David Kromarek, 31, Bismarck, passed away Jan. 14, 2009, at his home with family by his side. A celebration of David's life will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, at New Song Church, 3200 N. 11th St., Bismarck. David asked that his funeral be a celebration of his life, and that pizza and Mountain Dew be served afterward.
After having five daughters, Larry and Sharon Kromarek delivered their first son, David, on Sept. 19, 1977. Larry was so shocked he checked three times to make sure it really was a boy. David's middle name, Dean, matches his dad's.
David smiled and laughed his way through life. Even though his legs began to betray him when he was just a boy, he kept smiling. Years later, his parents would learn the reason he had perpetually scraped knees and scrawled handwriting was that he had a rare form of muscular dystrophy called Friedreich's Ataxia. His younger brother, Dusty, and older sister, D'Ette, also have the disease.
But his disability never stopped Dave from joining tackle football games on the playground or wrestling as a grade-schooler. David never felt the need to join the crowd by wearing the latest fashions; he was happy wearing knee-high green tie-dyed socks with a red pair of shorts.
He attended Bowman Elementary School until 1988, when his family moved to Bismarck.
He attended Miller Elementary School, Simle Middle School and Century High School - and touched lives everywhere he went.
From the classmate who recalled how he shot his wad during a school auction to buy a trinket from the cutest girl in the class, to the way he shunned any special treatment from first-grade friends, to tasering himself during a high school criminal justice class. He was fearless, and thought everything was funny, particularly all of his family's stupid jokes.
David and Dusty spent many a summer day with their dear friends and cousins Amber, Brandy, Crystal and Denver Engesser snowmobiling, three-wheeling, camping, fighting, laughing and playing. Every summer, David and Dusty would spend two weeks with the Engesser kids.
David loved the Engesser kids because they treated him no differently than anyone else. From Denver pushing David down a hill toward a creek in his wheelchair to David pushing his wheelchair down a flight of stairs at Denver because he was mad, they laughed and cried together to the end.
Sometimes it took a little extra work to get him on a snowmobile or into a car, but the Engessers did it without hesitation.
David attended two years of college at the University of Mary, but was beginning to lose his speaking abilities by then.
When he was little, he always said he wanted to be a father and a priest, but he would have to settle for eight nephews and four nieces - whom he treated like princes and princesses, buying them extravagant presents like trampolines and Game Cubes and MP3 players.
He lived out the rest of his adult life in the care of his parents in Bismarck - and although he could not walk, talk, feed or dress himself, he could smile, and accepted whatever came his way.
By the time he died, David's body was tired and worn. His 105-pound body had shrunk even smaller. He had a steel rod in his spine to keep it from curving. An electronic pump was embedded in his hip to prevent spasms. A feeding tube was in his stomach because he was unable to swallow. Tendons in his groin had been cut earlier to prevent leg spasms. The socket had been stripped of his left leg to prevent it from rubbing against his hip.
David was willing to undergo any surgery, any indignity, to keep living life to its fullest. But by Wednesday, Jan. 14, he'd done all he could do, and went home to be with his heavenly father after saying goodbye to his earthly family. He died in his home.
David will be missed, but his family is so glad to know that he is running down the streets of Heaven today.
He is survived by his parents Larry and Sharon, Bismarck; his sisters, Daryla (Mark) Schreck, Wichita, Kan., Danel (Tim) Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo., D'Ette (Jeff) Ruggles, Bowman, Deena (Scott) Winter, Lincoln, Neb., and Doreen (Paul) Quist, Bismarck; and his brother, Dustin, Bismarck.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Bernard and Bessie Engesser and Frank and Inez Kromarek.
Flowers may be delivered to the New Song church during regular business hours.
David will be cremated and his ashes scattered over the Little Missouri River near the Fischer ranch south of Marmarth.
Go to www.eastgatefuneral.com to share memories of David and sign the online guest book.