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David A. Rempell, 76

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — David Allen Rempell, 76, died surrounded by his family on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at 7:32 p.m. from double-hit lymphoma.

David was the beloved son of Joe and Sylvia Rempell. After Sylvia's death and Joe'’s marriage to Grace Rempell, 10-year-old David was adopted by Grace, who became his mother in every sense of the word.

Born in New York City in 1946, David grew up in Long Beach, New York. A 1967 graduate of Cornell University, David later studied education at New York University and earned a master's in education and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

David's dedication to working with children was obvious from the beginning of his career. After teaching 4th grade in Brooklyn, David moved to Massachusetts and taught at the Holyoke Street School, an alternative high school, and then at Greenfield Elementary School. Deciding that he could have a larger impact on a greater number of children, David moved into school administration. His first principalship was at Colrain Central School. After five years in Colrain, David became principal of the Williamstown Elementary School in 1988.

David's commitment to Williamstown's children and families was legendary. He always described his 16 years at the Williamstown Elementary School as a "love affair." This relationship culminated with a new elementary school building in 2002. In his "retirement," David became the executive director of the Williamstown Youth Center. Faced with a deteriorating building, David led a campaign that raised over $4 million to build a new Youth Center. Importantly, the Youth Center is now located next to the Elementary School, which allows children to easily move between the two buildings for before- and after-school activities. The Youth Center has become an invaluable asset to the children and families of Williamstown and the surrounding areas.

David was intensely connected to his community and often expressed the feeling that Williamstown was the perfect place for him and his family. He served on the boards of multiple town organizations, including nine years on the Select Board. David was actively involved with progressive causes throughout his life. From volunteering with the campaigns of Adlai Stevenson in the 1950s to his recent membership on the Board of Directors of Massachusetts Death with Dignity, an organization whose objective is to give people some influence regarding end-of-life decisions, David dedicated his life to causes he believed in.

Nothing was more important to David than spending time with his family. His love and devotion to his family defined who he was. A stalwart fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Boston Red Sox and Celtics, and New England Patriots, David also was the biggest supporter of the Philadelphia Silkworms, the Philadelphia Neutrons, and the MoCo Grays, his grandchildren's teams. In his free time, David loved reading, running, and playing basketball. Although he exhibited extraordinary skills, he blamed his short stature on never being drafted into the NBA.

He traveled all over the world to visit his sons, including the Dominican Republic, France, Honduras, Italy, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, and Tanzania. He later told his friends these international trips were because "If you give your children wings, they will fly. And they did." For many, many years, the Rempell family vacationed on Maine's beaches.

David leaves behind Donna, his wife of almost 55 years; sons, Joshua and Benjamin; daughters-in-law, Rachel and Daniela; and grandchildren, Joe, Zachary, James, and Mackenzie; mother, Grace Rempell; siblings, Steve (Marcia) Rempell, Susan (David) Roth, Lisa (Howie) Klein; brother-in-law David Deitch; sister-in-law Deborah (Bob) Manzi; and many beloved niblings (nieces/nephews) and great-niblings.

The Rempell family is immensely thankful for the close friends who have provided support throughout David's life, especially for their love and strength during this most recent ordeal. Many thanks to the local caregivers and the staff of Northern Berkshire Hospice for their thoughtful care and support during David’s last days. Memorial donations can be sent to the Rempell Fund at the Williamstown Youth Center so that all children, including those with financial needs, can participate in their programming. The link to donate can be found here. Alternatively, you can donate your energy to special causes or an individual who might like a smile.

A private family service will be held. Family and friends are invited to Donna and David’s home on Tuesday, March 28, from 2-5 p.m. as the family sits shiva. There will be a larger memorial/celebration for David at a later date this spring to be announced. To add to the Book of Memories, please visit

Obituary Posted By:

Recollections & Sympathy For the Family
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A man of great intelligence and wit.... You were good company, David, and you will be missed.
Your Brandon Weekend friends,
Jane and Ron Soodalter
from: Ron & Jane Soodalteron: 04-02-2023

Dear Donna and family I'm so sorry to hear of David's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
from: Lynne Lescarbeau on: 03-29-2023

Donna, my deepest condolences to you and your family. David was a great guy, and I'll always remember his great smile and easy, infectious laugh. My deepest sympathies.
from: Dave Gorsonon: 03-29-2023

Donna and family, Our condolences to you all. David’s legacy of making our schools, our Youth Center, and our community, a kinder, healthier place will live on. He was passionate, patient, optimistic, and a great listener. His enthusiasm was infectious and infinite. He loved children and people in general. We will always treasure working with him at WES and the WYC. Knowing, being friends, and working with David has made us better professionals and, most importantly, better people.
from: Joelle and Tomon: 03-28-2023

We are so sorry for your loss. There was seldom a time that David didn't have a smile on his face or ready to launch into an animated conversation. He was the perfect role model for his students at school, demonstrating respect, enthusiasm and kindness. God bless him.
from: Michael and Cherylon: 03-28-2023

My friend, David, a man who gave a good answer to life's call.
from: Bob Polkon: 03-28-2023

