Dave Peat RIP

David W Peat, age 88, of Indianapolis died December 25th surrounded by Family. He is survived by wife Mary F Peat (Ronnebaum), children Brian (Linnae) Peat, Ann (Joseph) Wehrheim, 4 grandchildren Michael and Nicholas Wehrheim, Emily Peat, and Sarah (Peat) Rice.

David Peat was born at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis on October 3, 1932 to Wilbur David and Talitha Ruth Peat (Rasmussen). His father was the director of the Herron Art Museum and painted during his summer vacations. Talitha was very involved in the Methodist church where she taught Sunday school for many years. He had an older sister, Patricia May Peat (Dusendschon) who was also an artist and teacher. When he was very young, his parents built a cottage at Palisades Park in Michigan where they spent most of the summer months. He grew up in Indianapolis and realized at an early age he was an engineer. After he graduated from Shortridge High School, he attended Purdue and graduated as a Mechanical Engineer.

His first engineering job was working for Sunbeam in Chicago for 6 months before being drafted in the Army in 1955. He returned to Sunbeam after his service before going to work for Western Electric here in Indianapolis.

While at Western Electric for 33 years, he collaborated on projects with Bell Labs and was granted two patents for his work on the coin shoot and call totalizer.

After Western Electric closed, he worked at Naval Avionics where he set up a clean room and worked on projects for the Navy.

In his spare time, he had various unique hobbies like model railroading, printing, pyrotechnics, and a lot of collecting.

He was always interested in antique transportation. He owned a Model T Ford truck that he enjoyed using in parades and a Singer locomotive that was originally used in the Singer sewing machine factory in Fort Wayne. The locomotive resided at the Indiana Transportation Museum, which he was a founding member of.

He collected various things over the years, but his main hobby was letterpress type and specimen books. Mary and Dave enjoyed attending various printing events each year where they got to spend time with friends from all over the country. His love of printing led him to be included in a documentary film, Pressing On, that showcases the men and women preserving letterpress.

This past July, Mary and David celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary.

Due to Covid, services will be held at a later date.

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Dave and his wife visited me here in Silverton and we had dinner in my restaurant. It was a grand visit and we had a great time. I met up with Dave at several ATF conferences over the years. He and I would visit occasionally by phone and they usually turned into hour long chats. He was full of information and was willing to share it.

He came trough Silverton some years before I moved here and made an offer to buy an ATF catalog from 1898 from the local newspaper. He was turned down but the written offer was tucked into the book. Years later, the grown son of the long departed newspaper man came into my shop and gave me the catalog, saying that I might like it. And there was Dave’s offer, after all those years. When I showed this all to Dave, he remembered the encounter and stated that he always was on the outlook for such material on his trips, and he eventually got that catalog else where.

It is sad to see the Dave Peat’s and Dave Churchman’s of letterpress lore go from the scene. Somewhere on the internet are several videos that the two Daves did entitled something like “Dickin’ Around with the Daves.” So much that could be said about Dave, and Dave.

This is a great story, thank you for posting. My wife’s maiden name is Dusendschon, her family is from Neenah, WI, maybe some relation with the family. Happy New Year and rest in peace Dave.

By coincidence, I just found the videos mentioned, at the youtube page of an Indianapolis film maker
Not only the “Dickin’ around with the Dave’s” series, but also trailers for the film “Pressing On” in which Dave is also featured.