Friends and family of Joe Kuchta are mourning the loss of the well-known Saskatoon blogger and activist.
Kuchta, who wrote the Owls and Roosters political blog, died Wednesday at age 50.
"A lot of people are in shock today," said Lenore Swystun, a close friend of Kuchta. "He was a man of integrity — an honest Joe."
A native of London, Ont., Kuchta moved to Saskatoon in the 1990s.
His blog, launched in 2006, was a platform for his interests in politics, heritage preservation and civic engagement.
What made Owls and Roosters unique in Saskatchewan was its heavy use of documents culled from government websites
and obtained through freedom of information requests.
His voluminous postings looked at the fate of the Traffic Bridge, the development of River Landing and the future of the Mendel Art Gallery. The Saskatchewan Party government
and Saskatchewan Mayor Don Atchison were among his regular targets.
"He was loved and feared at the same time," Swystun said. "He had a forensic scientist's ability to uncover facts and then he would present them in a way regular folks could understand."
'He had a forensic scientist's ability to uncover facts and then he would present them in a way regular folks could understand.' —friend Lenore Swystun
A final post
His final post on the blog was a tribute to his late wife Georgie Davis, a longtime advocate for disabled people, who died in September.
"They brought out the best in each other and gave each other courage," Swystun said.
Kutcha had some health problems and died peacefully at home, she said.
According to family members, a private memorial is being planned.