From sunrise on July 8, 1967 to sunset on June 18, 2021, Steve Donovan Dais, was a tour de force. Born in Camden, South Carolina, my dad would carry his southern roots around the world while serving 2 terms in the US Army. From an early age, he resolved that no adversity would stop him from smelling like a Hugo BOSS and dressing “to the 9s”. Whether he wore an IZOD sweater, Crown Holder jeans or the infamous Gucci belt, my dad moved in style. A fervent gambler, he played the hand he was dealt in life for the highest stakes and let the whamming land where they might. Those who knew nothing of the mental prisons he struggled to escape would say he was lucky for all the jackpots he hit in life. Through all the big wins and heavy losses, the world learned that Stev-Dais was going to do things HIS WAY. To know him was to always know where you stood with him at any given time.
Right, wrong or indifferent, he loved big and loud and that passion ran through his entire range of emotions. My father was tall, dark and handsome. At 6’7’, his commanding presence, long powerful glide, piercing eyes and the roar of thunder that was his voice, demanded attention everywhere he went. Despite his often overbearing and domineering exterior, inside beat the jovial heart of a man in love with being loved. I thank him for passing down his love of movies and obscure TV shows such as his love of wizards, dragons and magic. His passion for giving and being a friend, his love of great foods and familiar flavors. I’ll miss yelling at our favorite TV shows together, eating off his plate when I had my own, laying on his wide chest when my head hurt… My brothers and I will carry the lessons he taught us through both tough love and fatherly indulgences.
Steve “Don” Dais was so many things to so many people. He was the 2nd son of Stella Louise Washington and Donald Dais. To his lamb and the love of his life, Edward “James” Huntley-Dais, he was “my Huss-ben”. Phyleicia Nicole Stevie Dais and Akeem Rocmon Donovan Dais, he was “the only father we were gonna get”. He was a beloved brother to Donald Stephon Dais and DuRay LaMont Williams. Mekayla Nixon, Ahmel Hicks, Steve Donovan Dais II and Khing Wise carry the legacy of Pawpaw’s love. Vannie to his many aunts and uncles and cousins who will miss him dearly.
To Jamel Nubine, Fred Daugherty and Michael Jefferson he was the “Pops” that the universe brought them when they needed one the most. But in my heart I think the title he was most proud of and dedicated to was that of friend. He touched so many lives looking for the friend he needed. He became that friend to so many people including his “goodT friends” til the end, Ara AnnFavor who was also his cousin and KeeKee Brown. Although he has now transitioned to the ancestral realm, the love that he was able to give through the hurt he felt mentally and his legacy of giving and being a real person will live forever.
-Ase Father, your blood lives on…