GIELE, David L. of Wellesley, died suddenly on Friday, June 25 at the age of 96, after a collapse and fall. The youngest son of Lester Giele and Esther Haskell Giele, he was born on November 13, 1924, in Dayton, Ohio. A Harvard National Scholar, he was drafted in the fall of 1942 and inducted into the US Army in the spring of his freshman year. He was selected to serve in the Army Specialized Training Corps and served in the European theater until the end of World War II, participating in the first post D-Day amphibious landing on the beaches of Normandy, from ships that had sailed to France directly from the United States. He received a Purple Heart and several other commendations. He was always modest about his service and these awards, saying they were given “just for showing up”.
After graduating from Harvard in 1948 (his graduation delayed by 2 years due to his wartime service), he also earned a degree in Printing Management from the Carnegie Institute of Technology and returned to Dayton to work in the family business of the Giele and Pflaum Printing Company. Introduced by his good friend and cousin Marcia, he met his future spouse Janet while she was in college, and they married in 1957. They then moved to Cambridge, Mass., so that Janet could complete her graduate education at Harvard. David was a man ahead of his time, always supportive of Janet’s professional aspirations, work, and success.
With the move to Massachusetts, David transitioned from printing to book publishing. He became a book designer at Ginn and Company, followed by production work at Addison Wesley. He joined Little, Brown and Company in the late 1960s, where he served as Managing Editor of the College Textbook Division, until his retirement in 1988.
After retirement, David was able to spend more time in various artistic pursuits he loved and excelled at – type-setting the work of local poets Doris Holmes Eyges and Addison Hall on his hand printing press and producing hand-bound books of their work; painting; drawing; creating silk screens; and printing wood and linoleum blocks of his own design. Every year he produced beautiful holiday cards using his hand press, wood or linoleum blocks, and his own calligraphy. Earlier in the 1980s, he had helped to produce the history of the town of Wellesley written by Beth Hinchliffe, Five Pounds Currency; Three Pounds of Corn. He was a member of the Boston-based Society of Printers and served as its President in the mid-1980s. A longtime member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, he served for many years as an usher, and from 1990 to 1994 as Treasurer and member of the finance committee.
In addition to his many artistic and musical skills, David was known for his warm intelligence, his subtle humor, and was considered a generous and loving mentor and friend by many. He was preceded in death by his 3 siblings and his namesake nephew. He is survived by his spouse of almost 64 years, Janet; his children Elizabeth and Ben; and his grandchildren, Wolfgang and Carmen. He was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather, and he is dearly missed by all.
A celebration of David’s life will be held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church at a future date. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in David’s name to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 79 Denton Road, Wellesley, MA, 02482.