Hames and colleague Dan Woolley were working for the Colorado Springs-based nonprofit, which fights child poverty, when the earthquake hit Jan. 12. Hames' body was found in the lobby of the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince, where the two had been walking, group spokesman Stephan Archer said.
As the hotel's walls collapsed, Woolley made his way in the dark to an elevator shaft. He was rescued after spending 60 hours there. His injuries included a 9-inch gash on his leg.
Woolley, also of Colorado Springs, said he knew instantly Hames had died but wanted to hold out hope. He said he grapples sometimes with why he survived.
"It's hit me a few times over the last few weeks," Woolley told The Gazette on Tuesday. "I try not to dwell on the fact that I'm here and he's not."
Archer called Hames an invaluable contractor and said he was loved by many. Hames is survived by his wife and two children.
Compassion International's video production manager, Ric Sieben, was to go to Haiti with Hames and Woolley but was unable to because of schedule changes.
"If I could trade places, I would in a heartbeat, but that's all living in a fantasy world," Sieben said Wednesday.
He said Hames loved being involved with his kids and his church. "David was an incredibly positive person. He had an outstanding sense of humor, and he loved life," Sieben said. "He approached everything with a sense of enthusiasm and joy."
Sieben said he had traveled with Hames before.
"His enthusiasm about seeing different countries, meeting new people, sharing his life with them - I'm going to miss him greatly."
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)