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Obituary: David V. Needham

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David V. Needham

David V. Needham

David V. Needham, age 70, of Franklin died Wednesday, January 5, 2022.

In the depths of a snowstorm on January 3, 1952, David’s mother Evelyn was ferried uphill in the family car by his father Clarence’s tractor. They made it safely to the hospital in Prairie du Chien, WI and David was brought into the world on that wintry day.

David’s character was instilled by his formative years on the family farm, nestled in a Hickory Oak cleft at the top of Cass Hollow where he diligently tended to the dairy cows, pilfered mugs of half-frozen raw milk from the reservoir and picked spring wildflowers behind the barn for his angelic mother, whom he loved dearly. David was raised in the Castle Rock Lutheran Church, a bucolic country chapel just up the road from the farm. Perched on a hill and embraced by a land familiar to those immigrants seeking solace for their longing of their native Norway. It was here that David’s spiritual life was inculcated and his love of music budded, and where David would face stiff competition from his grandfather Olaf for best singer in the church.

David’s ambition dispatched him from Cass Hollow and after earning his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse he built an illustrious career in the car business. While David certainly loved cars, the business was more so a means to an end, for David was first and foremost in the people business. His kind and caring nature, humility and work ethic were paramount to his success. David didn’t necessarily have customers and direct reports so much as he had a flock to which he lovingly tended. For if one bought a car from David, there was no distinction between a pauper or prince, and if one worked for David, loyalty was the primary motivator rather than fear.

David adored his three children, for whom he would do anything at a moment’s notice. Family trips were frequent and action-packed. Whether crying “where’s my mommy” to hop the line at Splash Mountain or permitting the extension of a layover in Amsterdam so his high school-aged sons could explore the city, David would get a fair kick out of his kids’ mischief. More recently however, hiking excursions with his adult sons brought him great joy, including the Bartram Trail in Nantahala Forest and Molas Pass in the San Juans within the past year. 

David is survived by his three children, Nathan, Jeremy (Marc Korobkin) and Melissa, and by his three siblings, Sharon (Dan) Turner, Douglas (Carol) and Angela. Interment at Castle Rock Lutheran Cemetery, Fennimore, WI. Private burial services. A celebration of life is planned for the weekend of April 23/24, 2022 in Middle Tennessee pending local health and safety protocols. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Andrew Lutheran Church of Franklin, TN, Castle Rock Lutheran Church of Fennimore, WI, the Nashville Symphony and/or a charity of your choice in loving memory of David V. Needham. Cards for the family may be sent to the Needham Family c/o ZCS, SC, 788 N Jefferson St Ste 200 Milwaukee, WI 53202.

The family thanks the critical care team at Williamson Medical Center with special mention to David’s nurse Lauren VanHorn, palliative care physician Dr. Samuel Webb and chaplain Gregory Rumburg.

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