Obituary of David Manchel
On April 13, 2022 David departed for his final and infinite journey after 5 years of stoically facing many medical challenges with spirit, wit and humor.
David was born and raised in Hollywood, California. After graduating high school, he found himself at Ft Ord for basic training then went off to study Art @ Copenhagen University. Upon his return to the US he attended Chouinard Art Institute. At this time his sister was living in Carmel and during his visit noticed there was no representation of leather as a conceptual art form in the area so he opened Skin Game on Cannery Row in the 70s then later a shop in Carmel , the Carmel Leathersmith, till he experienced health issues.
He spent many years traveling the world. Being a natural raconteur he enjoyed sharing stories of his sojourn from living in India, encounters with Peggy Sue the pet boar in Nepal, harrowing train and bus rides on precipitous mountain roads heading towards Khyber pass and donkey cart excursions into tribal territories, following silk road trails in central Asia and Middle East. Tales such as accidently kipping on the steps of the Bulgarian police station in the middle of the night, being mistaken as the resurrection of Rasputin due to his hennaed hair and beard in the Baltic areas, near arrest in Tehran in the days of unrest and an amazing Aeroflot flight to Moscow with folks, goats and uniquely different , inflight service could only be told hilariously by him . David basked in the beauties and wonders of the Mediterranean till he worked his way to Copenhagen where acquired the love of leatherwork, learned his craft from Danish cobblers, saddlers and made some very close lifelong friends. . Mostly he was impressed by the graciousness & hospitality received all over the world.
His joy and passion was leatherwork and having a good jaw with friends. If you knew him, you know he could talk about the craziest minutiae. He loved spending time with his friends when he could and discuss the fate and future of the world or the stupidity of people. David would not hesitate to correct your grammar too! He was not shy with his opinions either - ah the talks we would have, ranging from extraterrestrials, classic motorbikes to good books to read LOL. You all knew he had a gift of gab and enjoyed a good laugh.
His first shop, Skin Game on Cannery row, showcased stylish leather attire and jewelry; whereas the Carmel Leathersmith was a gallery of unique leather art, masks, wall hangings, sculptures, jewelry and custom made articles many of his design, hand tooled and sewn. The shop had an open workshop where shoppers could see him at the workbench, have a chit chat and pet his dog Rita. An article on his shop was published in the Alta Vista, the Sunday Herald Magazine, highlighting his shop that drew many customers from around the world for his excellent and "interesting" custom work projects. His specialty was recreating bomber nose art type patches on motorcycle jackets as well as contemporary designs, all hand tooled, air brushed then sewn on.
Sadly his medical issues persisted and necessitated support from numerous compassionate, congenial and competent professionals. First, appreciation goes to his caregivers Jonalyn, Cindy, Persis and Jane for their kind and gentle care. Then heartfelt thanks go Bianca, Shana, Deidre and others associated with Hospice of the Central coast dedicated to seeing to all aspects of his end of life care. Special
spiritual support was kindly provided by Rabbi Holtzberg for making housecalls during David's declining days. In the 5 year episode of health challenges, David also received wonderful care from the Montage Cardiopulmonary Rehab staff, Chomp Palliative care and the OT, PT from Choice Home Care. Sincere gratitude to Dharma PharmD our pharmacoguru, Dr. Hausdorff and staff who thoughtfully and compassionately steered us thru Palliative and Hospice care for which we are grateful.
Needless to say, the staff of CHOMP (he visited practically every unit) gave David the best of care and treated him with great compassion, skill and humor. David presented frequently to the ED due to a myriad of health issues so kudos to the staff, they are true professionals in spirit and craft. Lastly we want to extend our appreciation to : Drs Alexander, Blaine, Carmen, Davis, Dimitrov, Fleming, Gerber, Hausdorff, Joye, Kitaji, McDermott, Satow, Spowart, and the numerous Hospitalists who shepherded him through multiple crises with their care and expertise for prolonging his ability to enjoy life.
There is no funeral service per his request. David will be interred with his family at Mt. Sinai cemetery in LA but some of him, along with ashes of his wolfdog Lilo , will be dispersed to the wind and sea so he may once again travel the 5 oceans and 7 continents. He is predeceased by his parents Jules and Anne. David is survived by his sister Teri (Robert), nieces Nikki and Alana, special cousin Amy and Jane his companion. If you wish to honor his passing David would be pleased if you would donate to Animal Friends Rescue Project, Peace of Mind Rescue or local animal shelters.
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