August 6, 1948 ~
March 20, 2014
David Mclimans died of a heart attack on March 20, 2014, in his home in Madison, Wisconsin. He was born on August 6, 1948 to John and Helen (Mueller) McLimans in Beaver Dam. His life-long love of nature was nurtured there in the farmland and woods of Wisconsin. He attended Green Bay West High School and after a stint in the Navy spent his early years on the land called Blue River which he shared with friends in Richland County. There, in a cabin in the woods, he spent his days reading, drawing, painting, living lightly on the land.
David moved to Minneapolis where he studied art and design and met Karen Cornelius whom he married. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota and a master's degree in Fine Arts from Boston University, worked as a typographer and graphic designer, and traveled the world.
He returned to Wisconsin in 1985, moving to Madison, where his daughter Hannah was born in 1986. He continued his work as a graphic artist and began his career as an editorial illustrator, first publishing art in The Progressive magazine, and subsequently in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Harper's, the Atlantic Monthly, as well as many other editorial and trade publications. David's career was distinguished by many awards including the Society of Newspaper Designers Award of Excellence, Print Magazine's Certificate of Excellence, the New York Times Illustrated Book of the Year, as well as inclusion in annual awards from The Society of Illustrators and The American Institute of Graphic Arts.
He wrote three children's books and was awarded the Caldecott Honor Medal for his book "Gone Wild," an endangered animal alphabet. David taught graphic design and illustration art at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, and Madison College over the last several years and especially enjoyed making art with children.
He was a member of the Buddhist Snowflower Sangha in Madison.
David is survived by his daughter Hannah McLimans, his partner, Eva Hagenhofer, former wife Karen Cornelius, sisters, Jerilyn (John) Crabbe and Renee Despins, nephew Brent (Peggy) Crabb and nieces, Stephanie (Chris) Despins Daly, Andrea (Neal) Potischman, Terilyn Crabb and a wide circle of close friends who will dearly miss David's wisdom, compassion, wit, and forgiveness for, and understanding of, this world and all the wild things in it.
Contributions in honor of David's commitment to preserving nature and sense of justice can be made to The Farley Center for Peace and Justice, 2299 Spring Rose Rd., Verona, WI 53593.
Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette on Apr. 6, 2014
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