Writer, thinker, organizer, diplomat, movie buff, sports fan. Born Sept. 15, 1964, in Charlottetown. Died Feb. 4, 2011, in Toronto of a heart attack stemming from long-term diabetes, aged 46.
When David Stetson was 8, he oversaw a street hockey league in his Charlottetown neighbourhood. A born organizer, he had little problem directing boys, even those older than himself, as to where and when their games would be held. He easily juggled information that one would think required a computer spreadsheet, and diligently maintained statistics from the games.
After spending his formative years in Charlottetown, and partly in Halifax, David ventured west to Toronto. He graduated in 1986 from the animation program at Sheridan College, an appropriate venue for his creative mind. He found work in the film and television industry as a driver and eventually as a transportation captain, an occupation in which his attention to detail and hard-nosed diplomacy served him well. However, this work was primarily a source of funds for his true passion of writing, especially screenplays.
David was a deep thinker, his mind constantly churning with ideas. The words “I’ve been thinking” were rarely tossed about casually. He loved to bring people together and there didn’t need to be a reason for it. His network of family, friends and colleagues was far-reaching and encompassed an array of people of all ages, backgrounds and interests. At social gatherings, he was often the magnet that drew together many a motley crew. He was a bit of a rascal, and laughter was a common occurrence in his company.
Deeply devoted to his family, those related and those merely eager to claim him as one of their own, David kept in close contact. This wasn’t out of any sense of obligation or desire to curry favour. He valued these relationships and had a great love for the people in his life. Although he could easily lose himself in his writing, he always seemed to be available, lending a hand or an ear whenever anyone needed it.
David was a huge music lover, and delighted in sharing that pleasure with others. Many people came to depend on him to keep them abreast of new artists and emerging sounds. At celebrations and reunions, he would often produce CDs he’d compiled for people that he thought they would enjoy. Rammstein, Johnny Cash, Sepultura, Buddha Bar, Eubie Blake, Gorillaz, Madredeus – he usually was spot on at pinpointing a person’s musical preferences. He listened to people, observed them and made efforts to understand their tastes.
Although he dealt with juvenile diabetes from a tender age, David tackled life head on. Whether it was playing shinny at his local arena, spending long hours on set or just hanging out with friends, he never held back. He touched many people with his generosity of spirit and compassion. His early departure can only be celebrated as a life well lived.
Christina Barcellos is David’s love.