Daniel Francis LeFave
March 10, 1983 –
November 26, 2019
On March 10, 1983, the kindest man in the world was born. Daniel Francis LeFave entered the world a month and a half early. Daniel’s nascent knack for arriving early was a trait he possessed throughout his entire life, often to the frustration of his perpetually late wife.
Born to Andrew and Laura LeFave, young Daniel was a quiet and introspective child, until he turned 6, when his favorite sparring partner, his little sister Denise, entered the scene. From that point on, according to his parents, Daniel raised himself. Daniel’s childhood was filled with lots of adventures, climbing mountains, making homemade zip lines and visiting new worlds through his love of reading and creating.
In junior high school, Daniel’s life changed. This quiet, bookish boy with big glasses was cast in his very first play, The Wizard of Oz. He was, of course, the Scarecrow. This play and this role, set the course for the rest of his life. Daniel’s passion for theatre led him to join the Red Dragon Players, Austin High School’s award-winning theatre program, where he met his idol, Billy Dragoo, the lead drama teacher. Daniel was known as the actor who would do anything for a role, including shaving his hair into male-pattern baldness at 17 .
After high school, Daniel’s love of theatre took him 30 minutes or so down the road to Texas State University. Daniel thrived in the theatre department. He became a member of the Alpha Psi Omega honors fraternity, eventually becoming the vice president of the chapter. Daniel performed in and directed many productions throughout his time at Texas State. It was also here that Daniel met the love of his life, Katie Christman, while they were both cast in character roles in the notoriously long show Blythe Spirit, by Noel Coward.
After graduating with honors from Texas State in 2005, Daniel hung around San Marcos for the next year waiting for Katie to graduate. He spent his time building burritos at Zookas and gearing up for his next big adventure, marriage.
In June of 2007, Katie and Daniel made it official with a magical wedding and twinkly-lighted backyard reception. From there, they took off on a quick detour to New York City, where they would lay the foundation of a strong marriage and partnership, while having completely opposite working schedules. Daniel worked as a designer and carpenter for Spaeth Designs, and loved his job, but decided that Texas was the place to be. The LeFaves hopped a plane back, and Daniel began his adventure in education.
Daniel taught many, many, many subjects, including art, science, special education, floral design (yes, floral design, and he was really good at it, because, of course he was), English, theatre and technical theatre.
While working and living in Austin, Daniel’s life took another big twist. He started his favorite adventure of all, being a dad. Dorothy Ann LeFave showed up on opening night of the play Daniel was directing at the City Theatre called the Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, and he truly believed his Dorothy, his Dottie, was just that, his most fabulous story.
In 2014, now back home in Lake Jackson, Daniel received the best birthday gift ever, his son; his sweet, squishy-faced August Vincent LeFave was born. Daniel was ridiculously good at everything, but what he was truly meant to do, what he really excelled at, was being a father, a dad. His patience, kindness, and unending love have given Dottie and August the most wonderful foundation for the rest of their lives. Of all the amazing things that Daniel accomplished in his far too short life, Dottie and Augie were his proudest. He was the epitome of a doting dad.
Now, Daniel loved all children. He was magic to them and with them. So, finally, in what Daniel considered his most important role in education, he was given the opportunity to be the assistant principal of Bess Brannen Elementary School. It was not uncommon for visitors and parents to find Assistant Principal LeFave folding his long and lanky legs to talk quietly and calmly with a student who was going through a difficult moment or silently draw with a child who just couldn’t find the words. Daniel understood that.
For the past 10 years, Daniel’s second home was Center Stages. He quickly became the go-to set designer and a much sought-after actor. He was an astute student of human character, a brilliant architect of visual spectacle, and a compassionate community leader. These three virtues did not go unnoticed by his Center Stage family. This past summer, Center Stages honored Daniel’s talent, commitment and love of theatre by awarding him with the prestigious Center Stage’s Star Award, which delighted him beyond measure.
Daniel’s fight against brain cancer was heroic. He battled hard to stay here with Katie, Dottie, August and his family, his Center family, his Brannen family and his BISD family. Family was everything to Daniel, and he loved them all.
Daniel Francis LeFave left this world on Tuesday, November 26, 2019, to begin his next big adventure. For us, though, it was much too early.
To honor Daniel’s life, his passion and his spirit, a Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, December 7, 1:00 p.m., at the Center for the Arts and Sciences, 400 College Dr., Lake Jackson, TX. The family asks that you wear bright colors and be prepared for a rather unconventional service. Styled as an Irish wake, the celebration will continue later that evening at the Fill Station, 127 Parking Way St . , Lake Jackson, TX. Friends and family are invited to share stories and toast the memory of this most remarkable human being.