David Mouw

david mouw

August 22, 1942 ~ February 12, 2024

Born in: Grand Rapids, MI
Resided in: Chapel Hill, NC

David Mouw, age 81, died on February 12, 2024, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Dave believed he had the best of lives; that never before in the history of the world, or maybe in the Universe, had a sentient creature lived in such a wonderful place. At age 40, he started saying that if he dropped dead tomorrow, he’d have nothing to complain about. So don’t weep, he had a good run.

Dave was born on August 22, 1942, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and attended Hope College in Holland, Michigan, where he met Karen Voskuil; they married for life on June 6, 1964 (“the best day of his life”) just after college graduation. Dave was primarily a teacher; after getting his PhD in human physiology at the University of Michigan in 1969, he taught physiology at Michigan Medical School from 1971-1981. In 1983 he completed an MD from Michigan, and after a Family Practice Residency in Yellow Springs Ohio, and obtaining additional credentials in Geriatrics, he worked as a rural family doctor/geriatrician in Robbinsville, NC, from 1986-1996. His third and final 10 year career was at the MAHEC residency program in Asheville, where he taught, and provided patient care, from 1997 until his retirement in 2007.

Dave is survived by his wife Karen; his son, Ted and daughter-in-law, Sheri Mouw, of Chapel Hill; his daughter, Jean Robinson, of Minneapolis, MN; six grandchildren (Arthur, Ella, Clara and Lucy of Chapel Hill; Collin and Imon of Minneapolis); and two siblings, Dirk and Sally Mouw of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Dave enjoyed lots of things: activities with Karen or his children and grandchildren, finding a wildflower, catching a fish, sleeping in a tent during a rain, finding a sea shell, reading a good quote, encouraging someone, and teaching situations of all types and ages, ranging from volunteer teaching in grade schools to retirees at the UNCA College for Seniors.

Some of Dave’s best years were: two one-year stints in Australia doing physiology research, a decade teaching the miracles of the human body to U of Michigan undergraduates, another decade teaching family practice residents at MAHEC and many years of part time volunteer work, teaching natural history to Ann Arbor and Asheville grade school children.

In lieu of flowers, etc., please make a donation to the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) to help improve humankind’s low odds of surviving the disaster we’ve made out of this incredible and beautiful world.

Dave’s favorite author was Loren Eiseley. On his gravestone the epitaph is: “We loved the earth but could not stay” the same applies to Dave.

A memorial service will be held at Groce Funeral Home on Patton Ave. in Asheville at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 15. A reception will follow. Contact Ted Mouw ( tedmouw@email.unc.edu ) if you have any questions.


Memorial Service: June 15, 2024 2:00 pm

Groce Funeral Home - Patton Ave.
1401 Patton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28806


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  1. David was a wonderful human being who cared about other people in a way beyond what most people are willing to do. Practicing medicine in that rural county for so many years is a true tribute to his desire to help those who really needed his skill. I am grateful for his introducing me to Heidi’s Wild Salmon, which has been a large part of my diet ever since. If only more people viewed others the way David did the world would be a much better place.

  2. I’m thankful that I got to know David when he was in Haywood County. I am sorry to hear of his passing. My thoughts and prayers go out to Karen and the rest of the family.
    He was always supportive of our choir at Elizabeth Chapel and I was thankful when he sang with us.
    Love and prayers,
    Gail Powell

  3. I was so lucky to have Dave as a close mentor in residency. He was truly a person you could model your life by. I learned a lot from him about medicine, but more importantly about how to treat other people. Such a sweet man.

  4. I met David when I worked at Jubilee! church. In fact, when he was a Board member, he asked me to put the meeting at his house on my calendar MONTHS in advance…he really, really wanted to be sure that I didn’t miss his kinda-famous salmon dinner. David was always so positive and so committed to the wellbeing of the earth and the people on it. I always admired all those years he spent serving the Robbinsville community. What a gift he was to so many of us! May you find joy and peace and love and humor in your memories of him.

  5. We are saddened to hear of Dr. Mouw’s passing. He was a wonderful physician and friend in the time he was living and practicing medicine in Graham County. I remember chaperoning a cast party with him at the parsonage when Jean was a student in my English class and we put on the senior play. He was always interested and involved in aspects of the community, and we are all better people for having known him. Prayers for peace and comfort.

  6. He was an amazing man/doctor. Always had a teaching moment. Never had a bad thing to say. I will treasure his memory. I miss the detailed emails/memos and that smile. He’s the reason I’m still at MAHEC 19+ yrs. Prayers to friends and family.

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