Daniel Torreblanca Has Left the Party Far Too Soon

bereavementI just got word my buddy Daniel Torreblanca passed away while visiting Peru. He was only 31 years old.

Just before he left with his girlfriend to visit his family in Peru, Daniel and I had a great chat about what was next for him. He had just quit his job and was looking to re-enter the web development field. I actually had a solid lead for him at my girlfriend's work and he seemed psyched about the opportunity. But first, he was going on a trip to Peru.

While in Peru, Daniel didn't feel well, and passed away suddenly from a seizure. The autopsy shows he had meningitis.

dodgeball champs

In the photo above, Daniel is wearing the blue shorts. He was a lousy baseball player, we'd always joke about that, but a great dodgeball team mate. This was our championship season.

Our relationship started because of dodgeball, but we'd work together on several big web projects over the next five years. He was a great programmer and whenever I had heavy duty PHP requirements, I knew who to call. He was my go-to guy because he was creative, he was skilled and I could trust him. When you find a programmer like that, you hold on to him.

31 is far to young to lose a friend. If the universe was trying to give me perspective on the loss of my dog last week, the universe has succeeded.

I'll miss Daniel. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

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Comments (29 - click here to join in!)

Mike Kic

Thanks for posting this picture Boon.....he was an awesome friend and I'm glad I was able to know him well over the last few years.

I'm going to miss him terribly and life feels a little empty without him.

RIP Daniel.....still can't believe you're gone.

January 16, 2013 @ 11:30 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I thought I'd grab his old http://www.bonetree.net page before it disappears.

I've preserved it here for posterity:


January 16, 2013 @ 11:44 AM

Donna Vitan

Thanks for the kind homage Mike. He was an amazing person, a great friend and definitely someone I always worked and talked to about tech stuff. Daniel was always someone that I had on my gchat, ready to start random conversations and it's kind of crazy to know that he's not going to be around anymore. I'm going to miss him very much.

January 16, 2013 @ 12:08 PM

Natalie Little-Rowe

A beautiful way to remember Daniel. He touched so many of us in his own unique way, and he was taken much too soon.

January 16, 2013 @ 12:18 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Natalie Little-Rowe

One of my favourite Daniel stories involves you at Jordy and Kic's wedding. I won't print that one. :) Congrats on the "-Rowe".

Another of my favourite Daniel stories can't be shared here, either... let's just say he started calling me Tony Soprano for a while after that one.

@Donna Vitran

Like you, I'd hit him up for server-side queries, while he'd hit me up for client-side queries. But we'd have lots of other chats about Toronto's bike lanes, the true freedom of the web and our mutual dislike of a certain Rob Ford.

January 16, 2013 @ 12:44 PM


So sorry for your loss. 31 is far too young to die.

January 16, 2013 @ 1:32 PM


Sorry to hear Mike.

Do what makes you happy in life because you never know when it'll end.

January 16, 2013 @ 1:41 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

And to my dear friend Jordan Mlynek, remember this quote from Bubbles on The Wire.

"Ain't no shame in holding on to grief . . . as long as you make room for other things too".

January 16, 2013 @ 4:47 PM


Sorry to hear of your troubles...31 is too young.

And Bubbs was a well-spoken character, great quote.

January 16, 2013 @ 6:57 PM


I know Daniel thru the world of rock climbing. An awesome guy and will truly be missed. Just gutted. RIP

January 16, 2013 @ 8:08 PM


So sorry for your loss, Mike. It is hard to process when a friend dies so young.

January 16, 2013 @ 8:31 PM


Very sad to hear of the news. Remember to hug your loved ones a little tighter tonight. Thanks for making us laugh, Daniel. Rest easy young man.

January 16, 2013 @ 8:44 PM

Erick Dovale

I had the pleasure of working alone side with Daniel while at Syncapse. We paired programmed a few times. He was an honest, easy going dude. I truly enjoyed his company and will miss him. Shit I still can't believe he's no longer here. Just in December I was chatting with him about his new passion about ruby on rails and cucumber. Thanks a lot for this homage. My condolences to the family and all close friends who feel touched by this loss.

January 16, 2013 @ 10:20 PM


I'm going to miss Daniel a lot. I don't have a memory of him that doesn't bring a smile to my face. Totally honored to have been his friend.

