A Tribute to Jack Rimac

Zeljko (Jack) Rimac

(1966 - 2019)

It is with the heaviest of hearts that Softree announces the passing of our long-time colleague and friend, Jack Rimac. Jack passed away unexpectedly on April 17, 2019. Jack was loved by all Softree staff, clients and suppliers alike.

Jack started working at Softree in 1997, after graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forest Engineering from the University of British Columbia. As an application engineer, Jack was involved in all aspects of training, customer assistance, and sales presentations. In fulfillment of his duties, Jack helped train customers all over the world, including Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, South Africa, and Chile.

Jack loved people! He was always very social. He enjoyed talking to customers and helping them work out their problems. In the office, he would never miss an opportunity to participate in some friendly teasing, a group discussion, general banter or just a good laugh.

Jack will best be remembered for his unwavering positivity. After suffering a major stroke when he was in his early 40’s, Jack was no stranger to adversity. He worked hard to rehabilitate himself and went on to build a very successful career as well as an active and outgoing social life. Never once would you hear a word of complaint or self-pity from Jack, or anything that resembled a “why me?”

For those of us who had the honor to work with you, Jack, thank you! Your life has exemplified the values of strength and positivity.

We are going to miss you man!

Anyone wishing to have a comment posted on this Tribute page, please send an email to sserrano@softree.com

Jack at “Transportation Connects Alberta" Conference March 2019

Jack Training in Indonesia circa 2002

I’d known Jack for a good many years. My wife Roberta and I always enjoyed getting together with him for dinner whenever he came to Prince George. He always had a smile and expressed a pure and genuine interest in people and their lives. The world was a better place because of him and he’ll be sadly missed by the many people who had the good fortune of knowing him.

Les Higgs
BC MInistry of Forests

On behalf of Rugged Mountain Contracting staff, I'd like to extend our condolences in regards to the unfortunate passing of Jack Rimac last night.

Jack has been a valuable and pleasant stalwort of the Softree empire since I first started working with Softree in 1997. He was always prompt to respond to our needs (even when our licencing had expired!) and wasted no breath on pleasantries when I'd clearly been the source of the errors I'd been having. Haha! We are going to miss Jack!

Thank you to Erin for notifying us of the sad news. We hope the team at Softree remembers and honors the man as one of the foundations that have made the Softree product a BC forest industry, irreplaceable staple in our toolbox of ever-evolving technologies.

In memory of Jack Rimac,

The Rugged Team

I’ve only known Jack for three months since I started working with Softree.

During the short period of time, I’ve never known anybody who I could become close to so fast.

He was the least discriminative person that I’ve ever known and I believe that’s one of the reasons for Jack to be loved by so many people…

I felt greatly appreciative to Jack for all his constructive criticisms, everything he taught me in software sales, and lastly the everyday joy and humor he brought to everyone in this office.

Jack, I know you’ll be smiling after walking up the stairway to heaven and rest in peace my first and possibly the last Croatian friend.

Andy Moon
Softree Technical Systems
Account Manager

As a close friend and colleague, I have known Jack for 22 years.

I best remember his unwavering positivity. After suffering a major stroke when he was in his early 40’s, Jack was no stranger to adversity. He worked hard to rehabilitate himself and went on to build a very successful career and active outgoing social life. Always positive, always happy, never once did you indulge self pity or “why me stuff”.

Jack, it was an honor to be your friend. Thank you! You have given me so much. Your life has exemplified the values of strength and positivity.

Craig Speirs
Softree Engineer, Jefe.

I just learned the terrible news. This is incredibly sad.

I had the privilege to meet and get to know Jack as a employee for Softree. I will always remember his ever positiveness and great attitude towards life. Jack, we will miss you!

Alexis Guigue
Software Engineer

My sincerest condolences to the Softree team with the loss of Jack Rimac. This is a huge loss, I am sure to yourselves and to the Forest Industry in BC and abroad as well. I have had the opportunity to have completed two Road Eng training sessions with Jack as the facilitator and I strongly appreciated his patience and knowledge. There are many roads constructed throughout this Province that have had the help from Jack on the designs.

I definitely admired him for his skills that was portrayed to all of the attendants taking Road Eng training.


Thomas Bosch, RFT
Engineering Officer, BCTS Babine Business Area

To my dear friend Jack. It is in your passing, that I really feel the true impact of the loss of your presence. Our office is that much quieter, your never-ending positivity would have comforted us in a moment like this.

I am going to miss our jokes and conversations, our debates and healthy discussions. You really had the ability to put a smile on anyone’s face. And of course, being the considerate guy you are, you pass away the week we hire a few additional employees and give us a long weekend to take it in. I miss you already.

Erin Wasney
Softree Technical Systems
Business Development Manager

Being a relative new-comer to the Softree family, I didn't know Jack that well, but to me, he was a supportive colleague, with a bellowing laugh and a sharp sense of humor. I admired Jack's courage and perseverance over adversity.

