Thoughts, stories, commentary on the life of Demfis Fyssicopulos (1972-2014), who died while surfing near his home in Los Angeles. To add to this page, please send your thoughts to editor@livedesignonline.com. For those who are willing to help the family, visit www.gofundme.com/demfismemorialfund.

My Dad was the strongest most hardworking person I've ever met. I remember waking up in the middle of the night to him on his computer working on new designs for upcoming work. He never stopped working. He pushed himself to the limit and put his all in everything he did. He raised me to never doubt yourself, and you can do anything if you put your mind to it. I know he is still here with me encouraging me to be the best that I can be. I just can't believe this is it. I love my dad so much and just hope he's happy and watching over us all. I miss you, Dad.  - Onna Fyssicopulos

"Let me tell you what your friend Demfis did..." If only I had a dollar for every time I got the random call. I never really understood why I would get the call, until recent years. We always referred to each other as brothers. For years, we called each other "Brother." Why? Not because of a camaraderie but because of a love, the type of love that only brothers share. We were flaming pains in the asses to each other, as brothers are. We would scream at each other until early morning hours on various productions. We would call each other at completely inopportune moments with personal problems that required dropping what we were doing to give attention even when one felt the other should cowboy up and just shrug the problem off. We simply wanted to strangle each other at times. We fought like brothers, but, in spite of it, always maintained a brotherly love. The good times always outweighed the bad. We always shared. No matter how bad things got, we always maintained that, at the crux of our relationship, there was something more important to not let go of...love. It's a macho, hetero guy thing. You rarely tell other men that you love them. At times too late, you often wish you did. More often than not, you don't need to because it's simply understood once your friendship has stood the true tests of time. I will always love you, Brother. - Patrick Dierson

Demfis was such a gifted artist, and he cared about producing his art at the highest level always. And he was a nice guy who loved creating and making people happy through his work. He often spoke to me about his daughter being the reason he strived for excellence. His passing makes you remember the important things in life. I'm gonna miss my friend Demfis. - Bruce Rodgers

Demfis and I worked together on Michael Jackson’s This Is It and then again on Elton John’s Million Dollar Piano show at Caesar’s Palace. That show continues to run to this day and is a wonderful testament to Demfis’ brilliant programming. He was so talented, one of the very best I’ve worked with, and there was sort of magic about the way his hands would float above the board as they flashed in a blur over the keys. He was quick and knowledgeable, but he also had a great eye and that was apparent in the shows he designed himself. Such a sad, sad thing and a huge loss for Onna particularly, to whom we send our love and sympathy. Yasou, Demfis! -Patrick Woodroffe

Demfis and I met in a dark park in the middle of Philly in 1999. We were working together on an outdoor project called "Lights of Liberty." I designed the multimedia, and he programed the lighting. Like many who knew him, he had an amazing work ethic, whatever it took. We worked many, many nights in the cold and always had a good time doing it. My sincere condolences to his beloved daughter whom he spoke so highly and lovingly of that all these years later, I still remember those conversations. - Howard Werner, Lightswitch

It is with great sadness I read about the tragic news of Demfis, and my thoughts go out to his daughter whom he loved so much. I have worked with him on Prince several times amongst other projects and count him as a good friend. In this business where pressure to perform is paramount, Demfis held his own. The world has lost an extraordinary talent that had so much more to give. I am only sorry we did not get to see his full capabilities. - Chris Reynolds, Production Manager

Demfis taught me how to make the best tzatziki ever, and it's one of the few things I actually "cook" to this day. Whether he was giving a sincere huge hug or impressing the world with his talent, he was making an impact during his too-short time with us. Rock on, DF. - Marian Sandberg

My biggest condolence. He was a great friend through many years while living in Orlando. I hope his daughter Onna can find comfort with her mum's family. - Rene Raaberg, DSV Air & Sea Inc.

My sincerest and deepest condolences to Onna, who I know Demfis loved more than anything, as well as all of Demfis' family and friends. Demfis is someone that I had the great privilege of knowing, and I am truly saddened by the news of him leaving us all so soon. Demfis was an artist of true genius and will continue to be an inspiration to me in my life. I'll miss you Demfis. Rest peacefully. - Tom Hoppa, Matador Entertainment, LLC

I met Demfis while previewing a never-before-seen fixture in CA. I was still in high school at the time, and being in his presence and paying attention to work ethic truly inspired me to continue with lighting as a career. It is with a heavy heart that I say farewell to a role model and friend alike. He will be forever missed. -Dante Ison (LD, San Francisco, CA)

Words cannot express how deeply saddened I am by the news of the passing of my friend Demfis. I've had the pleasure of working with him on a number of his major projects and accomplishments, and traveled the world with him while working with Prince. His passion and energy were contagious, and he will truly be missed. My thoughts are with Onna and Kati and his production families around the globe. Rest in peace, DF! -Bill Tannenbaum, Head of Touring,  Nigro Karlin Segal Feldstein & Bolno, LLC

Demfis had such a great life and energy about him, and his enthusiasm was very encouraging and contagious. I always enjoyed talking with him and talking about lights, family, and life. He was insanely creative, and I am glad that he was able to leave his mark on so many. I am honored to have known him.  The fact that he was enjoying every moment of his life certainly was clear, and I know he is still living large, loving it all where ever he is now.  I will miss you and your love, Demfis. - Brad Schiller

