Home > Dan's Story: Remembrance

Our pain at his passing is deep and unrelenting.

  • Was it his nurturing way, caring about other people's feelings—as when he was three years old, comforting his grandmother after his grandfather had died? Or his maturity as a teen in not rejecting parental advice just because it was parental, but considering and deciding for himself? Or using savings from his paper route to visit China as a representative in the People to People Student Ambassador Program so he could reach out to people he never met?
  • Was it his uncompromising honesty and sincerity and sense of fairness? Or the loving way he teased his younger brother and sister? Or his confident, soft-spoken nature? Or the way, when one of us criticized another, he confronted us with our own funny eccentricities?
  • Was it his striving for perfection in everything he did, whether rowing on the crew team or academic studies or work?
  • Was it his spiritual maturing during the early months of his illness, when he came to us with a smile one morning and thanked us for giving him life? Or his unique and generous act of paying for a Russian child to attend summer camp as a wedding present to close friends?
  • Was it the time, during the final months of his illness, when the family hugged during a nightly "Danny sandwich" ritual and he said "There's so much love in this family, even though we don't always show it?" Or the two powerful oil paintings he and his uncle completed together, Dan never having painted before?
  • Was it the way he faced his illness with such extraordinary courage and dignity, never complaining or expressing anger or asking "Why me?"
  • Was it because of the wonderful father he would have been and the promise of how much more he had to offer as a human being?
It was for all these reasons, but mostly it is because he was our son and we loved him more deeply than words can express.

Stephen & Gail Fine


A Letter from Someone Whose Life Was Touched by Dan

April 2, 2001

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Fine,

My name is Meghan King. As a young girl I attended Camp Simchah in Middleton where Dan was a counselor. He touched my life in so many ways I cannot even begin to explain. A gentle giant, Dan was every camper's favorite including my own. I remember one summer when we played tag the entire summer; from the first day to the last when he jumped up on the bus and tagged me before we pulled away. Needless to say, I am still "it." I remember how he listened to everyone's stories no matter how irrelevant and showed every kid the attention they deserved. I admired him for his athletic ability, for I am an athlete myself. I even had a little crush on him as many of the girls did.

When I learned of his death, I was shocked and deeply saddened. Even though I had only known him for a few summers, I could still vividly remember him pushing me on the swings or even playing that crazy game of tag. I remember after the news of his death, I sat around with a few of my friends who had gone to camp with me, and we all shared our favorite Dan memories. He touched so many lives. I am now a counselor myself at Camp Simchah and I can only hope to touch as many lives as he did.

I was recently reminded of Dan's story in my Anatomy class at Bishop Fenwick High School. We watched your brief video on skin cancer and what it really is and how it effects our bodies. I know the video opened many people's eyes including my own. Skin cancer is an extremely dangerous disease and your hard work and dedication to Dan's cause is nothing short of admirable.

I just wanted to thank you for raising such a wonderful son. He was a wonderful person, a great role model and an exceptional counselor. I just wanted to share this story with you and express my sincerest gratitude. We all loved him!

Thank you,

Meghan King