Dr. David F. Machell

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  • "It was a sad day when we lost Dave. There's no doubt how..."
    - Mary Ann Walczyk
  • "I feel fortunate to have been a student of Dr. Machell's. ..."
  • "Such an intelligent and inspiring man. He was a wonderful..."
    - Michele P
  • "Dear Mary, My fondest memory of Dave was after he was..."
    - Joan Smith
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Dr. David F. Machell, 63, died peacefully on Feb. 6, 2014, in Manchester, with his beloved wife, Mary Granata Machell by his side.

He was born April 11, 1950, in Manchester. In addition to his wife Mary, he leaves his stepchildren Matthew and Dr. Meghan Malentacchi. Dr. Machell was predeceased by his first wife of 26 years, Phyllis (Smith) Machell; and his parents Ernest and Teresa (Madden) Machell. He also leaves numerous cousins and an aunt.

Dr. Machell was Professor Emeritus of Justice and Law Administration Division at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) in Danbury where he taught for 30 years, retiring in 2010. In addition to teaching courses including Research, Administration and Mental Health, he served as Chair of the Division from 1993-2003 and prior to that as Associate Chair from 1983-1992 and Chair, University Promotion and Tenure Committee, collectively 12 years. Following graduation from East Catholic High School in Manchester in 1968, he entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order) to study for the priesthood. Because of his musical abilities on the flute, he was sent in 1971 to study at the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford, winning a full scholarship in flute. He was to leave the Jesuits that same year. He continued his music studies at Hartt from 1971-1974. He left his initial ambition to play music for another career path and transferred to Central Connecticut State University. He received his BS degree in History and Psychology in 1976 and two MS degrees in Psychology and Counseling both in 1978 from Central. In 1984, he was awarded the Doctor of Education degree from Fordham University at Lincoln Center, New York City, where he focused on addiction in the urban environment and social service administration.

Dr. Machell was an active writer who produced over 80 professional and scholarly works in his specialty areas of addiction and psychopathology. His writings on emotional disorders of professors have been discussed in national and international publications. He was an invited speaker at numerous graduate schools and other institutions nationwide. Dr. Machell was a licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor (LADC) who contributed to and created six addiction treatment programs in Connecticut. He provided consultation to several addiction facilities including Guenster Rehabilitation Center in Bridgeport, Meridian Foundation in Stamford, and Rushford Center in Middletown.

Dr. Machell was an accomplished musician, who continued to share his love of music giving 15 musical recitals at WCSU along with Howard (composer/ pianist) and Christina Rovics (soprano) and other guest artists, including his dear friend and WCSU colleague, Dr. Harold B. Schramm, as a guest narrator. He performed on the concert and Native American flutes, piccolo, Irish penny whistles and bagpipes. Dr. Machell was a bagpiper who began learning to play the bagpipes at the age of 7 under the mentorship of James Farrell. He was a member collectively for 20 years of the St. Patrick's Pipe Band, which was founded by his family in the 1940s in Manchester. For 26 years he presented the annual "Bagpiper on the Green" performance at WCSU with his colleague, Professor David Smith on drums.

In remembrance of the 9/11 attacks, he and Dr. Schramm held several Solemn Memorial Sojourns of Remembrance, holding memorial service at Manchester Community College in Manchester, St. Rose School, East Hartford, Naugatuck Valley Community in Waterbury, ending their sojourn at WCSU in Danbury. His loving cousin Ann Carson provided enough food for an army for their sojourns.

David was a true Renaissance man, creative, highly intelligent, interested in and passionate about many things. He was an avid collector including of watches, rings, Native American flutes and Zuni fetishes. He was a loving and much loved man who will be terribly missed.

David's family would like to thank Dr. Kevin Felice, Candice Kiely, RN, and all the staff at the Hospital for Special Care Neuromuscular Clinic who provided extraordinary compassion and care; Katie, RN, Amy, RN, Katrina, Donna, Pat, RN, and Mary from Masonicare; Mary Jane, Brenda, Cecelia, Antoneil, Jeffery and Jim; the staff at Manchester Manor, including Scott and Ann Marie, for their caring and support; and the ALS Association who provided many years of emotional and concrete supports and assistance to David and his family.

Funeral service will be held on Monday, Feb. 10, at 10:15 a.m. from the John F. Tierney Funeral Home, 219 West Center St., Manchester, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. at St. Mary's Church, 15 Maplewood Ave., East Hartford, followed by burial in St. Mary's Cemetery, East Hartford.

Family and friends may call at the John F. Tierney Funeral Home, 219 West Center St., Manchester, on Sunday, from 2 to 7 p.m.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the ALS Association, Attn. Stacey Rahl Care Service Coordinator, 10 Oxford Road, Unit D4, Milford, CT 06460.

For online condolences please visit


Funeral Home
John F. Tierney Funeral Home
219 West Center Street
Manchester, CT 06040-4857
(860) 643-1222
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Published in Journal Inquirer from Feb. 8 to Feb. 12, 2014