David Keith, a TAPS shuttle driver since 2003, passed away Sunday, June 10, from congenital heart failure.
Dave was known around campus as "The Epic Bus Driver" for the movie soundtracks he enjoyed playing over the sound system — often at "epically" loud volume — as he drove. Many of his passengers welcomed the soundtracks, and his bus trips will be remembered as very memorable by everyone who experienced them. You can experience a brief Epic Loop Shuttle ride with Dave via this YouTube video. He also mounted a one-person information campaign encouraging UCSC passengers to use Campus Transit instead of SCMTD buses when traveling across campus.
Prior to his time with TAPS, Dave worked for more than 12 years doing technical writing and graphic design, with another 5 years of web design experience. He also produced an award-winning natural sound relaxation DVD titled "Soothing Waters — California and Oregon." On his TAPS locker was a photo of himself in a wetsuit riding an Orca — an image of Dave from his time as head trainer and announcer at the former Marineland of the Pacific in Los Angeles. Dave was also a four-year veteran of the Vietnam War, where he served as a Lieutenant in the Navy. He held a Master's Degree in Business Administration and Marketing from Penn State.
A student-created FaceBook page has attracted more than 1,300 friends, who are collecting contributions toward a bench in Dave's memory. Plans for a memorial event are in discussion with Dave's sister, Laurie, with additional details expected in the near future. As details are known, they will be posted on the TAPS web site. Dave is survived by two brothers, John Keith of Cleveland, Ohio and Douglas Keith of State College, Pennsylvania; and his sister, Laurie Keith, of Whidbey Island, Washington.
Dave was a creative, intelligent, and very caring person who'll be sorely missed by his friends, coworkers, and passengers.