Sunday, January 28, 2024

Celebration of life

Yesterday we celebrated my little brother's life. It wasn't a "memorial service," it wasn't a "funeral," and "celebration of life," like it is used so much, in this case, was not a euphemism. It was exactly that - a celebration. But there were some other things it was not, and should not be confused with. It was not a party. It was not anything anyone was exactly looking forward to. It was not intended to provide any kind of closure, but it probably did do that for some. The word, "celebration," has many connotations, but in this case, we did celebrate.

There were a few tears, but more laughs. There were lots of stories, most I've heard, but a few I
have not, and some managed to surprise me. It was an occasion that was as unique as the person it honored. It kind of had to be. Anyone who knew Dave, knows me and my father, likely was not surprised by the nature of the occasion. Many learned a lot about who he was from a much more intimate perspective - that was by design, but regarding what was included, and, more specifically, what was not, no one should have been at all surprised.

We are not religious people. Not remotely. Speaking for myself, it goes well beyond that, but let's just say the apple, in that respect, did not fall far from the tree. My point here is not a treatise into pro or anti religion. I don't care what anyone believes so long as it doesn't harm anyone else. Period. My brother's service did not have any trappings of any religion - it wasn't "non-denominational" or "multi-denomination" or even "all-inclusive" in that all beliefs were somehow written in. None were. No, they were not denounced, either. It wasn't an "atheistic" celebration, it was just a celebration that did not "go there." Not there, and not over there, either. All of "all that," all of it, was left out. In fact, it was never let in to be left out.

And it didn't need to be there. It was perfect just the way it was. We celebrated my brother and his life, and it was him - only him - that was the focus of our attention. Beliefs or lack thereof were never mentioned, never part of it, never necessary, never given a thought... never missed. And when it's my time, those in charge of whatever y'all decide to do, here are my official wishes: First, I officially don't care, I'll be dead. Second, if you do do something, do it just like David's was yesterday; I'll be cool with it.

Tuesday, January 02, 2024

David Craig Althouse

David Craig Althouse was born on November 17, 1964, at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City and passed quietly in his sleep at Sonora Community Hospital on December 26, 2023. He grew up in Los Altos, CA and spent the final 20+ years of his life living unencumbered by the trappings of the modern world on the shores of Lake Tulloch in Copperopolis, CA.


At just 59 years old, David lived a storied life. While still just 17 years old, he secured a job on the Mississippi River working the river barges up and down the river. Although he suffered an injury that resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the knee, it did not slow him down. He was most at home near a body of water, on a boat and, often, with a fishing pole in his hand.


His passion for critters was also well known. While he had many dogs over his life, he also cared for various other exotic animals and it was not uncommon to see him with a python draped around his neck, or, when he was a boy, a blue belly or alligator lizard he found in the neighborhood or at Adobe Creek, tucked away in his pocket.


David, in a bygone time, would have been a true frontiersman, a trailblazer, an explorer, a discoverer and an inventor. He would make use of anything, repurpose everything; nothing, and, perhaps most importantly, no one was worthless to him. For those he loved and cared for, his loyalty was unmatched, and he was generous to a fault.


He loved the Grateful Dead, Mardi Gras and, in addition to his time working on the Mississippi River, spent much of his time in Louisiana and Mississippi on the Gulf Coast – fishing, crabbing, and exploring.

David is survived by a large loving family, including his parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, neighbors, many pets over the years, and most recently by his beloved rescue dog, Benji.


A celebration of life will be held in the Garden House at Shoup Park in Los Altos on January 27, 2024 at 4:30 p.m. – all are welcome. In lieu of flowers, David would appreciate that donations at a local animal rescue of your choice are made in his honor.