David and I had paddled together on quite a few rivers. I'll never forget his kindness and inspiration. On May 7th, 2011 our beloved friend, David Schmitt, passed away. When I met David his ability was way beyond mine, but despite the gap we became great friends right off the bat. Upon hearing the news of his death many friends and family began clearing their schedules and heading for Casper, Wyoming in order to pay their respects at his funeral on Thursday, May 12th. When I showed up late Wednesday night I met our friend Jason Baker and headed over to David's house to visit with the family. I was blown away at how packed his house was with friends and family.
David loved the river and anything to do with kayaking. The first thing his mother, Susie, said to me was, "If it was up to David we would be doing this on some river in the middle of nowhere."
Photo: Leif Anderson
The next morning we all gathered for David's funeral which was beautiful. The church was huge and every pew was packed full. Some people even had to stand outside the church listening over a speaker. Robert Grant put together a wonderful speech about David and his kayaking.
After the Funeral we went to David's house to visit. Mike Perry put together a great video of David.
We're all going to miss David. Jason Baker said it best, "David was a Awesome guy, for all the years that I knew David he was the nicest guy to everyone, and he always had a huge smile no matter what happened. The best memories I have of David are the times we paddled together. He was like a big brother to me and showed me everything there is about kayaking, and also showed me how to do new tricks all the time. I know he will be with me at the put in every time and Love you Schmitty!!!!!!!"
Here's a video on Deer Creek by Mike Perry: