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A Makeshift Memorial

Tribute to David Kyne


Saturday, July 6, 2013
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People walking along the cliffs near Devereux these days may notice a sight that is a little unusual. There is a makeshift memorial set up at the edge of the cliffs, in a beautiful spot overlooking the ocean. Family members have placed flowers, letters, cards and a wooden marker emblazoned with the name Dave, in memory of their loved one.

This memorial was erected in honor of David Michael Kyne, who had a fatal heart attack while looking at the ocean on the bluffs at Devereux on June 16, Father’s Day. He was 49 years old. Kyne, who was a resident of Northern California, was in town to attend his daughter’s graduation from UCSB.

Cat Neushul

Every time I’ve walked along the path from Devereux to Sands recently, I’ve stopped at the memorial for a few moments. It’s just a sign, a couple of cards, as letter, and some flowers, but it means so much more. I take a look at the card with a heart that says “Love You, Dad,” and think about how much Kyne was loved. I’ve even stopped to read the letter from Allison Delaney, Kyne’s daughter. It’s moving, and gives you an insight into who Kyne was.

Delaney mentions her dad’s sense of humor, the great advice he gave her, and the importance of the family values he instilled in her. She wrote, “You are the best dad anyone could ever hope for, your dedication, humor, love and your ability to give advice or cheer me up in any situation and your selflessness are all things that make you so amazing and set the bar high for any guy Katie [her sister] and I go out with.”

Cathy Neushul

More and more, these types of memorials are being set up along roadsides, at the sites of shootings, etc. While they are erected throughout the world, I first heard about them from a childhood friend describing her family’s annual trip to Mexico. One of the roads they had to drive along was lined with crosses marking the spots where people had died. I found this image absolutely terrifying. To me, the whole thing seemed like something from a movie.

Now, however, I’m starting to see how important it is to remember those who have died in a way that creates a community experience. I didn’t know Kyne or his family, but the memorial has given me a chance to appreciate them and spend a moment thinking about his life. If the memorial were in a cemetery, or any other location not open to the public, I never would have had this chance.

It got me thinking that there should be an avenue for creating memorials for Isla Vista residents, visitors, or any others. I don’t know how many times I’ve sat on a park bench in Santa Barbara and stopped to read the plaque attached to the back. Perhaps this type of tradition could be instituted in Isla Vista. There was a precedent set with the installation of the mosaic in Little Acorn Park to remember the students killed in 2011 when a driver hit them as they walked down the street.

Maybe the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District could set up some sort of system to allow the public to install a plaque, art piece, rock, etc. in honor of a loved one. In the past, the IVRPD has allowed trees to be planted in memory of people who have died. The entire community could share in not only the loss, but in the celebration of what made the people who have died something special.

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I believe the vehicular massacre committed by David Attias on Sabado Tarde near the park occurred in 2001, not 2011. It was not an accident, as it seems to be described in the article. Attias's actions were deliberate.

Further, a precedent for such memorials was set long, long before this incident, after Kevin Moran was killed during the Isla Vista riots in 1970. There was a small plaque placed in his honor where he fell, and it was there for many years, though I don't know if it still exists.

LegendaryYeti (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 6:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Great tribute to her dad, especially the part about setting the standard for guys. There should be more like him. His good example will get her through this.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 6:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What a strange way to describe the Attias MURDER case... the date can be forgiven as a typo altho there once were copy editors..

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 24, 2013 at 6:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I cannot thank you enough for writing this article, Cat. My dad, David Kyne, passed away on the 16th of June, the day of my younger sister's graduation from UCSB, 3 years after my graduation from UCSB, and four days before his 50th birthday. He was, no doubt, the kindest, funniest, and hardest working man in many people's opinions, including my own. He worked from 5:00am to 8:00pm five days per week and from 8:00am to 6:00pm every Saturday and Sunday, just to make sure my sister and I could get the education that he never had the opportunity to get. He was a truly selfless human being that wanted nothing more than the love and happiness of his wife and daughters. The screen is blurry as I type this, I can't hold back the tears. So please excuse any typos. My dad was my best friend, my partner in crime. Losing him meant losing a part of myself, and every day is a struggle for answers that no one has. Moving forward is not a concept I want to accept, but because of my dad and all of the values he instilled in me, I am doing so through my long-desired vocation of teaching. Every person deserves a father and a best friend like mine, and no one deserves to lose him. But seeing 700+ people fill the church for his service and reading articles like this are helping me to see the positive impact he had made in so many people's lives.

Thank you, again, for this article. It means more than you could possibly know. Much love.

katiekyne (anonymous profile)
September 4, 2013 at 5:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Katie: I know what you're going through even though my sister and I are older than your dad would be if he were alive. We lost our dad last year and the way you describe him he sounds a lot like mine and your mention of him setting the bar high as far as guys is concerned is something my sister has mentoned many times over the years.

Hopefully all this can show others that there ARE good examples in the world, and make the world a better place.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
September 4, 2013 at 6:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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