UD grad, Ohio lobbyist dies on golf course after bee stings

Dayton native Darryl Dever, a long-time Ohio Statehouse lobbyist, died on a Michigan golf course this week after being attacked by bees when he hunted for his ball in a wooded area.

Dever had been golfing at Treetops Resort in Otsego County, south of the Mackinac Bridge, with friends. He disturbed a beehive between the second and third hole and was stung at least 20 times on Wednesday afternoon, said Michigan State Police Sgt. Mark Tamlyn of the Gaylord post.

“Just a real freaky situation. He just got stung too many times,” Tamlyn said. Although a doctor was golfing with Dever and performed CPR, they were out of cell phone range and 20 minutes from the nearest hospital, he said. Dever, 64, died at the scene.

Dever was a University of Dayton graduate who played college baseball and worked as an intern on The Journal Herald sports desk.

Former state senator Tom Fries met Dever on a Sunday afternoon in the summer of 1977 while catching a double header amateur baseball game in West Carrollton. A friend introduced Dever and Fries over a beer and Fries liked Dever so much he offered him a job in his senate office.

Ten years later, Dever and Fries opened a lobbying agency together and they worked as business partners for years, Fries said. Lately, the pair played golf together three times a week. “He was my very best friend,” Fries said. “I don’t think we ever walked a hole without one of us making the other laugh.”

Fries was among the two foursomes playing the course this week when Dever collapsed.

As a well-connected lobbyist, Dever was past president of the Ohio Lobbyists Association and represented the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund, AT&T, labor unions, mortgage bankers and more. Dever was the father of four children and lived in Powell, outside of Columbus.

Former Dayton city manager and former executive director of OP& F Bill Estabrook said Dever was like a brother to him.

“He is a good guy. This is a guy who is a private person but once you established a relationship with him it was a bond,” said Estabrook who worked with Dever for more than 15 years. “He was a really good person. He was a lot of fun and dedicated to his family.”

Funeral arrangements are pending.


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