University flag lowered today in memory of student David Pyra

 David Pyra. Photo courtesy of Joseph and Elaine Pyra.David Pyra had an encyclopedic knowledge of classic films. Chances were, said his father, if you asked him a question about practically any movie, he would know the answer.

A third-year student enrolled in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, David died suddenly on March 9. He was 23.

Left: David Pyra. Photo courtesy of Joseph and Elaine Pyra.

His father Joseph, speaking on behalf of David’s mother Elaine and brother Ian, said the family is still dealing with the loss of David.

“He was a smiling, six-foot tall, skinny rake of a thing, and he had a mischievous grin,” his father said. “He wanted to become a script writer and editor. He was passionate about film and knew so much about movies, but his favourite ones were the classics.”

At the time of his death, David had just applied to York’s Film Program. “Along with movies, David loved being a student at York University and wanted to study screenwriting,” said Joseph Pyra. In addition to cinema, another major attraction at the University was fellow student, Sophia.

“I think people will remember him because he was a generous, kind and true friend – someone who would go out of his way to help others.”

David enjoyed spending time with friends at the family cottage on Chandos Lake in the Kawartha region in Northeastern Ontario. There he met and fell in love with his sidekick “V.O.”, a grey tabby cat David rescued while at the cottage. V.O. was named after a bottle of Seagram’s Canadian whiskey.

“The cottage was a place where he was happy,” said his father. “We have a lot of good memories of David at the cottage, so when the weather is warmer, we are planning to have a memorial for him there.”

The York University flag was lowered to half-mast at sunrise this morning and will remain at half-mast until 1pm tomorrow in memory of David Pyra. The family requests that memorial donations be made in his memory to a charity of choice.