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David C. Shampine

David C. Shampine

1948 - 2017

David C. Shampine, 69, local author and retired Watertown Daily Times reporter, died May 2, 2017, following a two year bout with cancer.
Mr. Shampine was born in Carthage, Feb. 25, 1948, the son of Clyde W. and Leona Perry Shampine. His elementary and high school educations were at Augustinian Academy, Carthage, where he graduated in 1966.
He received an Associate of Arts degree in 1968 from Jefferson Community College, and continued his studies at Franklin Pierce College, Rindge, N.H., and SUNY Brockport, where in 1971 he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Shortly after his Brockport graduation, Mr. Shampine was hired as Carthage correspondent for the Watertown Daily Times. After six months, he was moved to the Watertown office to develop a career which would span about 42 years. Most of his career was dedicated to crime reporting, but he also had brief terms as a court reporter and part of a two-person Fort Drum reporting team after the 10th Mountain Division became based at the local post.
Over the course of his career, he received three journalism awards: a Media Awards Certificate from the New York State Bar Association; a Local Reporting Award of Excellence from the New York Newspaper Publishers Association, and a second-place award in spot news reporting from the New York State Associated Press Association. Additionally, the New York State Department of Labor presented him with a certificate of appreciation, and a Communication Award was given him by a ladies auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
What Mr. Shampine said was his biggest pride was a professional achievement award presented him in 2007 by the Jefferson Community College Alumni Association. With that honor, he is among at least 90 listed as distinguished alumnus of the college.
In 1998, Mr. Shampine opened the door for an unexpected venture when he introduced in The Times a column in local history, entitled “Times Gone By.” He focused on personalities, building human interest stories around historical fact. He took pride when more than once readers praised him for bringing the subject of a story “back to life.” An editor with a publishing company, The History Press, discovered some of his stories on the Internet in 2009, and emailed him, asking if he’d be interested in having some of his stories compiled in a book.  With the blessings of John B. Johnson Jr., then editor and publisher of the Times, Mr. Shampine became a published author. Ultimately, three compilations would be marketed. Two more books, true murder stories, followed.
As far back as 1993, Mr. Shampine was interested in writing about the murder of a woman, Irene Izak, which occurred on June 10, 1968, on Wellesley Island. No arrest was ever made. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the murder, he had a two-part story in the Times, citing circumstantial evidence that pointed suspicion at a New York state trooper. Two investigations followed, one in which Mr. Shampine assisted a private detective, and the other by state police, ordered by Governor George Pataki. As had occurred three decades earlier, the police probe reached a dead end.
Mr. Shampine now had a mission, to give the victim’s family in Pennsylvania what little closure was available, their story in a book. He completed a manuscript  which he was unable to sell to any publishers, not until 2010, when he had a publisher. “The North Country Murder of Irene Izak – Stained By Her Blood,” became a popular seller in the region. That book was followed in 2014 by another big seller, “The Jefferson County Egan Murders – Nightmare on New Year’s Eve 1964,” which he co-authored with Daniel T. Boyer.
In  his final years, Mr. Shampine researched and wrote material for a book celebrating the history of the Jefferson County Fair. He teamed with Nelson Eddy, Black River, in the project.
Mr. Shampine was married Sept. 15, 1972 to Lucille Ann Collier, daughter of Louis N. and Jennie Johnson Collier, in an ecumenical ceremony performed at the Wesleyan Methodist Church, Pitcairn, by Rev. Mr. Edwin Elliott and Rev. Fr. Hugh J. Connaghan. They lived most of their married life in Watertown and the town of Pamelia, and for several years worked together with three other couples on a springtime fund-raising effort for St. Patrick’s School in Watertown.
The couple enjoyed travelling together, taking trips that had them stepping into a majority of the continental states and observing natural wonders in many national parks. For several years, they were participants in a co-ed bowling league.
Mrs. Shampine, a phlebotomist at OB-GYN Associates of Watertown for about 30 years and later at Samaritan Medical Center, died suddenly at the couple’s home from heart disease on April 11, 2012.
About 10 months later, on March 1, 2013, Mr. Shampine retired at the Times. He spent the next two winters at Lake Helen, Fla., while maintaining his town of Pamelia residence.
Shortly before he retired, Mr. Shampine spearheaded a fund-raising effort in association with the Northern New York Community Foundation and the Disabled Persons Action Organization in which more than $3,000 was sent to Nassau County to assist homeowners struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy.
Mr. Shampine was a life-long fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and was thrilled 1n 1993 to be a guest of the Dodgers in Dodger Stadium during an annual “Think Blue Week” fans celebration.  On that occasion, he met legendary Dodgers TV and radio broadcaster Vin Scully.
He was also a fan of the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills, and for six years during the era of quarterback Jim Kelly, was a season ticket holder for Bills games.
In the 1980s, Mr. Shampine coached a midget league baseball team sponsored by the North Side Improvement League.
He was a member of the Jefferson County Historical Society, for which he was a writer and copy editor for the association’s booklet, the Bulletin. In 1978-1979, he was president of the now defunct St. Lawrence Valley Chapter of the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Mr. Shampine achieved his long-hoped-for trip to Rome, Italy, in April 2016 when he participated in a pilgrimage led by Bishop Terry LaValley, Bishop of the Ogdensburg Roman Catholic Diocese. In his post-retirement years, he was a writer for the North Country Catholic, which sponsored the trip.
Surviving are two sons, Scott D., Clayton, and Steven A., with his wife Julie, Los Angeles, Calif.; a sister, Bette A. Shampine, Carthage two granddaughters, Jennifer and Lindsey Shampine, Altmar, and a step grandson, Lawrence Austin, Altmar.
Calling hours will be Sunday, May 7, 2017, from 2-5pm at the D.L. Calarco Funeral Home, Inc. A prayer service will be held Monday at 9:15 am at the funeral home with a 10 am funeral mass at St. Patrick’s Church. Burial will follow in St. James Cemetery, Carthage.
Donations in his memory may be made to St. Patrick’s Church, Watertown, St. James Church, Carthage or Hospice of Jefferson County, Watertown. Condolences may be made to

