Cover photo for David John Lundquist's Obituary
David John Lundquist Profile Photo
1950 David 2024

David John Lundquist

April 20, 1950 — May 9, 2024

New Castle

David John Lundquist, 74, of New Castle, IN, achieved his final glorious rest on May 9th, 2024. He earned it.

 

Born April 20, 1950 in Chicago to the saintly Lowell and Jennie Lundquist, David grew up in the suburb of Oak Lawn, IL, in a post-war neighborhood teeming with children to play with. Around the corner from his childhood home lived the rascally John Poorman, whose friendship, pranks, and antics David would recount over the years to family and friends, laughing so hard he could barely catch his breath.

The Lundquists of Oak Lawn, IL were a pious family, holding regular family Bible readings, devotions, and hymn singing in the quiet evenings. The family memorizations of old hymns (ALL the verses!) certainly fed David’s lifelong love of an eloquent phrase and evocative image. The moral instruction of these evenings were something David would return to often in his life. And for the rest of his days, he would continue to glean lessons for a good and honest (and joyful!) life from literature, film, theater, and music. This application of moral instruction from art towards life would become a hallmark of his future career as an English teacher.

In 1968, David matriculated at Olivet Nazarene College in Kankakee, IL, where he wrote for the school newspaper (The Glimmerglass), majored in English Education, was only expelled once, and charmed many young scholars into a lifetime of friendship. Ever drawn to the incorrigibly ornery, one of these lifelong friends was Rick Huffman. Rick and Dave’s shenanigans were yet another rich fount of tales, told by David many times over in the coming years, always with his trademark riotous laughter.

At Olivet he also met his true love, future wife and mother to his three kids, Marsha Kinser of New Castle. Saint Marsha. Dear, sweet Marsha. Although they ran in the same friend circles in college, it was not until after graduation, on a fateful drive from Kankakee to Kansas City, that they fell in love. Shortly afterward, having met and fallen in love also with each other’s strong tight-knit families, they were wed in 1975.

Although he was always a Chicagoan to his deepest core, from his accent and appetites to his outsized personality, and on to his love for (and exasperation with) the Cubbies, Dave in time became an honorary small-town Indiana boy. He happily followed his beloved Marsha to New Castle, IN. He easily fell right into the rhythms and familiarity of small-town living, and it took no time for David and Marsha to start their family. All three of his kids went to New Castle High School, and he watched all of their games, plays, and concerts. For ten years he was the loudest cheerleader for the Trojan Marching Band, and always happy to help with any volunteer or fundraising work for the band. He attended First Bible Free Will Baptist, where he taught children’s church. He attended weekly “Coffee Club” meetings with Ed Tarantino, usually at Bill’s Diner. He organized concerts to give his boys’ bands a place to play. He knew no stranger and he tipped well. He was an enthusiastic supporter of Young Life.

Also in New Castle, he was a weekend stringer at the Courier Times. He covered Henry County high school sports and was proud of a weekly column he co-authored with Tom Woodward (Woody) called “Dave and Woody On Hoops.” He gave away most of the pay he earned from his Courier work for school fundraisers, yearbooks and dance costs and SAT registration fees for students who couldn’t afford them, and meals and snickerdoodles for friends and students.

While New Castle was the only Indiana town David ever lived in, he earned his true small-town Hoosier bonafides as a teacher of English at Lincoln High School in Cambridge City for 37 years. It is difficult to quantify his impact there, but we’ll let two former students share in their own words. The late Jody (Pruitt) LaMont wrote in her I-STAR teacher nomination: “Mr. Lundquist is not just an English teacher with remarkable writing and speaking skills, he is also an educator of life. He speaks to students as though they are his equals. He reaches out to them on their own level and then listens to what they have to say. He instructed me to do things for others, to go out of my way to make others feel special. My high school memories are so much better because I’ve known the funniest, most interesting, and generous man. For all he’s shared and given me, I can honestly say I don’t admire anyone more than Mr. Lundquist. I only had Mr. Lundquist as an instructor for one year, but he changed my life forever.”

And from beloved student Mark Helmsing at a retirement “roast” in 2012: “At the risk of putting myself out of a job, I would argue that 99% of what we do in colleges of education could be instantly replaced and outsourced by having all student teachers shadow Mr. Lundquist and do what he has done so wonderfully all through his career. No methods class, no teaching manual, no licensure test could assess and explain his craft as a teacher… My rough calculations conservatively estimate you’ve taught about 7,000 students in your career. 7,000 young lives who have been poised to speak, and listen, and read, and write, and create, and feel in new ways about their futures and their lives. Mr. Lundquist, your hard work has filled your life with abundant meaning for so many of us. You are very worthy of rest. And although you’ll no longer be bellowing about rhymed couplets and iambic pentameter from your classroom in that long, overcast hallway on Parkway Avenue, your worth will still be everywhere around us.”

Among the proud bereaved: his wife of almost 49 years Marsha Kinser Lundquist, sons Matt (Emily) of Bloomington, IN, and Jon (Alexa) of Columbus, OH, and daughter Mary (Lucas) Thomas of Lexington, KY. He was a proud Pa to his six grandchildren Evelyn Lundquist (15), Carter Thomas (12), Calvin Thomas (10), Cooper Thomas (6), Colson Thomas (4), and Chance Thomas (1). His siblings Dan (Loni), Lois, and Paul (Lisa) live in the Chicago area, and his brothers-in-law Doug (Jennifer) and Dennis (Jenny) Kinser survive him as well. His friend Gary Geyer needs a new concert buddy.

He was preceded in death by his parents Lowell and Jennie Lundquist, parents-in-law Marshall and Dorothy Kinser, older sister Grace Washburn, nieces Annie Washburn and Rachel VanVuren, and nephew Philip Boerema.

In lieu of flowers (he never cared for them anyway), the family requests contributions be made to the Dave Lundquist Scholarship Fund at the Wayne County (Indiana) Foundation. Dave dedicated his career to education, and this fund will continue to support Lincoln High School and its students. Please make checks payable to the Wayne County Foundation, 33 S. 7th St., Richmond, IN 47374 or online at www.waynecountyfoundation.org

The funeral service will be at 3:30 p.m. (doors open at 2:30 p.m.) on Friday, May 24th at First Bible Free Will Baptist Church in New Castle. In addition, the Dave Lundquist Memorial Hootenanny will be held at the big shelterhouse in Memorial Park from 10-2 on Saturday, May 25th. Music starts at 11. A taco bar will be provided. You are welcome to bring a side or dessert to share, if you are able.

 

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Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Funeral Service

Friday, May 24, 2024

3:30 - 4:30 pm (Eastern time)

First Bible Free Will Baptist Church

2302 Spring Street, New Castle, IN 47362

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Memorial Gathering

Saturday, May 25, 2024

10:00am - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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