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David Fischetti

David Fischetti Obituary
David Carmichael Fischetti
July 9, 1946 - March 21, 2011
David Carmichael Fischetti passed away at home on March 21, 2011. He was born July 9, 1946 in Brooklyn, NY, in a car on the corner of Albany Ave. and Glenwood Rd. He attended Public Schools 198 and 119 and Hudde Junior High, and he took art courses at Pratt Institute. Dave took The Structural Course at Brooklyn Technical High School and graduated in 1964. He discovered Clemson University because it followed Clarkson Institute of Technology in The College Handbook. He graduated from Clemson in 1969 with a BS in Civil Engineering. He remained an enthusiastic fan of Clemson until his death.
Dave's first job, in 1969, was with Koppers Co. of Pittsburgh, PA where he designed laminated timber structures. He was transferred to their Morrisville facility a year later. In 1973 he began working with Lassiter Hopkins Engineers of Raleigh because he wanted to learn more. In 1975 he opened his own office now known as DCF Engineering, Inc. Dave built a career of solving structural engineering problems using graphic analysis backed up by calculations. He always said, "If you can draw it, you can analyze it." His desire to solve problems, along with his love of art and history shaped his body of work to include structures ranging from contemporary timber structures to fragile historic structures. He was a registered Professional Engineer in nineteen states, and answered the call from far and wide to help with sometimes desperate structural issues. Perhaps he is best known as the Engineer of Record in the Relocation of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, a project that spanned twenty years from concept to completion; this project received the 2000 A.S.C.E. Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award.
However, he also had a deep love affair with timber bridges, especially covered ones. He worked on many covered bridges, including the Cornish Windsor Covered Bridge, which spans the Connecticut River between Cornish, NH and Windsor, VT, for which he won several awards including a 1991 ASCE Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award of Merit; The Covered Pedestrian Bridge in Old Salem, NC, where he earned a Federal Highway Administration 2002 Biennial Award of Merit for Excellence in Highway Design; the Bunker Hill Covered Bridge in Claremont, NC and most recently finished in 2008, the Will Henry Stevens Covered Bridge in Highlands, NC. He also worked on the Tohickon Aqueduct in Point Pleasant, PA, for he won the 2002 National Timber Bridge Award – First Place for Rehabilitation of an Existing Bridge.
Dave's other love was historic preservation. In 1988 he was honored with the Robert E. Stipe Award for professional achievement in historic preservation by the Historic Preservation Foundation of North Carolina. His many preservation projects included, the Poinsett Hotel, Greenville, SC, for which he received 2005 South Carolina Historic Preservation Award - Honor Award; Eagle Block, Newport, NH, New Hampshire Preservation Alliance 2005 Preservation Achievement Award for outstanding preservation and rehabilitation, and perhaps most notable the Restoration of Market Hall, Charleston, SC for which he won numerous awards including the Restoration and Renovation 2004 Palladio Award, the 2003 South Carolina Historic Preservation Honor Award – The Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation SC Department of Archives & History Governors Office, 2003 National Preservation Honor Award National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2002 Samuel Gaillard Stoney Conservation Craftsmanship Award by the Historic Charleston Foundation, 2002 Carolopolis Award presented by The Preservation Society of Charleston.
Dave had many opportunities to serve the ecclesiastical community and worked on approximately 175 churches over the years; including St. Helena's Episcopal Church in Beaufort, SC, which received a 2001 South Carolina Historic Preservation Honor Award.
Along with the prestigious awards and recognition, Dave also wrote many scholarly papers for publication, gave wonderful lectures, and belonged to many organizations through the years, including the Association for Preservation Technology (APT), the Timber Framers Guild, many covered bridge societies, including The Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, The New York State Covered Bridge Society, Historic Bridge Foundation, and the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges.
He was made a Professional Fellow by the Historic Resources Imaging Laboratory, School of Architecture at Texas A&M University and received the Orthogonal Medal, at The Faculty of Graphic Communications at North Carolina State University in 2000 for notable international contributions as a civil engineer, leadership in the realm of structural design and historic preservation, and continuing support of engineering and technical graphics.
He was just concluding work on Shelburne Farms for which he presented a Paper at ICOMOS in Florence, Italy in November 2007, a collaborative effort with Doug Porter, University of Vermont and Ron Anthony, Anthony & Associates, Inc. and a Preservation Workshop, co-sponsored by Shelburne Farms, the Timber Framers Guild, and the Preservation Trades Network in June 2010.
Dave eventually wrote a book, Structural Investigation of Historic Buildings: A Case Study Guide to Preservation Technology for Buildings, Bridges, Towers, and Mills, Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2009, to express his philosophy and share his insights and experiences with the public in the amazing adventure of structural engineering.
Dave leaves behind his beloved wife of 42 years, Joyce, sons John and his wife Denise of Raleigh, NC and Matt and his wife Trisha Fischetti of Alpharetta, GA and grandson, Chris Fischetti, and granddaughter, Jackie Fischetti both of Raleigh and brother, Mike L. Fischetti and wife Sheila of Matthews, NC.
He is predeceased by his parents, Constantine and Rose Fischetti, and his daughter Stephanie Anne Fischetti.
Dave was thoughtful, funny and wise. He will be greatly missed.
A visitation will be held Friday, March 25, 2011, 6-8PM, at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 200 Southeast Maynard Rd., Cary, NC 27511, (919)-467-8108
Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 26, 2011, 11AM at White Plains United Methodist Church, 313 Southeast Maynard Rd., Cary, NC 27511. Interment will follow at Historic Oakwood Cemetery, Oakwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27611
Donations may be made in his memory to University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dept of Endocrine Neoplasia, 1400 Pressler St Unit 1461, Houston, TX, 77030-3722 Attn: Dr. Naifa K. Busaidy, MD for Endocrine Research and Hospice of Wake County, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607
Condolences and fond memories may be offered at www.brownwynnecary.com


Published in The News & Observer on Mar. 24, 2011
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