Following are some of the many e-mails we received from
Dan's friends after his death. They are from the SW mud and
the Sim groups and his friends he'd had for years on the
internet that we never met or knew but who talked with our Dan
every day!!! He loved the SW mud and the sims he was an
active part of so very very much. They really were his life!!
Thank you for all your letters.
Love, Cathie (Dan's Mom)
Subject: Re: Mendak's passing on 4/13/98
First of all I would like to thank you for taking the time
to inform all of us on the Internet, we really did care about
him and internet people often ignore those relationships.
I don't even know where to start, but first I would like
send my condolences. Dan was truely a friend to all who knew
him. He was a person who one could always go to for support,
friendship, and guidance. Even when Dan wrote his section of
fear.com, he was always funny, always the one to make a joke.
Whenever I think about him, a million memories come to
mind. To all of us on the net, we were all touched by his
presence. His caring but funny attitude was able to make all
of our lives a bit happier. It seems like just yesterday he
was helping people, asking if he could do anything, he truely
never forgot about his friends. I had met Dan about 2 years
ago I suppose, and he is a person that one can truely not
forget. Dan will always stay close to heart to myself, and all
of his friends I am sure... Please send my condolences to your
family .... Thank you again..
Subject: The passing of your son.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Knapp,
May I tell you from the bottom of my heart that I am very
sad at the passing of your son. You probably do not know me. I
played on a MUD (a game on-line) that your son played on.
When the mud found out about your son's death, the whole mud
was shocked and horrified. Dan was a great player on the mud,
a well-liked player. From what I know, he probably was like
this in real life also. I wrote this letter to voice how sad I
am on his passing. May God watch over Dan and your family in
this horrible time.
Greg aka Genghis on the MUD.
Subject: My deepest sympathy
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Knapp,
You don't know me, but I knew Dan from the internet, on
the Star Wars game he loved to play. He knew me by my
nickname, Jakko. I want you to know that I was proud to call
Dan a friend, and enjoyed his presence on the internet. He was
always helpful and went out of his way for me more than once.
I and many others will miss him a great deal. You are in my
I would just like to express my sorrow for your loss. Tho
I only knew Dan from across the internet, I call him a close
friend and will miss him. I've never been very good with
words, but words can't really convey the feelings of losing a
loved one. I can only try to comfort you by saying that Dan
has gone to a bright home where grief cannot come.
Subject: Your Son
I'd like to give my condolences on the loss of your son,
Dan. I knew him from Star Wars Mud and played with him there.
He was well known and well liked there. My thoughts and
prayers are with you and your family during this time of need.
Is there someplace I can send a donation to, in honor of
Dan? I'd like to take up a collection from the Mud and send
the proceeds to wherever you would like.
Please know that the players on the mud are very saddened
by the loss of Dan, he will be missed.
Subject: Message from TBA Command
Official Subspace Message From Borderworld Alliance
Command relayed to FDF Command via Senior Admiral Barlind
It is with great sadness that I write this mail. With the
passing of Rear Admiral Mendak, you lost an influential
officer, a leader and a good friend. While we may not have
always agreed on Simming and it's politics, we never disagreed
on the most important parts: we had the same outlook on life.
On behalf of the Command Staff of the BorderWorld
Alliance, its senior staff and all of its officers, I would
like to express our deepest sympathies and condolences at this
tragic loss. Dan will always have a special place in my heart,
and in the hearts of many others. All sims that will take
place in TBA this week are dedicated to the memory of Rear
Admiral Menkak of the First Defense Fleet. May his memory live
in our hearts forever.
If the TBA can offer any assistance, please, do not
hesitate to ask.
Fleet Admiral Pooka
Senior Admiral Barlind
Senior Admiral Bowman
Senior Admiral Meowws
Senior Admiral Remus
Subject: Dan Knapp
Mr and Mrs Knapp
I knew Dan for approximately 3 years, through the FDF
and when we started playing Star Wars Mud together, I never
really knew him well. he occasionally mentioned his life, and
knew about his Lung Transplant, and I feared that it was his
lungs when he disappeared with no word for several days. I am
extremely sorry, because whether we were mudding, simming, or
just chatting about anything, Like Babylon 5 or Star Trek, we
just had general good times. I cannot say much about Dan,
rather than the fact that he was a good person, and didn't
deserve what fate destined for him, but unfortunately it was.
don't know what religion he believed in, but whatever he
believed or didn't believe in, I wish him well.
