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David Carver Ames

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Photo David Carver Ames David Carver Ames, 45, passed away July 16, 2008, surrounded by family and friends, after a 6-year struggle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Born on September 2, 1962, David spent his early years in Los Gatos, CA. He graduated from Los Gatos High, University of California, Berkeley, and Santa Clara University School of Law. After practicing litigation for several firms, David co-founded Alliance Counsel in San Francisco. David was know for his generosity in providing pro bono counsel to environmental groups such as the Rainforest Action Network and numerous individuals in need. In addition to his love of surfing, biking, skiing, and mountain climbing, David was known for his artistic endeavors, especially painting. Before his illness, he gathered friends at his home in SF for his weekly "Bohemian Nights" of free expression in art and music. David challenged ALS with vigor, and became known internationally as a champion of alternative approaches to treatment and experimental treatments offered by western medicine. In 2004 he moved his family to Argentina to enroll in a year-long experimental program and from there spent two years at the Casa de Dom Inacio, a spiritual healing center in central Brazil. He founded Heaven's Helpers, an organization that trained young Brazilians for jobs that aided the thousands of sick and disabled who traveled to the center. His experiences in South America were chronicled in two episodes of ABC's Prime Time. In the face of the challenges of ALS, David continued to maintain his sense of humor, unconditional love for all, and to the very last day, a passion for life. He continued to paint, using his fingertips to create canvases of nature and life, producing a book of his art, entitled Gratitude. He wrote letters to his children with insights into life's lessons, intended for them to read each year until their 26th birthday. He led a series of meditations at Saint Patrick's Church, Larkspur and spoke eloquently on topics of anger, resentment, forgiveness, love and gratitude. David's ability to encompass a range of spiritual teachings into his lectures left lasting impressions with people of various religious and spiritual backgrounds. He is survived by his children, Isabel and Joaquin; wife, Oselinda; parents, Genevieve and John Ames; brothers John and Mark Ames; sister, Mary Ames West, brother and sister-in-law; Brian West and Angela Ames, and nieces and nephews, Sarah, Jackson and Kennedy Ames, and Sydney and Margot West. On July 22, 2008, 200 people gathered for a Memorial Celebration on the top of Mount Tamalpais, followed by a Memoral Gathering of 40 surfers at Bolinas Beach. On July 23, a Mass and Celebration of David's life was held at his beloved Saint Patrick's Church, Larkspur. A tax deductible memorial gift may be made to The ALS Association, Greater Bay Area Chapter, with memo line notation, David Ames Fund sent to ALS Assoc., 565 Commercial St., 2nd Floor, SF, 94111. Contributions to trust fund for his children may be made to: Mary West, TTee, Ames Trust, u/a/d 12.15.06, with memo line notation, FBO Isabel and Joaquin sent to Mary West, 184 Oak Springs Drive, San Anselmo, CA, 94960.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Sept. 7, 2008
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