How does a parent deal with a loss of a child and how in world could they get through the loss of another child? This is what Davis and Gail Sezna of Delaware had to deal with, in just a 14 month span. Their first loss came in July of 2000 when their 15-year-old son, Teddy, was killed in a boating accident. And then their world fell apart again on September 11, 2001 when their oldest son, Davis “Deeg” Sezna, Jr., was just starting his second week of work at Sandler, O’Neill & Partners in Tower II of the World Trade Center.
For days after the towers fell, Deeg’s parents hoped that he was just missing and that they would find him in a hospital suffering from amnesia. That hope dwindled and faded as more devastating news came out of the city.
Deeg worked on the 104th floor of Tower II and was enthusiastic about his job. He always showed up in a suit despite it being an “office casual” business and would never refer to his boss by his first name, though Jimmy Dunne had said he could. Deeg knew this job was important because it was a stepping stone for him towards working with his father, a restaurateur and golf course developer. Father and son were very close and spent time on the phone together every day planning out their strategy for the family business. He also loved working in New York City. The vibrancy of the city energized Deeg and Deeg in turn, motivated others.
Deeg was known by his family and friends for his firmly held convictions and determination. He had a keen and logical mind and relished debating current events, politics and business, which he did with great confidence and eloquence, particularly for a man of his young years. He commanded the respect of his peers and his elders for his maturity, dignity, and seriousness of purpose, combined with a fun-loving and genuine nature. He had profound ability to connect with fellow human beings in a manner that made each one feel special. He was a wonderful and caring friend, son, and brother.
Deeg was the President of his graduating class and a member of the Cum Laude Society at Sanford School in Wilmington, DE (Class of 1997). He participated on the varsity Golf team all 4 years and was Captain of the team in his senior year. All through high school and during summers, he worked in many positions in his family’s hospitality business, the 1492 Hospitality Group. Deeg graduated from Vanderbilt University in June, 2001 with at BA in Economics. He was Treasurer of his fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha.
Deeg was an inspiration to others and so many of his classmates from Sanford and Vanderbilt speak of his zest for life, his love of golf and his enthusiasm. He’s described as nice, outgoing, kind and humorous, idealistic, a motivator, intelligent and ambitious. And most especially missed and mourned. Two comments by friends really struck me and I felt they needed to be shared further.
“Mr. & Mrs. Sezna,
I met Deeg within two weeks of our first day of classes at Vanderbilt. From that point on, we remained friends. Your sons pledge class and my pledge class got along really well, and as a result we often went out together, Deeg included. I remember discussing our job-hunt struggles together early this year. We joked about moving to Colorado or Vermont to be ski bums. Both of us found normal employment and started at about the same time. Now Deeg will never attain the sucess he was bound to achieve.
Rarely in life do you get to meet somebody who is so giving, so caring. Deeg would do anything for his friends, no matter what. He was always there with a smile and a laugh. He was fun. I feel I can speak for many when I say that he IS remembered. For me, Deeg is the tangible proof of this tragedy, and his face the one I recall when the anger and sadness wash over me.
Know that you both did a fantastic job raising your son, and the prayers of many are with you. I only lost a friend. You lost your wonderful son.
Thank you and God Bless,
Vanderbilt University ’01”
“Dear Mr. and Mrs. Sezna,
I don’t know if you remember me, but I used to play golf with Deeg and I played with Mr. Sezna in the Delaware Amateur at Christiana. I just wanted you to know that I am thinking of Deeg. I worked for you at Hartefeld under Eric Macluen for a few months before joining the military. I am currently completing jet fighter training in the Marine Corps, and often use Deeg’s memory to motivate me.
And as for how Davis Sr. and Gail Sezna have dealt with their sons deaths? This is one of the ways:
The Sezna Foundation “In the Spirit of Teddy & Deeg” Fund – Established to honor the memory of Teddy and Davis Sezna Jr. by funding educational programs and future community needs.
Donations can be made through The Delaware Community Foundation.
September 11th Memorial
Delaware Online – The News Journal
A Congressional speech regarding the Sezna family can be found here.
Project 2,996 is about remembering those who died in a terrorist attack on our country on September 11, 2001.
Read Full Post »