David Bruce Loveless January 4, 1926 - July 24, 2020

David Bruce Loveless

January 4, 1926 - July 24, 2020

Age 94, was born in Warren, Ohio and lived an extraordinary life. His interests, and talents, were wide ranging and he pursued them with an infectious enthusiasm, creativity, curiosity, and confidence in his abilities. He loved his work designing and building houses, furniture, teaching, drawing and writing, creating art in many media, and worked into his nineties. The youngest of three, he was raised both in Warren, Ohio and on a farm in nearby West Farmington amidst a large extended family. He absorbed his mother’s rich knowledge of plants and agriculture, studied the local fauna, and became a life-long naturalist. The Depression forged within him its ethos of frugality, self-reliance, and set him on his life’s path never afraid to endure hardship and take chances. On his 18th birthday in January 1944, he followed his older brother and cousins into the armed forces, enlisting in the Navy V-5 pilot program. He’d completed early training in Bethany, West Virginia and was awaiting flight school but victory ended the War first and he was released in September 1945. He worked his way through college, starting at Kent State, transferring to UC Berkeley and then California College of Arts and Crafts, graduating in 1952. By that time, he’d worked over a decade: milking cows and caring for livestock and the gardens on the farm, in a factory converted to producing brass shells for navy cannons, in the post office, taking down trees, in a pipe factory threading pipe, and at many more jobs. But his education and degree in Arts and Crafts with a Teaching Certificate freed him to work in areas that fueled his creativity thereafter. In 1949 he married Virginia Neufeld who was also studying at UC Berkeley and CCAC, and the next summer they hitchhiked throughout Europe, a life-changing experience. In August 52 they were hired at Stillwater Cove Ranch School for Boys on the northern coast of California, where David taught history, literature, biology, was unofficially the ranch manager, set up work programs, cut firewood, took the boys riding every morning on the ranch’s 17 horses, and often camping under the redwoods, fished and caught abalone with them, gathered apples with them from abandoned orchards and made cider with the old ranch press, and gave them all haircuts every month. He built a four-truck garage with logs he cut, sided with scrap redwood slabs from the near-by sawmill. The beautiful, wild ocean, cliffs, fields, and woods provided the richest classroom and they studied everything from bees to whales. This experience cemented his approach to teaching, parenting, and living, wherever he was and for the rest of his days. In 1955 David was hired to set up a workshop and teach arts and crafts at the Austen Riggs Center, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He drove his family across the country in a station wagon and trailer with all they had, and started his career in the arts. The shop he created became central to the Riggs experience, with areas for jewelry and lapidary, ceramics, woodworking and carving, weaving, welding, painting, and theater, and David taught and ran the groundbreaking program for 17 years. During this time he pursued his own art, winning awards for his furniture, metalwork, jewelry, and photography. He also began designing houses. In 1972 David was remarried to Joan Sihvonen, a weaver from New Mexico and author of Three Weavers. He designed and built houses, eventually building them in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Colorado, and New Mexico. In 1987 they moved to Taos, and he embraced the land and cultures, built in adobe, immersed himself in the flora and fauna of the high plateau and forested mountains. He fished and adventured far and wide with his son Keith and family. He always had a workshop where he worked mostly in wood, building furniture and sculpting. As always, too, he gardened, planted fruit trees, cooking and preserving what he grew. After “retiring” in their seventies, David and Joan moved to Taos Retirement Village where they made many dear friends among staff and residents. He thrived there, building a park, sharing his sculptures, designing and building his casita, joining the writers’ group, and sharing fruit from his trees. He continued designing and building, often in collaboration with Keith and grandson Tyler who are also life-long builders and designers. Sometime after losing Joan to cancer in 2009 he met Wilma Bates who became his life partner and they enjoyed travelling in Europe and in the US from coast to coast. In his sixties, in 1990 David began what became a thirty-year long project. He became intrigued with and adept at the drawing program on his Amiga computer. And from his imagination flowed some 40 illustrated children’s stories, all about a cat named Poko, who bears a remarkable resemblance to his creator in his insatiable curiosity and ability to make what his mind thinks up. In his late 80’s and early 90’s, David self-published these delightful stories in eight books under the pen name David Bruce. He provided his children with the richest learning environments, profoundly influencing them - he was loved and will be greatly missed. He leaves behind son, Keith Loveless and his wife Lorelei, grandchildren, Tyler Loveless and his wife, Ashley, and Teresa Loveless and great granddaughter, Elseda, all of Arroyo Seco; daughter, Barbara Postel and grandsons, Rafael and Sam and his wife Julian and great grandsons, Shohei and Yuji, all of the San Francisco Bay Area; daughter, Amy Loveless of West Stockbridge, Massachusetts; daughters, Kimry Sihvonen Griffen of Taos; and Jennifer Sihvonen of Arroyo Seco and granddaughter, Rochelle Gaspard Rochon and her wife Denae and great granddaughter, Adley Joan of Beaumont, Texas. David is predeceased by his brother, Charles Loveless, sister, Barbara Lockwood, an infant son, Kevin, son, Connor Sihvonen, Virginia N. Loveless, Joan S. Loveless, and Wilma Bates. Arrangements by Rivera Family Funeral Home, Taos.  To share a memory, please visit our website at www.riverafuneralhome.com

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