A Tribute to Donald

As most all members of UCIP know by now, we lost one of the all time greats last month:  Donald Davis passed away after an extended illness.  Donald had served as our Fleet Services Officer for years, running just about all IT operations.  He was also footing much of the bill to keep UCIP afloat.  He really was the backbone of the fleet.  While no tribute could properly honor Donald’s contributions and legacy, I asked a few members to share their thoughts below.

Debbie:

Donald meant a lot to me as a friend, helped me out on my sim and Stormy’s rpg too.  He was a helpful person, and I liked his gratitude and willingness to always do the right thing.  I’m gonna miss him tons.

Mike:

My first memory of Donald would have been while I was going through the old Academy courses and asking hundreds of questions in IRC about some of them, he was always patient and answered as many as he could. He was one of the most welcoming people to someone who was completely new to simming and the organisation.

Donald was a strong cornerstone of UCIP and the community in general, he put everything he had into maintaining the servers and ensuring we had a functional service, even to his last he was ensuring our services were online. During the years I have been here, every election held within UCIP for the President/CinC has been overseen by Donald as the returning officer, he was trusted by everyone to be fair and impartial in a time when divisions within the organisation were commonplace and disagreements tainted what should have been a hobby that bought us all together. Donald transcended the petty issues and focused on doing what was best for UCIP.

We can continue to live out his legacy by ensuring UCIP continues to function and provide a place for people from all over the world to come and enter the universe that has been built since the 90s. We must strive to be the best version of ourselves and live up to his example by ensuring we do not taint this hobby with our petty issues.

Suzanna:

I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet him face to face a few years ago. Always kind, friendly and helpful. He will be missed.

Andrew:

I remember wondering into IRC many many years ago – I was probably 13 at the time. Donald was hanging out and was one of the first people I interacted with in UCIP on mIRC. He was very welcoming.

I never got to know Donald as well as I would have liked. To me – he means the best of what UCIP stands for. He held the best qualities a community member can offer and I thank him for that.

Donald was one of the greatest contributors to the UCIP community. He was always in the background willing to lend a helping hand when there was an issue (to the best of his means). An organization needs someone like Donald in order to thrive.

I feel that we will all remember Donald and the contributions he made to UCIP as a whole. He left a legacy of being the best representation of a community/team player. He will be greatly missed by all.

I think so long as UCIP strives/aims to continue to develop and maintain an environment of inclusion and ‘fun’. That each member works on building each other up as roleplayers and UCIPers. This will be the greatest continuation of his legacy.

Rebecca:

There are some people you feel will endure forever, they are always in the background, unobtrusive but there, a presence maybe not often seen but always felt. At least, that’s how it was for me. I never had much contact with him, but didn’t really matter – the moment you needed him, he was there. If one person can be said to be the heart and embodiment of UCIP, that was him. His passing will leave an emptiness in our hearts.

Sam:

I did not know Donald for very long; he passed on within weeks of helping me set up my sim website. The interactions I had with him, albeit brief, were professional and enjoyable. It was clear to me that the dedication he had to UCIP and the community at large was unmatched – continuing to contribute even until the last.

Tia:

One of our brightest stars lost their extremely courageous battle against cancer – but this doesn’t mean that his glow will ever be diminished or extinguished within our hearts and memories. Donald Davis was, in many ways, a driving force and the tie that bound so many of us together. With his infinite tech wisdom, boundless humor, and kind nature, he was a unique and wonderful individual and one of the most talented players and writers I have EVER had the distinct pleasure to work with.

Skippy:

I first met Donald when I joined the old database team back in the old days of UCIP in IRC. He was welcoming and happy to explain things I wasn’t sure about.

Donald was a mentor and a friend. He would happily discuss websites and server setups with me for hours on end. He got me into web design and helped me when learning php for the first time.

He was the heart and soul of the group, he kept the infrastructure up and running. I just hope I can live up to his standards and keep the infrastructure running as smoothly as he did.

Fond memories iare his legacy to me. That and solid ground to build UCIPS future.

We can live out his legacy by continuing to keep pushing forwards as he would have done.

Katrina:

My first memory of Donald was working on the database team and helping with techy things behind the scenes.

He was a friend with a good ear. We shared a NC connection. He lived in Mount Olive and we connected when he found out I was teaching at a nearby private college. It was kind of one of those moments where you go “how did we not know this before” but we’d known each other for a bit but didn’t make the connection right away.

With a core group of members with tech experience and server admin experience and hardware/software etc. . . they kept us on the “internet”. Long before there was a Discord there was a ton of work to do on IRC and with the webpresence and the database maintenance. When RayFox who created the DB originally, left simming, Donald took over.

Donald’s legacy: Remembering the good; he was a good guy who tried really hard to stay out of the politics; he’d listen and offer advice but he was good at not getting caught up in all the BS. He made it possible for us to sim.

Be good to one other, to everyone; be a good person; be kind; listen; have fun.

One of the things Donald I were working on at the time of his death was getting the new Independent Simming Division off the ground.  The idea was that it would be a place for games outside of the greater UCIP storyline to still be members of the fleet.  These sims in essence would create and be their own canon.  I’m proud to now officially announce that the USS Mark Miller is the fist sim in the Davis Independent Simming Division.

Donald’s story doesn’t end here.  If you didn’t get a chance in the article, please feel free to post your memories or thoughts of Donald in the comments section below.  May we continue to honor Donald’s legacy here at UCIP for years to come.

 

He’s not really dead.  As long as we remember him.

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