My brother, David, was killed in a car accident on October 25th 2005. He was an outstanding surgeon, father and grandfather. In loving memory and as a way of healing, I want to share some memories of my dear brother.

I’ve received so many cards and e-mails from friends of ours in Dodge City, KS.  All talk about the fun we used to have playing ‘kick the can’ in our old neighborhood.  David loved to play the game and was good at winning because he could hide very well and seemed to know when to make a run for the can (no pun intended).

David was a sweet, loving little blonde headed boy. When he was very young we would usually spend Christmas at Big Mama & Big Daddy’s (Dad’s parents) house in Cushing OK. One year he received a play gun and holster set as a Christmas gift. He put it on and spent the day strutting around threatening to shoot people Mom has pictures of this. This earned him the nick name of ‘Hot Shot’. He was so cute!

David was always extremely intelligent. He was reading newspapers by the time he was in first grade; our parents read to us a lot but he taught himself to read. This frustrated his first grade teacher because he didn’t want to read in the first grade reader. One day he told the teacher he didn’t want to read those silly stories. The teacher asked him what he liked to read and he told her he read the newspaper. The teacher thought he was lying about reading the newspaper so she handed him one and he read aloud an article about the Soviet Union. This floored her.

He was a good athlete; he was on the tennis & wrestling team in high school and was really good at water and snow skiing. We had a cabin at Cedar Bluff Lake, in Kansas. We would spend a lot of time there water skiing and swimming. He also liked to sky dive. I think he was self conscious about his height because it kept him from participating in the sports that Dad loved; football & basketball.  But he excelled at the sports he was comfortable with.

I think David was the youngest person to get their pilot’s license in Dodge City. I have a copy of an old high school paper with David’s picture and an article about him getting his pilot’s license. Ted Larson gave it to me in July 05 when I went back to Dodge for the school reunion.

I remember one time when I went up flying with him; Dad had just bought a small plane. Well, David kept playing like he was dive bombing; going up and down and swirling all around. I told him over and over that I was getting sick and he’d better stop it, but he wouldn’t listen. I ended up puking in the plane, all over everything. David was so mad, first because of the mess I’d made, then because Dad made him clean it up (because I had warned him about my getting sick).

David was a very good pilot and a good driver. This might sound strange because not many people liked to ride in a car when he was driving. He liked beautiful cars that could go really fast and he would drive extremely fast in them, he also knew how to handle these cars. But, he didn’t take into mind that speed is not meant for the highways. I am so grateful that no other car was involved in the accident. However, I’m angry that the air bag in his 350 Z Nissan didn’t activate. The air bag might have saved his live.

He didn’t like horses as much as Becky and I. I think that’s because he had a Shetland pony when he was in grade school and the stupid thing would periodically bite him, that horse was really mean. He would ride horses, though, when we went to Rocking Horse Ranch in Montana during the summer.

David was fascinated by new ideas and would read everything he could find on a subject when it caught his interest. When I was 7 or 8 and he was 6 or 7, our folks took us to the Smithsonian Institution. He really jumped in to finding out all he could about the dinosaurs that we would see (actually their bones); he got a little perturbed at how silly Dad & I were acting around this huge dinosaur, I think we embarrassed him.

He was a great guitar player and taught himself how to play and sing. I think he was very self conscious about telling people how he felt. However he felt he could express himself through his music. I know he and Curt really enjoyed playing and singing together. I have a CD that Becky made from a tape she found on one of David’s tape players. On it, David’s singing three songs that he wrote. One is called ‘Dr. Dad’ and I just love it.

My Brother David
My Brother David

While David was at Kansas University, for college and medical school, he was a member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity.

David had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to tease people. He also handled being teased by others quite well, maybe not as well as doing the teasing. People quite often gave him a hard time about the number of wives he had, but he took it well.

He loved to eat well prepared food and was a very accomplished cook. He had obviously been to the store to get the ingredients for a trout dinner when the wreck happened. I have one of his cookbooks and a napkin with a trout recipe written by David on it. I’m assuming this is what he was planning to fix on the evening of October 25th.

We met each other in Paris, France in 2001. We got angry at each other a couple of times, which is normal for siblings, but he thought it was great when I took them to Moumartre.  He loved the artistic atmosphere of that section of Paris and had fun pretending he was an artist. He also enjoyed the Orsay museum. I think the greatest time he had, however, was at Notre Dame. We couldn’t go in because there was a funeral being held there. This gave David & me the opportunity to describe the insides to Dusty & Kate; with a lot of exaggerations. He then pretended that he was the hunchback, Quasimodo. It was really funny. However one day while we were in Paris, Dusty didn’t want to go with us. He went off on his own and got quite lost, which scared us all to death. I know now that we shouldn’t have left him alone, but Dusty handled the situation very wisely.

I know Dad really enjoyed the times that David would join him in going to Oklahoma University sports events. Even though David was a KU graduate, he would cheer along with Dad, unless OU was playing KU. Of course in that respect, Oklahoma University usually did really well in football, and Kansas University usually did really well in basketball. This fact helped keep the rivalry in check.

As you know, David didn’t do well when it came to relationships. But he loved his kids and grandchild more than words can tell. I think his wives and girlfriends couldn’t live up to the perfectionist standards he had for himself and others. Thank God he didn’t hold his children & grandchild or me to those standards.  He was very supportive of me when I was trying to overcome my handicaps.

David was a very good man and we will all miss him terribly.

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