He's Gone Away...I Miss Him Dearly...

Dave's hat...Where he left it

How do you tell people about a man's life? How do you convey his love of his adopted country? How do you tell about who he was, how kind he was and always willing to help, how much he loved his family. All of this with that everlasting gobstopper of a smile on his face.

I lost my David this last Saturday to a heart attack.  The Doctor always told us that it wasn't if he had another heart attack, but when and that he most likely would not survive it.  We worked so hard to try to bring him back but God had other plans for him. 

Dave was from Canada, raised along with his sister by his single mother due to his fathers death at the tender age of 5. He had the normal childhood, surrounded by lots of friends and buds, Don Jensen, Dan Hickey, Don Thonger Paul Cooper, Roy Wilcox, Bruce Watson, Dave Thorsen and others.  He came to the states to attend the University of Tulsa at the urging of his good friend Don Thonger.  Dave studied journalism and fell in love with film making and telling stories through that medium.

Two and a half years after his graduation from college, being deported back to Canada due to an expired student visa, coming back to the states to work at a television station that loved his work style and ethics, I came into his life and what a life it was.  
Our last picture together 
taken by John Maher, one of Dave's former Students

We were together for 43 years, married for 41.  All of them good years.  Sure, there's stress in every marriage but we over came it. We brought forth 2 beautiful girls and that is when the fun really started.

Dave loved his girls very much. He adored them, but he didn't baby them.  Both of the girls learned the fine art of soccer.  He would check out tapes from the library to learn about the sport.  He would sit with the girls and study the tapes then take them out into the front yard to put into practice what they had all watched. 
Dave and his girls!

He filmed all the girls games, even the games that Christie played in college. Starting in 1993 we traveled for 10 years to Christie's club, high school and college games and enjoyed every minute of it. For the short time that Heather played club soccer we traveled to her games as well.  Shin splints finally did her in.

Dave worked as a public information officer in media relations for the University of Oklahoma for 25 years.  He enjoyed making the recruitment films for the University which won him many awards.  He took several over-seas trips with Gene Enrico to film several Early Music Videos in Spain, France, Italy and Japan. Always bringing back wonderful stories of the experience. In talking to some of his former students this week, they all said the same thing...He was the most patient man who always had a smile on his face and never spoke a disparaging word against anyone, who had the patience of Job with his students and was willing to help a colleague in any way he could.

He would drive down a street and give a wave of his hand and a greeting with a smile to the neighbors or he would stop to see how they were doing and if he could help with anything. He was just that kind of guy.

We had a ritual every weekday morning.  He would drop me off at work and say "If you can't be good" I would reply " Then I'll be great!" with my fist raised over my head.   I would then turn once I got into the building, kiss my hand and blow him a kiss.  I've had colleagues come up to me and say how sweet that was and they wished their spouses would do something like that, they could see how much in love we were. They would even gather at the windows to watch us.

Every Friday night was Date Night at Hastings.  We would go get coffee after dinner, his straight brew with room for cream, my decaf with room for cream. I would settle into a comfortable chair to read and he would wander the store, I would read one of my David Baldacci novels. He then would come and sit with me and wait for me to finish a chapter, a stopping point if you will.

The Boys!

A fun wrestling match!
Dave loved his grandsons so much.  They would have a ball going to the Museum of Natural History to see the Dinosaurs, the Zoo to see the many animals or to play in the zoo creek, playing chase in the back yard or having a good wrestle in the living-room.  He always found tons of time for them.

He love the three fur-babies that we have  Fitz, Lizzy and Bear.  Fitz has seizures and Dave would hold this beautiful 106 lb. dog and comfort him as he struggled through each episode, all the while saying "God Bless you Fitz, God Bless you".  

The fur babies
He loved to go camping and we had plans that once I retired this year we would sell the house and go full-time out on the road.  That dream has not died.  Those plans are still in the works. Instead of a duo it will be a solo. 

He loved this country very much, so much that he became a citizen. He loved our soldiers, especially our wounded warriors.  His heart would break at their stories.  He had three organizations that he supported. Wounded Warriors Project (, Fisher House Foundation (, and Independence Fund ( Instead of flowers we felt that Dave would be honored more by donations to these organizations instead.

Am I sad?  I am devastated, but with each passing day, hour, minute, second and step I am recovering.  They say time heals all, but that's the rub...time.  It's all I have at the moment.  I am surrounded by the love of my family, friends, colleagues and those who loved Dave. 

Today I saw a big beautiful yellow swallow tail butterfly on my lilac bush out front. It visited two days before today. You know what they say about butterflies...I took pictures so I can remember it.
A special visitor

Dave was an organ donor.  In donating his earthly husk he will live on saving others lives, possibly from burns or help in breast reconstruction after a mastectomy from cancer.

Join us in Celebrating Dave's life, go to  There you can read his obituary, see and share pictures.  Please leave a fun story or remembrance of Dave on the site that can be read at his Celebration of Life Memorial Saturday, May 3rd at 1:00 p.m. at the Gaylord College of Journalism on the University of Oklahoma Campus. Last of all, you are more than welcomed to attend this joyous occasion. If you wish to speak please let us know so we can include you in the program. dress in bright colors...he loved bright colors.

Dave all decked out for Heather's wedding!

In leaving him behind at the hospital on Saturday, I took one last look at the man who gave me two of the most beautiful girls I know. The man I adored and loved with every fiber of my being...raised my hand and said "I'll be great! " and blew him my last kiss.

I love you Dave!


  1. What a beautiful tribute to your husband. So sorry that we did not get to meet Dave. He sounds like he was a wonderful and inspiring husband, father, and friend. Thoughts continue to be with you and your daughters at this time. Cherish those butterfly moments!

  2. Oh, Susie, what a wonder story of Dave you have written...and written soooo well!!! Dave was a gentle soul and someone we will long remember. So glad you both came into our lives. We are richer by far for having known you both. I am so happy to hear you plan to continue on with your plans to be fulltime RVers. Anything we can do to help you make those RVing decisions we will be happy to do.

  3. Oh,Susie..Just found your blog recently and loved it.My love of butterflies led me to want to reply to your heartbreaking news.The beauty of your words was inspiring along with the awesome butterfly photo.I have been married to a truly awesome man for fifty-one years and I would hope to handle the reality of his death with your dignity and grace.Know that his gentle spirit can be with you always.Love never dies,it is eternal. Vada in Texas

  4. Susie...what a great post. We always had such a great time getting together with you and Dave and will miss him dearly. Remember the last time we were together we went to see the movie, Identity Thief and we all laughed so hard. We had such a good time. Whether we were sitting around the campsite at Lake Thunderbird or meeting you for a movie or a bite to eat, you both bring a vibrant energy to your lives. Happy to hear that you will be out on the road at some point. We're all here to help you in any way we can. We're arranging our schedule so we can be there with you on May 3rd for the celebration. Big Hugs till we see you then !

  5. Vada,
    Thank you for your kind words.


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