Passing of David Kessinger

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of a friend, Maker, former machine shop chair & former Board member David Kessinger. He passed away this morning, May 14th 2023.

He was a great member & mentor. He strived to want to bring this community together despite the differences.

He was very active in machine shop, he taught many classes on the Bridgeport, Sherlines, cold saw, ETC. He was active in many other committees as well,including Creative Arts. He may not have been as much lately but he had a passion to learn & pass knowledge along.

Keeping with what we think David would like, I would like us to get together next Sunday 5-21-23 7pm at Old House BBQ 1905 N Josey Ln, Carrollton, TX 75006. Let’s share our memories of him, he filled that dash quite well.

We do not know if his family is going to have a service or not at this point in time. We will update as we know further information.


Thanks Tim for posting. This is very sad news indeed.

This is very sad news and he will be missed. Thank you for posting.

Indeed. Thank you Tim. We’ll miss you, David!

Thanks for posting Tim, he was a class act and will be missed.

I am sorry to hear of his passing.

He signed me off on the Bridgeport and then later he vouched for me teaching the class. His contributions will be still leaving their marks on the 'space for years to come.

@BobKarnaugh be careful will ya? You’re the last of my machine shop instructors still standing.


This is very sad news. David was a great guy and a hoot to friendly-argue with.


There are some people at DMS whom I would consider iconic in the sense that they became an integral part of the DMS experience for anyone who has been here for even a moderate amount of time. These are individuals who have devoted so much of their time and presence to the space that it almost feels wrong for them to not be there at all. David Kessinger was one of these individuals.

He was a frequent and valuable source of advice on the talk forums for new members, volunteers, seasoned makers, myself, and even board members. Until a few years ago, I would constantly see him in the machine shop, workshop, and other areas of Dallas Makerspace.

Some people, like myself, had clashing personalities with David. Neither one of us were bad people or were necessarily in the wrong; it’s just that things can get heated when you have two fairly argumentative and passionate people in the same room. While we both said some fairly mean things to each other in those heated moments, I always had a respect for him and saw him as a valuable member of the space.

If I ever had a question about Dallas Makerspace or a specific project, there was a good chance that I could get an insightful answer, even if I disagreed with it, from David. If I ever had a question about a piece of equipment or whether something was safe, David was more than willing to help.

Dallas Makerspace is less without David. My sincerest condolences to the family.

We’ll miss you, David, and that includes me.


This is very sad news. David was a friend and a wonderful maker. He gave tirelessly to our community and he will be greatly missed. Thanks Tim for letting us know.

Another seemingly endless font of information gone. I will miss David very much. He was always such a nice and helpful man. I still use a shirt he decorated in my first Dye Sub class during the Dye Sub 101 classes.

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David gave me a tiny little something years ago and it sits on a bookcase as a reminder of “simpler” DMS times. It was his entire philosophy of life boiled down…and it sits all in a tiny little corner on the most delicate of thumb-sized porcelain plates. I’m currently rereading the seemingly HUNDREDS of emails we sent back and forth to see if I can find the thoughts he had about this philosophy as I believe it should be shared. I’ll post it once I find it. He sent me everything from thoughts on who I was dating to stories of his service and more. Sometimes our in person arguments became email arguments and slowly switched over to “let’s iron this out” moments. He was passionate and could hold his own.
He was a curmudgeon and an armchair philosopher - he loved to write and to sit and talk and fuss. Every story he ever told had the most dramatic of hero plot lines usually him as center character. He always told me he was on borrowed time with his heart condition and he was always well aware that his life was going to be shorter. We had so much fun together - I had not been a good friend with covid and new life pushing aside what was our community and friendship. I suppose you can say that of so many things.
I looked up what to say when a Jewish person passes away and it’s Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech HaOlam, Dayan HaEmet . Blessed are you God, King of the Universe, the True Judge. He converted when he was living in Israel and was a believer - so if it suits you that’s what you should say I suppose. I’m no expert in how to properly do things.
We were bedside with Walter the night he passed and I know he whispered something in his ear before he left and I wonder if that was it. I appreciate @TBJK for calling me before posting this so I would know, that was incredibly kind and thoughtful of you. I have wonderful memories of David and I know DMS was a place of wonder and community for him.



Do you have his ponytail from the auction?


Actually. He was SO PISSED at me that I did it (literally he told me to do it) that he paid to cut it himself and keep it.

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I remember that he told you to do it!

Whoever cleans out his house will definitely wonder what that’s all about when they find it stashed somewhere … :wink:

Oh man, so sad to hear of David’s passing. I spent an inordinate number of Sundays with David. At one point for a couple of years it was just the two of us that were the finance team. We did weekly cash counts and prepared the spreadsheets to get all the instructors paid, petty cash counted, collected all the money from the various black tombstones. His favorite part was going to make bank deposits with me. The teller’s eye’s always grew big when we were depositing $3-4,500 in mostly dollar bills. He loved to joke about what she thought we might be doing with all those ones.


David was a mensch. He’ll be missed.

He used to close his emails with, “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”

So today, I honored him by ordering a tree to be planted in Israel in his memory.

I invite those of you who wish to make the same gesture to contact the Jewish National Fund:


What a wonderful idea! Thank you!


Unless it was part of the damaged goods after the car drove into his house.


Cripes! This is starting to feel like an Agatha Christie novel. We have lost so many good people: Walter, Jeannie, Cairenn, Russell, Nick come to mind and I know I missed some. And now David.

I had a really bad feeling Sunday morning and thought it was because we lost Mom on a Mother’s Day morning. Maybe I was sensing David trying to say goodbye…

David was one of my best friends at DMS. We often had extended chats and he was always blaming me for making him have to drive home in morning traffic. We vehemently disagreed on a few things but were mostly sympatico.

He loved DMS and spent much of his time helping others or making the space better. But you all know that. I’ll focus on some things you may not know.

During the pandemic, he kept in touch by sending out news he found of interest. We would sometimes get into some long and deep discussions about some of them. One which comes to mind is the concept of spin launching objects into space. Though e-mail lacked the spontaneity of in-person discussion, it had much of the same flavor as some of our time in the Common Room.

David was into NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month. The concept is to write several pages every day in November so that substantial work is complete at the end of the month. He almost talked me into trying that once when I had an idea based on actual astronomical events.

When he chaired Machine Shop, he came up with the idea of providing free safety lanyards which do not pose a hazard around rotating and other machinery.

David was highly amused with calling the Imperial system of measurements “moonwalker units.”

I’ll never forget seeing David eating Cheetos with chopsticks. Most of us would use our hand or pour them from the bag into the mouth, but kept his fingers and face clean.

David and I shared a love for some fairly obscure things. One was the John Batchelor radio show. Then there were chili-cheeseburgers from Tommy’s.

David grew up not far from Orange County Airport (now John Wayne Airport) in Southern California. It was a natural he ended up working in the aerospace industry. But he took detours through military service and law school.

One of his jobs had him in China where he met his bride. When she first came to America, she had a habit of looking into the freezers of people they visited. It turned out there was a stereotype in China that Americans kept ice cream in their freezers. She was just verifying that.

David loved steampunk. He had an instrument dial he wanted to gut and make the indicator hand spin using some electronics. He missed my Arduino servo classes and I regret I will not be able to help him with that project.

I was always curious about but never got around to asking the significance of his handle “Photomancer.” Does anybody know?