I will miss him.

Ming Chin
Softree Technical Systems
Software Engineer

My sincere condolences to all family and colleges of Jack. Although I’ve never met Jack, we have spoken many times over the phone in the past 20+ years

of using Roadeng software. Jack was very knowledgeable and helpful and it was always much appreciated. He will be surely missed by so many.

Normand Menard
Upland Environmental Ltd

Death is an event that nobody can avoid. However, it is very difficult to accept it especially when a wonderful person like Jack has left. I am deeply sorry to have to dedicate these last words to Jack, but I do not want him to leave without first saying that I enjoyed his happiness, he was always a great example of life to me. I will always remember him with love and with the huge smile that he always gave me, making easier the hours of my workday for the past 12 months. His unique way of being, his particular sense of humour and his sincere friendship will be missed forever. ¡Te quiero, mi chismoso!

Shadia Serrano
Softree Technical Systems
Marketing & Communications Coordinator

It’s really a shocking news for us! He was very friendly and knowledgeable.

I wish his eternal peace.

Mahabub Rahman
Department of Infrastructure
Government of the Northwest Territories

I would remember Jack as very patient person, while he teach us to use the Softree software, we may keep asking over and over again to repeat for of his notes and he will always would oblige with smile on his face. He would stay after class and spent time with you as you catch up the missing training activity, he would modify his class to suit your interest, he would do everything to help you. He was so dedicated and diligent person, that I will remember him as the front face of your company. Let his soul rest in peace!

Nick Dimitrov
Senior Survey Project Manager
Shell Canada Limited

Deepest condolences on behalf of Onsite Engineering. I’ve known Jack since University as we completed our degrees at UBC together and worked closely during a number of classes. It was in University that I first introduced Jack to RoadEng, probably around version 2 in 1996 when I taught an informal course on the program to our class. Over the years we would catch up when I would call with questions about the latest software updates and we would always joke that I should have had his job! You will be missed Jack!

Michael Foster
Supervising Engineer
Onsite Engineering Ltd.

Our sincere condolences. Jack was always a gentleman in helping us with questions.
Best regards and wishing you strength with this loss.

Martin Koopman
CCM Engineering

It’s surprising to me. We worked together for a long time – Jack was friendly and hard working. We will miss him.

Binay Yadav
Director of Transportation Division
Department of Infrastructure

So sorry to hear that Jack has passed away! I went to UBC with Jack. He was a good friend, a good study partner, always a pleasure. I certainly enjoyed talking to Jack after graduation when I needed some help with RoadEng, and got to catch up a bit. I am sure that he has left a big empty space there. Best wishes to everyone at Softree.

Bruce Vinnedge

Area Planner

Western Forest Products

I am sorry to hear of Jack’s passing. He was always very helpful and knowledgeable on the phone and conducted himself in a professional manner. My condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. May he rest in peace.

Sean West
Planning Supervisor
Chetwynd Forest Industries

It’s a terrible loss. Our sincere sympathy to you and your team.

Coleen and John
Rockview Resources Ltd.

Very saddened to hear of Jack’s passing. I used to smile when he would call and say “this is Jack!” very emphatically with his Canadian accent. Wonderful man, very helpful, knew his stuff, and taught a lot of Forest Service engineers RoadENG.
We will miss him!

Walter P. Hislop
Forest Service
Willamette and Siuslaw National Forests

We felt very much saddened by the news of big loss as much of his achievement of life as educated many of us, must be admired for his generosity of knowledge sharing all the time we needed.

MahfuzBaki Rahman
Surface Design and Construction
Transportation Division, Department of Infrastructure
Government of the Northwest Territories

I first met Jack as the Instructor of RoadEng software several decades ago. I travelled from the central coast of California to BC to take the course many years ago. I learned a lot. I admired SoftTree for the great products they produced to help Foresters, Logging Engineers, and Civil Engineers do a “better” job. Jack and those working with Jack to teach the course helped me in big ways for which I will be forever thankful. And more importantly, “all” the hundreds of students that took my Forest Harvesting heard about RoadEng and the products being produced by SoftTree. We all meet people at various times in our lives. The impact of those meetings can last for a lifetime. My wife and I send condolences to Jack’s family, friends and colleagues.

Dr. Doug

So sorry to hear of Jack's passing. Once in a while, you have the good fortune to meet and get to know someone who, by their steady, quiet example, changes your life. Jack was such a person. It was a pleasure to work with him on training efforts in New Brunswick and New Zealand. We learned so much from him. "Gentleman" is the word that always comes to mind when thinking of Jack.

Robert Douglas
Retired professor of forest engineering at UNB and the New Zealand National School of Forestry

I was sadly shocked to hear about the passing away of Jack Rimac. On behalf of the Ministry of Highways, I would offer our deep condolences to Softree family.
Please extend our condolences to Jack’s family.

