Dave Garrison Tribute Page

Dave, at L at Bonner's banquet, and No. 6, above, with the FB seniors in fall '07.
Photo at L: courtesy Rita Dapkey -- Photo above: courtesy Franco Hughes.

Return to TedSilary.com Homepage

  Dave Garrison, a graduate of Monsignor Bonner ('08) and freshman at the University
of West Virginia, passed Jan. 23, 2009, of injuries suffered a few weeks earlier in an
auto accident.
  Dave played varsity football at Bonner and spent some time as a member of the
basketball program.
  We welcome your comments about Dave, and they'll be posted below.
  Please e-mail them to silaryt@phillynews.com.
  Also, we will gladly post pictures. Those may be sent to the same e-mail address.
  Thank you very much.
  Information on services: David's life celebration will be held Friday, Jan. 30, 4 to 8 p.m., and
Saturday, 11 a.m. to noon, at Saint Andrew the Apostle Church, 3500 School Lane, Drexel Hill. Mass of
Christian Burial to follow at noon. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions
in David's memory may be sent to Saint Andrew School c/o Helen McLean, 535 Mason Avenue,
Drexel Hill, Pa 19026 or Friends of Bonner Football, 18 Groove Lane, Broomall, PA 19008.

Contributions . . .

  Dave was a great person.  We will all miss him.  He always had a great attitude about everything and was always smiling.  He always kept positive about football when times weren't so great and was a loyal guy to his friends.  Dave and his family will be in our prayers.
-- Dave Stenson #77
COHS '08

From Dave's Bonner Brothers. We love him.

Dave stretches before Carroll game TG eve.

  My name is Brendan McLoone and I was lucky enough to go to school and play football with Dave at Bonner. I’ll never forget the first time I met Dave. We were in 8th grade playing CYO football against each other. I was starting at tackle and Dave was playing D-end. And I remember feeling pretty good cause we were both undersized for our position. On the first snap of the ball Dave got off the ball so fast he knocked me on my butt and sacked the QB. Dave was not only a great football player but he was also a great teammate, classmate and, friend. Dave’s my Bonner FB brother and that’s never going to change. And like the rest of the Bonner family and most of Delaware county my thoughts and prayers are with Dave, his brother Brendon and his family.
I love you man and I’ll never forget you.
Brendan McLoone # 50
Bonner FB '08

  Dave was a good friend of mine. We played against each other each year St. Dots vz. St. Andrews in football when we were little kids. In high school we played freshman basketball together and Football for bonner. We were captains for football freshman year and we became good friends. After freshman yr a lot of kids quit playing because we didn't win a lot of games but Dave stayed with me all the way until the end. Senior year we lost every single game but it didn't matter because we loved to play and we fought together side by side win or lose we never quit. Dave was a great football player. I remember watching him play against St. Laurence in the turkey bowl. He carried his team on playing Running back and returning kicks and playing D. He was a good athlete and an even better person. He always was smiling and laughing and that's what everyone liked about him. He has hundreds of friends and we will all miss him a lot. We Love you D-Garr and I no u got a place up in heaven. My prayers are with the Garrison family. To Brendan , if u ever need anything im here for u kid...be strong try to keep your head up.
-- Tom Will #43 MB '08
  R.I.P. Dave, Gob Bless The Garrison Family. & Brendon Keep Your Head Up Kid, we are all here for you.
-- Chris Schieler MBHS '08
  I first met Dave while on the Blue/Gold all star team. From then on, Dave was always a true friend all four years of high school, on the football field, but especially off of it. He was the true model of a good friend. Dave always showed everyone the kindness and enthusiasm that he had in him everyday. During our senior summer, i had a lot of car rides with Dave while riding to the shore. I truly treasure the conversations we had on everything, from our past four years at Bonner to our futures at school that fall. Looking back at these thing, I am truly thankful that Dave Garrison was and still is, one of my best friends. I love you man, my teammate, my Bonner brother, my friend.
-- Brett Canfield  MB '08
  I played football with Dave in high school.  I graduated two years before him but still knew him on and off the field.  He had a great heart, he was always fun to mess around with because he never took it too serious.  He showed so many great qualities on the field being an underclassman to me.  Never gave up, was always giving his all and always had a smile on his face.  Dave will be missed by so many.  I wish his family the best and all of his friends through this tough time.  You are in a better place now Dave, watch down on us all. R.I.P brother.
-- Pat Dix...MB '06

