John David Houk

Born: Wed., Apr. 11, 1934
Died: Mon., Dec. 13, 2010


8:30 AM to 10:00 AM, Fri., Dec. 17, 2010
Location: - Not available -

Funeral Mass

10:00 AM Fri., Dec. 17, 2010

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John David "Dave" Houk, 76, passed away at 9:00 pm, Monday, December 13, 2010 at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, Mishawaka, IN.
He was born April 11, 1934 in Logansport, IN to Edward P. and Florence (Minneman) Houk. Dave received his elementary education at Daniel Webster and St. Vincent Schools in Logansport. Following the death of his mother, Dave attended and graduated from Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie Duchien, Wisconsin. Dave then attended the University of Notre Dame, where he was active in the Air Cadet, Marketing and Propeller Clubs. He graduated in 1956 with a B.S. degree in Commerce. He was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Air Force and served 3 years as a navigator in heavy aircraft. Dave then continued his education at Indiana State University and received his Masters degree in elementary education. He taught two years in Putnam County Schools in Indiana before moving to Santa Rosa, California. There he taught for 34 years at Piner Elementary School and received many teaching honors. Dave retired in 1994 and moved to Bodega Bay into a coastal home that he and a fellow teacher built. The home was located on a golf course with wonderful views of the bay and Pacific Ocean. While living there, Dave was an active member of St. Teresa Avila Catholic Church in nearby Bodega. He was also a member of the Notre Dame Club of San Francisco.
Following an illness, Dave moved to South Bend, Indiana and resided at the Sanctuary of St. Paul on South Ironwood Drive. He joined and enjoyed many activities there, in particular, the bell choir.
Dave was a great sports fan of the Logansport Berries, Chicago Cubs and The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. During the baseball season, he seldom missed a Cubs game on TV or radio.
He leaves behind two brothers, Dr. Richard J. Houk of Evanston, IL and James E. (Agnes) Houk of South Bend; nieces and nephews Peggy and John Gibney and Jennifer Houk of South Bend, Phillip and Lynda Houk of Ft. Wayne, IN, Tom Houk of San Diego, CA, Larry and Mary Gingrich of Valparaiso, IN, Paul and Kim Gingrich of Plattsburgh, NY, and Dan and Peggy Gingrich of Logansport, IN. A sister, Betty Jean, preceded him in death.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Dave will be celebrated at 10:00 am, Friday, December 17, 2010 at the Sanctuary of St. Paul, 3602 S. Ironwood, South Bend. Friends may visit with the family from 8:30 - 10:00 am on Friday prior to the mass at St. Paul's. Celebrant of the mass will be Father Stan Herber of Crawfordsville, longtime friend of the deceased. Burial that day will take place in Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Logansport following a 2:00 pm viewing and service in the cemetery chapel, at which Father Stan Herber will preside.
The family wishes it known that all forms of love and respect, including masses, prayers and floral gifts for the deceased will be deeply appreciated.
Palmer Funeral Home - Hickey Chapel, South Bend is assisting the family. Online condolences may be left for the Houk family at

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John Manion
   Posted Wed December 15, 2010
Dave was a good friend at ND, and remained so in the 55 years following.
His death is a great loss to me personally, and to his many ND56 Classmates/

James L. Shumaker
   Posted Wed December 15, 2010
I remember Dave and that he was from Logansport. We were in the College of Commerce together Freshman year at ND. 1952-53 I later transferred to College of Science for Pre Med Studies. I have had no contact with him since leaving ND, but I remember that I liked him. Rest in peace, Dave.
Jim Shumaker
Paducah, KY

Bob Williams
   Posted Thu December 16, 2010
Simply said: Mr. Houk was the best teacher I had during my elementary school years. I was in his first 5th grade class at Piner Elementary School in 1962-63. We shared a common birthday and I remember his undying support of Notre Dame. The classroom was often decorated in ND colors. We obviously received frequent updates on ND football throughout the season. I have often thought of Dave throughout the years as an example of the type of man and teacher I wanted to be. After 30 plus years in education and youth music, I attribute my love and success in education to a few mentors and examples from my life. Dave Houk was at the top of that list. I remember him fondly and may he rest in peace.
Bob Williams
Santa Rosa, CA

Tonya Letherman
   Posted Thu December 16, 2010
Uncle Dave was always so very kind to me, I would like to thank him for his kindness to me and Heather. To the family, I wish you all the best.

Janet Post
   Posted Thu December 16, 2010
Please accept my sincere sympathy and prayers for Dave and the family.

I have fond memories of going to Blue Chip and Four Winds Casino with Dave and a group from St. Paul's. He always had a positive attitude and a smile on his face for all he encountered. He was a very special man and I pray he will rest in peace. Love and Prayers
Janet Post

Gary Martin
   Posted Sun February 13, 2011
My deepest sympathy to the Houk family. As a friend and former student, I too have a heavy heart.

I was Mr. Houk's first class as a teacher in Putnam County, Indiana. I have very fond memories of Mr. Houk. He taught us discipline and we all respected him. I specifically recall the summer day he took several of us boys to Chicago to see his beloved Cubs! My first experience as going to a major league baseball game. I stayed in touch with Mr. Houk after graduating and corresponded with him regularly through Christmas cards and spoke with him in December 2009 on the phone. Having not heard from him this year, my mother and I were curious about Mr. Houk. He was a wonderful man with a positive attitude and kind word for all. He was in deed a great man!

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