David A. Ramsey
"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir, 1873

David A. Ramsey, the woodsman, the local historian, the non-conformist, the much beloved husband, father, son, brother, uncle, grandfather, and friend completed the first leg of his life journey Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, at his home in Northumberland.

David, or "Dave" or "Blackbear" as he was known to his friends, was born May 22, 1959, in Sunbury, to Audrey E. (Schuler) Rogers and the late Robert A. Jones.

David was an ambitious serial entrepreneur whose diverse interests led him down countless pathways. David studied advertising art at Williamsport Area Community College after graduating from Shikellamy High School in 1977. David became a private art instructor and began teaching art lessons to inmates. At that time, David also became interested in real estate and restoring old homes to their original glory. These interests naturally evolved into a business named Ramsey Home Restorations. He advocated for the preservation of historic buildings and approached restoration work, especially exterior painting, as a form of artistic expression.

In the late 1990s, David and his life partner and wife, Dana L. (Deamer), started side businesses including Ladyhawks Primitive Creations, a traditional trading post, and the Freedom Learning Center, a supplement to structured education that employed an inquiry-based form of learning. David believed that cultivating curiosity from infancy through adulthood was crucial for improving a person's spiritual well-being.

David enjoyed reading and lecturing on the subject of local and regional history and participating in historic re-enactments. He was a decades-long member of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association and participated in many National Rendezvous and Living History Foundation events.

David embraced Pennsylvania's public lands for hiking, fishing and hunting, and he enjoyed being immersed in forests such as Chimney Rock in the Bald Eagle State Forest and World's End State Park. David discovered the profound peace that could be obtained from forest immersion at a young age. He imparted a deep appreciation for wilderness preservation and self-reliance to his wife and their seven children - Jake, Josh, Jimmy, Joe, Jeb, Jesse and Brent.

Many of David's favorite pastimes were spent at home with Dana, his wife of twenty-five years. Together they experimented with growing heirloom varieties of vegetables and fruits, canning and drying virtually everything they grew. They enjoyed cooking indoors over an open hearth fireplace, hosting holiday parties for friends and family, and spending most of their weekends with grandchildren.

David enjoyed following local sports teams, especially Penn State wrestling and football, and attended many sports events in which his children played. He was an active participant in his children's athletic development, encouraging cross training and off-season physical activity.

Always a comedian, David took joy in orchestrating practical jokes even when the embarrassment lacked an audience. He enjoyed making others laugh and practiced compassionate empathy on a regular basis.

A private celebration of life will be held to recognize David's journey through the wilderness.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation of funds to the Friends of World's End State Park or to any Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation Friends group.

The family is being assisted by the Shaw Funeral Home, 400 N. Front St., Milton.

Condolences may be shared at www.shawfuneralhomeinc.com.
Published on October 13, 2019


Plant a tree in memory
of David
Plant a tree

Obituary published in


Print Guestbook

A place to share condolences and memories.
The guestbook expires on January 11, 2020.

Showing 10 of 8 posts

Sandy Savidge Hetherington
Oct 16, 2019
From a classmate to a friend, I always enjoyed your appreciation for history and preservation. You were a good man, Dave! Always in our hearts......we will miss you, Blackbear!

Shikellamy Class of 1977
Tara McCarter
Oct 16, 2019
My deepest condolences. Dana I am sorry. I love you my friend.
Jim Inch
Oct 15, 2019
God Be with You and your family
Mary Ann Daugherty
Oct 14, 2019
I will miss Dave greatly. I was always welcome in there home and at family gatherings. Especially the Christmas Eve family gathering. I will miss the stories he shared of his life. He is now with God. My prayers go out to all the family especially his wife Dana.
Geri Henry-Ramsey
Oct 14, 2019
Nali Dave will ALWAYS be in our hearts and prayers with thanks that he was such a special part of our lives. We love him with all of us... mind, spirit and soul! We’ll miss you, Kind Sir. Geri and Sheabug
Tamme Moore Kehres
Oct 14, 2019
To Dave's family many prayers and sympathies for the loss of your loved one. Dave always had a warm welcome or smile when you saw him whether it was months or years between seeing him. Rest in peace Dave.
Scott Heintzelman
Oct 14, 2019
Thinking of you at this time of loss
Janet N. Bowersox
Oct 13, 2019
Fond memories of sharing tipi camping experiences years ago along with my daughter Brittany, and sharing great laughs with Dave, Dana, Cliff and myself outside the tavern at the 2005 EPR at Muddy Run, PA. No more rocky trails Dave