ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, David Szumski, 69 years old, born on October 19, 1951, and passed away on March 6, 2021. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Rev. Thomas Reilly on March 26, 2021
David and I were good friends and classmates for eight years. We were Eagle Scouts together. Thank you David for everything!
May you rest in God’s peace! You and your family will be remembered in my Masses and prayers!

Fr. Tom Reilly, St. Theresa Parish, North Reading, MA
Posted by Robert Szumski on March 10, 2021
One of the best memories was of Dave organizing our Christmas caroling for the holidays . He arranged the songs and instructed us, the younger siblings, on how to perform each carol. Then we would walk around the neighborhood knocking on doors performing these carols.
Posted by Dionetta Hudzinski on March 9, 2021
Judy, what wonderful memories of Dave growing up. I remember the reptile pit. I avoided it when we visited.
Dave was multi-talented for sure. I was ever so happy to get reacquainted with Dave in the past few years. His gentle spirit and twinkle in his eyes never faded.
He will be missed.
Posted by Judy Ransom on March 9, 2021
Dave was a classical music composer, working in the areas of Chamber Music, Orchestral and Piano Solo. Here is one of his works: https://youtu.be/tuK7KH620vM

Dave was also an Eagle Scout, like all of his brothers.
Posted by Judy Ransom on March 8, 2021
Whatever Dave set his hand to do, he did it with all his might. I wrote a little about this in the Stories section, "King of the Little Kids."

Dave loved music. Mom started teaching him to play the piano at a young age, and he continued playing throughout his life. He played with such intensity and heart. As a young girl, I knew it was impossible to disturb Dave while he played the classics of Chopin, Beethoven, Bach, and more. No matter what was going on around him, he continued playing his piece with full intensity to the end. Mom also taught him to play the violin, which he did beautifully.

Dave had a tender heart, and it showed in his kindness and love for his younger siblings, whom he took under his wing, teaching us everything he was learning.

His tenderness also showed in his love for animals. He built the most beautiful habitats for animals and cared for them untiringly.

Dave was fully devoted to his life partner, Marian Rowe Gilmore. I think the two attributes which best describe his heart and life were his love and caring tenderness toward others and for God's beloved creatures.

Dave's tenderness added beauty to this world. I only hope we who knew him can keep his tenderness alive in our hearts -- a living legacy of his memory.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Rev. Thomas Reilly on March 26, 2021
David and I were good friends and classmates for eight years. We were Eagle Scouts together. Thank you David for everything!
May you rest in God’s peace! You and your family will be remembered in my Masses and prayers!

Fr. Tom Reilly, St. Theresa Parish, North Reading, MA
Posted by Robert Szumski on March 10, 2021
One of the best memories was of Dave organizing our Christmas caroling for the holidays . He arranged the songs and instructed us, the younger siblings, on how to perform each carol. Then we would walk around the neighborhood knocking on doors performing these carols.
Posted by Dionetta Hudzinski on March 9, 2021
Judy, what wonderful memories of Dave growing up. I remember the reptile pit. I avoided it when we visited.
Dave was multi-talented for sure. I was ever so happy to get reacquainted with Dave in the past few years. His gentle spirit and twinkle in his eyes never faded.
He will be missed.
Recent stories

Two of Dave's Memorable Films

Shared by Timothy Szumski on March 14, 2021
I’m no story teller, so be gentle with your criticism.

I’m going to elaborate on a small portion of Dave’s film making career that Judy touched on in her story.  Although Dave make a number of films, two stand out in my mind as being memorable.

For all you high tech people in the audience, our movies were actually produced on photographic film.  There were no video recorders or smart phones back then.

I’m not sure exactly where it came from, but we kids had a movie camera.  I remember you would purchase a film cartridge from L. H. Martins, insert it into the camera and you were ready to go.  I used the camera a couple of times to make documentary movies for school.  But I never had the creative abilities that Dave had for making films.

The first film came from Dave’s fascination with animation, claymation to be exact.  He would create clay characters and make feature films about them.  The first films were a little rough, but he got much better with experience.  For those of you that may not know, clay animation is created by moving a clay figure in small increments and taking single frame camera shots between each movement.  The resultant film looks like the clay character is actually animated and moving

For this first film, Dave created a snake complete with eyes and a mouth.  The movie starts on an empty stage.  The snake enters the scene from the right and slithers to the center of the stage.  He turns to the camera while the rest of his body coils beneath him.  Then he starts to speak.  This is probably the most difficult and time consuming part of the production.  Dave had to painstakingly mold the snake’s mouth in small increments to form words.  Now this was a silent film so you actually had to read lips in order to understand what the snake was saying.  But you could clearly see the snake mouthing, “Would I lie to you?”  And that phrase, consequently enough, became the title of the movie.  After speaking, the snake uncoiled its body and slither off, stage left.  The movie only lasted a couple of minutes. And we kids, although thrilled by his movies, didn’t appreciate how much time he devoted to making them.  But the amount of creativity, dedication and time Dave devoted to these films is not lost on me today.  Dave was a true master at pretty much anything he put his mind to accomplishing.

The next film involved Dave’s abilities as an actor.  The movie title was “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”.  Dave played the leading role.  The film starts off with a lone desk containing a glass of some concoction.  Dave enters the scene and sits at the desk.  He is neatly dressed, clean shaven and hair combed.  He scrutinizes the glass and seems conflicted about something.  Then without warning, he grabs the glass and hungrily drinks down the potion.  Next and for no apparent reason, his body starts twitching and convulsing.  He turns away from the camera where you see him messing up his hair, rumpling his cloths and, unbeknownst to us, adding makeup to his face.  He turns back to the camera a disheveled mess with a hunched back, distorted features and paralysis in one of his arms and legs.  As kids, he literally transformed before our eyes from the mild mannered Dr. Jekyll to the maniacal Mr. Hyde.  He then frowns and growls at us before limping off the stage dragging his crippled appendages.  For an independent film, the performance was pretty impressive for us little kids.

