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It’s rare that I can pinpoint the exact moment, location, and circumstances of the first time that I met a particular person, especially when I’m fortunate to meet so many at hectic conferences and events. But Chloe Weil stood out.

I met Chloe for the first time on May 1 2011, outside Walgreens on Boylston Street in Boston. It was a beautiful, warm spring day, and I’d just photographed my favourite cherry blossoms in bloom further down on Newbury Street. I bumped into my friend Petra and she introduced me; Chloe was her co-worker at iSite Design in Portland, Oregon. Petra had convinced Chloe to attend the An Event Apart conference with her and was showing her around. Like most people, the first thing I noticed about Chloe was her unforgettable smile. She really clicked with so many people that week and made instant friendships.

Chloe, Petra, Candi, Geri at An Event Apart Boston 2011

Chloe, Petra, Candi, and me at AEA Boston 2011. Photo credit Jeffrey Zeldman

I got to know Chloe a little better over the past few years, but not as well as I wish I had. I did know that we both loved retro swimsuits, weird Japanese Kit Kats, Frye boots, and Cambridge Satchel bags. Hers was red with a “W” embossed on the front. She said we had the same taste in fashion (or “FASHION”, as she put it, as we weren’t exactly into haute coutre). I even got bangs cut for the first time in my life after seeing how beautiful they looked on her.

Chloe helped me surprise Petra when I sent her a delivery of baked goods on her birthday to the iSite office in Portland. I think she was more excited about being in on the silly secret than I was. But my funniest memory of Chloe was when Simon and I went on a gondola ride in Venice. When we posted a photo on Instagram, she immediately jumped to conclusions and asked if we’d gotten engaged, because she’d never known anyone to get out of one of “those things” without doing so. We hadn’t. Awkward, but so sweet. That was Chloe.

Ben, Petra, Chloe, and Rachel at New Adventures 2013

Ben, Petra, Chloe, and Rachel at New Adventures 2013

For some reason, on Tuesday night before bed, I was browsing through her Instagram photos and giggling at some of the ridiculous puns. Little did I know that she was already gone, and I woke up to the terrible news the next morning.

Today I learned that Chloe had wanted folks to donate to two charities in her memory: The Oregon Humane Society, and The Internet Archive. For those of you who didn’t know her, know that those charities couldn’t have been more appropriate wishes — she loved her cat, FACE, who she found at the OHS, and she was a huge supporter of digital preservation. How sad that we now have to think about preserving her own memories online. I guess she knew we would.

Regardless of what happens to her legacy on the Internet, whether it lives on or disappears, I know I won’t forget that smile.

Please donate:

Oregon Humane Society
The Internet Archive

Chloe Weil at New Adventures 2013

Photo of Geri Coady

About Me

I’m Geri Coady — a designer and illustrator from St. John’s, Newfoundland — now living in Nottingham, UK. I've got an eye for detail, a passion for the web, and I'm ready to work with clients worldwide. Want to learn more?


Jeremy Keith
  • Jeremy Keith

Thank you for writing this, Geri.

Chloe was truly unforgettable.

Christopher Mackay
  • Christopher Mackay


I’d not had the privilege of meeting Chloe, but she clearly meant a lot to those around her. Thanks for sharing this.


Petra Gregorová
  • Petra Gregorová

Thank you Geri for sharing this. I almost would have forgotten about that Chloe was in on that birthday surprise. She laughed at me so hard because I didn't understand why there was a pastries delivery on my name as I didn't order a thing. I was so confused and was afraid to open it as I was convinced that someone made a mistake and it was actually addressed to someone else. You little stinkers. It sure was priceless and thank you for helping me to remember that. It sure brought a well needed smile to my face. x

Bridget Stewart
  • Bridget Stewart

That last photo you have in this post of Chloe is lovely. That big smile of hers is unforgettable.

  • Mark

What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman - thank you so much for sharing. This time last week I said goodbye to her for the last time; even now I still can't believe she's gone.

  Dina Weil
  • Dina Weil

Thank you for sharing these delightful memories of Chloe.

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