Our son, brother, bestest friend forever, David Justin Despain passed away peacefully April 27th 2023 at his home in Sandy, Utah. David was born in Salt Lake City on July 19th, 1978 to Lynn Verl Despain and Mary Jane Zarbock Despain.
Born with a condition known as Prader Willi Syndrome, Dave faced many challenges in his mortal life, but these challenges in no way kept him from living life to the fullest. Dave enjoyed swimming, skiing, walking, miniature golfing, biking, games, boating and participating on T-ball and soccer teams. He loved singing in chalk circle (at home and at school), watching game shows, and doing art projects every single day.
Dave attended Draper and Sprucewood Elementaries, Indian Hills Middle School, Alta High School, and Bingham High School from which he graduated. Although he had demanding challenges, his wonderful teachers succeeded in giving him grade level proficiency in reading and math which helped him live an enjoyable life. Every day Dave completed challenging workbooks and puzzles. Over the course of his life, he read thousands of animal books, gaining a deep and profound knowledge of facts about animals from all over the world.
Because Dave loved animals, his family traveled the country, visiting major Zoos, wild animal parks, and museums, including all of the Washington DC museums where they would stay for days. Dave and his family went to all of the Disney parks, Sea Worlds, and Bush Gardens amusement parks located across America. No ride was every too scary for him, although seeing his body thrown around on some of them certainly scared his parents. David was his dad’s Southwest free companion for over fifteen years.
Dave’s day program was living in his dad’s car. He travelled all around the city, getting to know everyone and everything his dad was involved with. Nothing gave him more pleasure than rocking out to music in the car for hours at a time. He loved his mother like no other. Every night, Mary Jane, spent hours taking Dave on long walks, washing his hair ten times in a row, and carefully tucking him in to bed.
His syndrome required all food at home to be secured because he could not control his unceasing preoccupation with food. At eighteen, his parents formed a group home where Dave lived with three other PWS boys. Though they tried to make it work for many years, the environment wasn’t a good fit for Dave. Fortunately, the last twenty-three years David was in his own home where cousins, siblings, and friends living nearby could provide the special care Dave needed. His parents would especially like to thank Katie, Michael, Chelsea, Janie, Joshua, and Lacey for their dedication over the years. As Dave would say: “I love you my dear love staff my bestest friends forever and ever just like you and I will always be.”
David loved everything about his membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: primary, Sunday school, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and being a priesthood holder; he loved it all. For Dave, the icing on the cake was that almost all activities had the possibility of food and refreshment.
Family was everything to Dave. He had great love for his brother and sisters because they always showed him enduring patience and kindness. He literally knew, by name, all his thirty-four cousins, their spouses, and their children, even the ones he hadn’t seen for years. Of course, his immediate family along with his six nephews and six nieces were accounted for daily and visited often. He would unselfishly inquire about the things happening in others’ lives, wondering where they were and if they were healthy and happy. David expressed his love frequently to all his family members. Every visit, he greeted them with a special nickname, enthusiastically saying: “You’re a Rock Star! You rock like there’s no tomorrow!” And Dave always required his family to return the same display of love and affection, matching his level of enthusiasm.
David is survived by his parents Lynn and Mary Jane Despain; his brother Jacob; his sisters Rebecca Hewett (Justin), Janie Mathis (Wesley), and Lacey Slater (Joshua); grandparents Robert F. and Deanne Zarbock; twelve bestest nieces and nephews; plus hundreds of extended family members whom he loved unconditionally. His family would like to thank all of those that showed love to David in his life. Your simple interactions with David made his life full. Special thanks to David’s DSPD support Ordinator Shelley and Hospice nurse Rose.
Dave always wanted a firm answer for everything. At the end of every visit, he would always ask: “When will I see you again?” Of course, an “I’m not sure Dave” or a “Sometime tomorrow Dave” was never a satisfactory response. Well, David our dear love, unfortunately this time around, none of us have a firm response about when you’ll see us again. But one thing we can promise you is we will see you every day in our hearts and that you will for sure see us again in the arms of our Savior.
If you would like to see David again, please join us on Monday, May 8th, 2023, Crescent View Ward, 10945 South 1700 East, Sandy, Utah 84092 where a viewing will be held from 10:00 - 10:45 AM followed by a funeral service at 11:00 AM.
For those unable to attend, services will be streamed via Zoom: Please click on the watch services link above, you must be logged in to your Zoom account to view.