David Blake Meek died Friday, Oct. 25, 2019.

He was born Oct. 2, 1956 in Syracuse, N.Y., while his father, John, was in a graduate journalism program. His parents then moved the family to Oklahoma, his father‘s birthplace, for his preschool years. In late 1960 the family moved to Washington, D.C., arriving in time for JFK‘s inauguration and living in the shadow of the capital during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. David and his sister Camilla attended one of the first integrated public schools in DC.

He was a serious student of the Civil War, mastering all the details of battles and skirmishes, initiating family visits to battlegrounds in the Mid-Atlantic states and drawing detailed pictures of soldiers and battle scenes. He was an active Boy Scout in elementary school, working diligently on scout projects. He was awarded a special badge for courage when he rescued a young boy who had fallen through the ice in a frozen pond.

His love of art, music and film were what guided his aspirations. After a brief stint working for a U.S. congressman as an intern, he left Washington, returning only for brief visits. His travels took him all over the U.S. and Europe. In Paris he met Denise Reymond, a textile designer, and his daughter, Jesmine, was born there in the early 1970s.

He returned to the U.S. in the late 1980s, starting college as an adult student at UNC. David and his mother Grace both graduated with bachelors’ degrees from UNC Chapel Hill in 1992. In Chapel Hill he worked for a time as sous chef under mentor and friend, Bill Smith of Crooks Corner.

He spent several years in the early part of this century living and working on the Vineyard. He was a warm, loving, caring friend and his kindness touched the lives of those he met. The memory of his smile, his humor and the twinkle in his eye will be held close by those fortunate enough to have known him.

he eventually moved to Durham, N.C., where he taught himself web programming and worked in a series of web design jobs, including at NCSU Urban Affairs Institute for the past eight years.

Becoming a father to twins at age 56 was perhaps the defining moment in David’s adult life. He put away his traveling shoes and became a devoted father to Ethan and Sammy, partner to Tracy Gill and caretaker to his mother who had suffered from dementia.

He is survived by his brother James; two nieces and a host of friends.