by Jane Cho
(Stuyvesant Spectator, December 1, 1997, p. 1)
On the night of Friday, October 17, Stuyvesant alumnus Daniel Kim died after a night of hanging out and drinking with his friends.
An autopsy yielded inconclusive results.
Kim and his friends had decided to turn at 5AM in the morning, but Kim didn't make it through the night. The next afternoon, at
around 1:00, Thomas Son found Kim lying in the bathroom of their off-campus apartment in Buffalo.
"At first I thought he was just sleeping," said Son. After realizing that there was something wrong, Son and Kim's other roommates
called 911 and Kim was rushed to Erie County Medical Center. He was pronounced dead on arrival.
He was 21 years old.
"We weren't drinking that much that night. It was mostly talking and there just happened to be alcohol at the side," said Son.
The wake, which about 200 of Kim's closest friends and family attended, was held on the following Monday at Jamie Funeral Home in
Flushing. Among those who gave a eulogy was Anthony Baek ('96), one of Kim's best friends.
"I just tried to tell everyone how important Dan was to me. He was one of the most precious people in my life," said Baek. "We
used to have so much fun together. He was just a kid. He loved...life."
The funeral took place at the Korean Catholic Church of Manhattan where Kim had been an altar boy and had taught Korean at the
Bible school. He was buried at the Gate to Heaven Cemetery in Westchester County.
Kim was attending SUNY-Buffalo and had been planning to major in music business. "He loved music, especially Korean music.
We used to go to Korean Keraoke bars together," remembered Jenny Nam, a fellow graduate.
Kim's frankness is what many of his friends remember about him. "He was really funny, and was very honest. He was blunt about
everything," said Nam.
"You could always count on Dan to say what's on his mind," recalled HanNa Kim, another fellow graduate ('96).
"I used to call him Daniel-san, like the Karate Kid...we used to kid around a lot," recalled physical education teacher Larry
Barth. Barth had taught Kim Sequential Math II Math and gym.
HanNa Kim remembers a particular incident in which Kim had gone out of his way to help her. "I had to bring a gift to a friend
in Staten Island and there was nobody who could give me a ride. Dan, who was interning for a record company in New Jersey, came
all the way to my house in Long Island and gave me a ride there; [he] even brought me home. This shows how willing he was to help
a friend even though he had nothing to benefit from it."
"He was older than us because he had to back a couple of grades after he came here from Korea. He treated me like his little sister.
He was my oh-bah [Korean term for big brother]," said Nam.
In order to honor Kim, his father Jin-Il Kim, plans to donate money to Buffalo's Korean Folk Art Club, of which Dan was a prominent
member, and help fund the publication of the club's magazine. "Dan was the editor of it and this is my way of paying
tribute to him,: said Jin-Il Kim.
Friends of Kim are now collecting donations for 2 memorial benches at Stuyvesant. Any extra money will be donated to the Kim family
for funeral expenses.
Said Angus Wong ('96), "We're doing this to ensure that he will forever be remembered at Stuyvesant."
Anyone wishing to contribute toward the benches can send his/her donation to:
30 Monroe Street, Apt. H5
New York, NY 10002
Please e-mail Angus Wong at: firstname.lastname@example.org
so that he may know how much to expect.
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