Former professional golfer Dana Quigley preferred to think about what he gained, not what he lost, after his son, Devon, died Saturday night in Rumford, Rhode Island, 12 years after a near-fatal car accident. Devon was 39.
“We got 12 great years for Devon. That was a blessing in itself,” Dana Quigley said Tuesday by phone. “We had lost him twice that night and we revived him. Jesus kept him alive for a reason.”
Dana enjoyed a brilliant second career on the PGA Tour Champions with 11 wins and a Player of the Year Award in 2005 — often with Devon caddying for him — spoke about those reasons.
He knows how precious life can be — even if it doesn’t turn out the way you wanted it to. Maybe that’s why Dana played in a tour-record 277 consecutive PGA Tour Champions events for which he was eligible.
“Devon taught us so much about faith, believing in Jesus,” Dana said. “This family grew so much closer together because of what happened to Devon.”
Devon was injured in late 2011 when his car slammed into the back of a parked truck in Riviera Beach, Florida. He was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center. He wasn’t expected to survive the night.
His survival came with a cost: Devon would use a wheelchair for the rest of his life, unable to speak. He would communicate by raising his eyes up or down to indicate “yes” or “no.”
“I’ve thought of this a million times: How much courage he had because it must have been torture to be stuck inside your own body, craving to live every moment of every day,” Dana said. “There’s no doubt he knew what was going on. How much patience, faith and strength that must have taken.”
Devon’s memory will be honored at this week’s TimberTech Championship at Broken Sound Club in Boca Raton, Florida. Players and caddies will wear white ribbons — Devon detested black — and Golf Channel announcers will pay tribute during the telecast of the second of three events in the Charles Schwab Cup playoffs. Devon’s cousin, Brett Quigley, is among the 50 players in the field.
“Devon was like my little brother. He was born 15 years to the day after me,” said Brett, a recent winner on the PGA Tour Champions. “I was with him Saturday and I ended up leaving abruptly because something didn’t feel right. Dana is doing better now; when we spoke Sunday, we couldn’t even talk.”
Dana spoke Tuesday of how his son would “light up every room” before his accident. That sentiment was echoed by many…