An extraordinary, generous friend who touched and brightened countless lives, Dave Halsaver remained a child at heart throughout his entire life. This alone is an enviable legacy in a world at risk of becoming numbed to the natural wonders that surround us.
Ask the customers and staff that interacted with him at his enterprise, Foxglove Nursery, when he would describe the taste of a particular tomato, or qualities of the many perennials he grew, with such detail and pride you might believe he was instead referring to a child or grandchild. They would tell you that he spoke from the heart with an innocent joy of the first ripened fruit or the opening of an intricate flower. It might be noted that he considered salsa-making an Olympic-Class competitive sport.
If you could, interrogate the Douglas Squirrels and flocks of birds that Dave perpetually cared for, erecting nesting boxes and feeding stations that were never empty. This was Dave, the patron saint of creatures many might find a nuisance.
Question his neighbors on Sandy Beach in Kingston who would jointly receive regular photos of the latest and certainly the most sensational sunrise- most of which looked identical to the ones received the previous week. To Dave, that moment was perhaps the best moment in his life. He wished to share these experiences with others, who responded in kind with appreciation and affection.
To those friends that became their traveling companions, inquire as to his endless pursuit of the most interesting rock or shell of the day along a beach, the charms of villages along canals or the blaze of autumn color from trees and shrubs. There was always an irrepressible marvel in what surrounded him, ricocheting off everyone in his proximity.
To those who came to know him as a member of KCYC, he loved the water.....lived by the water, played on the water, travelled to places on the water. He always had a smile on his face, a story to tell.....indeed a very special man.
And, most importantly, ask his wife Gail, to whom he was devoted as a husband and nurturer for over 40 years. She will explain that- with a certain degree of chagrin- Dave sang Christmas Carols throughout the year (except for one month at her insistence), mostly as they climbed the 135 steps from their beachside home to the car above. And she would recount the thoughtful holiday gifts he would hand select, or craft, personally meaningful to the recipient. The Christmas tree went up early and stayed up long into the new year. Or the songs he would compose for each of their beloved Goldens, sometimes with more than just a bit of affinity to “A hundred cans of beer”. Even washing the dishes, Gail would relate, was a task from which he garnered great pleasure after the evening meal had been savored with a glass of wine.
David Lynn Halsaver began his journey on December 15th, 1948 in Inglewood, California. During his youth, ‘Big Wave Dave’ was an avid surfer, morphing into a serious candlemaker in (of course...) the 60’s and then, with a degree in marine biology, training as a registered pediatric respiratory therapist. Dave and Gail relocated to Seattle to continue his profession at Harborview in 1983, ultimately moving to Kingston in 1989. It was in 1994 that the couple founded Foxglove Greenhouses, a primarily wholesale operation specializing in unusual strains of tomatoes, peppers and unusual flowering plants. They resolved to a far less hectic life in 2016, remaining at their beloved Sandy Beach home in Kingston and exuberantly traveling the globe at every opportunity. His physical presence ended suddenly and unexpectedly in late February of 2021, soon after planting fruit trees in an exquisitely designed vegetable garden. It remains his place of great pride.
Dave will be remembered, always, for the kindnesses and generosity he expressed to not only his legions of friends, but the entirety of the natural world. A husband above all else, a brother to many, his life and good living will resonate with all who knew him when they gaze upon a sky of stars, witness a natural phenomenon, a mind-numbing sunrise or a jump for joy in a successful landing of a rover on Mars. They will hear again his singular laugh and embrace of life. We will miss him.