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David Michael Womack obituary

By Staff | Mar 25, 2011

David Michael Womack, artist, philosopher and “renaissance man,” died Friday, March 18, at age 45, at his home in Shepherdstown, surrounded by those he loved.

Born and raised in Huntsville, Ala., as an adult David traveled the country and world, living in many places including Mobile, Ala., Silver Spring, Md., and most recently, the District of Columbia, Palm Springs, Calif., and Shepherdstown.

Blessed with a brilliant mind and quirky sense of humor, he was always armed with a joke (or a well-placed zinger). Although he referred to himself as a misanthropic curmudgeon, David truly never met a stranger he did not want to get to know better and he was beloved by everyone with whom he came in contact. David was a passionate, life-long learner with varied talents and interests including pottery, fiber-arts, sculpting, writing and cooking.

An eclectic reader, David could usually be found curled up with yet another obscure book on art, philosophy, history or social theory. Even at the end of his life, David was organizing the myriad of books he still hoped to read. David spent much of his life working to achieve social justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people. David worked for many years at the Human Rights Campaign prior to his retirement (in 2008) to focus on his health. Over his lifetime, he supported many nonprofit organizations focused on the arts, civil and human rights and providing services to those in need.

David is survived by his husband of six years, Ian Gibson-Smith, of Martinsburg; his mother, Martha Delaney, of Huntsville; his sisters, Lisa East and Holly Snow, of Huntsville; his niece, Samantha East, of Salt Lake City Utah; his husband’s parents, Clifford William Smith and Valerie Smith; and his sister-in-law, Julia Lam and her two sons, Collin and Duncan Lam, of Shepherdstown.

David was preceded in death by his stepfather, Frank Delaney. David will be remembered by his many, many friends around the world.

There will be a wake from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 26 in Martinsburg and a memorial in Huntsville at a later date in April.

In lieu of flowers, David requested that his friends consider donating blood regularly as he benefited from that precious gift on many occasions.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Panhandle, 122 Waverly Court, Martinsburg, WV 25403 or the IanThom Foundation, 39 Stagshead Court, Martinsburg, WV 25404.

Online condolences may be offered at www.BrownFuneralHomesWV.com.