My brief experience with Randy Solem summarized:
I saw his very first flash movie on the day it was submitted when I was a kid. I thought it was hilarious and I became a fan of his instantly. Something gave me the bright idea to make sprite flashes of my own. They sucked. A lot. Randy took the time to give me tips here and there to help with the flash and eventually a few of them passed judgement which you can see on my ClassicCoolboyman account. At the same time, I taught him a thing or two about ROM hacking, and Randy made his very own Super Mario Bros level a long ass time ago. I wish I still had that ROM, iirc the level was halfway decent.
Later on, we had a falling out. He made a flash movie that I didn't care for so I told him. He got extremely defensive and it also made his friend (I forget his name) hate me with a passion for whatever reason. Down the line, I got older, realized he wasn't some flash god. I grew to hate his flash movies and I look back to why I ever looked up to him in the first place.
But fuck that, that was years ago. Maybe he became a better person, maybe not. I haven't really kept up with him. But here's the bottom line:
Did I hold a negative opinion towards him up until this day? Yes
Do I hate his flash movies? Yes
Did he deserve to die? No
What really bothers me the most is now that his daughter no longer has a father. My condolences go out to all his friends and family. I just wish I checked up on him in the last few years, just to say hi or anything. Sure I dislike his flash movies, but you know what? It got people to animate. Like others have said, people started off with sprites to experiment because of him and moved onto more professional animation. Hell it got me to make more and more flash movies, which in turn may have had a turn in inspiring Strawberry Clock because of all the negative reviews I was getting on my flash that I found so hilarious. So overall, I'm glad he submitted everything that he did even if I don't like them anymore.
To each his own. You'll sure as hell be missed from me dude.