This page is for his friends who would like to reconnect and post their memories about him. Please feel free to add a comment! I’ve reposted comments from the original posts for continuity. If you have a story to share or would like to share this info with others, please link to this page like this: http://misangela.com/david-klepsig-jr and add your story to the comments. Thank you for visiting and remembering Dave.
This is the obituary that I wrote for Dave when he passed (His mother just did a 3 line generic one – he deserved better!):
David Klepsig, Jr.
Born Feb 13, 1958; died Oct 30, 2006 while sleeping in his bed at home. He was 48 years old. Dave was born and raised in Tampa FL before his family moved to Macon, GA. Dave lived in Knoxville TN in the 80s. Before David lost his vision to diabetes, he created beautiful pointillist art in black ink. David always loved to play guitar and write songs. He played acoustic, electric, 12 string as well as a little bass. He collected guitars like women buy shoes. Dave’s lyrics stand just as well as poetry as they do with a tune. Later in his life, David got into the DJ trade. He trained with Evil Z here in Atlanta and he played several raves around town. Using a DJ deck and software that was designed strictly for the sighted, Dave learned to use this equipment and create live trance mixes that totally rocked! His music collection was impressive. Although Dave’s life was not easy due to the ravages of diabetes, he always made the best of his situation and he lived life to the fullest. We will miss him and we will see that his musical legacy lives on. Please make donations to the American Diabetes Association or the Center for the Visually Impaired in Atlanta GA.
updated May 13 2013
Dave and I met in the mid 80s (86?) at a restaurant where we both worked. American Favoritz, it was, in Knoxville TN. We both drove Dodge Chargers – mine was a Shelby model. (It was great when it wasn’t on a rack in the shop, which was a LOT. This car is why I’ll never touch anything Dodge or Chrysler. Ick.) Dave’s was a standard 2.2 Charger that he’d ordered with NO power steering because he liked to do autocross and power steering was a detriment. He also had a nice stereo system in there. We connected on cars and music and started dating. The one time I’ve ever been to an autocross was with Dave and his 2.2 Charger in Johnson City, TN. He was already losing vision at the time, but we ran the course and had a blast.
Soon, I moved into his tiny 1br apartment at LondonTown, which is still there on Weisgarber. Almost immediately after that, the bottom fell out of his life and changed my life forever as well.
Dave had juvenile diabetes, a fact he hid from everyone. He managed his disease by smoking pot to lower his blood sugar. I’m not making this up. He’d not seen a Dr in 4 years. I found out about the diabetes when I moved in, when I saw him using insulin. When I asked him why he ate ice cream sundaes just about every day if he had diabetes, he said it was OK because he just took some insulin to offset it.
Of course, this was not even close to being true and this brought about the events that happened next.
The first thing that happened was that Dave couldn’t see glasses on the tables at work. So he went to the eye Dr who told him he had retinopathy. Retinopathy is better handled today, but in the 80s, there was not much to be done. Retinal detachment was the expected result of retinopathy and of course blindness after that. Unfortunately, this opthamologist did not know or did not care to inform Dave that retinopathy indicates much more serious issues such as high blood pressure.
So, Dave being Dave, he chose to not do anything about this and things got worse in a hurry. Shortly after the retinopathy diagnosis, Dave began to have severe diabetic episodes: extreme low blood sugars where he’d lose the ability to speak and shout gibberish, extreme high blood sugars where he’d be lethargic. One night I was awakened by what I thought was his snoring, only to find that he was seizing, so I had to call 911 and administer a glucose shot. Things were BAD.
Then he ran his car off the drive and into a tree one day when he was going to work.
He finally went to the Dr about all this and that’s when everything collapsed. Not only was he going blind, but his blood pressure was out of control and that in turn had killed his kidneys. He was put on dialysis and on the list for a kidney transplant.
In the meantime, the opthamologist wanted to try a new procedure to try to save Dave’s retinas: scleral buckle. The surgeries were performed and Dave’s health continued to decline. He became totally blind very soon after the surgeries which obviously failed and also caused him to have to sacrifice one of his eyes years later when the buckle began to protrude from the eyeball. Not a good solution overall, IMO.
