Maybe I should have written this in Swedish. No, I don’t think he would have cared either way.
It was Charlotte that captured this shot of Bengt Nielsen and me during the unveiling of the five collages I was commissioned to create for Kockum Fritid, the sports center he was Managing Director for at the time and had worked at for the majority of his life.
About a week ago I learned from a friend and Bengt successor Magnus Steen that Bengt had succumbed to cancer. I hadn’t seen him since his retirement, but I’d known about the battle for several years. In our very last email exchange, Bengt told me about his poor health and how his cancer had metastasized.
Kockum Fritid has been the Raboff family’s preferred sports center and I’ve also been their supplier of film and photography services for about a decade.
Though my relationship with Bengt was purely professional, whenever we met, whenever I dropped by, he would almost always take time off from whatever he was doing to chat about this and that; from work to wine to family and, towards the end of his tenure, about the battle he was going through and trips he’d hope to be able to make with his wife despite decreasing health.
I’ll always remember Bengt Nielsen as one of the most unpretentious people I’ve ever met. Friendly, kind and generous with inspiring anecdotes from his life. R.I.P.