|Farewell, David Price
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October 12, 1952 - July 16, 2015 ...
Jay ColemanDavid Price was a long-time colleague at HP and, more importantly, a great friend for more than 25 years. His passing on Thursday was a true loss. Rest in peace, David.
David L. Price Oct. 12, 1952 - Jul. 16, 2015
"He was easy to wound, tough to kill." Leave it to David to write the perfect epitaph -- his own -- when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer more than a year ago. The doctor's diagnosis was supposed to be a 2- or 3-month death sentence. But David, a brilliant writer, was a master of sentences. He was also a bit of a boat rocker, rebel, curmudgeon and a creative genius. He wasn't about to let the medical community write the last chapter of his life.
Instead of starting to die, David spent the past year living life to the fullest. He published his first book, Slugger, a novel that combined his penchant for humor, great prose and baseball, in May 2014. In October of that year, he married Fatima De Bastiani. It was a match made in heaven and on the Internet -- David being in Mountain View, CA, and Fatima a mere 7,500 miles away in her native Brazil. They met online, then flew to each other's country several times during their courtship. Fatina was at his side virtually every moment once David received the fatal diagnosis. Indeed, everyone in the U.S. and Brazil who knew David and Fatima -- and, believe me, there are thousands of friends and admirers -- believed that Fatima's love, support and cooking made a mockery of the initial, 3-month sentence.
David's passions have always been his family, his love of writing, baseball, music and cats -- roughly in that order -- so it was no surprise when he published his second book in January. Apparently So, is a compilation of funny and poignant stories and poetry, including his favorite articles during his 15-year career at Hewlett-Packard. Some of his best work was reprinted from his internal HP column (also called Apparently So), particularly when writing about then CEO and now U.S. Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, for whom David provided communications support during her first three years at HP. He gained an enormous and devoted following among thousands of HP employees, who always asked, when you met them, "Do you know David Price?"
David and Fatima spent the past year traveling when David's health allowed, including trips to San Diego and Brazil. Despite the English-Portuguese language barrier, David charmed his new Brazilian family and friends with wit, creativity, guitar-playing skills and love for Fatima. All this while battling the insidious bile duct cancer, which is said to be worse than pancreatic cancer.
Easily wounded? David's life was punctuated with pain. He had a 40-year bout with Crohn's disease, which led to alcohol and prescription drug addictions. There were dozens of new, experimental procedures, transfusions, chemotherapy treatments and challenges that few people knew about. A fighter to the end, David wrote openly about his addictions in his second book. He also proudly talked about his recent 10 years of sobriety, his loving relationship with his 21-year-old twins, Ellery and Owen, and his friendship renewal with his first wife, Mira Dabrowski, who was an illustrator for Apparently So.
In addition to his long HP career, David was a communications writer and manager at Gilead Sciences and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. He also was a freelance writer for several years in his own company, David Price Communications. He attended "several fine universities of higher education," as he called them, including the University of Denver (near his birthplace in Englewood, CO) and San Diego State University, where he earned a degree in English, with a minor in zoology (go figure).
It's difficult to imagine a world without David Price. Even in the final weeks and days of his life, you knew David still had more stories to tell, more books to write. If you like great writing but haven't read Slugger and Apparently So, treat yourself and buy a copy.
A memorial service for David will be held in August. Goodbye, old friend. You are missed.