David Karsgaard
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KARSGAARD, David Andrew

18 August 1945 - 20 January 2014

Former Canadian Ambassador

Peacefully, at home with his family, on Saturday, January 20th, of cancer. Beloved son of Dr. Andrew and the late Olive Karsgaard (née Pierce), dear older brother to Louise, Beth, Lynn and Paul, proud and generous father to Andrew (Stacey) and Philip and beloved Papa to Beatrix and Tristan.

Born in Vancouver, David grew up in Pakistan and attended Woodstock School, in Mussoorie, India. He was educated at the University of Manitoba before returning to the subcontinent as a teacher at Murree Christian School, where he met Marianne, his future wife. After marrying and starting a family, David embarked on a career at the Department of Foreign Affairs. Early postings in New Delhi, India and Bonn, Germany were followed by his appointment as Ambassador of Canada to Iraq and, later, Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. After retirement he continued to live in Ottawa.

Friends will miss the joys and stimulation of his wide-ranging conversation and his enthusiasm for ideas, music and literature. His family will always remember and be grateful for his generosity and wit. Although in many ways a private man, David touched the lives of many and will be missed by all.

The family would like to thank the staff, nurses and doctors of the Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre, the CCAC and the palliative care Drs Aldridge and Thompson who provided David with such compassionate and professional care.

A private cremation will be followed by a memorial gathering for friends and family at home.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Ottawa Citizen on Jan. 23, 2014.
Memories & Condolences
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18 entries
April 19, 2014
Dear Uncle Andrew - Just happened to read just now that David has passed away. Sorry for your loss - hope your still doing well.
Wes Karsgaard
March 17, 2014
Terrible newa! We became friends at Regent College, Vancouver, in 1970/71. We never met again but I treasure memories of our friendship at that time. Condolences to David's family.
Massimo Rubboli
March 11, 2014
Good teacher and friend. Gone too soon.
Tim Rock
February 11, 2014
so sorry to hear the news. i have many memories.
warren karsgaard
February 4, 2014
I never knew David, but we were in Woodstock at the same time. I would be pleased if someone in the family would please contact me so that we might honour his memory at Woodstock. Thank you.
Helen Dobson Arnott
January 28, 2014
David was a good friend at Woodstock, and I was delighted to run into him in by pure chance in New Delhi when he was at the embassy there. It gave us a chance to catch up over lunch. Condolences to David's family.
Hank Lacy
January 28, 2014
I have great memories of David during his two years at Woodstock. A fantastic friend with whom I enjoyed many lovely walks in Mussoorie.
While neither of us seemed to be good at keeping in touch I will always remember him as a special friend.
Meherjee Cassinath
January 27, 2014
David was one of my good buddies at Woodstock School during 1957-1963. Yes, he was easy going with a quick humor, and was very friendly. We did lots of things together including playing soccer endlessly. I can still see vividly his foot work in maneuvering the ball around, quite a sight. Reading about David 's life post Woodstock and particularly his distinguished career in foreign service gives me great awe and respect for a full life well lived. I send my sincere condolences to David's family and friends. Take care, peace to you, David.
John K.C. Liu
January 27, 2014
Praying for you all as you mourn the loss of David.
I was a classmate of his at Woodstock School.
Ellen Livingston
January 27, 2014
I just learned through our Woodstock School class secretary that David died last Monday. Although I hadn't known him well when we were schoolmates (I was quite shy in those days), I gazed at his handsome picture and he seemed closer. I would like to share part of a prayer that I say for my beloved father in the next world; I have just said this for David.

"O my God! O my God! Verily, Thy servant...hath abandoned this mortal life and hath flown to the kingdom of immortality, yearning for the favour of meeting Thee.
O Lord, glorify his station, shelter him under the pavilion of Thy supreme mercy, cause him to enter Thy glorious paradise, and perpetuate his existence in Thine exalted rose garden, that he may plunge into the sea of light in the world of mysteries.
Verily, Thou art the Generous, the Powerful, the Forgiver and the Bestower."

I am also sad that we had not known of his proximity! We live in Wakefield, western Quebec, about 30 minutes' drive north of Ottawa, where my husband still works. If any in David's family would like to contact me, our # is 819-459-1702; it would be lovely to welcome you to beautiful Wakefield, in the Gatineau Hills near the river.
Blessings on each one.
Marilee Rhody
January 27, 2014
Although David did not keep in touch with us, his classmates from Woodstock High School remember him well. He was an athlete and his smile was terrific - one couldn't help but smile back. Suzanne Turner Hanifl, class secretary
Suzanne Hanifl
January 24, 2014
January 23, 2014
I got to know David and the Karsgaard family during elementary school in Pakistan. Prayers and condolences for the family at this difficult time.
Jon Salmon
January 23, 2014
To "Uncle Andrew," Louise, Beth, Lynn, Paul, and Marianne--It has been many years since we were in each others' lives, but some of my memories are as clear as yesterday. I remember clinics in Brarkot; building on the new site of Bach Hospital; playing and running all over, mostly with Lynn who was my age; being totally in awe of David and thinking him one of the most handsome older boys I even knew!! And, so many more. Later on, when David came back to teach at Murree and met Marianne there. We loved them both, and I was so annoyed and sorry that I had to miss part of their time there because of a furlough. I don't know if any of you remember, but the 1969 MCS yearbook, "the Kahani" was dedicated to David. In just two years his charismatic nature, and his ability to relate to where we had come from since he had grown up in Pakistan and gone to boarding school, made a huge impression on the school. I am sorry that you lost him at such a relatively young age, and so quickly--though I am glad he did not have to suffer longer. May all of you know the peace of God as you walk this path of grief. I have not lost a son, or a sibling, or a husband, but I did lose both parents in their early 70's and it is hard at times not to wonder what they might have done had they lived longer. But, I have learned that it is not what they MIGHT have done that is important, but what they DID that is important. I hope you all can look back at David's life and be able to see how much he DID. And, may you remember the good things, too. Love to you all--with many fond memories.
Susanna Rasmussen Brown
January 23, 2014
David Karsgaard, Murree, Pakistan, 1955
David was the best of friends when we were in school together in Pakistan as kids. I followed his career at a distance since, and admire his accomplishments. My sympathies to his family and children.
David Salmon
January 23, 2014
David was a wonderful man and foreign service colleague. He will be missed, and his family is in our prayers.
January 23, 2014
David Karsgaard will be deeply missed by his wonderful family and friends. It was an honour to be his friend and neighbour, sharing laughs and ideas.
Julia Campbell
January 23, 2014
David will be deeply missed by his wonderful family and friends. It was an honour to be his friend and neighbour, sharing insights, ideas and laughter.
Julia Campbell
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