I would encourage all of you to send your condolences to
mendak's address in the mail.. It's rather hard to talk this,
but I certainly know that he will be missed dearly by every
person on this committee. He was a dedicated leader, and a
overall great person. He has been with FDF since the
beginning, He has worked with almost everyone in the fleet. I
don't think any of us could of trusted anyone more. I do
believe that he will certainly always be with us, and that we
will not forget... Due to this recent occurrence, I am
officially declaring tomorrow as a day of mourning for
Mendak. I know Hawke will be updating the web pages, and I
would also like to set up some type of gathering. It certainly
seems appropriate for us to have some type of memorial for
him... As far as when, we will have to decide that, I think
this weekend may be good..? Again, further thoughts/plans will
follow tonight.. Thank you all..
Dear Steve and Cathie Knapp,
Hi, my name is Dan , and I was one of Dan's friends
in the FDF organization. I'd first like to send my deepest
condolences. After the shock of the news dissipated, I
realized how we take internet friendships for granted. Over a
year and a half ago, I joined FDF and he was one of the first
ones to greet me. Being new to the internet, he was kind
enough to help a new guy out, and was simply caring to
everyone. Throughout that time, he had shown leadership,
dedication and was a great friend. Unfortunately it was only
in the past few months that I really started to get to know
him. I and all of his FDF friends will miss him dearly.
Now I've talked with a few of his other friends, and
none of them seem to have a picture of Dan. I don't want to
impose, but whenever time permits and if you have scanner, I
was hoping you could send one of us a picture of him that we
can share. Like I mentioned before, we take these types of
friendships for granted, and when your friend is gone, you
have nothing but memories to remember him with. In FDF, we
have declared April 13th a day of memory for Dan, however a
picture will surely help keep the memories alive.
I can only imagine how hard this is for you, therefore
my thoughts and prayers are for you and your family.
Subject: To Dan's parents
I am one of the people who played at the mud where Dan
played as well and I got to know him through that.
I remember when he told us all about going into the
surgery. It sounded like a really drastic operation, so I was
quite shocked. But Dan just smiled and shrugged it off and
said it was no big deal. Then after a couple of weeks he came
back to the mud and said he was feeling fine.
It really felt like he was capable of anything, sort of
like a superman. I thought to myself "here's a guy who has
brand new lungs, and he's like, it was nothing at all".
I think he didn't want any of us to worry about him too
much. I really had no idea things had gone this bad in
reality. He will be greatly missed by everybody at the mud. I
am really sorry for your loss.
I just wanted you to know how sorry I am to hear about
Dan. Although it was just a game we tend to get attached to
people on there as well. Dan was always very good to me and I
think of him as my friend. I know this is hard but I want you
to know that there isn't anyone on the game that isn't
thinking of your loss. Our prayers are with you.
Subject: I'm... sorry.
Mr. and Mrs. Knapp,
I'm so very sorry for the both of you for the loss of
your son. He was the greatest person I'd ever met online and I
was proud to have him as my commanding officer on two of my
ships in the First Defense Fleet (I'm sure he told you all
about it.) I'd like you to know that the thoughts of hundreds
of people are with you. I'd also like to let you know that,
with your permission, I am planning on holding a memorial
service, with a military funeral, for Dan. I'd be honored if
you and Mindi would be in attendance. I'd also like for any of
Dan's friends who have Internet access to feel this is their
invitation to show up as well. If this is acceptable to you,
please reply to this, and I will set to work on the
arrangements. It will truly be a ceremony worthy of such a man
as Dan, who, while he was on the oxygen machine, never once
mentioned said machine online despite the obvious pain he must
have been in. Again, I'm truly sorry.
Captain Mark (Marko) of the First Defense Fleet
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Knapp,
I was shocked when I read about Dan's Death on the Star
Wars Mud news and I'm sure it shocked a great deal of others.