January 17, 2013 @ 1:31 AM

Diego Casco

A great and super reliable developer, a loyal friend. Always striving to create great things. I will miss Daniel, very very much.

Does anyone know if there is or will be a funeral service?

Please let me know.

January 17, 2013 @ 1:19 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Diego Casco

I'll let you know here when there's word.

January 17, 2013 @ 2:42 PM


Thanks for this kind note about Daniel. I'm still in shock. I spoke to him just a few weeks ago. He was one of my good friends and beat colleagues during my years in Toronto. One of the kindest, most wonderful people I have ever met. I will miss him dearly. All my love to his friends and family.

January 17, 2013 @ 7:24 PM

Daniel's cousin

I'm Daniel's cousin and live here in Toronto. I just wanted to help shed some light on this. Daniel was visiting his family in Peru and brough Kat along to meet everyone. He hadn't been feeling well since before he left and saw a doctor while he was there but everything came back ok. It's been a big shock for everyone and it still doesn't feel real. Daniel was such a happy guy that it seems so unfair that he's left us so fast. There's some comfort knowing though that so many people were fond of him. I am not sure if his parents will want to hold a mass here in Canada as this all happened in Peru, and they flew down there to be with him. Thank you all for your kind words about him...

January 17, 2013 @ 7:57 PM

Patricia Bartra

Hi Mike,
Thank you for this wonderful homage to Daniel. I am his mom :( Words will never be able to express the immense pain I feel and will never stop feeling. He was my baby...my beautiful, kind, smart, strong, caring son...
Thank you to all his friends, and all those who he touched in some way or another. I truly am grateful for all your support.
I saw him today for about 5 mins, I said goodbye to him & made sure to tell him all who he has left behind, truly love him & will never forget him. I asked him to embrace me with his soul, and to give me his peace, his calmness, and his strength, because that is the way he lived his short but beautiful live :(
I would like to ask each of you to continue to remember him, to always talk to him... I know he is with us, I know he is listening.
I'm still in Peru, we cremated my beautiful son right after I was blessed to spend those short minutes with him :( There will be an intimate mass tomorrow at 5pm , and I am planning on coming back to Canada on Friday Jan 25. His 31st B-Day is on Sunday Jan 27... Thomas (his good friend) and I, are arranging for a small service in the afternoon, and a get-together afterwards, something special, yet simple like him, to celebrate his life ....I will make sure to post the details when all is confirmed.
Kat, his girlfriend, is a wonderful girl... She was his angel and was with him until his last breath... She did CPR on him, and he breathed & spoke to her for a few seconds, right after that, he looked above, put his right hand over his heart, and stopped breathing :( She never left his side until he was taken to the morgue... She was in so much pain, but never stopped trying ... Daniel adored her, and I know his spirit will never leave her :(
We will need Daniel to guide & protect us for what comes next... I know he will!
My angel is at Peace & I can't wait to hug and see him again :(

January 17, 2013 @ 11:25 PM


Patricia Im so sorry for your loss. I went to St. Teresas with Daniel, and if you wouldnt mind I would love to send your family a sympathy card. If you would send me your address to my email I could do that. I am too far to attend any services, but I would like to do that. Daniel will be missed by many.

January 18, 2013 @ 2:38 PM

Erick Dovale

Hi Patricia,
Although I never met you, I did have the privileged of working with Daniel for a few months at Syncapse. He was an honest, joyful, fun man. I truly enjoyed the time I spent with him. I want to express my condolences to you and the rest of the family and let you know that he will not be forgotten.

January 18, 2013 @ 3:05 PM


I worked with Daniel at Sporting Life years ago and he was a wonderful guy. I still can't believe that "little" Daniel is gone. He had a great smile and an infectious laugh and I wish I had keep in touch with him. My condolences to his close friends and his family, I know he will be missed deeply.

January 18, 2013 @ 4:50 PM

Patricia Bartra

Hi, Thank you Kaya & Erick ...Your thoughts & words about my beautiful son are very touching ... as well as those friends who have shared iin the pain and support cox
I don't know how to get your email Kaya, but for anyone here that would like to support , you can email me. att patgatubella@rogers.com


January 19, 2013 @ 8:46 AM

Joanne Goudreault Landry

Hi Patricia so sorry to hear about Daniel, although I haven't seen him in years I feel so sadden for you. If ever in Timmins please let us know so I can bring my parents to see you. I will be in Toronto for a few days at the end of February if you want you can inbox me your phone # and maybe we could get together for diner ok later and take care of yourself. Joanne

January 20, 2013 @ 3:33 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Green Room Night in Honour of Daniel

Saturday, February 2, 2013 @ 7:00pm
296 Brunswick Ave.

