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In Memory of Dave Lacey

Posted by deborahmclaren on May 6, 2009

Dave Lacey was an Alaskan environmental activist and Native-rights supporter who died on February 24, 2009. He was an amazing friend. You can learn more about him by clicking on the links below. I loved Dave, he was one in a billion. The world is a better place because of him.

Obituary for Dave Lacey

Dave never choose easy battles to fight; from protesting
war to working tirelessly for the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge. From working with the Native community on
sovereignty issues to raising two sons. By following his
personal credence “Everything is love,” he lived with
grace, beauty and conviction regardless of life’s twists
and turns. Dr. Dave, “your main peace and love man,”
ended a long, fierce battle with cancer, surrounded by loved
ones, on Tuesday, February 24th, 2009.

David Lawrence Lacey, was born on February 25th, 1945 in
Decatur, Texas to parents Maurine and Lawrence Lacey, the
older brother of Bill and Joe Lacey. Dave’s interests
and values were established at a young age. As an early
attempt to usurp authority and determine his own
intellectual trajectory Dave founded Strive for Five with a
group of primary school friends, determined to get the
lowest possible grades. Community organizing came naturally
to him.

Collecting records and listening to the radio from an early
age led to writing music reviews, a huge music collection,
and a diverse knowledge of popular American music and
culture. Using his musicology talents to meet the needs of
the community he volunteered for 25 years at KUAC as a disc
jockey, supplying Alaskans with groovy sounds under the
moniker Dr. Dave.

Dave attended University of Arizona receiving a B.A. in
Business and a minor in Spanish. Alternatively spending
time backpacking in the Sonora desert, a desert he found the
most beautiful in the world, on trips to Mexico, and
enjoying the vices of the 60’s with friends. With his
flowing white hair and “peace and love” ideals Dave
would continue to emote the essence of this period. Yoga
was also coming into his life at this time . Once in
Fairbanks this would parlay into leading free yoga sessions
at Hidden Hill twice a week for 15 years, introducing and
motivating dozens of yogis to a regular practice. From
Tucson Dave traveled to Tulsa and started the restaurant
King of Cups.

From Tulsa Dave first visited Alaska in 1966, traveled
back and forth, worked some in Anchorage and Kodiak and
finally settled in Fairbanks in 1976. Over the next 27
years he would work for various Native organizations the
last 20 as the business manager of Stevens Village, Corp.,
retiring from that position in 2003. Dave had tremendous
respect for indigenous people’s values and cultures, had
many lifelong friends in the Native community and worked
tirelessly on economic stability, sovereignty, human rights
and other Native issues both on and off the job.

Campaigning on environmental issues by serving on
environmental boards, protesting, writing and lobbying
underlined his love the natural world and his desire to
protect it. Enjoying the outdoors through cross country
skiing, boating, hiking and biking, Dave never said no to a
jaunt through the woods or across the river. In 1980 he
received his second degree, a B.A. in Natural Resource
Management from UAF.

Dave’s proudest achievement was raising his two boys,
Philos and Vaughn. He made them the number one priority in
his life from the day they were born, even rearranging his
work schedule to spend the majority of his time with them.
While surely Dave’s pacifism and patience were put to the
ultimate test by two wild sons, a toss into the snow to
“cool down” was as reactionary as he would respond.
For 20 years they lived together on the Tanana river, first
at Hopkinsville and then on Ludecker Street. It was there
next to the river where at various times a garden would be
growing, friends would be camped out next to the house, the
Riverside Juice Bar would be hopping, the music would be
blaring and people would be dancing all part of Dave’s
celebration of life.

A consummate storyteller with a keen memory of facts and
names, where ever Dave traveled or lived he developed
lifelong friendships. Known as someone who was honest,
truthful, intelligent, reliable, cheerful and positive by
friends and family alike, those who knew him well were
thankful for the privilege. And if one needed good advice,
cheering up, a different perspective, a historical, musical
or literal reference Dave would always be available. A life
long student of astrology his conversations and perspective
were often laced with references to the alignment of the
planets. His door was open, he always answered his phone
and never let emails pile up. A number of his best friends
were of the canine variety.

Saturday Dave performed his last KUAC show, Sunday he
danced, in his wheelchair, at a concert, Monday he worked
for hours on the Fairbanks Community Co-op Market and
exchanged stories with old friends next to his bed. The last
days of his life Dave lived as he always had, consciously,
and in the moment, looking out for the needs of the
community and embracing friendships. Luckily for those who
knew him he had enough flaws to bring him into the cycle of
life again. Until then, in the words of Dave;

“Long life, honey in the heart, no evil, 13 thank yous,
jump up and live.”

Preceded in death by his father Lawrence Lacey and brother
Joe Lacey.

Survived by his mother Maurine Lacey of Prescott, AZ, sons
Philos Whitesky, of Portland, OR and Vaughn Skylark, of
Fairbanks, brother Bill Lacey, of Prescott, AZ,
grandchildren Austin Whitesky, Hayden Whitesky of
Portland, OR, nephews Dustin, Brandon, Aaron and Ethan Lacey
and his full time companion Gulliver.
In lieu of flowers donations to Fairbanks Community Co-op
Market at http://www.fairbankscoop.org are suggested by his family.

