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Dave (King) Kasza

Posted by Scott On October - 12 - 2012

The news came early this morning, that Dave Kasza, has passed away.  Dave’s pal and colleague Dawar Taylor, from Disticor, delivered the sad news to industry associates.

Dave (King) Kasza was sixty-five years old.  In August of 2000 Dave joined Disticor, as Manager, Wholesale Client Services.  Prior to that Dave worked at Curtis. 

Dave is described by friends as a big huggable loving man…the kind of guy that everyone knew and liked to be around.  Dave was always active in the C.A.D.S. golf tournament event, which was postponed this year out of respect for the battle Dave was fighting against cancer.

“Dave’s illness forced him to leave work at the beginning of this year and his laughter and “larger than life presence”  has been seriously missed ever since. Dave was loved by everyone, co-workers and clients alike. Dave was extremely hard working but always had a smile on his face or he was putting a smile on your face.  Dave is someone we can all say we had the great privilege of knowing. He was one of a kind,” said Mark Lafranier, President & C.O.O, Disticor Magazine Distribution Services.

“Dave loved life and was always so much fun to be around”, said Nancy Parker, Circulation Manager, Cottage Life, who worked with Dave closely over the years.

“Dave was Azure’s main contact at Disticor. He was always there to take care of any situation and resolve issues quickly. Even in the most busy periods, Dave was quickly present and immediately efficient. His solid presence as a representative, extensive experience that proved always helpful, and professionalism, made him a valuable colleauge. Dave had a way of being personable in his business relationships, never missing the chance to remind people how important life was. His passing is very sad news for the industry, and I am sure many colleagues will miss him, as will I,” said Sofiola Papadhimitri, Consumer Marketing Manager, Azure Magazine.

Dave is survived by his wife Susan and son Christopher. 

This just in from Dawar Taylor:

The funeral will be geld on Thursday October 18th, 1pm at Low and Low’s Funeral Home,23 Main St. South, Uxbridge. There will be a reception at the Legion to follow and is located at 109 Franklin Street in Uxbridge.

Susan (wife) and Christopher (son) have asked that in lieu of flowers, in memory of Dave Kasza, donations can be made in his name to the Canadian National Institute For The Blind, which was close to his heart and he was actively involved with through the Lions Club.

Funeral Home Website 

http://www.lowandlow.ca

We all wore the color orange every Friday at Disticor to support and encourage Dave in his cancer fight, and he knew his family and dear friends were all by his side to the very end. 

Dave will be dearly missed, but King Kasza’s humble soul has left his mark on all of us.

Please take a moment to share your thoughts, feelings, stories about Dave by clicking the little bubble under the blog heading.  His family and friends will appreciate it.

14 Responses to “Dave (King) Kasza”

  1. Peter van de Geyn says:

    Dave brought me into this business, it was my first full time job. He was a great boss, teacher and friend! I will certainly miss you Dave!

  2. Ginny Caro says:

    Dave gave me my first full time job in this industry, not sure whether to say thank you or not, and he taught me how to swear took him a whole year to do so but he really worked on it …

    He was great to work for and taught me a lot, some of it really helpful, I will miss him a lot and think of him often…

    Love you Dave

  3. Steve Berenbaum says:

    I worked with Dave in the “Road Men’s Room” in the 80s. I got to see him about a year ago to catch up on things.

    I think one of the greatest gifts we can give is to make other people’s lives a little better. Dave presence made everyone’s life better. He will be missed by all who knew him.

  4. Antoinette Allen says:

    Words can’t express what you meant to us
    I can’t believe you are not here anymore
    Reminiscing today when you would past by my desk at lunch time
    And you would say “Madam” and I replied Sir,
    That was our little game, it seems like yesterday.
    Your memories keep playing over and over in my head
    I can’t imagine this world without you
    So every step I take and every time I pray
    I’ll be missing you.
    In my heart is where you’ll always be
    Like on my birthdays, I’ll think of you
    Your memories will give us the strength we need to get through this world without you.
    I know you are where God wants you to be
    And you’re in heaven smiling down on us
    God be with you until we meet again. RIP (King Kasza)

  5. Dawn Cresser says:

    I have had the pleasure of working with Dave for almost the last four years. He provided such guidance and direction with his expertise. I would love to call him just to hear him say DAWN (in my NY accent). He was a great guy and will be truly missed.

  6. Mary Cosgrove says:

    Dave always had a smile and a joke with me. Mostly a good swear when he called his little Irish !!!!!
    He loved the industry and never thought it was a hard work. He will be missed by all. You left a big space on our hearts
    Mary

  7. Natalie Dalton says:

    What can I say. Words are not enough. When we first received word here in the office that Dave had passed away I was inundated with emails and calls from various publishers, sharing their memories of him and expressing their sorrow at his passing. He was extremely well known and liked by all. He always made you laugh, even when you didn’t particularily feel like it sometimes. That was Dave, live life to the fullest.
    I will miss you and the laugher you spread around to all.
    Love you Dave
    RIP King Kasza

  8. Erich Repper says:

    I had only met Dave a few years ago at my first C.A.D.S participation and it was immediately apparent that we would get along because Dave was so bubbly and full of life. I am glad I got to meet him at his best.