I think that sometimes we get caught up in the game and forget
that there are real life people attached to those characters.
I have noticed though that Dan's death has brought about a
closeness of friends on SWMud and I'm sure he is happy and
smiling where he is now. I didn't know Dan real well, but I
did talk to him on occasion and had once discussed a possible
gathering of SW people in California, since I only live in
I wanted to let you know that I have been thinking about
and praying for your family since I heard the news. I also
wanted to thank you, Mrs. Knapp for your post on the Mud. It
deeply touched me and I'm truly grateful that you wrote it.
Dan will be missed, but a part of him will always live in our
Sincerely, Jami (also known as Alanna on SWMud)
Subject: Re: Dan
I would appreciate a picture, thank you. Your e-mail drove
me to tears as I was reading it. I'll never forget Dan, he's
had a strong impact on my life. I still remember when he first
told me about his condition; I think I was more shaken hearing
it than he was telling me.. God, it's hard to think that that
was a year ago. I also happen to remember that he hated being
called Danny, and he told me you called him that all the time.
You'll have to excuse my sentence structure, I'm not exactly
in top form while writing this. How's Mindi doing? I haven't
talked to her in ages... Thanks, being able to write to you is
really helping me.
Subject: A Friend...
I just wanted to mail you guys and see how things were
since Dan's passing. You probably don't know me but I talked
to Dan on the phone a number of times due to our closeness in
distance. My friend Brad and I live in Carlsbad California,
which I think is about 4 hours from Ojai (something like that)
If we would have known he was at UCSD medical center I would
have been right there to see him. We touched base a couple of
times but never got around to meeting each other.
Dan was a great person who always knew how to make
something funny. He could take the most serious bunch of
people and have them on the floor laughing. He was just so,
punctual. He was a great person who was always nice to the new
people. I am sad to see him go and I assure you FDFnet will
never be the same without him.
P.S. If it is anyway possible I will try to make it to his
memorial service. I am only 15 and don't yet have a driver's
licence yet so I will do what I can. Hope to see you there...
Subject: To the Knapps
Hi, my name is Brad. I just found about about Dan, and I
just wanted to send my grievances. I'm terribly sorry. I used
to talk to Dan for hours on the Internet a few years ago, and
I considered him a friend. I always had hopes of meeting him
in California one day if I ever made it there. He was a
wonderful person, full of humor and intelligence and he had a
big impact on my life. If you could let me know what happened
or send me a picture of him or anything it would be greatly
appreciated. Thanks for you time, and my prayers are with you.
Subject: Dan's departing
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Knapp,
My name is Christine, and I played on the SWmud internet
game with your son Dan. My character's name is Luka. I'm sure
he didn't talk about me, we weren't 'close' buddies, though we
were on the same Imperial team and I thought alot of him. I've
known him since before he got his lung transfusion last year,
and I remember at that time praying for him and hoping he
would be ok. I can say when I found out the news last week, i
was stunned. I had thought he was doing good, and by your
recent mail to the mud, I guess he thought so too.
One reason I'm mailing you is I am also a mother. I have a 9
year old daughter, and I think it has hit me pretty hard that
another parent lost their child. It sounds like you were
really good parents and I'm sure cared for Dan as much as I
care for my Andrea. My heart is truely with you, and I'm doing
everything in my power (I'm now a wiz, admin on the game) to
make Dan's memory stay alive, though I'm sure that wont be
hard, he really has touched alot of people. We've made a
garden, with a statue in his memory, and a wall for people to
leave their final words for him, and a black arm band just to
keep his presence fresh in our minds. While many think this is
a game, and don't think of the people as real, it has filled a
void in my life (I move around alot and don't have any close
friends). We, (my husband and daughter) have met about 15
people from the game, all are people I'm very happy to
call friends. Especially with Dan's illness, I'm very pleased
we were able to fill a void in his life. Be it a social,
mental, or physical hindrance you have, as long as you can log
on, a whole new world where everyone is equal, no matter what
their health is like.