Daniel may no longer be with us, but his spirit is alive and well in every story and laugh we share. So what better way to celebrate the life of such a great friend than to get together at his favourite bar and remember all the joy he brought to our lives!

There will be a short prayer service Sunday, and a proper send-off Saturday, Feb. 2 at The Green Room, as he would have liked it to be. We have booked the entire second floor for 7pm. We also have a fundraiser page to help covering the expenses associated with his passing. You can make donations in his memory here: http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/Daniel-Torreblanca-Memorial-Fund/40027

Feel free to bring any pictures you'd like to share with his family and friends. And to truly honour Daniel, partake in one of his favourite drinks - a Jack & Coke or the legendary Irish Car Bomb. Even if you hadn't seen him in awhile, you should come out and celebrate with us.

Looking forward to seeing you there. Guests are welcome, and please forward this invite to anyone whose life was touched by Daniel.

January 24, 2013 @ 9:37 AM


SHOCKED today to hear this news.. So sad, and so sorry for his family.



January 30, 2013 @ 11:46 AM


I worked with Daniel back in 2004 while I was working in TO and we stayed in touch over the years. He was a great guy, a good friend and will be missed.

February 2, 2013 @ 2:26 AM

Diana Campos

I had the honor of knowing Daniel when he was a kid until his adolescent years. He had a kind heart and good-nature, very intelligent, was kind of an introvert but so charismatic. Daniel had the sweetest smile you've ever seen. In the years I knew him, in the role of sort of a "Big Sister", he was never in a bad mood, or was rude to anyone I know both his parents taught him good manners, but he was a natural gentleman. So, even though Daniel hated washing dishes, but he would do this chore quietly and without cursing.

He was proud of his Peruvian heritage and loved visiting his extended family in Lima. Daniel adored all his relatives, aunts Ana Maria and Anita were both like a second mother to him. Daniel had a special fun relationship with his cousin Pilar and they had wrestling matches until they fell on the floor and had to be stopped. As a pre-teen Daniel, started to fantasize with the idea of joining the Army, but that wouldn't go so far, since he had a gentle soul. Daniel loved his mom Patricia and was over-protective of her. As he grew up it was nice to see how they also became friends.

Daniel loved and respected Cesar, his dad, they were extremely close, so close that our group of Latin American friends will call him something similar to "Cesar's Mini-Me". Daniel wanted to be like dad, probably the reason why Daniel got interested in computers at a very young age. For Cesar there was nothing in the world more important than his son, every decision was made considering Daniel’s well-being, and he was so proud of Daniel.

I was honored to have been part of Daniel’s life during a few years, I loved him very much as well, and even though life took us in different directions, I kept his picture in a special place. Daniel did not enjoy physical aggressiveness, so I became his ally when it was time to tell his dad that he wanted to quit hockey! Also sided with him when he wanted a pet; a dog was out of the question, so he settled for a cat, but he was disillusioned that the cat didn't like to be hugged. Daniel could have been anything he wanted in life, he had the brains and the looks. But he certainly had made HIS choice: to be our Angel in heaven.

My heart goes out to Cesar, Patricia, his grandparents, and extended family, his close friends, and my admiration goes to Kat for having been so important in Daniel’s life and so courageous in his last moments. God bless all and give us strength to always remember him with his sweet smile, and his tone of voice, always like a whisper, the sweet whisper of an angel.

Diana Campos, Toronto

February 2, 2013 @ 3:57 PM

Patricia Bartra

Diana, Gracias de todo corazon!
You were such an important part of Daniel's life, specially in the difficult teen age years. You were a friend and an ally, and I know he truly respected and loved you. I
I always felt 100% sure that you would take care of him unconditionally. Thank you so much for being the way you were with him and for loving him so much. He is truly our beautiful Angel & he is watching over us, peacefully & happy.
Love always,

February 3, 2013 @ 12:48 AM

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