    My deepest sympathies to the Kasza Family.

  9. Tracy Basnett says:

    Dave was always smiling. Always happy. Always making anyone around him happy.
    You always had a special place in my heart Dave. I will miss your phone calls and our long talks. I miss you and love you so much. Some day we will meet again.
    Rest in peace.
    xoxo

  10. Gary Judy says:

    Dave and Susan once drove to Nashville for a vacation when Barbara and I lived there. We picked them up at their hotel and took them to party and dine on 2nd Avenue where there are so many entertainment options. We had a fantastic time until the wee hours of the morning. We laughed a lot, reminisced about our long history in this industry and all the good times we’ve had. Several years later, we were still talking about how much fun we had that day in Nashville.

    Dave’s passing is sad and he’ll be missed by many. But I do not doubt Susan and Christopher and other family members will be reunited with him again some day.

    I’m glad I had a chance to talk with him a few times before his passing. He understood his struggle and potential outcome. He was a wise man.

    Rest in Peace my friend.

  11. mike kasza says:

    have read all the comments so far and just want to say that i loved my big brother and was always so proud of him .
    i will miss u too david have lost a friend and the best brother any one could want.
    mike

  12. Ingrid Stewart says:

    To my best buddy, Dave, what an incredible man! I was privileged to get to work with you when I began work at Disticor 10 years ago. Your booming voice, and big presence, was intimidating at first, but it soon did not take long to realize you were a teddy bear in a grizzly’s body. Your love of the industry and your job was easy to see to any of those around you. You always took the extra few minutes to meet the people you worked with, it was never “all business” with you. Taught all of us, that picking up the phone and getting to know your people, was very important, and never more so then in this day where we can work behind emails and at our own homes, and rarely meet those we work so closely with. Your excitement for life, your family and your charities was equal to few people I had previously met. I will truly miss our lunches.. always willing to try new food experiences, some were great and some not so great, or as you would like to say, a first and last visit. We discussed our kids, and how being the parent to “adult” children, many times was so much more difficult then when they were little. When they were little, you could tuck them in bed, and know they were safely home, but we spent many times sending innocent “texts” to our children, just to see how they were… but really texting because we had heard on the news that some young man or person had been injured, and we needed instant reassurance that our kids were fine. We shared our military experiences, you as the child of a military family, and me as the wife and now mother of military men. Every day coming to work to hear your friendly morning greeting, and to work closely with you, was truly a pleasure. You will be missed by so many people. I know that your will forever be in my heart, and always remembered, and still bring a smile to my face. My deepest sympathy to your wife Susan and son Christopher. Wishing you God’s comfort at this time. May we all know he is now at peace and free of the pain he was suffering.

  13. Doug Bennet says:

    Dave was always such a positive presence at industry events, CMC parties, Newsstand Awards… very sad to hear the news and condolences to all his family and friends. The industry will miss him.

  14. Dawar Taylor says:

    Memorial Tribute for Dave, spoken on behalf of industry friends & family. It was my pleasure, and know Dave loved us all, as we did him.

    Cheers big guy, and thank you for everything ; )

    For those who don’t know me, my name is Dawar Taylor and I have been in the magazine industry for about 15yrs now, and worked closely with Dave for the last 10yrs at Disticor. I used to think that Dave liked having his own puppet to amuse himself with, or I was just too intimidated to say no to him back in the day as he would tell me how things were going to be instead of asking me. In the end I realized he just liked having his own “mini me” to be honest, or since our names both began with D, his “little d”, and I welcomed the much needed mentoring and challenges he would throw my way. After molding me for a few years, Dave began passing me the torch to such things as running the industry golf tournament called the CADS, which he ran for about 20 years with his great friend Gail Taylor along side in the latter years, after Dennis Breen passed the torch on to Dave. Dave wanted to sit back finally and have a few drinks and hit some balls down the fairway- although his numerous outhouse awards proved he was a better MC and drinker than golfer- in memory by most. There have only been two times that CADS was cancelled, both because Dave could not attend- once he was ill many moons ago and the other most recently this summer. We postponed the event earlier in the year hoping and believing that Dave would be there, and in September both Gail and Myself decided that if Dave could not even attend the dinner still, than it would be too difficult to host while he was ill at home since he helped keep the tournament alive, he was honored in a way he said, as we all believed including him, that next June he’d be going for another outhouse award. Dave also handed over the Disticor company reigns to our xmas and golf MC duties, so he could sit back and take it in with the rest of the crew- but I’d still find a way to get him up in the action, even as Santa’s helper still- although, the only regret I have is not asking him for the award winning Disticor xmas cooking secret recipe- I tried each year to whoop his butt man’o’ a man’o’ in the kitchen in the Disticor cookie swap but never could, he should have put out a Cupcake or dessert baking magazine, it would have sold out guaranteed. He even talked to me about helping at the Uxbridge Rib Fest that he helped put together and rejuvenate for Uxbridge- I must have told him my initials finally were DLT and not MC MINI D. Dave Kasza was my boss, mentor, colleague, friend, and in the end he was family. What an infectious human being, I don’t even know where to begin or how to explain the type of guy he was. Actually, I guess this part is easy, I don’t really have too, as everyone in this building, and the many that could not be here today, already know what kind of person Dave was- SIMPLY AWESOME!!! There is not one person that I have ever spoken too who knew Dave, that didn’t have a good chuckle with Dave at one time or another, or fantabulous memory with him…the world lost a genuinely humble guy, and someone you could always count on through the good and the bad, or for just a quick laugh…sometimes the belly laughs hurt so bad you had to leave the room he was in to recuperate.

