With heavy hearts and great sadness, we announce the passing of our beloved editor Stefan Budricks. After a year-long valiant battle against aggressive liver cancer, Stefan passed peacefully with his long-time partner Joe Mininni at his side on July 16. 
    Stefan was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1950. He was a well-read South African army veteran with a law degree, but journalism was his calling.
    Stefan worked at several newspapers, magazines, and trade publications in South Africa and the U.S. before taking the chief editor post at Auto Laundry News in 1996, a position he would serve faithfully until his passing.
    He was pivotal in helping turn Auto Laundry News around in the mid-90s, restoring the struggling magazine to its former glory as a leader in the car wash industry. 
    “Stefan was hired shortly after we purchased Auto Laundry News,” says long-time publisher Andrew Williams. “In my 43 years with the company, he was the most professional, loyal, and dedicated editor I have worked with. He will be deeply missed both professionally and personally.”
    As an editor, Stefan was unmatched. His matter-of-fact yet engaging prose was on display every month on this page, and his calm, professional demeanor ensured that every issue was delivered on time and error-free.
    “I reported to Stefan since I started here in 2007,” says managing editor Tim Denman. “He was the best boss I ever had. He was a teacher, mentor, and friend. Stefan was the kind of person that if you told him you needed a dollar, he would reach into his pocket and hand you two. I will miss him greatly.” 
    In addition to his writing and editing skills, Stefan won numerous awards for magazine design and was always willing to share his unique vision. “Stefan always listened and supported me whenever I needed it,” says art director Aleksandra Ilnicki. “I will miss his thoughtful suggestions and advice.”  
   Stefan was more than an editor. He was the voice of the car wash world, whose influence was felt throughout the industry. His professionalism and dedication to this magazine and the car care industry were unmatched. 
   “Stefan was an integral part of the Auto Laundry News family,” says associate publisher Joanne Gambert. “After working together, it was easy to see what an enthusiastic editor he was. He had a critical eye and was passionate about the magazine’s editorial integrity. I will always miss our chats. As an industry, I know we will all miss him.  Stefan left a remarkable and memorable impact on our lives.”    
    Rest in peace, Stefan, you will be missed