On June 16th 2018, my friend and colleague David Schorr passed away from complications following an aortic rupture. He was 71 years old and had been teaching printmaking and graphic design at Wesleyan University for 47 years. I have been processing the loss of this mentor and friend for months now, and it still doesn’t quite seem real that I will never see him again. He was a dedicated and prolific artist, who also LOVED to teach. He was a story teller, entertainer, and he was in his element throwing parties. But the thing I loved and appreciated the most about David, was the way he cared for me. As a “thank you” for the work I did for him in the printshop he would treat me once a year to dinner and the opera in New York. He knew just by looking at me if something was wrong, and always made time to talk if I needed to. Once, when introducing me to a group of students, he said, “and this is the beloved Kate Ten Eyck.” I still smile when I think of how endearing and somewhat inappropriate that introduction was. He was, in fact, both endearing and inappropriate most of the time.
David lost his brother to cancer in January of 2017, and it affected him deeply. I could tell that besides the loss of this person that he loved, there were issues surrounding his own mortality. As someone who loved life and lived intensely, he did not really have an “exit plan.” He was not at all interested in retiring, or making plans for becoming older. Because of the rupture in his aorta, he never did have to face retirement and the life changes that are inevitable if you live long enough. He got to live life to it’s fullest right up to the end.
I will always remember David, and the many lessons that he taught me. What are the most important of these lessons? Live life to the fullest, every day, and be a caring friend.