was about bring the 2014 World Champion of Public Speaking to Scotland and I almost went to the event that Oscar was organizing except that fate had something else in mind for me. I really do regret now that I missed this opportunity!
Floris Merkx wrote about Oscar’s love for Toastmasters saying, “For the last 16 years Oscar has been living in Scotland where he was welcomed into the Toastmasters family , I mention the word family since we know this is how Oscar felt about Toastmasters. Toastmasters has been one of the most important things in his life and over the years we have met several Toastmasters whom he considered family and it gives us much comfort that he so enjoyed the travel, the organizing, the meetings and everything about Toastmasters that we would like to thank you all for being such a valuable part of his life. Oscar cared greatly for Toastmasters and we know it would be his wish that you celebrate his life and would like all fellow Toastmasters to know that he received a lot from Toastmasters and had great pleasure and pride in being a distinguished Toastmaster.”
Erick Rainey wrote that “Oscar was so inextricably involved in Toastmasters. I was always running into him at various events. It didn’t matter if it was club, area, division or district he was always there. Next time I am delivering a speech I will imagine him looking over my shoulder saying (in his Dutch accent) “you should have finished on time”. Well he finished before his time. He was a Tour de Force in Toastmasters. I will always remember him as man with unstoppable enthusiasm.”
Penny Haywood Calder wrote, “Who else would respond to a terminal diagnosis by becoming the last member needed to charter Livingston Toastmasters? He did that within an hour of that terrible meeting to do something positive with he had left. At that point in September he had been given up to 3 years if he had chemo, so he didn’t want to tell the world and be treated differently. But there were complications… RIP Oscar: you are an inspiration.”
Alex De Jong wrote of Oscar, “We stayed in touch many times and I’m glad that he came to London this July and helped promote the Road to Vegas event before he passed. His enthusiasm, zest, and liveliness will live on in the spirits of many Toastmasters who he touched. It’s a shame your red light came on too soon, but keep on talking buddy!“
My friend and Past District Governor from District 59, Morag Mathieson said, “At the start of the District 59 council meeting in Amsterdam yesterday we had a moment of “noise” (people talking to their neighbours about him) to remember Oscar.“
I somehow wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Oscar is already organizing clubs and events on the other side! Our time together was brief but Oscar Markx made an impact and will be remembered!