 I grew up playing against Dave in grade school football, and basketball. I remember playing with Dave in pick-up games at Dermond field.  In 8th grade I was fortunate enough to be a teammate of Dave in the blue-gold all star game. From there I became friends with Dave through school and all the years playing football together at Bonner.  Dave and I had some good times in school too especially in accounting class where we sat next to each other. Dave was one of the nicest kids I've ever met and I'll never forget how many good times I spent with him.  To Dave's family, we're praying for you everyday, and I know Dave is at peace now in heaven. Dave I love you and we'll never forget you.
-- Iggy Schmitt
  I met Dave my first day attending St.Andrews school and for those eight years I can honestly say Dave was one of my best friends and one hell of a athlete/teammate. Dave always had a positive outlook on life an like others have said before always had a smile on his face and his attitude rubbed off on others. As we moved on and entered high school things changed but even though we weren't as close as we used to be Dave was still my friend but more importantly he was my Bonner Brother. I still can't believe he is gone but he will certainly never be forgotten. Dave's spirit will live on through many, his Bonner brothers, his brother Brendon, and the rest of the Garrison family. Even though Dave has left us I'm sure he has a spot in heaven and like always has a smile on his face and is watching over us looking out for his family and friends. My prayers and thoughts are with th Garrison family. Rest in peace Dave I love you and miss you kid.
-- Andrew Williamson MBHS '08
  Like Andrew said, I too met Dave back in kindergarten at St. Andrews. I grew up with Dave and we were always close. Dave was definitely one of my best guy friends throughout grade school. He was always making us laugh. Whether it was out on the recess yard or in the classroom itself. He never shut anyone out and was always nice to everyone he encountered. During high school Dave and I weren't as close but every time we ran into each other, Dave always gave me the biggest hug and a smile that could light up a room. I never thought something like this could happen to someone so special. Someone that touched the lives of so many others. My heart goes out to the Garrison family, especially Brendon. Stay strong bren and keep your head up always. Your brother was the best. I love you Dave and will miss you everyday. Keep an eye on Mrs. Dormer for us<3
-- Micki Hilferty, St. Andrew's class of '04
To the Garrison Family, Monsignor Bonner Coaching Staff and the Bonner/Prendie Community . . .
  On behalf of the Easternpafootball.com Staff I would like to extend my deepest sorrow to you on the loss of a great person/football player. I had the pleasure of watching Dave play on a number of occasions as part of my duties with this great website and easternpafootball.com. I was in shock when I heard the news. Rest in Peace Dave and Remember what Billy Joel said: Only The Good Die Young.
-- Willie McGonigle

  I had the pleasure of coaching Dave his senior year at Bonner. We struggled that year, and what I remember most about Dave was that he was always willing to put his wants aside and do what we asked him to do to benefit the team. That year, Dave ended up playing 4 different positions for us, as we moved him around a lot to try to stop what the other offense was doing. We wanted to get him near the opponent’s best plays. He was a solid contributor at each position we played him at, despite being smaller and not weighing as much as most of the players he was up against. Dave never complained about being moved around, and always showed us a “whatever it takes” attitude. He truly was one of the leaders of our defense, and his leadership rubbed off on many of his teammates.
  As good of a football player that he was, Dave was an even better young man. He always had a smile on his face, was always respectful and fun to be around. It is rare to find a player who is genuinely a nice young man, and still puts the teams needs ahead of his own. I can honestly say that in my short time that I knew him, Dave Garrison was one of these young men. The Bonner community and all of Dave’s friends have lost someone very special, and we will miss him very much.
  To the Garrison family and Brendan, please know that you are in all of our thoughts and prayers. No one knows why bad things sometimes happen to good people. Just know that there are people out there that you can lean on if you need anything. Dave was a great person, and although he isn’t here in body, his spirit will always be with you. I consider myself fortunate to have coached him.
-- Joe DiTullio
Defensive Coordinator, Monsignor Bonner

