David Beale Kenyon

David Beale Kenyon

Died January 7, 1980

David Kenyon lived a brief life but left a continuing legacy. Although he died on January 7, 1980, the David B. Kenyon Fund still supports art and music at the Dresden School in Dresden, ME, which his two children, Nathaniel and Amanda, attended.

David joined the Peace Corps after Yale and served as a teacher in Senegal. Back in the States, David attended George Washington University Law School and married Pamela Brown, a Mount Holyoke classmate of his sister’s.

David, Pamela, and their young son, Nat, moved to Seattle, WA where he worked in the District Attorney’s Office. Deciding city life was not for them, the Kenyons pulled up stakes, packed the car and drove across America to the small town of Dresden, ME. With two other families, they bought 60 acres of land and put up a solar-powered home which Pamela learned to build herself through the Shelter Institute. She went on to start her own company, South Face Builders. David opened a small law practice with a colleague from the Peace Corps and was elected first selectman.

What seemed like the perfect small town life fell under a dark cloud. Pamela was diagnosed with ovarian cancer; and one day in the winter of 1980, when David was driving home from his law office to have lunch with her, he hit a patch of ice and skidded into a telephone pole. It was a serious, though not fatal, accident, but David died in the hospital of a blood clot in his lung. “The doctors, who had been so sure of his recovery, were as stunned as we,” his parents wrote shortly thereafter. “It was a terrible, freak accident. We don’t believe it was the ‘will of God.’ Just a tragic, tragic accident.”

Pamela started the Fund in David’s name and became its driving force, but five years later succumbed to her ovarian cancer, leaving her two young children without parents.

Nat and Amanda were raised by Pamela’s aunt, who moved into that solar house Pamela had built. Today, Nat is director of marketing and communications for the Boston College Law School, and Amanda is a specialist in its Admissions Department. Nat is also the author of a number of suspense thrillers, the latest one titled Day One.

At this writing, the library at the Dresden School is being renovated with money provided by the David B. Kenyon Fund, and both Nat and Amanda will be invited to the grand opening. “David died very young and very tragically,” says Mary Walsh, one of the Fund’s trustees, “but his memory is still alive.”

Murray Stein remembers: Always generous, always kind, a dear friend.