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Thank you for your love and support. Please share your best story about Dave or post a favorite picture. We love hearing about the many, many lives he touched.


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Memories & Candles

“Dave was one of a kind he was a quiet man but a good friend we did not talk much in the winter months but come spring and summer we would see each...Read More »
1 of 19 | Posted by: Rick Schreiner - Kimmell, IN

“I too, was a classmate of Dave's at CCHS. We were both into Chicago and Blood, Sweat and Tears, before anybody else. Rest in peace fellow musician. ”
2 of 19 | Posted by: Peter Derheimer - Seville,Spain

“My family owns the property next to Dave's. I enjoyed listening to the jam sessions that came regularly from Dave's house. Really sorry to hear of...Read More »
3 of 19 | Posted by: Barry Mooney - Ormas, IN - Friend

“Dave was a very kind and inspiring person. I knew him from the open stage community at Toast n Jam and Firefly coffeehouses, where he shared his...Read More »
4 of 19 | Posted by: Emily Bender Murphy - Syracuse, NY

“Dave & I sat the bench in basketball for too many CCHS games. Great memories from ski trips and a road trip to Toronto. Camping on cliffs, driving a...Read More »
5 of 19 | Posted by: Tim Hake - Fort Wayne, IN

“God called Home one of His Earth Angels. Always in my heart. Bless you David. ”
6 of 19 | Posted by: R. D. Ryf - Columbia City, IN

“Dave was always very kind to me.I remember he once brought me a huge bag of basil.My whole house smelled amazing!He was my friend.But what I'm even...Read More »
7 of 19 | Posted by: Laura Church - Corby England

“To the family, may you be comforted during this difficult time of sorrow and pain. (Psalms 143:3) ”
8 of 19 | Posted by: BM

“You shall always be remembered as kind soul that would leave you with a smile on your face. A simple man yet grand, DaveBob, I am not good with...Read More »
9 of 19 | Posted by: Julia Reinhart - Leo, IN - Friend

“Dave was a staple at the Come2Go open mic nights. I helped him work the acts on and off the stage. A terrific guy and excellent musician. He will...Read More »
10 of 19 | Posted by: Dave and Janer Baker - Fort Wayne, IN

“Dave, I love the "in lieu of flowers" choices! May we all try to live mindfully and carefully and joyfully on the earth, as you did. ”
11 of 19 | Posted by: Karen Kartholl

“Dave and I were great friends growing up. He was one of the smartest guys I ever knew. We lost touch like people do, but you had a remarkable friend...Read More »
12 of 19 | Posted by: Tom O'Dowd - Wayne, IL

“My kids and I met Dave while playing away with his Possum Trot friends at the 3 River's Co-op one evening while out on a bike ride during a very...Read More »
13 of 19 | Posted by: James Ringswald - Fort Wayne, IN

“So sad. My husband, myself, my daughters and grandchildren enjoyed going to hear Dave play with Possum Troy. We will miss him. ”
14 of 19 | Posted by: Sally Dominguez-St John - IN

“Dave had so many interesting things to say -- both verbally and musically. I always enjoyed the conversations.Fare thee well, friend, fare thee well. ”
15 of 19 | Posted by: Judy Wertenberger - Fort Wayne, IN

“I will always cherish my childhood good times with Dave at family functions. May he rest in peace and my thoughts and prayers to his siblings, my...Read More »
16 of 19 | Posted by: Alan Kartholl - Fishkill, NY

“I will miss he sweet smile and sense of humor. ”
17 of 19 | Posted by: Connie Shaw - Fort Wayne, IN

“Dave was the reason I started playing the mandolin. A great musician I loved jamming with. Jam on dave. ”
18 of 19 | Posted by: bob shenfeld - fort wyne, IN

“I am so sorry, Dave gave us so much with his music, I wish I had more to share but my love. He too will always be loved, and missed. ”
19 of 19 | Posted by: Jeremy Brubaker - Ft. Wayne, IN

David W. Kartholl, 62, died on February 10, 2017, in Fort Wayne. He was born on December 3, 1954, in Fort Wayne where he lived until the mid-1980s when he moved to his property in Noble County. He attended Central Catholic High School until it closed in 1972, and then graduated from Bishop Luers High School in 1973.

Dave was a unique, self-sufficient man who chose a simple lifestyle; he called himself a "professional camper". First and foremost he was a talented musician, even though he worked many different kinds of jobs throughout his life. He was self-taught on an array of stringed instruments and was renowned for his skill on the mandolin. He was a member of several well-known local bands over the decades, most recently Possum Trot Orchestra, Clusterfolk, and the Grateful Groove. Dave also taught guitar and mandolin at Fort Wayne Community Schools.

In the last few years, Dave rediscovered his passion (and skill) for playing golf and regularly beat his brothers in the game. In his younger days, he enjoyed playing volleyball and became an avid and knowledgeable fan, which would have really pleased his father. Dave played grade school basketball, and he loved following high school and college teams. He loved amateur sports because, "The pros make too much money."

Dave and nature were a team. He enjoyed cross country skiing, swimming in Lake Michigan, and walking the beach. His property fed him, physically and spiritually. He grew his own food and canned it. Many of his friends and family were brought beautiful bouquets from the flowers he grew. Dave kept his property park-like, he walked it daily and waited for trees to fall to become firewood.

Dave was preceded in death by his parents, John C. and Nona Jean (Zang) Kartholl. He is survived by his siblings, Steven R. Kartholl of Sarasota, FL, Vicki J. (Joachim) Peters of Palatine, IL, and Daniel F. (Cheryl) Kartholl of Fort Wayne, his very special friend Susie Norton of Brown County, his uncle Robert E. Zang of Southern Pines, NC, his five nieces and nephews along with their spouses, and his 4 great nieces and nephews. Beyond his family, Dave was like a brother, uncle, and nephew to those within his wide circle of friends.

Dave was a thoughtful and caring man. He really loved his friend Susie, and cared for her well. Just as he set a good example with his way of living, Dave did the same with his way of leaving this world. His response to his pancreatic cancer diagnosis was simply, "It is what it is," and his attitude was consistently positive, calm, and accepting, with his sense of humor never failing him—or those whose paths he crossed. We will all miss him dearly.

His funeral service will be at 10:30 am, Friday, February 17, 2017, at D.O. McComb & Sons Covington Knolls Funeral Home, 8325 Covington Road. Calling will take place one hour prior to the service. Calling will also be on Thursday, February 16, 2017, from 3:00 - 9:00 pm at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, donations to Smiley's Winter Street Garden, or Miss Virginia's Mission House, or Planned Parenthood. To sign the online guest book, go to

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