Steve Norwick died Tuesday, ending 12 days of agonized waiting for signs that the beloved professor and conservationist might survive the devastating injuries suffered when he was struck on his bicycle by a hit-and-run driver.
Norwick, 68, died at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital surrounded by family members, including his wife, Marthe, and two adult daughters, Rebecca and Sara, who have held vigil since soon after the June 8 collision in Rohnert Park.
Norwick never regained consciousness but he was not in pain, said his daughter, Sara-Rozet Norwick of San Francisco, who announced her father's death Wednesday morning.
She said her family hopes that what's remembered is her father's legacy "of living simply, and outdoors, in nature."
She said the deluge of love and support from friends, former students from Sonoma State University and the cycling community compensates for the conduct of the driver who witnesses said never so much as slowed down.
"Something like this should leave one feeling bad about humanity in that the driver drove away from the accident," she said. "But it's sort of the opposite, the way the community came together .<TH>.<TH>. It's actually left us with a better feeling about humanity, a positive feeling."
Marty Roberts of Sebastopol, a longtime friend and former student, said she hopes Norwick "was able to feel all the outpouring of love that has been demonstrated these last few days.
"And I hope this will lead to more unsafe drivers getting off the road," Roberts said. "We have lost a very special human being."
Norwick, who taught for nearly four decades in the Environmental Studies and Planning Department at SSU, retired in 2005 but continued teaching for several years, finally retiring for real at the end of spring term.
He was hit on Petaluma Hill Road while on his regular Friday morning bike ride from his house around the corner from campus to breakfast with friends in Penngrove.