David Jome Houck

Thursday, March 18, 2021

David Houck, formerly of Greencastle, passed away peacefully at home in Poitiers, France, on Feb. 14, 2021, after an extended illness. His family was with him at the time of his death.

Born on April 10, 1947 in Greencastle, David was the son of James McPherson and Helen Jome Houck, who both preceded him in death. Besides his late parents, those gone before him were his maternal grandparents, Hiram and Martha Jome; his paternal grandparents, David and Norris Houck; and his grandson, Samuel (son of Andrew and Adeline Houck).

David is survived by his wife of 43 years, Carolyn Kumpf Houck, and his three children, Ellen (Michael) Looney, Cynthia (Thomas) Tottleben and Andrew (Adeline). His brother, Robert, resides in Ellettsville.

He attended elementary and middle school in Reelsville and graduated from Greencastle High School in 1965. He earned a B.A. from Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., and a J.D. from the Indiana University School of Law (Indianapolis). He worked as attorney for several years in downtown Greencastle, and served as deputy prosecutor of Putnam County when his father was elected county prosecutor.

In 1986, he joined Merchant’s National Bank (later National City) in Indianapolis as a trust officer, a position he held until 2001. He returned to the Greencastle area shortly thereafter to work as a certified financial planner for Community Trust. Due to health issues, he retired from the Indiana Bar Association a decade ago.

David was an active member of Gobin United Methodist Church and the local chapter of Kiwanis International. His civic engagements were a testament to his belief in the better angels of human nature. He especially credited his paternal grandfather, David, and his maternal grandparents, Hiram and Martha, for instilling in him a set of lifelong principles of social justice and fairness. They would not be disappointed; David touched the lives of all those he met.

Though diminished physically for the past several years, his passion for the outdoors never left him. A self-proclaimed “river rat,” some of his fondest memories were of his time spent canoeing. He was an avid open-wheel auto-racing enthusiast, as well, willing to ride his Harley hundreds of miles to see a great champ dirt car race. For those who knew David, his favorite hobby by far was collecting antique firearms, and nothing pleased him more than being able to show off his newest shotgun.

A small service was held in Poitiers, France, at the Parc Mémorial de la Vienne (memory garden), where his ashes were interred at the base of a young birch tree, a reminder of the trees lining Big Walnut Creek that cut through the Houck family’s farms in Washington Township. There his ashes joined those of his grandson Samuel, who passed away in 2010.

As per David’s wishes, donations can be made for educational scholarships through the local Kiwanis chapter or to the Putnam County Humane Society.