I met Demfis a couple of years ago in Vegas. I remember his bright smile is what caught my eye initially, besides him laughing at my friend and I as he overheard our conversation at the pool. We kept in touch since then, and I met him in London, Ontario and saw Prince. It was an amazing experience and memory. We recently reconnected, and he has helped me immensely, more than he will ever know. I am fighting cancer right now, and he knew exactly what to say the night before my last scan to get me through the anxiety. I planned a trip this June to visit him in Malibu, and he was excited to teach me how to surf. My heart is breaking, and I will miss him and our conversations. - Andrea Martinez

So very sad to hear you are no longer here. Hope you can feel our love wherever you are. We will never forget you and will be forever thankful for the friendship we had. You are an amazing person - and have done incredibly well - always worked hard for the things you love! To your beautiful daughter Onna: You have always been the biggest star in your Daddy's life, and you will continue to be with him shining through you. We wish you all the strength it takes to get through this difficult loss. We will always remember the fun years we had together in Orlando. Cozy dinners and fun birthday parties. Farewell dear friend. And lots of love to Onna. - Love, Frederik, Sophia, Alexander, Rene, & Marit Loessl

Demfis was a great person. Everyone loved him. RIP: rest in peace. - Susan Ramirez

Demfis was a good friend. Believe that everyone remembers him as a joking guy, funny, and positive. But his ability as lighting programmer gets over all details. I shared his participation in the MJ show programming in LA. After it heard Patrick W. commenting about the fastest lighting programmer he ever met!! We can feel proud about Demfis. Still remember driving in Miami when started to notice that only MJ music was playing in the radio and sent an SMS to Demfis, who was programming these days the show which everyone was expecting to see, and he phoned me back immediately confirming the sad new. Today, really never expected to heard so early something like this from him. I'm very shocked. So young, so professional, lots of opportunities in the future. We never know when our time to depart arrives. Enjoy our lives taking what our friends shares with us is a must. Condolences to his loved daughter and lots of light to Demfis forever!!! -Daniel Ridano, Gerente de Área Latinoamérica

My wife and I had the honor of meeting Demfis and Onna in Orlando in 2003. We were neighbors for four years and became very good friends. There are many great memories that we will truly cherish, and we consider ourselves lucky to have crossed paths with you. I remember the early days that we would pack up for the day and head to Second Light in Cocoa Beach, Florida, rent some surf boards, and would spend all day "trying" to catch a wave while we learned to surf. It was obvious that he found love and peace in the water. Other days, just sitting by the pool and hanging out with his beautiful daughter, Onna, enjoying the company of family. He was one of the most genuine people I have met in my life. Buddy, I know you are at peace out there. I hope your last wave was a barrel. I just wish I could have seen it!!! Onna, I'm sure you know, you were the world to your father. Your father was a great man and was loved by many, personally and professionally. I'm sure he is in a good place and will watch over us forever. Love, the DiGiore Family, Ella, Gia, Noah, Marc & Kristin

I only got to know Demfis for two short weeks, but in that time, it was impossible to not be awe-inspired by his incredible artistry, professionalism, work ethic, and kind spirit.  This is sad loss for not only his industry but for humanity.  - With Love, T. Testa

I’m heartbroken, saddened and angry beyond tears for the terrible news of our brother's passing. D. and I had become very good friends. We immediately became close and spent as much time together as we could. We enjoyed many of the same things, food being one of the most important; the beach was another =). He was kind, generous, open-hearted, and transparent. With Demfis, what you saw is what you got kinda thing. I treasured that in him greatly being that it’s a quality so hard to find. We loved to joke around in Spanish. He was sooo funny!

My wife Laura and I hold him in a very high place in our hearts. Not only was he an exceptional human being, but he was very talented and hard working. We had been brainstorming and planning the production design for my stage show with my band for some months now, and I am extremely sad to have to do it without him. I miss my colleague, my teammate, but most importantly my dear brother, who always made me laugh and smile. ALWAYS.

Last weekend, we had the most amazing time in Coachella. His smile was contagious, his good energy radiating, and last Sunday with my boys, Demfis, Ferruko and Alex will be one of the most precious memories I hold in my heart. I had never laughed so much. EVER. Demfis was dancing and enjoying every minute of life and making us all rejoice in the process. Many bottles of champagne later, I said goodbye to my friend and told him how much I appreciated him and loved him. For that moment, I am extremely grateful. I had the chance to tell him how I felt about him, and I did so openly. Thank you for all the good times D. Rest in peace brother. Tu hermano que te extraña muchisimo. Un pasitooo pa’ delante…. Un pasito pa’ traz!!!!! - Nikko Gibler

Being a lighting design student, Demfis has been a great inspiration to me and encouraged me to go outside of the boundaries. “Forget about the machine, cut your own groove, and never give up at it. Not only you'll get more satisfaction as you move through your career, but you will leave a footprint behind. All the best, Demfis.” Those inspiring words changed my approach in perusing my passion. Demfis left his footprint behind and will be deeply missed. -Joe Bay, BFA Lighting Design 2017, University of North Carolina School of the Arts

 

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