During the last six years, we have had the great fortune of working with remarkable people who have inspired us to work harder, dig deeper and dream bigger. One of those people is Dan Symms. Dan has served for many years on the Idaho Freedom Foundation’s board of directors, where he has had a significant impact on us and our successes.
Dan also served as a trustee at the Brandt Foundation and the Smeed Foundation. Years ago, Dan was a director of the Center for the Study of Market Alternatives, an Idaho free market think tank and progenitor of IFF.
In his capacity as an IFF director, he has been a tenacious advocate for the work that we are doing. Dan’s dedication to our organization and our movement has been unwavering. Even in recent months, as he battled colon cancer, Dan kept firing away emails, urging us to press forward on even the most complex and challenging issues of our day. He urged me to continue our efforts to reform the state’s pension system, even in the face of legislators who lack the political will to do something.
“Remember, politicians don't lead, they follow. This won't happen overnight but we should start now,” Dan wrote. Dan would sign his emails “Dan Symms. Poet, Swamper, Gourmet.”
I got to see Dan and his wife, Linda, a couple of weeks ago. He’d lost quite a bit of weight, but had good color in his cheeks. He spoke optimistically about his treatment. As we sat in his home overlooking Sunnyslope, deep in discussion about public policies and IFF business, Dan spotted a flock of geese, and paused to admire their flight as they glided past his window.
Dan lost his battle with cancer on Tuesday. I’d ask that you keep Dan and his family in your thoughts and in your prayers. They mean a great deal to all of us at Idaho Freedom Foundation. I’d ask also that you honor Dan’s memory by doing the one thing that Dan would want us to do more than anything else: Keep up the fight for freedom.
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