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  • Writer's pictureBailey Shafer

Remembering David Tiffany

Originally published Mar 3, 2022

A man with many talents and a massive heart, David Tiffany is one of those people who will truly be missed, not only by CIVIC, but by all who had the pleasure of meeting him. Described by many as having a calm and sweet demeanor, Alisa Meggitt commented, “he was the kind of guy I’d want to have in my orbit and call my friend.” Dave’s involvement with CIVIC began in 2008 and continued the remainder of his life. He served as the Interim Executive Director from 2011 to 2012 and remained on the Board of Directors through 2021. It was clear he had a passion for CIVIC and international exchange through his dedication and love for this organization.

With strong roots of serving the United States in the Army and Air Force, Dave took a unique approach in taking pride in our country. Instead of adopting the mindset, “our country is better than yours,” Ken Royar found Dave’s philosophy aimed to promote unity and extend a hand of friendship to foreigners. He wanted to build better understanding between all people. Throughout his time at CIVIC, it was clear he remained true to this reasoning by always welcoming and encouraging international interactions.

Dave’s involvement in CIVIC went far beyond being a board member. He regularly drove visitors, greeted them at the airport, and welcomed them into the family’s home for dinner. Board member Amy Alice Chastain shared that her most profound experience with CIVIC happened around the Tiffany family dinner table listening to the life stories shared by a delegation that included North Korean defectors. Jane McMullen fondly remembers Dave pulling up to several potlucks with a steaming crock pot filled with something good, including a one-time special of alligator meat! A familiar face at board meetings, Dave never hesitated to lend a helping hand. Moving Fulbright scholars’ furniture, emptying slop buckets at Oktoberfest, grilling at picnics moving tables and chairs, and cleaning up afterwards, are just a few of the memorable contributions he made to this organization. Former Executive Director Jo Butterfield described him as bringing an overwhelming sense of trust and reliability to the organization. “When CIVIC needed help, if Dave could, he would be there.”

One of the few things that exceeded Dave’s love for CIVIC was his love for his family. Several board members, past and present, commented on the beautiful relationship Dave had with his son Michael, and his clear admiration for his wife Denise. We are overwhelmingly grateful to Michael and Denise for sharing Dave and the joy he brought with our organization.

It is hard to put into words Dave’s full contributions to CIVIC, and how much he will be missed by all. Long-time intern and recent graduate, Holly Harris, recalls, “He was such a great person and one of the first people on the board I remember meeting when I was a membership intern. At my first membership meeting we quickly discovered that we were both from Waterloo! He had always been so kind to me and very committed to CIVIC, which I always admired.” Ken Royar commented, “Dave was a man who cared about others, who cared about human relationships, and about the people of the world.” He was truly a special individual. This community and our planet need a thousand more Dave Tiffanys.


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