Shades of Rose
DAVID ALLEN STOVER
April 21, 1955 - May 14th, 2005
Photo by Annie Kouchoukos
View Memorial Video Here
DAVID ALLEN STOVER
As written and originally presented by Linda Maerz
May 18th, 2005
Re-presented by Paula Gill
November 5th, 2005
It is difficult to choose the perfect words to describe the life of a man who meant so much to so many people. David Stover was just that--a man loved by many, especially his family and friends.
When I remember Dave, I can’t help but think of
Deb and Dave as a couple, of their love that endured almost three decades. Their relationship was the foundation of a family, and nothing meant more to Dave than his family. He put them first in all things he always stepped back so they could step forward.
Dave was able to do something many men never accomplish--he found his way into the hearts of his parents-in-law. Dave was twenty-one and Deb just nineteen when Deb introduced Dave to her father. “This is Dave. See my ring, Daddy?” she said.
Her dad was working in his garage, left to contemplate his future son-in-law when Deb dashed into the house to show her mother the ring.
And so it began.
During their engagement, Deb developed phlebitis, and Dave came to the house to visit her every day. Deb’s mom thereby declared Dave a walking, living, breathing doll. She fed Dave casseroles for lunch on a daily basis. Dave ate them faithfully and never once mentioned that he didn’t even like casseroles. That was Dave.
When Deb and Dave lost their twins in 1980, Deb was confined to the hospital. Dave made all the funeral arrangements with his father-in-law, Johnny. When Dave’s mother passed away a month later, Deb was still unable to travel, so Dave attended the funeral on his own. As he endured all of that, Deb was still first on his mind, first in his heart.
When Deb was pregnant with Barbi, Dave was the one who gave her heparin injections throughout the pregnancy. Barbi was born on Christmas Eve, and on
Christmas morning, Dave and the pediatrician donned Santa hats and made rounds together in the newborn nursery. Quintessential Dave.
When the idea of adopting a special needs child came up, Deb said, “How about a baby with Down Syndrome?” Dave didn’t skip a beat, just said, “Sure.” A few years later, Deb said, “How about a multiracial child?” Again, Dave said simply, “Sure.” And smiled.
So the Stovers grew from a couple to a family.
Dave’s amazing spirit was
evident in other areas of his life as well. When he was in Air Force Academy prep school, one instructor demanded the trainees say, “I am a killing machine,” during their drills. Dave refused to say those words and instead ran up and down a mountain every day as punishment. When it was over, he was in excellent shape, and he had been able to hold fast to his philosophy, “I’m here to defend my country, not to kill people.” So, among other things, Dave Stover was a champion of justice, freedom, and peace.
And as a friend, Dave was the best. It can be said of him, “He never met a stranger.” I made the acquaintance of Dave and Deb at a Labor Day block party in West Linn, Oregon in 2001. The Stovers had just moved into our neighborhood. Even though they were the newcomers, Dave was probably the friendliest person at the party. He didn’t wait for people to say hello to him he took it upon himself to make everyone else feel welcome. He emanated cheerfulness, always. Even after the cancer returned, when I knew he was
hurting, he always answered the telephone with a resounding, “How are you doing, Linda?” Always wanting to know how other people were doing was part of who Dave was.
The way Dave faced his cancer was quintessential Dave too. When he was diagnosed with stage III rectal cancer in December 1999, he faced the disease head-on, did what was necessary to beat it. In spite of all he went through--the chemotherapy, the radiation, the surgery, more chemo--he said, “It’s not the worst thing that ever happened
to me.” He stayed in remission for years, and when the cancer came back, he fought it with courage and grace. He wanted to live because he loved life, but most of all, he wanted to live because he loved his friends and family.
Even through everything he endured in those last days, “I love you,” were the words on his lips.
I’ve never met a man as proud of his children as Dave was. Barbi, Ben, and Bonnie--you were and still are the light of his world. Nothing will ever change that.
And Deb, if ever there was a man in love with his wife, it was Dave Stover. You shared twenty-nine years of everything life offered up: good and bad joy and sorrow health and sickness.
If one word describes Dave Stover, it is hero--a champion of his country, his friends, but above all, his family. Deb, Barbi, Bonnie, and Ben . . . remember, he loved you with all his heart and always will. Know that, feel it, believe it’s true.
And Dave, know that we love you,
Read Dave's Obituary in the Colorado Springs Gazette.
Sign and/or Read Dave's Guest Book.