BBCWatcher (900486) writes "Mainframers are still catching up to the sad news that Vern Watts, the "Father of IMS," died suddenly. He was 77. Vern "retired" from IBM in 2004, but he still worked at IBM two days per week (and three days per week at ScaleDB) up until his death. Incredibly that's over 53 years of continuous IBM service. His famous child, IMS, is now entering its 11th major version. IMS's Chief Architect got it right: IMS gracefully evolved from a 1960s Saturn V rocket parts inventory system into a globally popular, extreme performance, zero downtime transaction manager and database with XML, SOAP, Java programming, and JDBC support, among other modern features, while retaining backward compatibility. IMS is reportedly IBM's highest revenue software product (and growing). What have you done with your life?"