It is indeed a shock to hear about David's passing, although I was aware that he had his health problems. Still, I don't think any of us imagined that it would come this quickly.
It was additionally unsettling for me as I had been in continuous dialogue with him by email, long before I joined the RFS or contributed formal articles to the JIM publication. David apparently was very interested in the musical insights and comments I as a professional musician demonstrated in regard to light music, as he very graciously offered to print our dialogues in the then current JIM publications as potential interest to other members. He was very generous in this regard, even printing more than I ever realistically expected to see in print, although I needn't have to point out that I was extremely pleased by this.
And as a result, I decided to join the RFS, and began writing various articles on light music up to the end of publication, which David in turn was very pleased by.
His generosity extended into other areas. He always answered any email correspondence of mine promptly and to the point, and always gave his apology if he was unavoidably delayed for any reason.
Moreover, during the period of our correspondence, we suffered frequent bouts of adverse weather conditions here in the USA, including that of Hurricane Sandy just over two years ago. He always expressed a concern about how I got through such conditions and was always greatly relieved when I realized that I had survived it, as I was still writing to him!
Needless to say, I and I'm sure others were hardly happy about his plans to give up the reins of the JIM publication and the secretaryship of the RFS, but he had clearly explained that it was for health reasons primarily.
I kept up my email correspondence with him over the ensuing year, but most of our dialogue seemed to center on health issues. He apparently had various types of surgery for cancer of different parts of the body, and we discussed the various types of treatment, as I myself had a sort of cancer for which I was treated, and have now been free of it for twelve years, so we compared notes on this. He seemed little disposed to discussing any other topic. He was unhappy over the fact that he would have to give up his driving duties and leave it to his wife to chauffeur him around, but I advised him that this should be the least of his worries.
Sometime last month, in January, I made an attempt to contact him again, to find out how he was, and this time I received no response, which concerned me greatly, as this was totally unlike him, as he always answered my email messages to him.
My final answer to this came in the form of the posting on the RFS website, which I read yesterday to the day I am writing this tribute. It was very shocking to me - I knew that he was not in the best of health, but I did not realize that his condition had progressed to apparently what it was. Even more unsettling for me was to discover, upon noting his age as given, that I was three years his senior.
I send my best wishes of sympathy to his wife and other family, and hope that David will find his peace and fulfillment after having left us.