suspect and I have access to plenty of
technical resources if I think I need them
in a given case.
You will find me using the royal “we” for
some time to come. Partially that is just
habit, but its also because I can still hear
David’s voice and know his opinions. I
intend to keep speaking for both of us.
Rather than an obituary, what follows is
David’s eulogy which I wrote for his
funeral. It may give you more insight into
David the man.
People tend to say nice things in eulogies
of course. It’s sort of bad form not to.
Don’t assume that you are just hearing the
nice stuff though. David really was a
caring and gentle man as his many, many
friends can attest.
As we noted with our father’s obituary we
don’t generally go in for overly
personalizing the newsletter. That’s not
because we are aloof or unfriendly, but
because we always aimed for objectivity. We
never wanted to be cheerleaders and
preferred to avoid the cult of personality
that some newsletter editors seem to strive
for. It would be massive understatement to
say this month is a special case. I trust
you will indulge me in this.
How does one sum up a life? In a word –
inadequately. No brief verbal sketch can
encompass a life as varied and nuanced as
David’s. Those who know David, know him.
Those who didn’t get the chance to while he
lived are the poorer for it. The word Eulogy
means “good words” in the original Greek so
we will hold to that and say a few good
words to give you a sense of the man David
David was born on the
Gaspe Peninsula in Murdochville, a town that
came into being because of a copper mine.
Dave was probably too young to realize that
when he moved with his family to the
outskirts of Toronto at the age of three.
Then again, maybe he did
presence of a nearby lode even then.
He always seemed born to seek out
value in all things and to know ore
Dave had a
fairly standard suburban upbringing
though he managed to add a few
unique twists to the experience. He
loved Scouting and took it upon
himself to earn badge after badge,
ultimately pressing the Scout
leaders to start a Venturer's troop
to accommodate his enthusiasm.
represented a way for David to
pursue his love of learning
new things and of
passing that knowledge
unto others, themes that would be
repeated over and over in his life.
David’s enthusiasm did not go
He was selected as a
Canadian representative to the World
Jamboree in Osaka Japan. At the age of
sixteen David boarded his first
intercontinental flight on his own. He told
our mother on his return that he planned to
visit as many countries as he could when he
got older. He never looked back.
Even back then, David
was always intensely interested in politics
and economics and the big questions of the
day. He took it as a duty to pass on his
well thought out opinions, even when they
were not exactly solicited, and he loved to
argue his position. Those of you who know
David well may have noticed that his nose
was not perfectly straight. The bump in the
middle was a trophy from a high school
discussion that ended abruptly. He was
always a little vague on the details.
told us that David seriously
considered becoming a priest or a
monk when he was quite young. While
we can’t quite square that idea with
Dave’s wine collection it’s not hard
to picture him taking pleasure in
long bouts of quiet contemplation.
Of course, Dave didn’t move to a
monastery but soon started spending
time in what many would consider a
reasonable facsimile; exploration
bush camps. Dave started working in
the bush during summers in high
school and quickly caught the bug.
He loved to explore, to crest the
next hill to see what lay beyond
and to unravel the
meager clues Mother
left to guard her
buried treasures. David had found a vocation
and lifelong love. He attended the
Haileybury School of Mines in Ontario then
spent two decades exploring throughout North
and Central America.
Later, David would entice his unsuspecting
younger brother to join him at a local
consulting group so that he could “clean up
the books”. Eric had largely succeeded in
dodging the family business up to that point
but was finally drawn in. It was the
beginning of a 25 year partnership that
ultimately evolved into a family of resource
investment publications that most people
know David by.
Working in a business that saw some of its
nastiest cyclical downturns during his
tenure gave David a keen appreciation of
life’s difficulties and the need to
persevere when the odds seem long. Those
were lessons he never forgot. Even when he
became successful he always appreciated the
difficulties of those starting out. In a
very competitive business that can breed
large egos, David was never arrogant. He
always had time for everyone and was always
patient in listening to people’s stories. He
offered good advice and encouragement
whenever he was asked. In short, David was a
David was also a thinker. A real thinker in
the way that very few are. He loved to
consider problems from every angle and work
his way through long chains of reasoning. He
read history, politics and economics widely
and had a full appreciation of the ways
societies change over time. Never a
follower, he talked about some of today’s
most important issues and changes in the
world long before most others had even
thought of them.
David was not all about work however. He
always loved art and appreciated those that
create it. In his early twenties, David
started collecting original pieces,
sometimes spending a large chunk of his
summer earnings on a new painting. He
continued collecting through his adult life.
