Remembering Dave Schmerzler

Dave Schmerzler — a native Westporter and Staples graduate — was killed in Sunday’s storm. His family and friends have written this remembrance of him.

David Laurence Schmerzler, a lifelong resident of Westport and Fairfield, was born November 2, 1964. He was a 1983 graduate of Staples High School and a 1987 graduate of Syracuse University, where he served as president of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

David was the 3rd son of Barbara Harlib Schmerzler and Seymour B. Schmerzler. They lived at The Glen in Westport, where his mother still resides.

David was vice president, sales at Lindenmeyr Central, a paper company in Southport. His brothers and friends envied his short and convenient commute – but why would David waste time on the train? He had too many other things to do.

David met his wife and love of his life, Donna Taussig, in 8th grade at Coleytown Junior High School. High school sweethearts in every way, they married in 1992 in the back yard of the house at The Glen, surrounded by a large crowd of friends and family.

Dave Schmerzler and his wife, Donna.

David was a man of diverse and contradicting talents. He considered himself an athlete because, he often said, “I played high school sports.” He was an avid hunter, an accomplished chef, a fantastic skier who spent many winters with family and friends in Stowe, Vermont, a squash player, and a lover of a good cigar.

A long-time member of The Patterson Club, and president of the club at the time of his passing, he loved to play golf, especially with his son Matt. The day before his death, he and Matt won the club invitational Championship! David called it one of the best days of his life.

David’s friendships were extensive and expansive.  He enjoyed the company and camaraderie of a very large circle of close and loving friends, with deeply personal relationships that spanned decades.

His sense of humor was infectious and well-known, his zest for life unquenchable. A long-time friend called him the captain of a crew that was formed in elementary school. David and Donna’s list of friends is endless; the depth of their devotion to each other unique.

David is survived by his wife Donna and children Emily and Matthew; his loving and devoted dog Otis; his mother Barbara Schmerzler; his brothers Alan, Robert and Daniel; sisters-in-law Michelle Schmerzler, Laura Ballan Schmerzler Shawnie Billic and Sharon Taussig; nephews and nieces Alex Schmerzler, Sydney Schmerzler, Charlie and Libby Schmerzler, and Isabella and Alexandra Pisacane, and his father-in law Donald Taussig. He was predeceased by his mother-in-law Marilyn Davis.

David was a larger than life character who charmed all. His stories made tears run down cheeks; his laughter and love were infectious. He was brash, zany, tough and brave, but most of all he overflowed with love and humanity. He was taken far too soon, and will be missed deeply and beyond words.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Staples Tuition Grants – the David L. Schmerzler Memorial Scholarship, the Appalachia Service Project, or The Patterson Scholarship Fund.

A celebration of David’s life will be held this Sunday (July 7, 11:30 a.m., Fairfield County Hunt Club).

3 responses to “Remembering Dave Schmerzler

  1. Thanks for sharing. Tears shed for a superb man.
    Thinking of you Donna and your entire family.

  2. Milton, Edward

    A Beautiful tribute.

  3. John Backiel

    What a terrible tragedy!