David Hawpe, 1943-2021

Sep 1, 2021

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — David Hawpe, 78, of Louisville, left us on Sunday evening, July 18, 2021.

David was a devoted husband to his wife, Linda Shadoin Hawpe, for 55 years. They shared a love of cooking, gardening, watching movies, and raising money for social causes. He was father of two sons, Christopher and Jonathan. He considered them his finest accomplishments in life. As a sibling, David doted on his much younger brother, Daniel Hawpe, from as far back as Danny can remember. His sister, Sheila Snider, cites him as her "biggest cheerleader and supporter." He also considered his sisters-in-law, Hilda Miller, Paula Robinette and Sabine Hawpe, as true sisters. He was dedicated to, and active in, his grandchildren's lives. Xavier and Scarlett could always count on "Day Day" to be their defender, champion and chauffeur. He considered his daughters-in-law, August King and Carrie Coaplen, his own children, joyful about their joining the family and proud that his sons had chosen such strong women as partners.

If you care to read about his exceptional career, simply Google David V. Hawpe, journalist, for a list of achievements that runs as deep as the eastern Kentucky hollers in which he was born. Here, we, his loved ones, want to share some of the wonderful facets of the man that we knew privately.

Toward his family and friends, David was as generous with compliments as he was with teasing. He was a self proclaimed "redneck south end boy" who loved Jane Austen and Dickens. He knew T.S. Eliot's poem, The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock, by heart, but he also knew the names of all the giant monsters in the Godzilla pantheon. David had a fully un-P.C. sense of humor, yet an iron-cast ethical backbone. And, yes, he really did root for U of L basketball as long as they weren't playing his beloved Kentucky Wildcats.

As far back as can be remembered, David's Friday nights were reserved for family dinner and a movie. His film rating system ranged from napping (thumbs down), to dozens of rewatches (thumbs up). Moonstruck clocked at least 100 viewings, with David often exclaiming his favorite line from the film: "I'm confused!" Just as often he'd share this Blade Runner soliloquy from memory: "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe … attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion … I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate … All those moments will be lost in time … like tears in rain."

David's palette was famously broad, running the gamut from White Castles to fried fish eyeballs to souffles (which he could make himself, to perfection). No food existed that he would not give a try, nor culinary challenge that he would not attempt in his own kitchen. His biryani was superb, and his butter croissants won the grand prize at a B'Nai B'rith Bake-off.

David was known for his sartorial exuberance, sporting flashy neckties with matching pocket squares, suspenders, cufflinks, bold-colored socks and two-tone shoes. He was even known to lounge around the house in a Japanese yukata robe.

David's deep love of music is best exemplified by this fantastical chorus from the song Gaucho by his favorite band, Steely Dan: Who is the gaucho amigo/Why is he standing/In your spangled leather poncho/With the studs that match your eyes/Bodacious cowboys/Such as your friend/Will never be welcome here/High in the Custerdome. He often serenaded friends and family with these lines, in his mellifluous tenor.

David was no handyman, nor an outdoorsman. His most notable sporting accomplishments (and some of his most cherished times) include fishing for crappie at Dale Hollow with close buddies Woode Hannah and Mervin Aubespin, and driving cattle in the Little Bighorn mountains with dear friend Charles Buddeke.

David had an unparalleled passion for politics, and at its core lay a deep concern for making the world a more just and equitable place. In his later years, David devoted much of his free time to furthering the values he believed in by working with his "third son," State Senator Morgan McGarvey, and fundraising for causes dear to his heart.

To honor his memory, contributions may be made in David's name to the following: Jefferson County Family Recovery Court (Please make checks payable to National Council of Jewish Women, put in the memo line Recovery Court in honor of David Hawpe and please mail the check to NCJW, 1250 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204), the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Black Journalists.