It is with profound shock and sadness that we share this devastating news with you. TJ Cruzada, David Rumsey Map Center’s Services Supervisor, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Sunday, August 23rd, 2020. TJ began working in the libraries as a Computer Support Technician, spent four years as the Circulation Supervisor at the Engineering Library, and two years as the Microforms Stacks Manager in Media/Microtext. TJ was the first and only Services Supervisor at the Rumsey Map Center, joining a few months before it opened in April 2016. He was the heart of the Center, keeping it open and operating for students and faculty daily, seemingly finishing an assignment almost as soon as he got it. He was a wonderful man, with a kind soul and ever-present smile. He was the epitome of what you look for in a colleague and supervisor. We will miss him dearly and will remember him as kind, gracious, and willing to go the extra mile for everyone.
TJ was devoted to his wife and two small children. Perhaps nothing made him smile more than when he spoke of his children. He was also a dedicated son. His father, Dennis Cruzada, is well known to many of us as he served as the Libraries’ Facilities Manager for many years. TJ was proud to follow in his father’s footsteps and to be part of the Stanford Libraries family.
TJ helped make the David Rumsey Map Center what it is today. He kept the place running smoothly by supporting the collection, helping his colleagues, teaching classes, leading tours, and organizing conferences and exhibitions. But we will remember him most for the way he warmly welcomed everyone and every task that came his way. He led the Center’s virtual reality program from day one and helped it grow into one of the Center’s most popular programs. Whether asked to do simple or complicated tasks--receiving guests, prepping for a conference, or doing an ad-hoc demo of the Center’s big screens--TJ performed with the same relentless work ethic and steady hand.
Each evening at 5, TJ would fly down the stairwell to the first floor of the Bing Wing, taking several steps at a time, hop on his skateboard and catch the only bus that left at 5:02 across the Dumbarton Bridge. He always made it. TJ made all the effort and coordination look easy.
We are collecting your remembrances of TJ and any photographs you want to share here. Please do so in the next three weeks. We will print these out in a book and give it to TJ’s wife, so their children can see their Dad at work.
Also, several of you have asked if there is a GoFundMe campaign on his behalf. There is one organized by the Cruzada and Garlit families, entitled Levi and Charlie Cruzada’s College Fund.
TJ, we will miss you oh so terribly, oh so painfully. But your mark has been firmly made and the Stanford Libraries family will never forget your heart, your style, your smile, your humor, and your grace.
signed, Rumsey Center Staff.