  “It is very hard to find the right thing to say at a time like this. I shall try to find the words that best express what a fine young man Dave Garrison was. I met him through the Bonner Football program and I was very impressed by his upstanding nature and good heartedness.  We are all deeply saddened. He was a great human being and his family is one of the finest. His Mom and Dad were always there for all his games and two better people you will never meet. Dave was a great football player and showed a lot of heart and loyalty to his teammates during the 2007 season. His younger brother Brandon played football with my son and he is also a very fine young man. My heart goes out to them at this time. We wish to send our condolences and we shall keep you all in our prayers. Dave will always be remembered for all his goodness while he was here with us on earth and he shall be loved forever in heaven.”
-- Rita and Marco Dapkey

Dave and his brother, Brendon. Photo by Donna Garrison (mom).
  Dave was a great friend of mine over the years. We played for Ted Roth together for as long as I can remember until our final year as seniors. Every year I'd get a phone call from him saying "Are we playing again or what? Gotta keep the dynasty goin" and the answer always had to be yes.  One thing I can honestly echo from the other comments is that he never gave up. Whether we were down 20 or up 20, he'd give it his all and that's what I'll always remember him for. His personality was hysterical and his laugh was contagious. Fortunately, I was able to talk to him over the phone a few days before the accident and that's something I'll always be thankful for. My prayers and thoughts are with his family and Brandon. D-Gar, I love and miss you kid. Still can't accept that you're gone but I know your up there watching over us buddy. I'll see you when its my turn. Rest it peace man, you're on to bigger and better things now.
-- Steve McWilliams
  Dave Garrison was a great guy. Over the past couple weeks a lot of us have been telling our own little stories and talking of our own memories of Dave. I moved to St. Andrews parish in 7th grade and ended up playing football for them in 8th grade when my school team Sacred Heart folded. Needless to say, I didn't know many of the guys when I switched over to Andrew's. Without hesitation Dave made a point at practice my first day to come up to me and introduce himself, ask how I liked my new house in Drexel Hill, excited for Bonner next year? This tells the tale really and is something I will hold onto for a long time.. He was just a genuine, genuine nice guy, a loyal Bonner guy, and a guy that I'm proud to call a friend. My family and I send our deepest condolences to Mr. Garrison, Mrs. Garrison, Brendon, and all of those who knew and loved Dave. May you Rest in Peace brother.
-- Tim Doc
  I had the pleasure, or misfortune for that matter of coaching against Dave!  I remember when St. Bernies played St Andrews he spent most of his time in my backfield!  I remember yelling at my offensive line asking how someone half the size of them can be beating them so bad.  When Dave was in 8th grade he was in my group for visitation day at Bonner.  He was so happy to be there and he asked several questions about our football team at the time.  When he got to Bonner he always did what the upper class men asked of him on the team.  To Daves friends and family you are in our prayers. On behalf of the St Bernadette football and parish community RIP Dave, we love you, and watch over us.
-- Steven Clement MBHS '06
St Bernadette CYO Varsity Football
  A lifelong friend, from the time Dave hit a home run off me in Drexel Hill Little Leauge, to the  the great times we shared in Sea Isle City with the McNevin's, to working with him for Upper Darby Township and going to Bonner. Dave played minor roles in my life growing up which you don't realize or understand until you lose somebody. Looking back, making me think about the times shared with him I can only hope to join him again someday. May he rest forever in peace.
-- Greg Shields, MBHS '09
  Dave Garrison was an awesome person. I played against him when he played for St. Andrews and i played for Holy Cross, and also in high school when he played for Bonner and i played for O'Hara. He was truly someone who's heart was bigger than anyone could imagine. He was a hell of an athlete on the field and an even better person off the field. I can't believe he is gone, but im sure he is up there watching over everyone. God bless the Garrison family. We will never forget you kid.
-- Chris Nolan Cardinal O'Hara '09

