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David Michael McDargh

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Private Service

McDargh, David Michael, 78, was born June 1st, 1939, to Kenneth (Shandu) and Lucille McDargh. His distinctive view of life and his tremendous compassion was formed, to a great extent, by his loving family. These qualities also owe something to the “extended family” that lived nearby; the 40 nuns who lived on the left side of the family residence and the priests who occupied the rectory on the other side. David’s life was shaped by this location from an early age. Looking through the bars of his crib, he could see the striking beauty of the stained-glass windows of St. Raphael. As a toddler, David and his sister, Patty, would play on the church grounds. In 1946, he was invited to be baptized Catholic, a moment that put him on a path to many cherished life events. David graduated from Catholic Central High School in 1957 and went on to study for the priesthood at the Athenaeum of Ohio. He spoke fondly of his days in the seminary and the camaraderie he shared with classmates. He returned to Springfield to teach in the Catholic school system, first at his sponsoring parish, St. Raphael, then at St. Mary, and finally at St. Teresa. It was there, at Father Collins' request, David developed the St. Teresa Boys Choir. He was extremely proud of his student's musical accomplishments, and to this day friends will recall the choir’s appearance on the Bob Braun Show or mention that they still have their vinyl album, “The Joys of My Youth.” David developed a lot of close relationships in the St. Teresa family, and he often referred to his teaching experience there as “teaching in Disneyland” because everything was so perfect. When school would let out for the summer, he was known for loading up his VW van and taking students all over the country for many weeks at a time. In the mid-1970’s, David’s compassion and skills at mentoring led him to work with delinquent and troubled youth, starting at the Clark County Juvenile Court and later operating Madison Avenue Group Home. David and his dedicated friend Jeanine Reiter worked tirelessly for many years changing the lives of many young men. In addition to his direction of the choir and his outreach efforts with at-risk youth, David operated Yorke Galleries just off High Street. He enjoyed being the Gertrude Stein of Springfield, bringing together artists, poets, and other free spirits to share the excitement of creating. This Renaissance man also catered events in the early 1980’s, and when David realized he enjoyed creating décor more than preparing food, he co-founded Ambience Event Design. For close to 25 years, he grew a unique business devoted entirely to designing and building decor for corporate and social functions in the Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati markets. The successful combination of David’s adventurous spirit and just a dash of naiveté’ helped to bring to fruition, an unusual business - one that should never have worked in Springfield -actually prosper. David had a passion for traveling Europe and the U.S., but he also loved Springfield and the friendships he established here. His Irish wit and gift for late-night storytelling are already missed, and they will continue to be in the days, months, and years to come. David is survived by his soul mate, business partner, and companion of 37 years Rick Benning. His sisters, Patty and Elwood McCutcheon of Florida, Lucinda and James Myer of North Carolina, Vicki Conley of Enon, and Catherine McDargh and Jo Terrell of Oregon, and numerous nephews, nieces, and dedicated friends. David is preceded in death by life-long friend Jeanine Reiter. A celebration of David’s life is planned for his 79th birthday on June 1, 2018.
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I regret that the St Teresa Boys Choir album "The Joy of My Youth" didn't get the Grammy nomination it deserved, but the young Dave McDargh did bring joy, creativity, humor playfulness, intellectual curiosity, as well as a certain drama, into the St Teresa school that wouldn't have been there otherwise. A true, dedicated educator and a larger than life character. Since I haven't seen him in 40 years, thats the crystalized memory I have of him.

- Mark Coffey, Saturday January 27th, 2018

I haven’t seen Dave in a long time, but I still think of him, and how creative and fun he was. He will be missed by many friends.

- Ann Armstrong, Sunday January 21st, 2018

I taught with David at Saint Teresa He make a lasting impact on my life. RIP David and thank you.

- Pat Emery-Sullivan , Sunday January 21st, 2018

David was a classmate of mine at ST.Raphaels and graduated with him from Catholic Central. .one of the nicest and most sincere person any one could know...may your memories in Springfield always be rememered...you will be missed David.... RIP.....

- Pat Newell Geron, Saturday January 20th, 2018

Mr. McDargh was a memorable teacher! We were all blessed by his efforts in our music program and in the classroom. Thank you Mr. McDargh. God be with you.

- Terri Murphy Day, Saturday January 20th, 2018

Rest in peace David. You lived your life, walking to the beat of a different drum, but held in your heart the lives of everyone you came in contact with. Your inspiration, to others, was a true talent. Your obituary tells the true story of who you were, and how you traveled through life, a life well lived and enjoyed. Rest in peace, my friend. And, as you used to sing on many occasions, the hymn, LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH. You sang that, per my request, at Curt's baptism, at St. Teresa Church in 1975. Still one of the families favorite songs. I am sure you are now singing with the choirs of angels in heaven. Mick Pavelka, Peoria, Illionis

- Mick Pavelka, Saturday January 20th, 2018

May his memory be eternal as he rests with the angels.

- Visha Ritter, Friday January 19th, 2018

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