Awny Moawad
Project Manager
Government of Saskatchewan

For 22 years Jack and I worked side by side at Softree. For 22 years we laughed, bantered, consoled, supported, encourage and teased each other, not as co-workers but as family. I feel blessed that Jack was part of my life and I will truly miss him and his quirky little smile.

Wendy Hellofs
Softree Technical Systems
Office Manager

So sorry to hear of Jack's passing. I have had the pleasure of meeting Jack during his trips to Yellowknife NT. Jack was a very friendly person who always had a smile. My condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

Darlene Lansdown
Department of Infrastructure, DTS
Government of the Northwest Territo

I was very sad to hear the news about Jack. When I said Softree was only a phone call away, it was Jack whom I was referring to. Jack was a very kind and patient man, always ready and willing to help figure things out. To the Softree team and Jack’s family and friends, please accept our sincere condolences.

Bruce and Bev Shewfelt
PBS Water Engineering Ltd.

Jack was very helpful to us at Westcan Geomatics and very knowledgeable.
May he rest in peace.

Westcan Geomatics Team

I was very lucky to get to know Jack. Jack was unbelievably positive and funny. He always had something to say to make your day. I wish we had more people like him in this world. Thank you Jack for being such a good person. You will be missed sir!

Ali Mahdavi-Amiri
University Research Associate
Simon Fraser University

Although I never had the privilege of meeting Jack in person, I had Jack on speed dial for more than a decade (since V.4). It started around 2003 with Jack teaching me RoadEng over the sat phone. I was doing engineering shifts out of a remote logging camp in Pierce Bay, and would park myself in front of a south facing window with my Globalstar and laptop, while Jack coached me through RoadEng 101, shift after shift. Numerous times he must have wanted to say 'Don't you read the damn manuals we spent so much time preparing?"....but he didn't. Thank you for your all your patience and help over the years Jack. You turned me into a Softree groupie and a big Jack fan. Happy travels man; you'll be missed.

Ken McIlwain
Monarch Resource Consultants Ltd.

Very sorry to hear the sad new of Jack’s passing. Having worked with Jack for a number of years, it was only recently during our training road trip in March that I had the chance to meet him in person and get to know him a little better. I am grateful that I had this opportunity. It was a pleasure to know Jack and I will miss his calls, willingness to share knowledge and straight forward candor.

Chris Clements
Western Forest Products

I was saddened to hear about losing Jack. He has always been welcoming and approachable for me and our staff. We will miss him every time we think about Softree.

Cliff Roberts
Partner / General Manager

Jack was a colleague, and a great friend for us beyond that. He had so much life in him, and his character brought joy to people around him. He will be missed greatly.

F. Nayyer and Reza Bayesteh

Jack was always a joy to work with. He had a knack for helping customers and bringing practical help to challenging problems. I finally met Jack in person at a training a few years back. Only then did I realize the disability that he dealt with every day. I was amazed at his positive outlook on life and drive to help others, never making excuses for his situation. I will miss Jack’s friendly greeting on the phone. We will miss you Jack!

David Ratliff
Civil Engineer,Forest Service
Nez Perce - Clearwater NF

My Sincere Condolence to his Families. May his Soul rest in Peace.

Edward John

I was shocked and saddened to hear of Jack’s unexpected passing. My condolences to Jack’s family and the many colleagues he made along the way. Rest in peace my friend and thank you.

Lyle Unwin, P.Eng./RPF

Deeply saddened. I must point out that I never met Jack personally, but in the moments that we had some communication, via internet, what I will always remember is professionalism and his affable, calm and positive voice. This news is sad, from Chile a warm greeting to the entire Softree team. My condolences!

Juan Quilaleo

I worked in sales with Jack from 2015-2017. Jack was always a big teaser with a loud voice and very little "filter", which took a little while to get used to when I started working with him. After a couple years of working trade shows together and continuous office banter, I got pretty good at teasing back.

Jack was a model of positivity and friendliness. He had the ability to chat (for a long time!) with many different types of people, and he always showed an openness, kindness, and acceptance that put people at ease. Jack was a very inclusive person; he always wanted to include me in anything and everything he was doing while on a work trip (even when I had said “no thanks” a few times!)

Whenever Jack made some mistake, he would often joke that it was because he had only half a brain left after his stroke…Jack’s sense of humour towards his obvious physical limitations was something that I always found edifying and inspiring.

I will definitely miss Jack’s loud welcomes whenever I come back to visit Softree. May he rest in eternal peace.


Early in my career Jack always made time for me when I had a question or required help. Without his assistance, I would not know half of the skills that I now use everyday. He always compensated his time with friendly jokes and jabs, of which we had a good laugh. Over the last two years, I had the pleasure of working directly with Jack on some RoadEng training projects for my company. We worked together, travelled together, ate together, and laughed together. I am truly grateful to have known him. Jack, you will be missed.

Jake Hussey,  RFT
Manager LiDAR Planning
Strategic Natural Resource Consultants Inc.