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Battle Plans and Campaign Strategies

The Loss of a Good Friend and Fellow Gamer...

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We got quite the shock this past Friday. We had assembled for the weekly game, getting ready to play, and were waiting on one player, a fellow named Dave. We didn't think much about it at the time. The player was always at least on time, usually early. We also were aware of a large deployment of power company vehicles along his route, and expected he might have hit traffic and/or turned around to use an alternate route. But after an hour passed we started to worry, and I called his house number to see if everything was OK.


...and discovered that a relative of Dave's had put an announcement on his answering machine, telling whoever called that she regretted to inform us that he had passed away rather suddenly on October 24, and providing information for the funeral and several phone numbers.


We sat there staring at each other around the table, not knowing what to say or think. The guy was a gem of a human being, and easily one of the best players we'd ever known. We couldn't imagine what had happened, or why. We tried talking about it a bit, then called it a night early. Well, we said we were calling it a night, but we were still around the table for a bit, not really knowing what to do with ourselves. Dave had been such a part of everything since we first contacted him in July 2011 through P&PG (where he was known as Corax) that he was almost family.


After everyone went home, my wife called one of the numbers on the answering machine message. She got Dave's sister, who told us he'd collapsed at work. They tried reviving him, but were unsuccessful. Cause of death: heart failure, at age 49.


The conversation then took an unexpected turn. She suddenly asked my wife, “Are you one of his gaming friends


Usually, when a question like that is asked, the first reaction is, “Oh, boy. We're going to get disapproved of.” But my wife told her directly that yes, we were his gaming friends, and he would come over for both the Friday and Sunday group every week.


The reaction was immediate – and completely unexpected. She told us how glad she was that we'd reached out to her, that they (the whole family) were trying to reach us, but didn't have names or numbers to go by. And she wanted to tell all of us how important we had been to Dave in this past year.


She went on to tell us how he had been a reclusive man, not interacting much with people beyond going to work. When the internet had first come along, he became even more reclusive, and apparently family worried for him. Then July of last year came around, and a radical shift in his behavior became apparent to them. He was more outgoing, laughed and smiled more, and was obviously much, much happier. And he would talk – a LOT – about this group of gamers he'd met and joined. They didn't understand the games, and didn't have much interest in learning about them, but they could see the positive change in Dave, and could only be grateful.


We told her that the whole roster of both groups would attend the funeral, and that's when she said something else that floored us. She asked me to come up the house after the funeral. It seems that Dave had amassed quite the library of game books, which they had no personal use for. BUT...it was important to Dave, so very important, and it had been responsible for such joy in the time we knew him, that they wanted us to go through them, and take what we wanted. They wanted the books to go to a good home, and for us to have something to remember Dave by.


Personally, I felt honored to think I was involved in bringing someone such happiness, especially in what turned out to be the last fifteen months of his life. It's just really hard to learn about it in this way. Dave will be sorely missed by everyone here.

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  1. Caladrel's Avatar
    I know we dont know each other personally, and I didnt have the honor of knowing Dave either.

    But I can really sympathize with you on this. You were a great bunch of friends for him and I'm truelly sorry for your and the families loss. My heart goes out to you all.
  2. Blond Gamer Girl's Avatar
    Sorry for your loss but always remember the good times you had and the joy you brought to his life.
  3. Lazarus's Avatar
    I never met Dave either, but I do know Dalkiel from the chat forum and found out about his friend at the same time he did. Losing a friend so unexpectedly is always hard and it never gets easier with time when it happens. However, on learning of the happiness gaming brought to Dave during his last months, you should take pride in knowing you made someone's life better which is no small accomplishment. I mourn your loss Dalkiel and wish you the best as you and your group move on as you know Dave would want you to do.
  4. Xanspiraken's Avatar
    I am part of Dalkiel's gaming group (i've gamed with him for over 6 years) and I got to know Dave for a little over 10 months and I can only say this about him.
    He was intelligent, funny, smart, creative, crafty, charming, witty, whimsical and Sharp. But most of all he was Dave, one of the best gamers I ever played with and more importantly then that, Dave was a genuine person who comes around only once in a lifetime. If it was from his teaching you something (by making you work it out on your own with his help), by his cooking (the fact that he made his own marshmallows should say it all), his out of the box strategies (we need to cross the quick sand pit....throw the quarterling) or his caring nature (always willing to bring snacks, sodas, books or games to game), he could always make you smile and more importantly then that, he made the world a brighter place by being in it. He will be missed by all of us at the friday/sunday game and we are better for knowing him.
  5. craigjwjr's Avatar
    Dave was in our Saturday group.
    I know I can speak for all of us when I say his quietly friendly manner, outside the box thinking, and generosity will be sorely missed.
    He was quite simply one of the sweetest human beings I've ever had the pleasure of knowing; I only wish I could have known him longer.
  6. Dalkiel's Avatar
    Thank you for your thoughts. He was truly a treasure, and the world is poorer without him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caladrel
    I know we dont know each other personally, and I didnt have the honor of knowing Dave either.

    But I can really sympathize with you on this. You were a great bunch of friends for him and I'm truelly sorry for your and the families loss. My heart goes out to you all.
  7. Dalkiel's Avatar
    Thank you for the kind words. I'm a bit behind on replies, but I do appreciate the words and thoughts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blond Gamer Girl
    Sorry for your loss but always remember the good times you had and the joy you brought to his life.
  8. Dalkiel's Avatar
    Lazarus, the game group is greatful for your words. They have come to know the P&PG chat crowd through hearing about you from me, and know you're someone I regularly talk with. Thank you for your well-wishes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazarus
    I never met Dave either, but I do know Dalkiel from the chat forum and found out about his friend at the same time he did. Losing a friend so unexpectedly is always hard and it never gets easier with time when it happens. However, on learning of the happiness gaming brought to Dave during his last months, you should take pride in knowing you made someone's life better which is no small accomplishment. I mourn your loss Dalkiel and wish you the best as you and your group move on as you know Dave would want you to do.
  9. Dalkiel's Avatar
    He will be sorely missed, certainly. I'm glad so many of us were able to attend the service, and my group was very happy to meet yours. Obviously, we would have liked to meet you under better circumstances... but all the same, it was good to here some of your group's memories of him.

    Quote Originally Posted by craigjwjr
    Dave was in our Saturday group.
    I know I can speak for all of us when I say his quietly friendly manner, outside the box thinking, and generosity will be sorely missed.
    He was quite simply one of the sweetest human beings I've ever had the pleasure of knowing; I only wish I could have known him longer.
  10. Golden Age Superhero's Avatar
    The best thing about this story is how this shy, reclusive person started to improve due to gaming. It's always good to see positive stuff about gaming. This sounds like someone I would love to have at my table.
  11. Gaia's Avatar
    It's reading things like this that makes me feel good to be able to read such things and how much important gaming can be for people beyond gaming. Dave is the type of person I know I would have treasured as well and I thank you for taking the time to share this event with us fellow gamers. You continue to do good for us all with such actions and someone else may get something more from your writings then you could ever realized. I know gaming helped me have a better life instead of a life that would have been very negative. Thanks again