He wasn’t a trend follower here either. He
liked to find artists early in their careers
and bought what he liked, never what was
He often returned from overseas trips with
pieces of art to go with the pieces of rock.
His home is full of interesting small
sculptures and eclectic objects d’art and
much of his furniture is one of a kind
creations by local artisans.
David never married but had a wide circle of
friends. While he liked a bit of time alone
to contemplate he was nonetheless very
convivial. He knew a good restaurant when he
saw one and frequented many of them,
entertaining friends and colleagues alike.
Dave always tried to be objective in his
writing, so many who know him only from that
might be surprised to learn that something
his many friends valued most was his sense
of humour. David loved to joke and tells
stories and never minded when the tables
were turned. He didn’t take himself too
seriously and didn’t expect others to. He
had more than a bit of a gift for sarcasm
and his friends recognized the mischievous
glint in his eye when he was about to
He was generous with friends and strangers
alike. If he spotted a bottle of wine or
special item he thought his guests would
like he would always order it. It was just
something he did. He certainly didn’t expect
others to underwrite his taste which is one
reason he was always quick to grab the bill
at the end of a meal.
David was just as generous with his time and
advice. Many, many times a meeting intended
to sell David and Eric on a company or
project evolved into David making
suggestions on exploration or changing
presentations or giving pointers on how best
to sell their ideas.
Like anyone in his line of work David always
had many demands on his time but was always
willing to listen to other people’s stories
and ideas. Dave always worked long hours,
partially because he gave his time so freely
in this manner. Most people knew that so his
phone rarely stopped ringing. He didn’t
really mind though since he loved his job
and loved a good conversation.
David didn’t have children but he had nieces
and nephews he adored. He always had time
for them too and loved to take them places
and show them new things. He was always
happy to step in and help brag about them on
their parent’s behalf. His brothers always
tried to counsel their children to go easy
on the gift suggestions to Uncle Dave. He
was the softest touch around and even the
most outrageous requests would be happily
By this point you must be thinking David was
a saint who must now be growing wings. He
was a good man in the truest sense that few
men are, but he’d be rolling his eyes at all
this praise. Lest you think he was perfect
it should be noted that David did have some
issues with, well, punctuality.
His brothers would fondly – well, sort of
fondly –refer to it as “Dave Standard Time”.
David lived by the clock; it just wasn’t the
same clock as the rest of us.
When he and Eric had a lot of meetings to
cover, Eric was known to quote earlier
(false) times to Dave in the hope he would
arrive at something approximating the actual
meeting times. David’s many colleagues knew
they could linger over lunch before heading
to a meeting with him without fear that he’d
be waiting at their office door tapping his
Dave’s family always viewed with wonder his
million plus aeroplan miles total. Not
because they didn’t know he travelled
constantly but because that total implied he
must have actually arrived on time for
hundreds of flights. Eric often commented
that David was sure to be late to his own
funeral. Of all the predictions he’s made
over the years that is the one Eric most
bitterly regrets being wrong about.
David loved life and he lived it fully and
well. Everyone wants to be missed when they
are gone and know they were and are loved.
Even so, he wouldn’t want us to dwell on the
negatives and would rather be remembered
holding a glass and wearing a smile. Anyone
who chooses to explore as a vocation has to
be an optimist above all. Dave was and he’d
want us to take what good we can from this
and keep moving forward.
David loved widely and was loved in return.
He got to see virtually every part of the
world and enjoyed many good friendships and
work that always engaged and interested him.
The rest, Dave would say, was just details.
Those of you who knew David well will know
that the comments about his lack of
punctuality were no exaggeration. He was
really, really bad at showing up on time.
With that in mind I’ll pass on a short story
about David’s funeral.
After the church service, the immediate
family went to the cemetery while his
friends headed to a reception in his honour.
We had to make a stop on the way. When we
headed back to the highway we noted to our
horror that the hearse that led the
procession was making a wrong turn. We had
no choice but to go the correct way and hope
the driver of the hearse would know a back
way to the cemetery.
Twenty minutes later my brothers and I
(David and I have two older brothers, Terry
and Ian) found ourselves waiting at the
cemetery with our mother and families but
without David. Fifteen minutes later the
hearse rolled in. My brothers and I looked
at each other then started laughing
hysterically. David, god bless him, actually
HAD managed to arrive late for his own
I’ll admit to not being a particularly
religious person but sometimes things happen
that just make you go “hmmmm”. Knowing the
person David was I know that if there is a
better place to go to he’s on his way there.
And if there is, I’m equally sure our
father, one of the most punctual people in
history, is already standing by the gate
muttering “where the hell has that kid
gotten to this time?!”