  Well, like many of Dave’s friends I first met Dave playing sports
against him in grade school.  I then had the privilege to play on the
same 8th grade all-star football team, which Dave had a great game
blocking multiple PAT kicks. In high school, we went on to be friends,
while playing football and freshmen basketball. We began to be good
friends senior year where we were both played on the defensive line.
Dave always had a team first mentality because the team needed him to
play defensive end, and you never heard a complaint about it. Another
great thing about Dave was that whenever something wasn’t going the
right way he was had your back. That is why I am happy to say that I had
the privilege to be a friend, classmate, and teammate of Dave Garrison.
-- Mike O’Rourke MBHS '08
 Dave was in my homeroom all four years at Bonner. We also had most of our classes together every year. Dave was a real smart kid. He always seemed to get good grades. Dave was also a very fun guy to have in class with you. He had a great sense of humor and we could always get a laugh out of each other over something so stupid. I'm really going to miss that. My family's thoughts and prayers go out to him and the rest of the Garrison family.
-- Frank Hughes MB '08
Dave was a good friend of mine. I met him through sports in grade school and then i had the honor to play in the Blue/Gold football game with him. Dave was a great teammate and an tremendous athlete. You rarely heard him complain about anything he was just out there having fun everyday no matter what was going on. He will be greatly missed. R.I.P. Dave i love you man.
-- Mike Damico MBHS '08

Dave (fifth from L) and buddies. Submitted by Shane.

  I first met Dave when my brother and him went to pre-school at St. Andrews. I would say my brother and him were the best of friends, so I had the chance to get to know him very well. We spent many summers together down in Sea Isle and I also spent a lot of times playing side by side with him in football and basketball at St. Andrews and Football at Bonner. He had the biggest heart and the desire to do whatever was needed to help the team. I would just like to say I am praying for the whole Garrison family. Rest In Peace Dave, you will be missed.
-- Colin McNevin MBHS 09
  I first met Dave through playing football at Bonner and also through having the same lunch as Dave. Dave was an awesome kid, who always keep his head up high and never was one to complain. Out of many of the underclass men, Dave was definitely one of my favorites. What i will always remember about Dave is he always had a smile on his face. May you rest peace.
--Vince Sculli MBHS '06

  Our sympathies, thoughts and continuous prayers go out to the Garrisons.  We can't even imagine the pain they are going through.   We had the pleasure of meeting Dave when he took our daughter, Callie, to the Christmas dance last January.  He was so sweet, funny and so genuinely sincere.  We are so very sorry for their loss. We will keep praying for his entire family especially, Mom, Dad and Brendon.
With deepest heartfelt sympathy,
-- Jaime and Linda McGlade

Dave (7th from L) and others before the Christmas dance. Submitted by Linda McGlade.
 Dave Garrison was a great person. I have known Dave for a few years now. Dave's brother Brendon has been one of my closest friends since middle school. There are two things pop into my head when I think about Dave; his smile and his heart. Dave had one of those kind of electrifying smiles that could light up a room. His heart was filled with many different qualities that made him into the wonderful person he was. It was always easy to tell that Mr. and Mrs. Garrison taught Dave the importance of being respectful and polite,  which molded him into being such a great person. The memories that I've been blessed enough to experience with Dave, I will cherish for eternity. For Brendon, I love you man. I will be here for you always, remember all the good times you and Dave had together. Rest In Peace Dave. You are forever missed.
-- Dan Dougherty
MBHS 2011
  I called Dave "Grumpy" & "Grimace" on a number of occasions at practice. I was hoping to get a smile out of him. He didn't like my jokes.
  I always admired the way he carried himself on & off the field. He was an oxymoron. He was extremely independent but fiercely loyal to his teammates. You got the sense that he was pretty darn comfortable being Dave. That's a level of maturity you don't normally see from someone his age.
  I remember the first pit of summer camp where you got up in the front of the line time & time again. You probably went 10 times before any of your teammates went twice. That to me spoke volumes on not just the kind of football player you were but also the type of person you are.
  Dave, I speak for the whole Bonner football family when I say that we will miss you. Mr. & Mrs. Garrison, Brendon and Family, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
-- Tom Oropeza Bonner '95
Head Coach, Bonner Football

