June 17, 2014 - by

Responses from Friday, March 2nd to 5th, 2001

Earl Sims Charlottesville, VA (UVA student/football player)
Dedicated to Devaughn Darling #53 Tragic things happen and we dont know why,especially when a young man who has his life in front of him dies. It affects the family&community, whether young or old, leaving an unbearable pain deep within the soul. Everything happens for a reason, though its hard to understand, but remember God is still in control-he holds all power in his hands. Early death goes to show that life really isnt that long. To the Darling family, its ok to mourn, but remain strong. This strength you cant gain on your own, it comes from above. Where God fills the painful emptiness with peace and proves his undying love.
May God bless you all….Earl Sims

The Randall’s Nassau, Bahamas
Our deepest condolences to the Darling family. We share many memories as former neighbours and friends, our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of sorrow. Love, David, Stella, Tricia, Tara and Tony.

Philip Rahming (god-brother)
Man I miss you soo much…I never thought things would end up like. I could only remember when we use to play as children in the yard and pretend we were professional football players. This can’t be life!!!!

Alan Bassett Jonesboro Ga ,
Even though Devaughn Darling is is not here with us he’s now in a better place. Where there is no pain or suffering.

Mrs. King, Houston, Tx.
My heart and prayers go out to DeVaughn’s entire family. From what I know of him, he was an outstanding young man with many, many qualities. My oldest son graduated from Austin High School and my youngest son is attending Austin now. The sorrow has been felt throughout his high school as he made an impression on many people who didn’t even know him well.

Monley Edmond- Houston, TX (Stephen F. Austin HS)
Dear Devaughn, I know that I have never told you this, but I have always looked up to you. You were a great football palyer and an outstanding person. God blessed us all when he put you on this earth, but he realized that you were too good on this earth, so he took tyou to a better place. I’ll never forget the good times we had in the locker room and the blood and sweat we left on the field. I love you man, and you will always be the “Bahamian Sensation”. To Devard, I know that this is a very hard time for you, but God always gives us challenges to overcome. This is a true challenge and I know that you are stong enough to overcome. I want you to know that we at AHS are here for you and that we all love you. God and Devaughn will always be there for you. Monley #71

Sugar Land, Tx.
Well Devaughn i love you so much and i know your looking down on me now well D i have nothin but love for you and may your name live on.

Tera (Wellston, Ok)
I know you have recieved lots of letters these past weeks but i would like to say my prayers and thougts are with all of you and your families and those 10 great mens families. i know you will overcome this tragedy because you are all very strong individuals. Just remember to keep God in your heart. may god bless each and everyone of you as you face and overcome this tragedy. My prayers will remain with each of you and know that those 10 great men are with God and there smiling down on each of you.

Joe DeMatteis, New Castle, PA
To the parents, friends, and family of Devaughn Darling: I am truley sorry and may you have my deepst sympathy for the loss of this wonderful human being. I was in total shock when I heard about this on CBS.Sportsline. My good friend and I have been die hard Florida St. fans since 5th grade. When we heard about this we could not believe what happened. I hope the team and everyone can regroup and have another successful season. I’m sure this will motivate them to work hard and to be thankful for Gods gifts and the talents he brings us. Once I again I’m sorry for the loss and may he rest in peace.

Hasina Pottinger (Sugar Land, TX)
My Bahamian Sensation, You will always be remembered as my brother that always looked out for me since middle school. We have been through it all, good and bad, and I will always cherish our moments together in my heart. You and Devard have made me proud of all your achievements. Your laughter will always play through in my head. My prayers are with the whole Darling family. I love you. Your “Hi-C-ni” Hasina

Chad Pavlu Ranger, Tx
with all my prayers, Devaughn was an inspiring person to all of us. A great athlete who was a great person on and off the field. He will be greatly missed. It doesn’t seem right how such a special person with all the future in the world could be taken from this earth but he is in a special place “heaven”. My prayers go out to Devard and that he may carry on strongly. The both of you are stars forever, you two are the best of the best. Devaughn will never be forgoten, he is a special person to all, in all that he has done.
with all my prayers, Chad

Danielle A. Mincey (Fairfax County, VA)
Revelation 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be anymore pain: for the former things are passed away.”
I don’t know how I would cope in the “natural” at the death of one of my children; however, I do know WHO would keep me in that time. My prayers are for Devaughn’s family and the FSU family. Be comforted in knowing that we serve a God Who has a purpose for all of us; even before we were formed in our mothers’ wombs. Devaughn served his purpose and now is home with the Lord.

