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David E. Svendsen

Mar 26, 1943 - Sep 25, 2017

David's Story

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Newton, Mass. - David E. Svendsen, 74, the beloved husband of Guna Svendsen and dearly cherished father of Dr. Sasha Svendsen, passed peacefully in his sleep on Monday, September 25, 2017. David is also survived by his sister, Judi Benson; and brother, Paul Svendsen and wife, Suzanne, of Bangor; and the nieces and nephews of the Svendsen and Benson families.
David was a son of Needham, Massachusetts, from birth and was treasured by his family and many friends. He poured his love and energy into service of the town and was widely recognized and welcomed by the community because of it. In his heart and soul, David was an educator who believed in building community through social activism. Most of all, David had a love for life and a special gift for sharing his passions with young people. He was a big thinker who lived large and truly believed that we could all make a difference, one person at a time ... and he was grateful to be one of those people.
He was a graduate of Needham High School, Class of 1961. He went on to captain the basketball team at the University of Maine, where he was also a member of the Owl and Skull honors societies, and served on many advisory and campus committees. Following graduation from UMaine, and as part of his commitment to public service, David enlisted in the Army National Guard, 262nd Combat Engineer Battalion, headquartered in Bangor, Maine. He holds the distinction of being the first and only instructor in the battalion's Character Guidance course. He went on to graduate work at Boston University and Harvard University.
Visiting hours will be held at Eaton Funeral Home, 1351 Highland Ave., Needham, on Thursday, October 5, from 4-8 p.m. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend. A memorial celebration of David's life will follow on Friday, October 6, at 11 a.m. at The Congregational Church of Needham, 1154 Great Plain Ave., Needham. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider Engaging Schools (www.engagingschools.org), formerly known as ESR. For full obit, directions or to share a memory of David, please visit www.eatonfuneralhomes.com.
Published on  September 30, 2017
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