I read you were going to send a picture of Dan, I think
that is wonderful. I would like to even dedicate a page to him
in our Game's webpage (with your permission of course) and his
picture, or anything you'd like known about him I'd like to
include. Perhaps even a link to CF (he had Cystic Fibrosis,
right?) To educate me, and others on this illness which takes
the life of children and many other people.
If for some reason, you don't have the time to scan his
pic, I'd be happy to offer to do so for you.
Thank you for your time, I'm afraid California is very far
away from Tennessee and unable to make his funeral, but my
heart and prayers are with you.
Thank you for your time,
God Bless, Christine
I would have loved to have made Dan's memorial service but
due to some of my own medical problems I was not able to. Dan
was like a kid brother to me at times..He was so fun to pick
on:) An he always gave me crap back..I remember our last
conversation together an I think of it often..We were teasing
each other. If ya need to talk Cathie or Steve feel free to
email me.*gives you both a big hug*
Subject: Re: Dan's memorial
I was happy to be able to attend Dan's memorial. The
internet has the habit of uniting people over great distances,
and I've generally taken it as a given that the faceless
personalities with whom I associate are across the country or
even across the world. I was shocked to find out that you live
so near to me, and saddened by the timing of the discovery.
Dan was a fun person to work with and play with. I never got
the chance to learn much about Dan the Person since the game
we shared is based more on our characters, but I feel I was
able to learn a great deal about him by attending his
I have a request. If it wouldn't be too much to ask, I
would be interested in reading some of his writing. I have
been exposed to his talent in a limited sense. We were working
together to design an area of the game and he was providing
all the descriptions. But this didn't allow him a chance to
write a running story. The poem read by his cousin was very
funny and I'd love to see what else he came up with.
Hi Jasen: Thank you so much for coming to Dan's memorial
service on Saturday. I really can't tell you how much it meant
to us to actually meet you....one of the people who played
such a big part in our son's every day live. Again, if you
knew the joy and pleasure being online gave Daniel; it became
such an important part of his life since school and
socializing was denied him. Thank you thank you thank you with
all my heart. Please stay in touch with us,ok?We turn Dan's
computer on every morning to check email now. A friend put
Dan's face (a pic of him on the beach in Hawaii...that one we
email to you all)as the background. So,as soon as we turn
on....he is right there in front of us. I love him and miss
so very much.
Thanks again, Cathie (Danny's mom)
Many thanks to your husband for sharing your e-mail with the
on-line community, and thank you for writing about your son. I
wish that I had known Danny while he was alive, but I feel
that through your letter, I have come to know to know his
spirit. I wish peace and healing for you and your family.
Please know that my prayers are with you.
I asked Sprynet to e-mail me the winning entries from
their contest regarding how e-mail most touched your life. I
was not prepared for the beautiful letter from you that I
found posted there, submitted by your husband. What you wrote
touched me very deeply. As I read, I found myself sobbing. I
cried not only for the loss of one so young and with such a
beautiful spirit, but also for the joy and the enthusiasm
which Danny brought to life. I was especially touched because
of my experience with a life threatening illness as a
youngster. I was diagnosed at age 13 with Acute Lymphoblastic
Leukemia. I endured more than a year of chemotherapy, several
surgeries, and months of agonizing pain. In 1974, not many
children made it through cancer, but I was one of the lucky
ones. I have had no sign of the illness since.
I wanted to encourage you in your project to put computers
into hospitals for the children there to use. I think that
would be such a wonderful gift and would certainly be a loving
tribute to Danny's memory. I can only imagine how much the
internet changed his life. Thinking back to my many months in
the hospital, I would have loved to be able to have that kind
of interaction with the outside world.
I also thought I might suggest another way that you could
honor Danny's memory: you could share Danny's story with the
world by establishing a web page devoted to his life. It would
be very inspiring for people living with CF and other
life-threatening illnesses to read about Danny. It would also
serve to help those who have lost loved-ones (including
yourself) to heal. You could include pictures of Danny, links
to CF sites, organizations, information, etc. You might even
include some of the e-mails you received from Danny's friends
after he passed away. My suggestion is inspired by one such
tribute a mother made to her young son Bill.