Dear Donna, How sad I was to learn of David’s passing. He was such a vibrant, dedicated presence in my daughters - Jenna and Nandi’s - lives, offering so much in their educational lives. We will miss him.
from: Amber Chandon: 03-28-2023

Donna and family,please accept my sympathy at this sad time. David was always a hilite of my day when he would come in for a haircut. Always had a interest in my family and children, I have much admiration for him and will remember his kindness and humor. Sincerely Lisa

from: Lisa Mazzuon: 03-27-2023

Dear Donna & Family. I am so sorry to hear of David’s passing. David and I went to high school together and I have wonderful memories of our years in Long Beach.My condolences to you and the family. He will stay in your hearts and everyone that knew him forever.
from: Barry Rachelson on: 03-27-2023

I was so sorry to hear the sad news about David's passing. His ability to connect and his great smile are the first thigs that come to mind when thinking about him. The care and encouragement he gave our son, from kindergarten to graduate school will always be remembered by our family.
from: Anne Juston: 03-27-2023

Dear Donna and Family, I cannot think of a person who has done as much for the children of Williamstown as David. He was a "leader and doer" and will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
Tony and Maggie Siracusa
from: ANTHONY SIRACUSA on: 03-27-2023

Dear Donna and family, I am so sorry to hear of David’s passing. You are all in my thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.
from: Kathy Gwozdzon: 03-27-2023

Saddened to learn of David's passing after recently learning of his hospice care at home.
from: Martin Greenstein and Natalie Jacobsonon: 03-27-2023

MY best friend since kindergarten in wonderful Long Beach NY, I will miss him. Such a great, positive person. My deepest condolences to Donna and the family, he will stay in your hearts forever.
from: Martin Jacobsonon: 03-27-2023

We mourn the death of this incredible person and we also honor his legacy as we will continue to share his video supporting medical aid in dying. All Massachusetts legislators and our constituents and organization leaders and advocates will learn about David through his brave and clear testimony. May he rest in peace.

JM Sorrell, executive director, MA Death with Dignity
from: J. Mary (JM) Sorrellon: 03-27-2023

It is with great sadness that I read about David's illness and passing. David was an outstanding principal and educator. He knew all the students, their names and he made sure they succeeded. It was an honor to have worked for him. He was always caring and supportive of his staff. My deepest condolences to Donna and the family.
from: Evelyn Sullivanon: 03-27-2023

So very sorry for your loss....
from: MaryEllen Morrisseyon: 03-27-2023

I had the honor of working with him on several issues for our schools and community - you could not find a more dedicated, caring person, or one who can make the kids (and parents!) smile as much.
from: Steven Milleron: 03-27-2023

On behalf of the Massachusetts Death with Dignity Board members we send our deepest sympathy and condolences to David’s family. We will keep his spirit alive in our hearts and in our mission to get the End of Life Options Act passed, hopefully this year.
from: Nancy Pagliaon: 03-26-2023

He left a beautiful legacy with his love for youth and
the Williamstown Community. Always having a kind
word to share and one we were all fortunate to know.
May he rest eternally in the loving arms tof God.
from: George Gallion: 03-26-2023

David Educator/Administrator/Humanitarian/Father/Husband/Friend/Runner. David was all of these and more.
I remember back in 1987 I felt privilaged because I knew first hand who our new Principal was going to be., as he was coming from Colrain Central School where my sister was a paraprofessional and David mentored all three of her children. He was a bright light for our school. He was tough but" the tough get going". He thought long and hard before committing. He did his " homework". I worked closely with David on many projects during my childrens tenure at WES. David you shined a light on us all. You will be missed. To your family my deepest condolences.
from: Linda Perry (Collyer)on: 03-26-2023

I am saddened to hear of David’s illness and the void he will leave in your family. Legendary is the perfect word. I worked with David, also beginning in 1988, and then for David.. As a principal, he was legendary. I remind my daughter, and tell my granddaughters, he was the best principal ever. He was kind but stern and parents and children respected him and his decisions. RIP will be remembered..
from: MaryJane Maloneon: 03-26-2023

I am so sorry for your loss. My three children were fortunate to have David during their school years in Williamstown. . A good man ! Bless your family
from: Pamela Rosascoon: 03-26-2023

Mr. Rempell was a seriously cool principal. I loved when he would carry the torch for field day!
from: Faith Manaryon: 03-26-2023

David was the ultimate mensh. He was a loving, giving, interesting, thoughtful., delightful to be with, selfless, humorous, and loyal. Our community is forever changed by David. We are blessed by his life.
Love to his family, and the legacy he has left us.
from: Fran & Ira Lapiduson: 03-26-2023

Donna and Family,
Please accept my deepest sympathy and condolences in your loss of David. What a wonderful man! I am honored to have known him, to have worked for him at WES, and to be able to call him my friend. He will be incredibly missed.
from: Nancy Bottesion: 03-26-2023

My deepest condolences to you and your family. Such a wonderful, kind and caring man. ??
from: Jennifer Boland on: 03-26-2023