J. David Carey Obituary, Cedar, Rapids, (1952 – 2024) – Death Notice And Visitation

Death: J. David Carey Obituary – J. David Carey, 71, of Cedar Rapids, died Monday, March 25, 2024, at Mercy Medical Center following a brief illness. A viewing will be held on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, from 4-7 p.m. at Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home. A Celebration of Life Service will be scheduled at a later date. J. David was born on November 14, 1952, in Cedar Rapids parents John and Dorothy Carey. His extended family was instrumental in establishing and supporting the Cedar Rapids Community Theater. His father appeared in a play presented at Grant Wood’s art studio (where David would eventually reside), and his aunts were strongly involved in Playtime Poppy.

He attended Arthur and Franklin schools before graduating from Washington High School in 1970. He began performing at Cedar Rapids Community Theater as a child (his first role was in Auntie Mame) and appeared in a number of high school plays. He lovingly referred to himself as a “theatre jock.” He was a member of the Young Republicans (if you can believe it) and The Gambling and Gourmet Society (plenty of gambling but little cooking).

J. David spent the summer after college riding across Europe with friends before attending Iowa State University. He majored in biology with aspirations of being on television like Jacques Costeau. But he quickly realized that science wasn’t as much fun as performing, so he went to UNI and majored in theater (with a biology minor). Following graduation, he collaborated with Tim Boyle, Richard Barker, and Nina Swanson to form a popular improv comedy troupe that performed in Cedar Rapids. He was also a part of the Post Script Ensemble, which provided outreach for the Community Theatre.

He briefly worked as a professional actor in Seattle and led a touring theatrical group in Minneapolis before returning to Iowa to receive an MFA in Arts Administration from the University of Iowa. In the 1980s, he moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, and began working for the State Arts Council. David camped, walked, and fished in the wilderness before discovering rodeos, of all things. He even purchased cowboy boots and a hat, since he was always on the lookout for a costume to fit the part!

He later returned to Cedar Rapids and worked as the Symphony’s Marketing Director for several years. He also volunteered at Foundation 2 by answering crisis center phone calls, when he met his fellow volunteer and eventual wife, Alex. They relocated into Grant Wood’s art studio, located at 5 Turner Alley. He eventually returned to the community theatre (TCR), where he became Marketing Director and pursued his passion for theater by directing several productions. Following the Peter Principle (David’s words), he finally became TCR’s financial and IT administrator.

In addition to working for TCR, David was instrumental in founding Cedar Rapids Counseling & Psychotherapy (which included Alex and several other therapists). For more than a decade, he was their trusted business manager, IT expert, and all-around handyman.

David retired in 2018. In retirement, he and Alex attended numerous senior seminars at the University of Iowa and Coe College. They went to film festivals and saw numerous theater shows. David had a lifelong interest in nature. He enjoyed bird watching and frog counting (he volunteered for the DNR), and following the 2020 Derecho, he developed prairie plantings in his backyard. They owned a cabin on a wildlife refuge on Lake Odessa in southeast Iowa, where he and Alex (along with cabin neighbors Cal and Lynne) spent many hours canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and bird-watching from the porch. Cal and David engaged in a lively competition to see who could attract the most goldfinches to their feeders. David consistently claimed to be the victor.

David was an affectionate spouse, a quietly kind and dependable friend, a trustworthy colleague, a witty and irreverent companion, and a treasured “Uncle Weirdo,” as his niece Jessica put it. He was among the best. He will be deeply missed, but always remembered.

David is survived by his wife Alexandria Carey, his sisters-in-law Lynn (Craig) Hanna, Dawn Krambeer, and Leah Strommer, his nieces Jessica (Scott) Carey, Sarah (Kyle) Hanna, Jordan Hanna, and Sydney Strommer, and his nephews Matthew Carey, David Hanna, and Brandon (Jordyn) Strommer. His parents, John Frick Carey and Dorothy Murphy Keck, as well as his brother Michael Edward Carey, sister Peachie Carey (Dorothy Sophian Carey), and niece Abigail Sophian Carey, all died before him.

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