David C. Fahrenkrug, age 64, passed away at his home on August 3, 2020. Dave was grateful he could take one last trip to the woods with family. After a weekend toasting pudgy pies on the fire and watching his girls play on the lake, he came home just in time to take one final nap. There’s never a good time for goodbye, but his timing was impeccable.
Dave was born to Carl and Ione (Christian) Fahrenkrug in Neenah, WI. Other than a brief stint in Tampa, Fl he had been a lifelong resident of the Fox Valley.
David was preceded in death by his father, Carl. He is survived by his mother, Ione; his wife of 39 years, Cindy (O’Neil); sons, Brendan and Ryan; his three granddaughters: Daydrie, Lana and Harper; his siblings: Michael (Donna), Kathryn, Patricia (Michael Anderson), Steve (Jean), Donald (Julie); Barb (Dave Clausen); Tom (Paula); Brian (Marilyn); Jim (Lisa) and a plethora of nieces and nephews, and countless cousins.
Some friends know Dave from his work at Wisconsin Tissue Mills (SCA), where he used his hands and problem-solving skills to fix paper machines. He loved it when someone would walk through the shop and throw something on the bench in need of tinkering. He retired after 42 years of what his colleagues would call “mostly” devoted service.
Many friends know Dave for his passion for playing with wood. Dave learned woodworking in his father’s basement, and it became a life-long pursuit. Many hours were spent in his garage, where he honed his skills “making boxes” to fill his home with craftsman-quality furniture. His garage was used more than the living room for entertaining friends. The beer just tastes better with the smell of fresh-sawn hardwoods. Once Cindy had enough bookcases to hold her personal library, he turned his attention to lathe work, creating beautiful wood bowls and rolling pins. He never tired of making sawdust!
Most friends know Dave for his love of the water. He acquired a small fleet: first, a tri-hull party barge for water skiing; then, refinishing a Dunphy for classic family boat rides. As his sons grew, he needed more options for fishing, so he found a MirroCraft painted to match his van (that was for Cindy!) and added a few canoes. He moved into sailing with a 22’ Catalina, which gave him the space to take dear friends along for the ride. So many good days on the lake! The water brought out the best in Dave: from fishing trips to quiet paddles to cocktail cruises. Everyone wanted to be in the boat with Dave.
We will remember Dave for his dry wit, his penchant for a joke–appropriate or otherwise!–his talent as a chef, and his fierce loyalty to his family and his friends. He cared deeply for their happiness and well-being, so he freely shared his wisdom. Friends were advised not to flip the hashbrowns nor mushrooms too soon, never poke the campfire, and to be ready with the net…just in case. But his best advice was “Just go!” Life will hand us many reasons to find comfort in a Lazy Boy, but we’ll have better stories to tell after getting out there for a day of sailing, a weekend communing with nature, or a walk out to the sap shack. It doesn’t always end well, but that’s living!
Friends will gather to say goodbye to Dave on Wednesday, September 9, at the Whiting Boathouse, 98 Fifth Street in Neenah, WI from 6:00-9:00pm. Please bring your fondest memories and stories to share. In lieu of flowers, take a kid fishing, cook a feast for your family and friends, play with power tools, or donate to the American Cancer Society.