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Lee Dirks

Lee Dirks and Judy Lew, a married couple who both worked at Microsoft, were killed in a car accident this week in Peru, where they were celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary. Their driver was also killed in the crash when the SUV they were riding in went off a highway and into a 1,300-foot ravine, according to local media reports.

They are survived by two young children, according to a post by the University of Washington Information School, where Dirks was a major supporter and taught as adjunct faculty.

A Microsoft spokesman said this evening, “We are saddened by the tragic accident that took our colleagues, Lee Dirks and Judy Lew.  Both were respected leaders with their teams, who understandably, are in a state of shock.  We extend our sincere condolences to his family and colleagues.”

Dirks, who joined Microsoft in 1996, was director of portfolio strategy in Microsoft Research Connections, a group inside the company that collaborates with academics and research groups on projects to solve major scientific and social challenges. Lew, also a veteran Microsoft employee, worked in the Microsoft Office group.

“Lee was one of those guys that was friends with everyone. HUGE smile! Always there for you!” wrote Savas Parastatidis, a former colleague of Dirks, in a post earlier today.

The UW iSchool says details on a memorial service are pending.

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