Daniel E. Ruettiger “Rudy”, South Bend, Indiana
#53, As I look back when I played for Notre Dame I have often wondered, where do we all really go after we have passed on, Devaughn, we here at Notre Dame and the whole National Collegiate Football family will always remember you, your outstanding high school and early college career, you were truly a great athlete, someone that we will always look up to when we take the field. #53, you family is always in our hearts
Daniel E. Ruettiger “Rudy” South Bend, Indiana

Catherine Kinion (Houston, TX)
Devaughn Darling was an individual that was a great friend. He was not just someone who put a smile on your face or make you laugh, but a great person to talk to. As one could see, he was blessed with many talents. His memory will live on forever. Devard and the rest of the Darling family are in my prayers. May God give you the strength to get through this rough time. God bless you all.

Edith Hennessey Oklahoma
It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a month since this tragedy. I use the word “tragedy” in the sense of how we all feel about this event. In reality it’s a time of joy because these loved ones are now enjoying eternity. Jesus said in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” What a comfort to know that these loved ones are living with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! My prayers and thoughts are with their families and friends. God Bless you and keep you in His hands always!

Ft. Lauderdale, FL
It is never easy to lose a loved one… especially one at the cusp of his future. I didn’t know DeVaughn personally, but I felt a great deal of sorrow with his passing. As an FSU Alum and a person who was deeply saddened with his passing, I offer my condolences and prayers for the Darling family, and especially for DeVaughn’s mother and twin. Nothing can be more agonizing than the sudden loss of a loved one. Rest assured he is with you now, and always… as are my prayers for your family and friends. Joseph Oliveira

Annemarie Garza College Station Texas
As an old friend, and so one that cared about Devaughn deeply, I know that many are suffering right now. My heart goes out to all those that had the wonderful opportunity to know him. He was a wonderful person that we all loved and cared for. He is looking down on us now and sincerly believe that he would not want us to hurt so bad. He is looking at us and realizing how loved he was. Devaughn where ever you are we love you and may God keep his beautiful angel by his side.

Shamia Gibson, Nassau, Bahamas
My deepest sympathies are with the Darling family at this time. I am so sorry for what has happened, but you are all in my thoughts and prayers. Devard, I am praying for you daily. I remember Devaughn as a charasmatic person. He was always full of energy and life. He was one of the few persons that could brighten my day with his radiant smile. He was a friend as well as a brother to many. He is sadly missed by all and we will never forget him. So lets not say good-bye, but see you when we get there.

Houston, Texas
To whom it may concern, My 17 year old son is a junior at Fort Bend Austin Highschool. He plays football at the junior level. Although he did not play on the same level as Devaughn and Devard, he does know them and had some conversations with Devaughn. My son told me that Devaughn pulled him away from a fight on the practice field one day a couple of years ago, and that Devaughn spoke to him about leadership and team cohesion. With that act of leadership and sportsmanship he made a positive impression on my son. My son is deeply hurt by the death of someone that left a possitive impression on him. For that act, I wanted to express my thanks as a parent and my sorrow towards Devaughn’s death and that my prayers and thoughts go out to Devard and the rest of his family. I also, wanted the people that work and learn at Fort Bend Austin and Florida State University, what a superhero that we have all lost. The Fort Bend County community in general has lost a great “MAN”, but his family should know that his memories span far and wide, and although I have never met the Darling twins, there image as people is quite clear in my mind as Hall Of Famers of Humanity, and that they are on my mind as well as many others with whom they have left an impression on their lives. God Bless the Darling family and help them through this. With my deepest regrets, John D. Fisher Sr.

