Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Dave - the voice of reason

I had the pleasure of working with Dave from Spring 2005 to Fall 2006.

Dave always had time for everyone. It was so great to have a conversation with Dave about cooking, music, KIDS, sports, high school in the 70's, local politics and people in general.I always admired Dave for his ability to look at situations from all perspectives, his way of always being non judgmental and such a kind, down-to-earth human being. Thanks Dave, for being such a great friend and colleague.

Cathy Mathison

Monday, June 4, 2007

dave's priorities

I love the fact that Dave's priorities and values were always crystal clear. Here's my memory.... One day he and I were talking about using the Internet for marketing - for non-profits and political groups. He had such great ideas that I suggested we team up and he join my company to lead a special division focused on this area of expertise...it would be a great gig, with a chance for some ownership consideration in the company as well... His immediate response, without hesitation? 'Are you unionized?' ... well the conversation ended there quickly, but I always loved that fame, nor fortune could shake Dave from the things he believed in most.

- chris carder

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Toast to Dave

To Dave: For his immense and unending generosity, empathy and caring.

To Dave: For all the late-night scotches and games of pool, and the many discussions about politics, injustice, the deeply spiritual nature of the world, personal relationships, our families, and all the little things.

To Dave: For reminding me to be gentle with myself and to have faith in myself.

To Dave: For going to the first ever annual Vancouver scotch tasting together - Dave and me, ten bucks a head, and all the single-malt you can "taste" – it was a very good day.

To Dave: For his unconditional love and his laughter and his kindness and his time.

To Dave: For driving halfway across town in his beater Honda to pick me up at 6:30am, working out for an hour to get buff, then driving me to work - which was the other halfway across town.

To Dave: For bringing wonderful people into my life.

To Dave: For dealing with our moving stuff, stocking our pantry, and being there with a cold beer when we arrived at the co-op that sticky August night in 2002.

To Dave: For knowing when to talk and knowing when to listen – and always knowing the right things to say.

To Dave: For riding to the St. Lawrence Market on Saturday mornings, chatting with his favourite stallkeepers, sampling cheeses and buying herbs, and generally kicking around and enjoying each other’s company.

To Dave: For his uncompromising commitment to justice and equality.

To Dave: For the best Caesar salad ever.

To Dave: For that first game of pool on May 7, 1992, and that last latté on May 3, 2007.

To Dave: I miss you more than words can say.

the best kind of friend

I've been putting off writing something here for days now. Not because I have little to say - I have lots of memories of Dave - the words just don't seem to do him justice.

I can't actually remember when I first met Dave. We both worked for the Canadian Federation of Students - so it was some time in the early 90's - he was in BC, I was in Ontario. It was during an intense period of upheaval in the student movement and when in need of good organizers Dave's name was generally the first mentioned. We became fast friends.

He was confident without being arrogant, smart without being obnoxious, patient without being patronizing. He was one of those people who was able to talk to anyone and honestly enjoyed a difference of opinion. I learned from him a tonne about politics, about people and about being passionate about what you believe. Dave genuinely cared about helping people. Whether it was writing policy or organizing, it was about empowerment. It was about giving back to the community and helping to make life better. He touched so many lives in doing so.

One memory does stand out in my mind. During a particularly stressful time in my life, he invited me out to Vancouver for a visit. He seemed to know what I needed even before I did. We just spent time together. He introduced me to Phil Ochs (his music, that is), visited Whistler and Pender Island (where he treated me and Jennifer S., to breakfast in bed), read my Tarot Cards, let me sleep in. We did simple things but they made such a difference.

He taught me what it means to be a friend by being a good one - by forgiving at times when it was really hard, by being understanding rather than judgemental and by giving of himself and not keeping track of the IOUs.

I know I will feel this loss for a long time to come.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Globe and Mail Obituary, 12 May 2007

KAPPELE, David Peter. David died suddenly and unexpectedly on May 5, 2007 while indulging in one of his passions, cycling. He spent his life as a fierce advocate for those who got the short end of the stick in life. He worked to support those struggling with mental illness and poverty, those who were without homes and sometimes without hope. That was something that David always had in abundance. He was relentlessly optimistic and always willing to listen. David is survived by an enormous circle of caring friends, by his father Peter, stepmother Wendy, and his sister Danielle. His mother Mary went first in 1997. Donations to Dixon Hall in lieu of flowers are greatly appreciated.

dave walked the walk

I worked pretty closely with Dave, may years ago, when he was a Fieldworker for the (then) Ontario Federation of Students and I was the Chair.

Dave was smart and funny but never intimidating. As a young woman at the nominal helm of a large organization, I often felt like I was in over my head. Dave always made me feel like he had my back.

The OFS was at the height of a right-wing backlash that year, and we were constantly fighting the efforts (often successful) of student 'unions' to leave the movement. It was a very hard year but people like Dave helped me get through it and even, at times enjoy myself.

In particular, I remember working a referendum at Queen's University. I was 'invited' to an on campus debate but when we arrived it became clear that only friends of the boys in the student association had been informed of the event and that my public humiliation was the goal (contempt for the organization and for women both being at play). I got through it, due, in large part, to Dave.

Before, during and after that event, he was there for me - calm, supportive, sympathetic and angry on my behalf. He told me how well I'd done and helped me keep my head up. I will always be grateful to him for that.

I used to tease Dave about being a 'white knight.' He wanted to make the world a better place and to improve the lives of those he cared about.

And he did.

I haven't seen Dave in more than ten years. I wish I'd had the chance to spend time with him more recently.

I am so sad that he is gone.

And I feel very lucky to have known him.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Brief tribute on cmkl.ca

I posted a short tribute on my blog. I worked with Dave for a short while at what was then called the Ontario Federation of Students in the early 1990s.