As we all know, Dave exuded talent and dedication.  Once he focused his abilities on something, you knew the finished product would be exceptional.

May the perpetual light of God shine upon him.

King of the Little Kids

Shared by Judy Ransom on March 8, 2021
King of the Little Kids

By Judy Szumski Ransom

As a little girl, I always looked up to my brother, Dave, with wonder. I thought he knew everything and how to do anything.

In our family of ten children, I was one of the five younger siblings, referred to as “the little kids.” As the fourth-born, Dave was one of “the big kids” and always welcomed us little kids to tag along in tow for many of his adventures.

The Fish Pond

When the days grew warmer each spring, we would gather ’round the fish pond in the back yard—a small, square concrete pool about four feet deep. Dave would jump in and begin landscaping the annual reptile habitat. We would marvel at how he could turn a bare, concrete hole into a wonderland for all the critters we would catch—a plethora of frogs, turtles, and snakes. He would build them a lush island with grass and plants, and plenty of places to hide from peering eyes.

After he filled the pond with water, he’d announce, “It’s time for a frog hunt.” We would help him gather the supplies into our red wagon—red-mesh potato bags for carrying frogs, a short hose, something to keep slithering snakes in, and a box for turtles.

The Hunt

Dave would lead us downtown and then along the railroad tracks to Keon’s pond. Our little-kid eyes would scan the water and land for reptiles, but no one could match Dave’s eagle eyes.

“There’s one,” he’d say, as we shouted in excited whispers, “Where? Where?” He patiently pointed out the critter until we could see it. We’d try to get as close as possible without scaring it, as Dave stealthily captured it as only he could.

We would hunt for hours until the wagon was teeming with life. I don’t remember us bringing food or water. Our intensity matched Dave’s as we focused solely on our mission—to fill the fish pond for the summer.

The Coveted Prize

Sometimes we were fortunate enough to hear the deep croaking of a bullfrog. When that happened, we knew no one was going home until it was captured. This was where the short hose came into play.

I remember the hunt for one of these rare, giant frogs. As it croaked, Dave searched for it in a small pool of water. This bullfrog was very clever, and I thought we’d have to give up and go home without it. But not Dave. He took out the hose, sucked on it to form a siphon, and drained that little pond until he found the frog. Needless to say, we marched home with our coveted prize.

Watermelon and Squirrels

One of our summer delights was watermelon. We would fill our little fists with watermelon slices and rush to the big maple tree in the backyard. Lodged in its branches was a birdhouse that squirrels had taken over. Per Dave’s instructions, we munched on the juicy fruit and spit the seeds out at the base of the tree.

After some time, we watched from a distance as little baby squirrels scurried down the tree to feast on the seeds. Dave said we could move a little closer each day, quietly watching, allowing the critters to grow accustomed to our presence.

The day arrived when those little babies were eating out of Dave’s hand and crawling up and down his arms. He showed us how to be quiet and still, and soon we had pet squirrels to play with.

The Racoon Habitat

Our father caught raccoons with a have-a-heart trap in his giant vegetable garden. He preferred to prepare them for dinner, which we didn’t particularly like. One summer, Dave somehow convinced Dad to let him keep a baby raccoon that was caught.

There was a huge oak tree in the back yard, with a hollowed-out spot in the base of the trunk. Dave built a cage jutting out from that hole and introduced the small coon to its new habitat. Dave figured out what to feed his new pet and how to take care of it. The little guy loved to run up inside the tree trunk and poke his head out at dinner time.

Once again, Dave provided us little kids with hours, days, and weeks of entertainment, watching that little guy grow up.

The Train Set

As Christmas drew near, Dave would enlist some of my brothers’ help and start working on the table-top train set landscape in the basement. He would design mountains with tunnels out of chicken wire mesh and paper mache. The dried landscape would be painstakingly painted in detail and the tracks carefully laid out—winding around the terrain, in and out of tunnels. Dave would add the finishing touches—trees, railroad signs, plants—until the masterpiece was finished. Our little eyes grew wide as we marveled and shouted, “Wow!” when the train finally raced around the wondrous winterland.

Many Talents

Whatever Dave did, he did it with all his heart. He would spend hours and days making stop-motion movies on 8-millimeter film. He’d set up a sheet on the attic wall and play his creations to an audience of amazed little eyes.

When Dave went away to a high school in Connecticut, Mom and Dad would take us little kids once a month to visit him. We would attend Mass and watch Dave singing in the choir. I never heard anything more beautiful.

Afterward, we would have lunch with Dave and his friends, and he’d play a game with us. My favorite was dominoes. Dave showed us how to carefully build massive domino structures. Then he’d let one of us tip the first domino as we’d squeal with delight and amazement to the swirling clicks of falling dominoes.

Christmas Caroling

One of Dave’s greatest loves was music. I remember one Christmas season, he gathered us little kids in the attic bedroom. It was a rare treat for us to be permitted entrance into the realm of the big kids, and we beamed with excitement. What did Dave have in store for us now?

“Kids,” announced Dave, “we’re going Christmas caroling.” We had no idea what Christmas caroling was, much less how to do it. But Dave’s confidence inspired us to give it a whirl. He patiently taught us parts to sing and put it all together as a master conductor. Dave sang bass, giving a magical richness to our voices.

Once he felt we were ready, we gleefully followed him into the neighborhood on Christmas Eve, going door to door singing Joy to the World and Silent Night. Dave made us rock stars.

Hands down, there was no mistake about it. Our big brother Dave was King of the little kids!