    It is evident that Dave touched many in his life, as we simply need to look around the room to see many of those from his roughly 40yrs in the industry and affiliations. I dusted off the industry encyclopedias to discover that King Kasza, who was a comic fanatic, began working in our industry as early as 1972 with Western Ontario News, which was a wholesaler at that time in London I believe where he was involved with novels. From there, Dave moved over to where many of his memorable times have come from, as he started with Curtis Circulation around 1975 based in Hamilton, and then transferred to Toronto with Curtis sometime around 1988. It was in August of 2000 when Dave joined the Disticor Team, and called it home away from home for the latter part of his career. Children’s Xmas Wish Fund / Canadian Institute for the Blind / Word on the Street / CADS / Rotary / Legion / Lions Club and many other affiliations or organizations I am sure, were touched by Dave as they meant so much to him and loved to help wherever he could, and especially when no one else would step up. Our team at Disticor may be short on windows, but he provided enough sunshine to light up any gloomy day that one might be having. It was always the little things with Dave, and the seconds he took along his ways that put a smile on everyone’s face as he passed by. We all know Dave was definitely a lady’s man and gentleman throughout his time, as everyone was beautiful in his eyes, and everyone had a special place with Dave. Dave was a great friend to all of us in the office and mentor to both Michael and Myself in the end, and we had many great laughs in the boys club discussions, there are definitely going to be some long days without him for all of us at Disticor- he was family to us all. I would suspect that many in this room have either worked with or closely at some point in their career with Dave. There is no denying that over those 40 years, you were able to experience and share in his humbleness most everyday like we were able to experience at Disticor! Dave touched many people’s hearts throughout his time, and i received numerous emails from folks regarding some good memories of Dave. In the end, Dave could not thank everyone enough and it brought tears of joy to his eyes, as he received numerous cards, emails, calls, donations, and love from many abroad. At the Uxbridge ribfest this past summer, the stars aligned for a moment in time and he was able to attend for a couple of hours and I was grateful to have had one last drink with him. He said that he didn’t have the energy or emotion to respond most times to those who sent their warm wishes, but we raised a toast to the good, the bad, and the ugly days of the industry, but most importantly to everyone he had ever crossed paths with- he said he didn’t know if he was more exhausted from chemo or thinking of all the memories and fun he had, he could have named everyone in this room and a moment or few shared- he said thanks to everyone and everything for all the great times, and that he loved us all.

    The orange 60 King Kasza golf shirt was a gift from us at Disticor for Dave’s 60th bday that we all signed in the office and had our initials imprinted on it. After Dave became ill, I asked him for it back to put up in our office over his chair so he was still there with us. We all wore orange on Fridays in his honor and support to encourage him and provide comfort in knowing we were behind him to the very end. We would like you to have it now, as Dave once said in a visit I shared with him, it’s not the size of the shirt that makes a man, but the Kasza inside that makes the King. He definitely had his own kind of MOJO, and we were all affected by it in some way. Chris, most have big shoes to fill, but the shirt is now yours to carry on the Kasza MOJO, which Dave proudly voiced to all, you have been doing a hell of job with already, and you’ve made him one very proud father.

    Susan, Christopher and the rest of the Dear – Kasza families, on behalf of John and Mark Lafranier, the entire Disticor family, Members of our Industry from around the world really, publishers, retailers, and the many organizations that Dave was affiliated with and who have all sent their respects to pass along- we mourn with you and offer our sincere condolences, as we all wish there was more time to have had one last drink, round of golf or darts, conversation or a belly chuckle, or simply to say thanks for being you Dave. There is no denying we lost a great person, friend, and family member, and our sincere condolences go out to all of you.

    We need to reflect and take our great memories with us in celebration of a great man and try to be as happy and humble to others as Dave was to us. Share a smile with others, and know that one day our paths will cross with Dave again. I am thankful for the opportunity to speak on behalf of Disticor and the rest of the Industry that Dave loved so much. Dave has left me with some great values and I am a better person because of him as scary as that could be. I know that all of you have similar feelings from such a special human being, so remember to share some Kasza mojo when possible and send a smile or belly laugh someone’s way when the opportunity strikes. Dave has simply turned the page, and begun a new chapter in his life. Where ever Dave is up there, I only pray they are ready for him and what is about to happen- as the next time I hear thunder, I know heaven must be having one hell of a belly laugh.

    Here today, we mourn your loss big guy, but most of all we raise a final toast in our hearts to celebrate you and the life you shared with us all- We love you Dave!

    Other than Elvis, there is only one other time I have heard this saying, and now there is two- may the KING REST IN PEACE.

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