Dave Lacey
Friday, 06 March 2009 00:00 Sharon Alden

These are the thoughts of Sean McGuire, as tomorrow is Dave Lacey’s memorial. Sean can’t be there but he wanted to share these thoughts and feelings.

Dave Lacey, Story Teller, Athlete, Friend of the Native People, Yogi, Champion for Peace, Spiritual Man, Community Organizer, Father, Music Lover and Historian, Astrologer, Champion for the Environment, Radio Show Host, Organic Food Advocate, Draft Dodger, Teacher.

Dave had less meanness than anyone I’ve ever known. He was very gentle but had great passion and courage when he was fighting for what he believed. Dave dealt with people without anger or bitterness and he was completely humble. He was more accepting of people than anyone I ever met, and he also had a broader range of friends than anyone I ever met. I truly believe that Dave was a great man. He was our teacher and his passing has left me feeling sad and weakened. One of my greatest allies on so many levels is gone.

But one thing that makes me feel better, and it took me a long time to understand this, the way Dave lived, he was teaching us, all that wisdom that Dave was sharing it’s not gone. By living so large, Dave, even in death can still be our teacher. He was already bigger than life. So we can just remember Dave and get inspiration. He can still be our great ally. Stay Strong Dave.
—Sean McGuire

This is GREAT: Dave Lacey testifying against the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act at the Fairbanks Borough Assembly meeting, 2003-04-10

Dave Lacey’s Last Oldies Show
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRADMFVPYxg

Another great story about Dave Lacey sent in by John Lyle:

What a good being he was. I wanted to share this memory of Dave with you. Love from us. John

Anyone living in Fairbanks during the time of the infamous Wolf Summit remembers what a volatile, polarized time that was, a time marked by this volatile, polarizing event. During that week, I hosted a large gathering of folks at my Cloudberry cabin. One woman who came brought with her her dog which was part wolf (I’m guessing by its looks it was in large part a wolf). She instructed us beforehand to be on the floor, to speak softly and not move suddenly so as to not startle the animal. She knocked on the door and entered with this amazingly beautiful but unmistakably wild animal with electric eyes, eyes which carefully and closely examined our every moves. The eyes were wild as wild can be; unsure, uneasy, on guard. The animal never seemed to be at ease with us, yet for some reason was drawn to the largest and loudest human there: Dave Lacey. (Dave was known to have been somewhat hard of hearing and so his booming bass voice was accepted as part of his persona). I will never forget watching the eyes of that majestic animal gradually soften as it looked at Dave and listened to his voice. Of all the people there, this animal seemed most comfortable with Dave, clearly the gentle giant among us. Were the two kindred spirits? Had they met sometime in the distant past in an isolated valley in the Brooks Range? One thing is for sure: Dave is now free to join the pack and run free and wild. When I hear wolves howling after sunset, I’ll listen carefully for a call that’s distinctly louder and deeper than the others; one that speaks to both strength and humility. That would be Dave Lacey.

This is GREAT: Dave Lacey testifying against the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act at the Fairbanks Borough Assembly meeting, 2003-04-10

Dave Lacey’s Last Oldies Show
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRADMFVPYxg

Another great story about Dave Lacey sent in by John Lyle:

What a good being he was. I wanted to share this memory of Dave with you. Love from us. John

Anyone living in Fairbanks during the time of the infamous Wolf Summit remembers what a volatile, polarized time that was, a time marked by this volatile, polarizing event. During that week, I hosted a large gathering of folks at my Cloudberry cabin. One woman who came brought with her her dog which was part wolf (I’m guessing by its looks it was in large part a wolf). She instructed us beforehand to be on the floor, to speak softly and not move suddenly so as to not startle the animal. She knocked on the door and entered with this amazingly beautiful but unmistakably wild animal with electric eyes, eyes which carefully and closely examined our every moves. The eyes were wild as wild can be; unsure, uneasy, on guard. The animal never seemed to be at ease with us, yet for some reason was drawn to the largest and loudest human there: Dave Lacey. (Dave was known to have been somewhat hard of hearing and so his booming bass voice was accepted as part of his persona). I will never forget watching the eyes of that majestic animal gradually soften as it looked at Dave and listened to his voice. Of all the people there, this animal seemed most comfortable with Dave, clearly the gentle giant among us. Were the two kindred spirits? Had they met sometime in the distant past in an isolated valley in the Brooks Range? One thing is for sure: Dave is now free to join the pack and run free and wild. When I hear wolves howling after sunset, I’ll listen carefully for a call that’s distinctly louder and deeper than the others; one that speaks to both strength and humility. That would be Dave Lacey.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

More about Dave:
http://gotsense.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/davelacey-a.jpg
http://esterrepublic.blogspot.com/2009/02/dave-lacey.html
http://www.kuac.org/09vol.html
http://www.fairbanksopenradio.org/component/myblog/On-Dave-Lacey-Dr.-Dave-.html
http://esterrepublic.blogspot.com/2009/03/memorial-for-dave-lacey-on-saturday.html

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