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D’Sean Sumwashe : An Eulogy

Posted by tggokul on June 19, 2007

My close friend of nearly seven years, D’Sean Sumwashe passed away last Friday. He had some kind of an infection in his brain which affected his entire system. He had undergone surgeries for the last one month, but doctors were never optimistic and the result was inevitable.

D’Sean started of as a colleague but soon we became Brothers in Arms. We were in a startup and long hours mixed with common interests meant more time together and though we got on each other’s nerves quite a few times, there was always the sense of camarederie. We wrote our first SIP stack ( at that time it was 2543 and rewrote it for 3261) together.

I was thinking about D’Sean’s influence while I was driving to work, and he has left quite an impact. Indians in the US, generally tend to stay together as a flock and as a result are not exposed to the American culture as much as you would expect. I was like that for the first couple of years till I met D’Sean. He was an African American and introduced me to the world of David Chappelle and Bernie Mac. The two of us watched ‘Undercover Brother’ atleast five times and discussed the effects of the ‘Man’. D’Sean was mostly drunk during these conversations 🙂

D’Sean was a Techno addict and you could sense his arrival to work almost a mile away. His blaring music would make our office glass vibrate and you knew D’Sean had arrived. He was my foosball team-mate and our goal everytime would be to shutout an opponent but ended up trying to avoid a shut-out. We actually improved as days went by; I always played offense and he played ‘D’. I used to call myself the Kansas City offense and he was the Tampa Bay ‘D’.

Though he did his college in Florida, Gainesville, his heart was with the Seminoles ( Florida State). And everytime FSU played Miami, it was heartbreak time for D’Sean. The wide lefts and wide rights (you need to have followed Seminoles-Hurricanes college football games to know what I am talking about) used to leave him furious at the end of these games. We all knew not to talk football after the FSU-Miami weekend.

Talking about football, it was D’Sean who roped me first into Fantasy Football. Till that time, Football was just another game. After that it became a religion. It was so addictive that even after I came back to india, I still followed the games online all night long.

Though I returned to India, four years ago we were in touch regularly and this is a big personal loss. Buddy, we will all miss you, but be rest assured, you will be in our memories. So long pal..


12 Responses to “D’Sean Sumwashe : An Eulogy”

  1. anonymous said

    Strange to find a Gator as a Seminole fan. Real football is only in the SouthEast…

    You know they say – God is a Gator! because the the sun is Orange and the sky is Blue!

  2. tggokul said

    I don’t know whether God is a Gator but both D’Sean and I would agree that ‘God’ was not a Hurricane ( yup, we were not too crazy about Miami 🙂 )

    Seminoles were pretty good (other than their kicking department)and probably that is why he liked them inspite of being a ‘Gator’ product.


  3. Jom Hammack said

    D’Sean has been a great friend since high school. In the past 20 years, I could always count on him for a candid discussion of his favorite topics, sports and women. I miss him already. He was a true friend.

  4. Monica (Pleskovich) Fox said

    I’m in shock that D’sean is gone! I’m saddened with the knowledge that I’m not going to run into him one of these days at Christmas time or during one of the G’ville festivals – I always expected to. I will miss his sense of humor, his obsession with Batman, his smile, but most of all, I will miss his friendship. He was never afraid to be himself, and he was one of the most genuine people I have ever known. He will be missed.

  5. Bobby DC said

    Gokul, I feel your loss. Until the incident with his brain, I use to talk to him everyday during our online gaming sessions. I definetely miss our big foosball games. Give me a shout when you can.

  6. Staci (Lynn) Shorten said

    Gokul, words can not tell you what this eulogy means to those of use who knew D’Sean. Like Jom and Monica, I have know him for close to 20 years. We all went to high school together. The shock this news has brought and the grief that I feel are indescribable. We lost touch after his Gator years. It is nice to see that he continued to have friends that loved him dearly. I still remember his smile, his sense of humor, so many things about him. . . . . he had a beautiful soul. I remember a time we got into an argument and he sent me a dozen roses as an apology. I don’t think I ever told anyone that. He was always unselfish and considerate of other people. I wish I could have told him how much his friendship meant to me. I wish I had made the effort to stay in touch. It is sad that you don’t know how much people influence or touch your life until they are gone. I feel your loss deeply and mourn with you. There are many of use that will miss D’Sean.

  7. Jom Hammack said

    Its great to hear from D’Sean’s friends. I’ve been thinking a lot about my memories with him lately, and thought I’d share a few:

    -In 11th grade D’Sean called me with one of his friends on a three-way call. Then he promptly left and forgot about us for an hour. It was the first time I had a lengthy conversation with a member of the opposite sex that I did not know, and I wonder now whether D’Sean “forgot” on purpose.

    -D’Sean, Greg and I standing in front of the shark tank at Sea World, naming all of the sharks. I don’t know why this has always stuck out in my head, but we literally stood there for hours. That memory has always stuck out as one of the most special moments in my life. D’Sean and Greg were always there when I needed to remember what it was like to be a kid again. I am very grateful.

    -In college, D’Sean told me that he reread all of those Jane Austen books we read in high school. That guy was a true romantic.

    -Lately we have mostly had conversations about fantasy football and Florida State sports. I hate the we just missed each other on several potential visits to Atlanta, Tampa or Colorado. I hate that I won’t log on to Yahoo IM and see him there.

    Monica and Staci, it is great to see you here. If you would like to catch up, please email me at shammack at uvm dot edu.

  8. claire said

    tggokul, I don’t know you but I found this eulogy looking for more informatin about how D’Sean died. Thanks for writing it. It reflects what I remember about D’Sean from High School.

    Jom, Monica, Staci- hi. Im in G’ville for the weekend and saw the Obit- what a shocker. I enjoyed reading your memories of D’Sean. He had such a beautiful smile.

    -Claire (Cutler) Eden

  9. Nina Rao said

    D’Sean did have a beautiful smile! He was so quiet. Such a soft voice (at least in high school) but I seem to remember him softly saying sarcastic things. Which was always funny. Especially since he was so incredibly polite.

    Hello to Staci, Monica and Claire. It is lovely to see your names again. It’s sad that it took D’Sean’s death to bring back all these memories.

    Are any of you living in Gainesville? And my contact is n.nina.r@gmail.com. i’d love to hear from any of you.


  10. Lisa Edwards said

    This is such sad news. I knew D’Sean in high school and he was always kind, funny, and had a fabulous smile. I remember his ultra-cool ‘batmobile’ as well!

    What a loss, but he clearly left quite an impact on many lives. My prayers and thoughts go out to his friends and family.

  11. Nomi Dave said

    I was just looking at pictures from high school recently, and came across one of D’Sean at our 12th grade IB banquet — with a huge smile on his face and surrounded by friends. I remember him as such an utterly lovely guy, and just wish that I’d known him better and longer. It is such terribly sad news.

    Monica, Staci, Jom, Claire, and Nina: it’s so good to see your names and read your thoughts. Love to you all.


  12. Elaine said

    I came across this eulogy when I was looking for D’Sean online. I lost touch with him more than a decade ago when my computer broke down and I did not know how to get it back online.

    He was the first and kindest friend I ever made online and I remember how he walked a clueless 16 year-old from Malaysia through her first attempts at chatting and emailing.

    I always hoped that I’ll find him again somewhere online. It’s sad to know that I never will.

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