Carolyn Bates (Missouri City, TX)
I am the mother of a Texas Longhorn football player, Trey Bates (OL, #54),
who played against Devaughn and Devard in District 20-5A competition. Although I didn’t know the Darling boys myself, I, too, share in your sorrow. The UT football family lost a son, DE Cole Pittman, on the same day Devaughn died. It has been a very sad week for all of us, as I know it has been for all of you, too. My prayers are with the Darling family, friends, players, coaches, athletic department staff, students, and the whole FSU community. We share in your grief at the loss of two fine young men. Cole will forever remain a Longhorn in our hearts, and Devaughn a Seminole in yours. God bless all of you as you endure this painful time in your lives.

Ronald Flemming II Philadelphia, PA
To Mr.& Mrs. Darling, I would like to express my deepist apologies on the lose of your son. As we both know tomorrow is no gaurantee. I am a long time fan of the Seminoles and only just recently found out about the untimely lose of your son my heart as well as my prayers go out to you and your family. As time goes remember Devaughn’s accomplishments and how he touched so many lives, because even though you don’t know it Devaughn is an inspiration to a lot of young kids out there, the ones who look at him as a superstar for what he has accomplished. Again I am very sorry for the lose of your son and would like for you to know that someone in Philadelphia is praying for you and your family to get through this time of grieving.
Sincerely, A Florida State Hopeful Ronald A. Flemming II

Candace Swint of Atlanta, GA
May God keep you all strong in this time of loss and sorrow.

Chris & Vanessa (Funes) Rushlo Lawton, OK
We both went to high school with Devaughn and Devard. Even though we weren’t as close to them, it was just pretty cool to see the two “Bahamian Sensations” walking through the hallways together. A bond like that will never be broken. We’ve gotta say that the parties Devaughn and Devard both threw were the greatest, and that is where we both met. It was great to have seen his spirit roaming around school. He was an awesome guy who will be truley missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Darling Family and especially to Devard.

Adriana Bullon (Houston, TX)
Devaughn, Even thought you are not physically here with us today, I know your spirit is by each and every one of the lives you touched. You were such a special, unique, energetic, and talented person. Now you can show God all of the special gifts he gave you and how you put them to work by changing so many peoples lives. I looked up to you and your family because they always looked to God for accomplishments in life and for happiness. That is something that I wanted to do but I never found the courage to do it. It is very hard for me to write this because right now I am finding myself in tears. Saying good-bye to you Devaughn was one of the hardest things I could have ever done. You touched my life as well as your brothers. I remember the time when you and Devard stood up for me and did not judge me when a lot of people were downing me. Ya’ll made me realize that the only thing that matters was what God thought about me and that he loved all his children the same. I can still remember your smile when we used to run into eachother in the halls. You always had that straw in your mouth. I also remember the time during our sophomore year when we all had a waterballom fight at Tasha’s house. See, those memories of you are what are going to keep me looking foward and hard to achieve my goals and make my family and friends prous. I know you are going to look after every single person you can in contact with thoughout your 18 years of life. It was short for us here on earth, but enough time for God. You served your purpose here and that is what is most important. You are now out of this crazy world that is full of sin, and in a wonderful place full of joy and no worries. I will miss you Devaughn but you will live in my heart forever. Devard, I know you are going through a difficult time, but just remember that Devaughn will always live in you. He is going to be there for everyone of your games, graduation, your wedding, and even tuck you in at night when you sleep. This is a great loss not only to you and your family , but also to everyone who cared about Devard. I just want you to know that you will always be in my prayers and to please strive to complete your goals because that is all Devaughn wanted from you. Even though you and I are not as close as we used to be, I want you to know that I do see you as a brother and that I love you will all my heart and soul. You were there for me when no one was and that is something I will never forget. Devaughn is in a much better place now and he is happy. That is all I think you wanted for you brother. You may see his death as a loss on earth, but it is a birth in heaven. You will be in my prayers and if you ever need anything, I am here for you. Dennis,
I hope you can find the strength to be the backbone of the family. They need you now to be strong and Devaughn is going to help you do that. Thank you for helping me say goodbye to Devaughn and for being a friend. I am truely sorry for the pain you are going through right now. You will always be in my prayers.
The Darling Family, All I can offer you are my sympathies and prayers. I am saddened by what has happened, but I have come to accept that Devaughn is now able to be with everyone at once. If you ever need anything, I am here for you. May God continue to Bless each and everyone of you. R.I.P Devaughn Stephen Darling

