Scott Davis — RIP my Friend

Ahh death. It is one of those events that happens to everyone. People use lots of ways to explain it and try to understand it. The fact is when it comes quickly and suddenly to a close friend, you are really lost for how to explain why it happened. You see stories in the media about people who pass on and you never actually feel the human impact until it happens to someone close to you.

One of my best friends — Scott Davis — died Friday afternoon. He was loading up some guns to take with some scouts camping, alone, when an old pistol of his accidentally went off. From what the police could tell, a round entered his chest and he immediately expired. He didn’t suffer and died immediately.

One of our mutual friends (Jerry Barker) called me when I was at dinner with my wife and I immediately went numb. It was that feeling of shock and disbelief and it was the first time that I have ever felt it. My wife was in the washroom when I got the call and when she got back to the table she knew something happened that devastated me. My immediate thought was of anyone, not to Scott. He is one of the good guys. Not him. Not my friend. He meant so much to so many people. His life was in such a great place that it was not the right time.

I was absolutely shocked by the how it happened as I hunt with Scott all the time and he is fanatically careful and practices epically cautious gun safety. There is no explanation of why it happened except for it was probably his time. While your faith provides you with comfort, it does not provide you with the reason. As I called around to the group of guys he grew up with and our college buddies, it was obvious to me what a profound impact he had on people. The reaction was all the same — why him and why now?

Scott was my roommate during college. I counted it up and I have known Scott now for 16 years. He was one of those guys who gravitated to the people who needed him. He didn’t care about what kind of money you came from, what you drove, or even what you could offer him. From the moment I met him I could tell that his life was filled with selfless service for others. Scott was a gentle giant. He was the perfect roommate and made me, who lived thousands of miles from my immediate family, feel like I had family in him.

Through the years he and I remained close. He lived only about 40 minutes from me and we continued to do things together. We hunted pheasant and duck together. We talked business — specifically about the various ventures that he put together. We rode bikes and ran races together. We talked about our families and faith together. He commented on this blog all the time. The last comment he left was the day before he died. I just spoke with him a couple of days before he died about something inconsequential. He was one of those friends that I could call at any hour and I knew…I knew he would be anywhere that I asked him to. I always hoped he felt the same way about me.

Scott was an accomplished triathlete — he won second place in the Clydesdale division at Spudman this year. He just finished a triathlon about a month ago and was stoked about his performance. When we rode the CASVAR with our friends Curt and Rick LaBelle and Todd Quinn a couple of months ago he earned the nickname “The Diesel” because he just kept going and going. I got to run RAGNAR with him twice and kick myself for not running it with him in 2010. He and I even discussed doing Ironman St. George together in 2012. He came down to St. George to cheer me on during my first Ironman. We had made plans to get down to St. George to ride this winter on the bike course. He rode it with me last winter and bonked. I even had to go pick up him because he was so gassed. What is impressive about that is he did the ride just because he wanted to do it with me.

Scott was one of those guys who was just a great example. He had blemishes of course, but they were few and far between. There are so many traits that I could talk about, but I will highlight three things that I loved most about him.

First, he loved his family. His wife Kim and his three children meant everything to him. They literally were his world and even when he was not with them, he was talking about them. He wanted his son to grow up to be an honorable man and always searched for ways that he could accomplish that goal. He wanted nothing more than to help his daughters to find the happiness they deserve in life. And of course, he wanted to get older with Kim but never grow old. He had some disagreements with his extended family in the last couple of years, but even when he expressed to me his frustration with them, he still made sure he commented how he loves them regardless. He knew his family was his soul.

Second, he loved his friends. He had a unique ability that when he spent time with you, you felt like you were the most important thing in his life at that moment. Whatever you were talking about was his passion as well. Even though you may not have been his best friend, you would never know it. I am sure at his viewing tonight and funeral service on Tuesday there will be plenty of people who will think they were his best friend. I am sure they will all be right.

Finally, he loved his faith. There are lots of people who claim to be Christians as a faith, but when it gets down to it, there are few who are practicing. Scott always tried to follow the two greatest commandments — 1. Love thy God with all thy heart and 2. Love thy neighbor as thyself. Scott was always serving other people, even those who did not really deserve it. He gave freely of his greatest asset — his time. Since his death, several people have posted on his Facebook page about the service that he provided them. His last efforts were to prepare a Boy Scout Troop for a campout. I could spend pages and pages telling stories of the things he did for me over the years and I am sure I am not the only one.

I am going to miss Scott terribly. He was an integral part of my life. There is nobody that will be able to replace him. I have lost a couple of people in my life, but never a friend as close as Scott. He was my friend and my brother, and I hope he knew how much I cared for and admired him. There are lots of memories that I have with Scott of the cool things that we did together, but I will never forget his persistence and the love he had for everyone in his life. He will continue to have a profound impact in my life.

Scooter cheering me on at 2010 Ironman St. George.

Todd Quinn, Curt LaBelle, me, and Scott Davis before the CASVAR 2010.

Scott handing off to me at the 2009 RAGNAR.

I love you Scooter. You may be gone, but we will never forget. I will look for you at the beginning of my runs, rides, hunts, and when I wet a line. I don’t doubt that from time to time I will catch a glimpse of your grin as you look over your shoulder and tell me to get the lead out. We hope to live up to your legacy pal. Keep on pushing to the top Diesel…

About the Author

I have been participating in running and triathlons for 10 years and love the feeling that training provides. You may not agree with me, but you know you just can't look away...