In Memory

David Stein

David Stein

From:  Sarah (Sally) Kulber Blackman

Dear Torchy, I know I am very tardy in sending this to you, but I needed to arrive at a certain place in my sense of loss to be able to write and share this. If you feel it appropriate to post it on the class website, please do so. Thank you, Sarah Blackman (Sally Kulber) David Stein passed away on April 4, 2017 of complications from brain cancer in Josselin, Brittany, France where he had lived for more than fifteen years. His three children, now with families of their own, live in the States. David’s achievements were not of the large scale. But, while backpacking through Afghanistan during his college years he instructed a village in how to create an irrigation system without the use of electricity or having to carry buckets of water. He based it on his memory of a system he had seen illustrated at the Natural Museum of Science on a school field trip. He also lived and traveled the world, alone and with his young children, having the experiences of getting to know the riches of other cultures and the depths of his family. In France he lived on an island just outside a small village. He cultivated it into a garden paradise (I had the luck to visit there several times) which won prizes four years in a row, and the waterfalls that surrounded them carried a special music for David. Music was David’s passion, and he led a cathedral choir and two smaller choral groups, performing in ancient churches and abbeys all over the region. He was a marvelous cook, a welcoming and gracious host, an inventive thinker, a committed listener, a writer, someone who was willing to share his home, his emotions, his thoughts and his kindness. Meeting his neighbors I was struck by how all of them knew David so deeply, and felt they had a special connection with him. He was indeed a loving friend to those who were lucky enough to truly know him. 


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02/26/19 06:22 PM #3    

Gerry Biggin (Draeger)

I remember David from Ludlow elementry school then Woodbury and H.S. 

We weren't close friends, but I always thought he was sweet,shy and one of the smartest people I knew.

Sounds like he had an interesting and fulfilling life.

02/27/19 12:27 PM #4    

Carol Friedman (Bargar)

David was my first boyfriend in 7th grade at Woodbury. He gave me his ID bracelet to wear —a big heavy chain that fell off every time I moved my arm. He was the funniest, smartest, most creative guy I had ever met. I lost touch with him after high school, and am so saddened to hear of his passing. After reading how he spent his life, I see that his artistic passion for life remained, and he surely left fond memories with friends around the world.

02/28/19 09:43 AM #5    

Herbert Ascherman, Jr.

I remember David as a Smart Person. He excelled in every academic undertaking. 

I recall a brief conversation about grades. He said he'd rather receive and F than a C, commenting that he couldn't stand mediocrity. He wanted to be the best or the worst.

Strange, the memories we carry with us.

03/01/19 12:18 PM #6    

Burton Singerman

I remember David well. When I picture him I see his smile and his sweatshirt saying that Beethoven was the best as he sat on the grounds at the High School.I never argued that point with him.

I am grateful to hear he led such a fulfilling life never losing his love for and participation in music. 



03/02/19 03:09 PM #7    

Jeffrey Pollock (Pollock)

I thought David was the most crearive, free spirit in those buttoned -up years of the early 1960s.  I always thought he had an elfin quality that seemed to attract women at Shaker that I thought was enviable.  I was a Shakerite editor and he was Semanteme, which defined what kind of writing you wanted to do.   I am sorry I did not get to share the things Sarah Sally Kulber Blackman did with him,.   Her note about him was wonderful.

Jeffrey Pollock

Dallas, Texas

03/02/19 04:09 PM #8    

Nancy Livingston

I had very little interaction with David because he was a brainiac taking all kinds of courses I couldn't even dream about. Nary an AP course did I step foot in. Nevertheless I had a feeling that he was as kind as he was smart and was a friend to so many. The outpouring of love and friendship from our classmates upon learning of his death bears testament to that. I was particularly struck by Sally Kulber's message which was absolutely beautiful. Even a total stranger would feel the loss.

Nancy Livingston

03/03/19 12:19 PM #9    

Ronna Burger

I think everyone who knew David even a little recognized what a very special person he was, bound to carve out a path of his own.  Thank you, Sarah, for sharing a glimpse of how he fulfilled that, with a central place for beauty and imagination, intelligence and humor, friendship and love.


03/03/19 06:21 PM #10    

Bennett Tramer

Remember when David ran for President of Shaker High?  His campaign manager emerged from a basket like a snake being charmed, and then after her introduction David rode out on the auditorium stage on a tricycle. He alway traveled to a different drum and as other classmates have commented, tt's gratifying to learn he continued to live a creative and  giving life. I also remember during the National Anthem at some outdoor ceremony he and Earl Seidman walked around the track rather than standing with everyone in the bleachers. Ahead of his time (though I believe their protest then was about the bombs bursting miliatry imagery in the Anthem; they would have preferred imagery of peace and brotherhood).  Well, David will be sorely missed and lovingly remembered by those close to him, and even by those of us who hadn't seen him in decades.

12/01/19 08:13 PM #11    

Edward Torchy Smith

From:  Maya Stein

Hello! I am one of David's 3 children, and Sarah Blackman had forwarded the comments to this site. I wanted to say how grateful I am to read of my father through his former schoolmates' stories. How wonderful to know that the qualities my father exuded in his adult life were extensions of youth. Reading about him here, I see he was very much the man (and the father) I knew him to be. I suppose the more things change, the more they stay the same.

12/02/19 05:29 PM #12    

Barbara Horovitz (Brown)

I thought I had posted previously, but apparently I had not, as I don't see it on the page of comments about David. I had the luck to have experienced David's hospitality and a delicious meal, at his home in France. It was an amazing spot, on an island just off the mainland, that was flooded yearly and they would have to move all their first floor furniture up another level (aided by the town fire department, if I remember correctly). I believe his partner was the primary gardener, but they definitely had created their own piece of paradise there. I was not getting responses to emails, but never realized it was because David had succumbed to cancer. So sorry to learn this. He leaves a special memory for many of us. 

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