Adriana Bullon (Houston TX) *~* Fort Bend AHS Graduate of 2000*~*~
Sometimes in life, you find a special friend. Someone who changes you life just by being a part of it.
Someone who makes you laugh until you can’t stop. Someone who makes you beleive that there really is good in the world. Someone who convinces you that there really is an unlocked door waiting for you to open it.
This is forever friendship When you’re down, and the world seems dark and empty, Your forever friend lifts your spirits. And makes that dark and empty world suddenly full. Your forever friend gets you through the hard times, the sad times, and the confused times. If you turn and walk away, your forever friend follows.
If you lose your way, your forever friend guides you and cheers you on. Your forever friend holds you hand nd tells you that everything is going to be okay. And if you find such a friend, you feel happy and complete because you need not worry. You have a forever friend for life, and forever has no end
*~*~NOTE~*~*This is just something for everyone to read and think about. Devaughn is our forever friend and will live in our hearts forever. Tommorrow is never promised so cherish what you have now. Be thankful for everything you have and never forget to turn to God. God Bless the Darling Family and Devaughn may you forever rest in peace.

Shirdonya Mitchell Columbia,Missouri
I was with Devaughn and his brother in the trip to Cal. I was #31 in the game. I wanted to say i miss him and he will be in my heart forever. For his brother “Keep your head up because everything happens for a Reason”.

Eric Kazmierski in Tampa, Florida
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Darling family during this most difficult time.

Faye Megahee Lakeland, florida
My heart is full today for the family staff and players. I feel the pain of the family. As a grandmother of twin girls I could not imagine losing one. they are so close. So the pain that Devaughn’s brother and family feel now is only somthing beyond our imingation.we can only offer our prayers and thoughts. Mine goes out to each member of the family and the FSU family

Seth Beck, Millersville,PA
Devaughn was a great guy next year was going to be his year o shine. It was cut short by practice but we will always remember him. WIN IT FOR HIM THIS YEAR NOLES!!!!my prayers do to his family

Randy Stefanick , Seminole, FL
My thoughts and prayers are with devaughn’s family and this gentleman/player. he was respected as an individual and upcoming player.i had the chance to meet him and was very impressed. he will be missed and the fsu administration needs to dedicate something on the campus in his name.

Jeff Carlson,Glen Ellyn,Illinois
I was so sadden to hear about the loss of this young man on the same day as the terrible accident that took the life of the football player from University of Texas. While I’m sure he’ll be a loss to FSU my prayers also go out to his family. You wonder why God takes young people when they do. Peace to his memory. I’m so very sorry.

Kelly Blevins (College Station,TX)
My prayers go out to the Darling family in this time of pain and sorrow, especially to Devaughn’s mother and even more so to Devard. Be strong Devard and remember that God will never give you more than you can handle. Look to Jesus for strength and remeber that life will go on. Devaughn would have wanted us all to be strong. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Audrey Strickland-Chandler, Ok
I was very devistated when i heard on the news about the plane crash. I broke down and cried. I didn’t know any of the people very closely but it still felt like they had been family. I hope the best for all family members and friends of those victims of the OSU plane crash. I know God will be with them through this time of mourning. Audrey Strickland 13 years old Chandler, OK

Tom–Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
I am a huge FSU fan, I think the only one up here in the Northeast. I am hurting just as much as the team is. We are one big family, and we should all stand together and be strong for the family. Let’s win the Championship next year for him, and dedicate this coming season to him.

Jim Perillo – Circle City Seminole Club – Indianapolis, In.
Our thoughts and prayers goes with the Darlings. When one of our family falls, we all hurt. This is not just a football team, it is a family that stays together through thick and thin, peaks and valleys. This is one of the lows of our family, but will bring strength to us as well. God Bless you and I know he is with you.

