Cover photo for David Ochs's Obituary
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1954 David 2023

David Ochs

April 26, 1954 — February 12, 2023


David Allen Ochs: 4/26/1954 - 2/12/2023

David Ochs, of Madison, Wisconsin, died on February 12, 2023, after many years of living with Alzheimer’s disease. He was sixty-eight years old. Born on April 26, 1954 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Carroll and Marian (Buszka) Ochs, David spent his childhood in Milwaukee and in Groton, Connecticut.

David had endless curiosity about the world but little interest in formal education. He left high school early to enroll in Shimer College in Mount Carroll, Illinois; but left after a year, deciding he’d be better served by reading his own books, hitchhiking across the country, and teaching himself to play guitar. On a return trip to Mount Carroll in 1976, he met his future wife, Fay McClurg. David and Fay traveled extensively during their early time together. They spent a few months working at the Grand Canyon and later lived for two years in Mystic, Connecticut. David and Fay settled in Madison in 1980 and were married there in 1982. They had two children, Ira and Ellyn. David's family was his greatest joy. He was a devoted and loving husband and father.

David worked in civil service at the University of Wisconsin, culminating in eighteen years at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER). He especially treasured his time at WCER, always saying that he worked with the “best people in the world.”

Music and gardening were David’s primary interests, and he pursued them with intense focus and deep enthusiasm. He was completely content to play his guitar or landscape his garden for hours on end. David had an incredibly sharp mind and enjoyed learning about wide-ranging subjects down to the most subtle details, from nutrition and herbal supplements to the stock market, computer hardware, and baseball statistics.

David was kind, steady, and joyful, with a playful sense of humor. His essential sweetness and gentleness remained brightly clear even to those who met him in the advanced stages of his illness.

David is survived by Fay McClurg, his wife of 40 years; his children, Ira Ochs (Claire K. Redfield) of Austin, Texas, and Ellyn Ochs (Alain Fidahoussen) of Montreal, Quebec; his granddaughter, Amy Cordelia Redfield Ochs; and many others whose lives he touched deeply. He was preceded in death by his parents and by his brother, Robert Ochs.

David was buried in a private service at the Natural Path Sanctuary in Verona, Wisconsin. The  memorial gathering will be at 2:00 PM on Saturday June 10, 2023 at Madison Friends Meetinghouse, 1704 Roberts Ct. Madison, WI 53711.    In David’s memory, plant flowers or trees, or consider a memorial to one of David’s favorite Madison spots: Olbrich Botanical Gardens or the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum.

The family thanks Heartland Hospice for their compassionate care and support. The family is grateful to the staff of Sienna Meadows Memory Care of DeForest, Wisconsin for their tender care in David’s final year. The family is also appreciative of the many other dedicated professionals and volunteers who helped along the way. Thank you to friends and extended family who have provided tremendous love and support during these last years.

Cress Funeral & Cremation Service

3325 E. Washington Ave.

Madison (608) 249-6666

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David Ochs, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Gathering

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Madison Friends Meetinghouse

1704 Roberts Ct., Madison, WI 53711

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