David I. “Dave” Kanell, on Wednesday April 3, 2019, at the age of 67, peacefully, in the company of his wife Beth. Dave was born in New Haven, Conn., on Jan. 1, 1952, to Martha Myers Kanell and Jacob “Jack” Kanell. He delighted in his family: his younger sister Robin Kanell, the sisterly presence and humor of his close-in-age aunt Diane Myers, his grandparents and many relatives. A committed Jew, he carried a strong sense of tradition always. Dave attended the University of Hartford, the University of New Hampshire, and Lyndon State College, and developed a passion for Jewish history, literature, and art, which resulted in his massive collection of Jewish books and related items. In his career as Residential Life administrator at Lyndon State College, he enjoyed 24/7 responsibilities for the lives and growth of many young people, and throughout his life maintained those connections, as well as with fellow staff members. He gave leadership to the Jewish community for more than 40 years through Congregation Beth El, where he recruited and formed a lifelong friendship with Prof. Julius Lester.
At age 50, Dave and Beth (Elizabeth) met in a used bookstore, founded a mystery and poetry specialty book business of their own (Kingdom Books), and understood they were meant for each other (in Hebrew, b’shert). They married on June 20, 2003, and soon bought their home in Waterford. It had to have room for all the books, upstairs and down. In retirement, Dave’s interest in Northeast Kingdom history, especially of Lyndonville, Lyndon State College, and Theodore N. Vail, grew steadily. His Facebook presence shared images and history of the region with many. He also became the loving stepfather to Beth’s sons Alexis and Kiril Savino, and happy friend to Kiril’s sons Ian and Jay.
In addition to his family, Dave leaves many friends to whom he was deeply devoted, especially Brad and Julie Bailey, Chick (Charles) and Marsha Schwartz, Harvey and Patty Caplan, and Paul and Amanda Lane. His final illness was eased by the caring and capable Hospice team of Caledonia Home Health. To honor Dave, a contribution to Caledonia Home Health, 161 Sherman Drive, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819, would be appreciated. Most importantly, purchase another good book and read it with thoughts of Dave. There are many more stories he would have liked to read.
A brief graveside service in the Jewish section of the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery will be held on Friday April 5 at 1 p.m. Please park at the upper gate on Mt. Pleasant, by the chapel; walking will be encouraged. Friends are invited to return to the house afterward, from 2 to 5 p.m. A memorial service in New Haven, Conn., will follow at a date to be announced.
Condolences may be shared with the family at www.saylesfh.com