I’m not sure I will get through what I plan on saying today at Dave’s Memorial, so I thought I would put it here:
Funerals are painful, and our hearts go out to Jill and the entire Theno clan. We all share just a small part of your grief.
Funerals are also uncomfortable, because they remind us all of life’s fragile nature and of all the things we should have said too so many. Especially as we grow older, we think of all the deeds that we have not done, and the ever – decreasing time to do them.
However, we are here today to honor our friend Dave, who unlike most of us, left nothing undone and leaves this life a hero. Dave was honored by so many. Here are just a few:
- NSF Lifetime achievement award
- American Association of Food Hygiene Veterinarians
- American Meat Science Association
- International Association of Food Protection
- International Meat & Poultry HACCP Alliance
- Institute of Food Technologists
- National Advisory Committee on Meat & Poultry Inspection
- National Advisory Committee for Microbiological Criteria for Foods
- National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Beef Industry Food Safety Council
- National Meat Association
- Black Pearl Award by the International Association of Food Protection
- Innovator of the Year Award from Nation’s Restaurant News
- California Environmental Health Association’s Mark Nottingham Award
- Nation’s Restaurant News “Top 50 Players”
- STOP’s Hero Award and Scholarship
And, this coming year Dave was due for even more deserved recognitions.
Of course, many in the food safety community’s most poignant visual, and most vivid memory, is of Dave asking a picture of Lauren what was the right thing to do. However, Dave always knew what the right thing to do was, and Lauren was always beside him to confirm it.
In the end, Dave’s profile will not be etched into Mount Rushmore or on the Washington D.C. Mall – but it should be. Why? Because Dave’s life’s work saved countless lives and will continue to do so long after all of us have attended our own funerals.
Dave is and will be missed, but he will always be a hero remembered.