David Koestler
David Koestler
David Koestler

Obituary of David Charles Koestler

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David Charles Koestler passed away early on December 1, 2022 at the Hospicare Residence in Ithaca, NY from a recurrence of brain cancer. David was born August 19,1967 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania and grew up in Strafford, PA as the youngest of three children. He graduated from Conestoga High School in 1985, and went on to study at Boston University as well as University of Texas at Austin, before receiving his B.A. in philosophy from Temple University. He received his M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, and later, finished all of the coursework for a second master’s in Marriage Family Therapy at Syracuse University. A relentlessly cheerful man, David made friends wherever he went. He spent a number of years living in Santa Barbara, CA and Olympia, WA and enjoyed trips to Hawaii and Greece during his graduate studies. His various adventures -- living in the Rugby Road house, backpacking–from the alpine meadows of Mount Rainer’s Wonderland Trail the bottom of the Grand Canyon–attending Outward Bound, and even following the Grateful Dead across the country– -- were the source of lifelong friends and stories that he treasured dearly. In his professional career as a family therapist, David was proud of the work he did with adolescents and their families. He enjoyed taking a creative approach that stressed the importance of storytelling in communication and personal understanding. He was a 4-H Challenge facilitator and was very enthusiastic about using experiential education with families. When he worked for Washington State Cooperative Extension, he co-authored the curriculum “Family Night Out! 4-H Portable Challenge for Families”. David had a deep rooted love of music and stories that he cultivated his whole life. He sang, played the guitar, bass, Ukulele, and sometimes even the drums. He was part of many bands over the years, including “The Flunk School”, “Lateral Drift” and “We’re Fred and You’re Not.” He was also an enthusiastic reader, and cited Campbell’s “Hero with a Thousand Faces” as a major influence on his personal philosophies on the power of narrative. He maintained a strong interest in sci-fi and fantasy as well, from Lord of the Rings and Battlestar Galactica, to more recently, Stranger Things. Like most of his family, David felt a special affinity for cats and plants: his cat Io moved with him across the country, from Ithaca to the west coast -- and back to Ithaca, many years later. He became a homeowner in 2009, after his initial brain cancer surgery, when he purchased a house in Locke, NY, just 20 minutes from Ithaca. He loved puttering around his home and garden with Io as his companion. David brought his keen sense of humor, his sharp intellect, his beautiful voice and music, and his enormous heart into every moment of his life. David believed in the power of care, from his work as a therapist and family counselor, to the way he brought people together through friendship and music; he was a healer, a seeker, a friend to so many. He was deeply loved and will be missed by all of us. David is survived by many friends and his parents, Robert & Sally Koestler; his sisters, Jane Koestler (Jim Karpinski) and Julie (Marc) Pinsonneault; his nieces & nephews, Madeline (Paul) Nolan, Max Pinsonneault & fiancee Brianne Sterzinar, Elizabeth Karpinski (Sam Young), Robert Karpinski & Maggie Deng. A memorial service is planned for 10:30 am on January 7, 2023 at the First Unitarian Society in Ithaca, NY. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to Hospicare & Palliative Care Services (www.hospicare.org) or a charity of your choice.
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Memorial Service

10:30 am
Saturday, January 7, 2023
First Unitarian Society
306 N. Aurora Street
Ithaca, New York, United States
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David Koestler

In Loving Memory

David Koestler

1967 - 2022

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