Jon Jurgens Largo,Florida
My fervent hope and prayer is that the Darling family may find solace from the way Devaughn clearly touched those around him. May the Lord comfort you all in this time of immense difficulty.

Carol McLoud, Kellyville, OK Employee OSU-COM
My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I ask you also to remember Tom Dirato in your prayers. I knew him as a very young man and worked with him at the Oklahoma Journal Newspaper. I can’t imagine the pain in his heart. I met Bill Teegins a few times. During the time of the Oklahoma City Bombing, I was a family member and we were out at the Myrid helping with supplies for rescuers and others. He was there, trying to make people smile, crying inside and being a wonderful gentleman. You are blessed to have had these young gentlemen in your lives. Remember them always, but smile, for that is what they and God want for you. Carol

Jeremy Anderson Bellevue,NE
I would like to send my prayer to the darling family. I have been the biggest FSU fan for many years. I feel the lose of a fellow seminole, and would like to express my deepest wishes to his family.

matthew williams (birmingham,al)
I just wanted to say that Devaughn is in the full presence of the almighty God, worshiping and enjoying Him through all eternity. To his family and friends, I say this: If your hope is in Jesus, you will see Devaughn again one glorious day. God bless! I John 3:23-And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.

Jasmyne Walker (Houston, Texas)
DeVaughn I am going to miss you very much… all those times you merely tapped me to say hello and it threw me across the room.. remember that? You were VERY strong! Those were the days. I am going to miss your smile, your laugh and your advice. This is sad for the ones you left here but so joyous for you. You are with the King of kings and the Prince of peace! I know you will keep him good company…tell Jesus I cant wait to get up there with yall. We love you SO much and we miss you more than you could ever know.
To the family, our prayers are with you and I ask that God send an angel to give you all comfort in a time of distress and sorrow. Devaughn rest in peace. As hard as it is to accept, I’ll go on. I KNOW you’ll be alright. God Bless, Jasmyne

Richard Danaie, Statesboro, GA
My Condolenses go out to the Darling Family, as well as the entire Seminole Family. I myself bleed garnet and gold, have taken a personal hit from Devaughn’s passing. I believe he will shine through his teammates on and off the field. My thoughts and prayers are with those close to Devaughn. God Bless.

Lashonda Johnson (Japan) Rashonda Johnson (Hawkins, TX)
Our prayers are with the Darling family, espcially Devard in this time of need. We will continue to prayer for you as the days go by.

Richard C. Holihan, Tallahassee, Florida
THE SHIP I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength and I watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just at the point where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, “There, she is gone”. Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all.
She is as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side, and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of her destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her; and just at the moment when someone at my side says, “There, she is gone”, there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes”! And this is dying. Anonymous

Todd (St. Pete, Fl)
Anytime a young person dies it is a tragedy. I never had the pleasure of meeting Devaughn, but I hear he was a very special person. To Devard and your family, I hope you will find strength in God to get you through this difficult time and that you will find inspiration in Devaughn’s life. May God Bless and keep you.

I have a son that also plays college football and like the
Seminoles he also has been participating in off-season conditioning drills. I can’t ever remeber a time when my son wasn’t playing or competing in something. It is this love of sports that makes him who he is. I’m sure the same can be said of Devaughn. He died giving his best at something he loved. Let his strength and dedication be an example to others. Show support to his brother and family now and forever because they will need you in the days to come as his presence will be missed. Always tell your loved ones how you feel about them so that you won’t ever have to wonder if they knew how you felt. May God continue to bless the Darling and Seminole families.

Tonya, Miami Florida
I didn’t know the deceased but for some reason I can feel the family’s pain. My thoughts and prayers are with with the family. Especially the twin brother. In conclusion I would like to say that God never makes a mistakes. Trials only come to make us strong. I pray that the Lord would give you strength in the time.
Your sister in Christ

Elizabeth (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
My thoughts and prayers are with the Darling family. I hope they are able to find comfort from the seminole family. He will never be forgotten.

Mark Webb (Tallahassee, FL)
The Peace of Christ be upon the Darling family. I can’t begin to understand your loss, but I extend my heartfelt prayers. “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”

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