It is with a heavy heart we share that David passed away Wednesday June 15. In his final days and hours, he was surrounded by many who were near and dear to him. David was much loved by two families. His parents Jack and Shirley who predeceased him, his brother John & wife Leigh, sister Jenny & husband Martin, his nephew Matthew and niece Kristen & husband Mike and their awesome little girls Avery and Scarlett. David’s second family is the CHIRS Community where he has lived for the past 35 years. There are so many people who cared for David starting with Hedy who welcomed him on his first day and remained a constant. At the risk of leaving someone out thank you especially Danny, Michele, Denise, Dave, Rowen, Wayne, sensei Jack, and his primary support team Shinu, Eileen, John, Greg, Kim and Kerry and all those past and present who have enabled him to live a full and rich life. The CHIRS family includes deep friendships with Jody, Rob M, Jeff C, Andrey, Neil D, Shannon, Mirko and Sandra.
David was born in Montreal on October 29, 1961, and grew up in Chibougamau, Quebec and Acton, Ontario moving to Toronto in the early 80s. He attended Erin High School, Ridley College and Wordsworth College, University of Toronto. He really didn’t love school but wanted to explore his own interests. His skills were an artist eye evident in his photography and design aesthetic as well as working with his hands building post and beam homes or smaller wood projects. He was an amazing skier and hockey player prior to his life being forever changed in 1987 with serious physical injuries including a traumatic brain injury.
David has overcome so many challenges in his life. He has done so with determination and grace, rarely complaining. David had a mischievous yet gentle humour which often caught the unsuspecting by surprise. His sense of humour, his ability to make people around him feel comfortable and included as well as his keen intellect made David a pleasure to spend time with. The people in David’s life were very important to him. Growing up David had a tight group of loyal friends from his Acton days who he never forgot. David always remembered everyone’s birthdays calling and leaving good wishes if he missed you. He could quickly recite your Zodiac sign and the associated personality traits. He delighted in the many furry friends in our extended family and the visiting therapy dogs.
David loved music, sports and never said no to any adventure, be it his world travels in his early 20’s to Australia, Thailand, Nepal, and Europe or any and every outing CHIRS organized. There was nothing better than getting out with staff on day trips or going summer camping surrounded by nature. For his 60th birthday this past October Dave and Rob kindly escorted him to Montreal for a few days which was amazing given his increased health challenges. He has loved the Habs his whole life and was thrilled to get to a game on this trip.
A reflection of David’s life would be incomplete without mentioning the special relationship he had with his mom Shirley. Shirley determinedly explored every opportunity to get him the resources needed to continue to expand his horizons. She remained committed to her Davey’s well-being and happiness her whole life. She chose CHIRS for David as their mission is improving the quality of life for persons living with the affects of Acquired Brian Injury and they delivered!
Everyone has a David story, and he will be fondly and forever remembered with his big, beautiful smile. We are already missing his daily check ins. Instead of a traditional funeral his family will gather when he is laid to rest with his parents this summer. His CHIRS family will plan a Celebration of Life at a date to be determined. We want to thank everyone for their kind support and ask if you are so moved, you may consider making a donation to CHIRS in his memory.
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