David Lundgren of Tucson, AZ, formerly of Elgin, TX, died peacefully and unexpectedly in his sleep on March 23, 2020.
His parents, Ralph and Nellie (Burmeister) Lundgren, were students at Lindsborg College in Kansas when David was born on May 13, 1954. When he was about four years old, the family moved back to Ralph’s hometown of Elgin where David grew up with his three brothers Randy, Brian, and Gary.
David had a wide circle of lifetime and newly minted friends. He was the bachelor of longest standing among his friends, several of whom did not make good on their promise to give $100 to whomever remained a bachelor the longest.
He played baseball and basketball in Elgin as a youth and he was a lifelong fan of major league baseball and college basketball. David was an excellent student and president of his senior class at Elgin High School. Thanks in large part to an untimely meeting between the MG he drove to San Marcos for class and the back end of a school bus, he didn’t finish a degree at Southwest Texas State University. That didn’t stop him from learning everything he needed to know about running a complicated agricultural business. He retired as general manager of Elgin Cotton Oil Mill, Inc. in 2004.
David volunteered with the Red Cross of Central Texas for several years. He was a member of First United Methodist Church in Elgin where he figured out how to record and publish the worship service onto their website. He did the same work for St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Tucson for more than ten years.
David taught himself digital photo-retouching and he never charged anyone for restoring a precious photograph. Not to be overly sentimental, he would occasionally remind folks that he could put them into a picture – and he could take them out.
David and his wife Martha first met at a bookstore in Austin. (That’s the story she told her family, anyway, and it’s mostly true.) She soon noticed how his interactions with young children and animals revealed the kindness, humor, and generosity that would make him a loving partner. And she was right. David and Martha married on June 22, 1998, in Fredericksburg, TX. They returned to Fredericksburg for their anniversary nearly every year until they moved to Tucson in 2008.
David was preceded in death by his father Ralph and his brother Gary. He is survived by his wife Martha, his mother Nellie of Austin, and his brothers and sisters-in-law Randy & Elisa Lundgren and Brian & Jamie Lundgren of Elgin, and his nephew Myles’s mother, Nicole Watkins. He loved the nieces and nephews he and Martha shared – Rex, Alex, Taylor, Chad, and Myles Lundgren, Marisa Williams, Jessica Lugo, Amanda Gottlieb, Rachel Buck, Katie Pelz, Sara Perez, James Buck, Theresa Lawrence, and Gwyn and Megan Emigh. Though he didn’t get to meet some of their spouses and partners or any of his great-nieces and great-nephews, he enjoyed getting to know them through photos and stories. He loved them all.
When you pause to take in a beautiful sunset, awaken to a coyote’s howl, or hit a perfect drive on a long par 4 remember that David loved those things, too.
His favorite scripture is told in three gospels. Some men carried their paralyzed friend to the top of a house. They cut a hole in the roof so they could lower him into the room where Jesus was teaching. When Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralyzed man “Son, your sins are forgiven . . . get up, take your mat and go home.”
Memorials may be made to Casa Maria Catholic Worker Community for their soup kitchen 401 East 26th Street, Tucson, AZ, 85713 or for immigration relief efforts through El Valle District UMC, c/o Susan Hellums, 4200 N McColl, McAllen, TX 78504.
Plans for memorial services in Tucson and in Elgin are pending until when we can all safely gather to celebrate David’s life.