He had to move back to Macon with his mother and father to begin his dialysis and wait for a kidney. We kept in touch. Dave got his first kidney sometime soon after all this and then moved to Atlanta. I moved to Atlanta in 88, so it must’ve been around that time. We saw each other (we were strictly friends by this time) when he moved here; he was in a halfway house for the handicapped in East Point at first. Funny story about that time here.
He eventually moved up to Peachtree Road in a handicapped/old folks apartment building and began rebuilding his life. This was probably mid 90s. He met this crazy chick somewhere and when he started dating her in earnest and planned to marry her, I advised him against it and left the scene. That woman was, indeed, CRAZY and abused Dave while they were married.
Years pass and he called my parents house looking for me. It was after 9/11, so 2002 or so? I called him back and we were once again good friends. We just took up where we left off. He had a nice house over off of Chamblee-Tucker Rd and he was trying to launch a DJ business. He told me about the bad marriage, the $50k that he got from the government for retroactive disability that they hadn’t paid (which is how he got such a nice house), the job he’d had with Wachovia Bank for years until his health forced him to go back on dialysis 3x a week, the band he used to play with, the music he still loved.
All in all, Dave had led a VERY full life despite his monumental health problems and I was very impressed. This is one reason why I have NO TIME for people who whine or think they are victims. Hey, if a blind guy on dialysis can have a good life, STFU already.
We got along like peas and carrots once again and we spent a good amount of time together. He came to parties at my house and we went out. Despite it all, he was the same Dave that he’d always been.
It was all good until he had to retire his Leader Dog Bonnie. He went back to MI to get a new dog and even as he was up there, he told me he didn’t think this new dog was very smart. The dog had flunked out of Leader Dog school 3x and had been a pet before his previous owner returned him to Leader Dog. But, Dave being Dave, he took this dog, Kirby. His previous dog was no genius (she would walk him down the middle of 14th street regularly) but this dog was absolutely unsuitable for being a Leader Dog.
Dave had this dog for a couple of months, then one day as he was going to the bus stop, this dog ran him into phone pole hole and he broke his leg. He was taken to hospital and surgery was performed to fix the compound fracture. Dave suffered a mild heart attack after this surgery and they had to go in and put a stent in to prevent another heart attack.
It was all downhill from here. Dave had to go to a nursing home to recover from the leg and heart surgeries. He was very depressed and OVER IT. He finally got home and was home for a couple of months but he still couldn’t get around and was realising that his health had gotten to the point where he couldn’t live alone. He was back to having seizures and extreme low blood sugars again and he was overall unstable. His roommate had found him with low blood sugars several times, as had I. This is a very bad thing. VERY BAD.
He had always had a roommate, but they’d been fighting and Dave had asked him to leave right before the broken leg (They fought due to Dave’s mother who was constantly whispering in his ear that everyone was stealing from him – she nursed his paranoia.). Just as Dave decided that he was going to ask the roommate to stay on and try to work it out, he died in his sleep.
My money is on a blood clot in the brain. Or a pulmonary embolism. Dave’s blood was like molasses due to the dialysis and I know that it was a clot somewhere. I’m just glad he died peacefully in his own bed.
I blame this whole chain of events on Dave’s mother for instilling such shame in him about having a disease in the first place. It was shameful to her and she made sure he knew it. He might’ve taken better care of himself if he’d had a supportive family rather than an ashamed family. I also blame Leader Dog, Inc for allowing Kirby the moron to be placed as a Leader Dog. If the animal has failed the training several times and has been returned, HE PROBABLY IS NOT CUT OUT FOR THE JOB, YO. Stupid, stupid people run that organisation and I strongly suggest if you are blind or take care of someone blind, do NOT let them use Leader Dog, Inc out of MI. Use Lead Dog or one of the better agencies to get your dog.
I loved knowing Dave. He kept my musical side alive and he kept my perspective on life. No matter how bad it got, he always had a bad joke to tell. He was an odd duck for sure, but that’s the way I like ‘em: WEIRD. He was a talented musician and an all round great guy. He is missed. I think of him often.