TheDevilsDen.com. However, on Saturday it was learned that era had come to a sad, and all too sudden end."> TheDevilsDen.com. However, on Saturday it was learned that era had come to a sad, and all too sudden end.">

A Death In The Family

Back in the summer of 2000 I finally expanded my struggling website to include a new message board. As the word began to spread and traffic increased, I realized that I needed help running this new addition. Soon after I got an email from a Duke alum turned attorney in Pittsburgh, PA offering to help out as a moderator. Over the past five years "sharkman" had become a staple of <i>TheDevilsDen.com</I>. However, on Saturday it was learned that era had come to a sad, and all too sudden end.

Walter Daryn Watkins, known as "sharkman93" for the last few years to all TDD users, passed away on March 4th from complications following surgery. He was 33 years old.

Long considered one of the more colorful personalities associated with the site, sharkman was always quick to strike down visiting posters more interested in sparring contests than anything else, though he never lost his even keeled approach. Keeping things in perspective was easy for Daryn as he continually battled against his health concerns.

Despite his health concerns, Daryn lived life to the fullest both in his private and professional life. In his ‘real job', sharkman was a practicing lawyer who started his career with an initial interest in environmental law, but subsequently, as a result of his personal health experience, ended up working in disability law.

When he donated his time to our site, sharkman offered insights that few others could match including his tales from college career as a member of BOG. However his most intriguing story came just last year when he had a chance to meet with Coach K one day after practice after learning that the Krzyzewksi had bought his childhood home. As he recounted:

"Coach was kind of guarded at first, but once he found out we were BOGGERS, he was much more animated and really let his guard down. It was a great experience."

While he will be remembered around the site as a great Duke fan, for those of us who put in the long hours editing, banning, and generally dealing with the message board phenomenon, he'll be remembered as a friend. That's certainly true for a fellow long time TDD'er.

The memory of Daryn that I will always hold dear to my heart is a grand gesture he threw my way in September 2003," says TDD Staffer Angie H. "The gentleman I had been dating had harshly ended our relationship, and I was extremely upset. Daryn, knowing this, asked my best friend- who was also a friend of his- to get my address, and this he used to order flowers for me on-line. They were at my door three days later. It put a smile on my face to remember that there really are people out there willing to bend over backwards to make you happy. Daryn was one of those people, and the loss of him will be greatly felt for a long time."

In honor of Daryn, and all that he has brought to us as a site staff, TDD will rename our off-topic board "The Shark Tank". The staff at TDD will also be looking to make a donation to the Walter Daryn Watkins Fund, c/o the Pittsburgh Foundation.


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