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SOUTH BEND, IN – David Shilts always had a smile or a hug to share with friends. He loved music, and while he didn’t speak much, he would sing a whispered version of “Amazing Grace” if anyone asked. Friends will gather at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 23, at Clay Church, South Bend, to remember David, the joy he brought, and all the ways he will be missed.
David died June 1, 2019, at Hospice House in Elkhart. He was 68-years-old. Born in 1951, when parents were given few options of care for children with developmental disabilities, David lived most of his life in a state institution. That changed in 2001, when he began receiving services from LOGAN and moved into one of LOGAN’s group homes. David quickly developed close ties in the South Bend community. He regularly attended the BRIDGES outreach at Clay Church, Luvability Ministries Worship Arts at First Church of the Nazarene, and L’Arche Mass at the University of Notre Dame.
He discovered a love of art and music in The Studios at LOGAN. David made many friends in Studios and acknowledged each one whenever he saw them. He especially enjoyed spending time with his long-time girlfriend, Kay. He would sit next to her and pat her knee. He was known for wearing costumes and hats, as Halloween was his favorite holiday.
David made an impression on everyone he met. He will be remembered for his ready smile and sense of humor, as well as his resilient spirit and determination to overcome.
David is survived by his LOGAN family, including six housemates, and four staff members who each worked in his house 10 years or longer – Sherri Bailey, his program coordinator, and three direct support professionals, Fundisani Mangena, Richard Lancaster, and Henry Ndisya. He also is survived by his court-appointed volunteer guardian, Paula Shively of Somerset, Pennsylvania.
Sharlene Kobb will officiate at his memorial service. Palmer Funeral Home – River Park, South Bend, is in charge of arrangements. Online expressions of sympathy may be left at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.