“He donated his organs and another person is already out of surgery and on the way to recovery because of it, said Danielle LeMoine, a close friend of Playford’s who she called her brother.
“His whole being was beautiful. He was gentle. It was so Daniel to, even in death, be selfless and save a life.”
Playford was driving a three-wheeler and collided with a car on highway 223 in Iona around 12:30 a.m. on July 2. RCMP confirmed the three-wheeler was reported to have been travelling on the highway without any lights on at the time of the collision. The occupants of the other vehicle were not injured.
Playford was taken to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital until he was stabilized then transported to Halifax by ambulance where he died around noon on July 4.
LeMoine’s brother, Tim, was his best friend and by his side while Playford was in the hospital.
“Numerous times he told me he considered me more a brother than a friend,” Tim said during a phone interview, while weeding Playford’s garden.
Tim explained Playford had gotten into gardening over the past couple of years.
“He really felt at peace in his garden… he enjoyed watching things grow. He was patient like that,” Tim said about his friend of 13 years.
“I come here to take care of his garden and his dog. He would do that for me,” he explained. “I feel close to him when I am here.”
Playford was well known in Iona. After his mother died suddenly of a heart attack when he was in his late teens, the community seemed to adopt him, said both LeMoine and Tim. They talked about how Playford would always be at different people’s homes for dinner and was famous for the words he would say when he finished.
“These were his famous lines, he would always say it when someone fed him, ‘Thank you. That was delicious,” Tim fondly recalled.
“Didn’t matter if it was a bologna sandwich and plate of Kraft Dinner or lobster or Christmas dinner, he always said that.”
LeMoine also recalls that of her friend.
“Wouldn’t matter if you handed him a bucket of hockey pucks, he’d still say it was delicious,” she said.
A mechanical genius who could build anything, Playford once took a snow blower from someone’s heavy garbage trash and turned it into a working rototiller.
“He was smart like that,” said Tim.
Playford lived simply, with no TV or car, but he never said no to helping people around him.
“He helped everybody,” said Tim. “He was the most generous person you will ever meet.”
He added, “And the most present person. He lived in the moment. Didn’t care about the past or the future.”
“He was anything but simple but he lived that way,” LeMoine explained.
Both Tim and his sister say there were few in Iona who didn’t know and like Playford.
“He spent a lot of time with the older members of the community, learning from them,” remembered Tim. “He was 10 years old hanging out with 50 and 60 year olds, learning how to make lobster traps or learning from the mechanics.
“He was amazing. It’s too bad he was one of a kind.”
Even in his sadness, Tim is still happy to have been able to have so many years with his friend.
“I feel grateful I had this time with him… One day with him was a gift. I got to spend every day with him.”
Correction: The life of Daniel Playford was discussed throughout this article. His name was incorrectly spelled in an earlier version.