The California Baptist University community su ered a loss over winter break with the death of Richard Davis, a CBU Information Technology Services analyst, who was killed Dec. 22 when a pickup truck collided with his SUV.
Davis was driving just north of Tucson, Ariz., when a pickup truck crossed a median and collid- ed with Davis’s SUV. Lynn Davis, Richard’s wife, and a family friend also died in the crash, along with the driver of the pickup.
Davis, a customer support analyst for the ITS branch of CBU Online, worked at CBU for 16 years, and his unexpected loss is felt deeply by his friends, family and co-workers.
“Rich was a very fun guy to work with. He had a unique sense of humor and always joked around. That was the kind of guy he was,” said Jorge Mendieta, director of User Services. “He was not just a team member but also a friend to all of us.”
Students who worked with Davis remember him as a funny, relaxed man who never took incidents seriously.
“He was really sarcastic but really sweet,” said Angela Buchholz, senior nursing major and ITS student worker. “He would always check in on me to see how I’m doing or if I needed any help. But even if work was stressful, he would try to make us more relaxed by being funny.”
Brandon Cendejas, senior health science major and student worker with ITS who worked with Davis on multiple occasions, recalled moments he thought he was going to get into trouble for making a mistake.
Instead of responding with anger, Davis would reassure him that accidents happen while also keeping a good sense of humor.
“He would tease me about things for weeks after but in a funny way,” Cendejas said. “There was an incident when I broke something and Iwasallscaredtotellhimand disappoint him.
“Surprisingly, he was understanding, but he spent the next couple weeks saying things like, ‘Are you sure you don’t want more hands on this?’ and we would laugh.”
The news of his passing was unexpected to his co-workers and left many in shock.
“It hit us pretty hard. None of us took it lightly,” Mendieta said. “When I got the call on Dec. 22 I thought it was a joke. I was like, ‘Stop joking like that’ and to this day, I’m still in shock.
“I can’t go back to where he used to work where his cubicle was and not see his face. I listen to his voice mail and I cannot stop the tears. He was a very good person.”
Cendejas said it was hard not knowing that the last time he saw Davis would be the last time he ever saw him.
“I remember he was going on vacation and I told him to ‘have a good break’ and it’s weird seeing his cubicle. It doesn’t feel real. It feels like tomorrow he could walk in the door,” Cendejas said.
A memorial service was held Jan. 18 at Magnolia Church to honor both Davis and his wife.
Mendieta said this is a huge loss he expects the CBU community will feel for a very long time.