 When I think of Dave, I don't know where to start. He and I first met as teammates at St. Andrews in the 5th grade. We won a championship together in the 6th grade, and that is something I will never forget. My family and I moved to Dave's rival parish, St. Bernadette's following that year. Dave and I always remained great friends despite not playing side by side anymore. We always called each other after each game to talk about upcoming opponents, and to see how each other played. Dave and I were re-united on the field when I came to Bonner, and that is something I will always treasure. Dave had a great heart, great guy to to talk to and have fun with during drills, but always knew when it was time to get down to business. Dave was an even better person off the field. On Dave's last weekend home, he actually called me to see if I needed a ride to another friend's house without me even asking. I think this small action speaks volumes to the type of kid he was. Very fun to be around, and never had a bad word to say about anybody. I am truly honored to have considered Dave a close friend, as well as a brother on the field. Rest In Peace.
-- Matt Conboy
Bonner '08
  I coached Dave as a freshman at Monsignor Bonner as a lineman during the 2003-2004 football season.  He was a great player that I got along with very well.  During drills, he was the player that used to always jump in ready to go against anyone on the line.  He proved to me that he was a determined player and earned a starting position on the line.  Dave was a very positive person and was always ready to tackle anything that life brought on to him.  He was a unique character.  He always lived by the phrase "business before pleasure."  Dave was also always the guy who was pumping his teammates up in the huddle and kept his teammates heads up if anyone ever made a mistake.  It was a pleasure to coach him.  He was a great player and a pleasure to coach.  I am so sorry what has happened to him and my condolences go out to Brendon and Mr. and Mrs. Garrison.  Dave was an awesome individual.  There was never a dull moment with Dave.  I will miss him dearly.
  You were a great guy, Dave.  You were definitely one of the greatest players I have ever coached since my start in 2003.  I will miss you man.
Sean Reilly
Monsignor Bonner Freshman Lineman Coach/Defensive Ends Coach
MBHS '05
  I met Dave my sophomore year playing on the football team. He wasn't just a great teammate, but a good friend. He was very close with all his teammates throughout his years at Bonner. Dave was a great guy to be around always trying to make football fun when most didn't want to be there. He wasn't just a good kid on the field, but off the field as well. All my prayers go out to the Garrison family and the loved ones. Rest in peace Dave my friend, my Bonner brother you will truly be missed.
-- Ryan McCanney MBHS '09

  Dave and I met through D Hill Little League when we were kids and ever since I knew him he always had a big smile on face. He was always a lover not a fighter just a kid from D Hill looking to have a good time and that's what I liked about Dave. I played football with Dave for about four years and he was always a tough ball player he did his job when it needed to be done and reeked havoc when he had to. When I think of Dave as a football player I think of 8th grade Blue-Gold CYO all-star game, Dave had like 3 blocked extra points and anyone who was apart of that football game would probably agree with me when I say those three extra-point blocks prob won us that game. Dave I love you man your my boy I will always miss, watch over us and we'll see you soon.
"May the wind always be at your back, and the sun always upon your face, and may the wings of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars"
-George Jung-
-- Dave Wisely Jr.
Bonner '08
BC 4life
ave and I go back to pitching machine for baseball, up at Dermond Field for Drexel Hill Little League. Then we went on playing football, baseball and basketball for St.Andrews together. I'll never forget the performance he put on in our 8th grade Turkey bowl against St. Lawrence, where he received the games MVP award for our team. We played 3 sports together, on almost a dozen teams total. He was an ideal teammate, as well as an unmatched friend. He and I shared many memorable times together on and off the field, and for that I thank him. Every day that goes by I can't help think bout him, and the victories and good times we shared. I love him with all my heart and can't wait for the day that we will see each other again in heaven. I love you brother, god bless you.
P.S. -- I'm rockin' #6 next year for you, brother. Give me strength and I won't let you down.
Forever in my heart,
-- Billy McMonigle
COHS '08