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Which of thirteen, twenty four, 81, 94 or seventy seven is the lowest?

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To your family:

As you know, Mr. David Shampine was a long time member of The Jefferson County Historical Society’s Bulletin Committee. His contribution to our historical publication brought an irreplaceable level of professionalism and expertise to our articles that will be profoundly missed. His willingness to volunteer his time to ensure that our community could better appreciate the history of the North Country is a testament to his endless kindness and true skill as a researcher and author.

We are all deeply sorry for your loss. Mr. Shampine will not be easily forgotten by those at the historical society.

By The Jefferson County Historical Society on 05 23, 2017

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Scott, Steven and Bette-
It was with extreme sadness that I learned of Dave’s passing. Whenever I had a question about local history, I turned to Dave. Although we never officially met, I enjoyed our email exchanges very much.
His contributions to local history will long be remembered. I once told him that I loved his articles before I found out we were related- and still enjoy them after. (He told me once that Bette had informed him that we were related.)
A life well lived. Just too short. May he rest in peace.

By Timothy S. Minnick on 05 09, 2017

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You were a good friend Dave.  My prayers go out to your family.  May God bless and hold you all.

By Judge Penny E. Parish (Retired) on 05 08, 2017

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Dear Scott & Steven I want to express my sorrow at the loss of your Father.  He and I became friends when he wrote a wonderful article on Sister Jean Marie from St. Patricks’ children’s home on the occasions of her 50th Jubilee that myself and several former residents planned. I visited with him & Lucille when I returned to Watertown and he loving called my “Irish”.  We have emailed for several years and I will miss him.  I will keep you both in my prayers. God bless you. Elizabeth

By Elizabeth Ann Daly Kalil on 05 07, 2017

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As a former police officer and retired Criminal Justice professor, I will always remember Dave’s dedication to reporting a story fairly and honestly.  He generously spent time with my classes at JCC speaking about his research into the Irene Izak case and the Egan murders.  When I presented him with the JCC Alumni Professional Achievement Award in 2007 he told me it was better than a Pulitzer Prize to him.  I will miss him! RIP Dave.

By Cindy Shelmidine on 05 07, 2017

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Scott & Steven, I am so so sorry for your loss!  My prayers are with you both. May God watch over your dad and your mom!  I have always loved you guys!!

By Jennifer J (Long) Cross on 05 06, 2017

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On behalf of our family, I send heartfelt condolences to Bette and the family and to all others who loved David. He lived such a dedicated life and will be remembered well into the future through his writings.

By Sue Burgess on 05 06, 2017

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Bette and Family,

We send our greatest sympathy to you and yours.

He was a great newspaper man and excellent author.

May he rest in peace.

Bill and Maryann

By William and Maryann Reeves on 05 06, 2017

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Betty and family,
    So sory to hear about David.A great classmate and friend.Also sorry about his wife.
  Janet Burdick Stange

By Janet Stange on 05 05, 2017

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Scott,Steve. Sorry your dad pass so young. He was a good neighbor and friend.

Pete and Robbin, Lake Helen fl

By Pete and Robbin Royer on 05 05, 2017

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Words can not express what an inspiring and passionate human being Dave Shampine was. I will always remember him as a colleague in the news, giving me advice and scribbling notes next to him in the courtroom and a member of the Body of Christ, as we often sat only a few pews apart at weekday noon masses at St. Patrick’s. He left an excellent legacy in many ways. Condolences to his family.

By Timothy W. Scee II on 05 05, 2017

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My deepest sympathy to the family!  I am so glad I had the privilege of working with Dave on the memorial to Irene Izak which is on Wellesley Island near the DeWolf State Park. He was such a talented man when it came to writing the many books he authored.  I first met Dave at the book signing of his Irene Isak book ,and can say we became friends.
I met his wonderful wife at a book signing also. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him!

By Karen L. Davis on 05 05, 2017

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By JAMES ZEHR on 05 05, 2017

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As a retired member of the Watertown Police Dept. I can say David was a true was true he did dig for a story…asked all the right questions and was very professional…David was a true crime reporter…sorry you had to go so early..I wish his family the best and I am sure his sons will carry on in the spirit of their dad.

By Tom Dawley on 05 05, 2017

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As my Times co-worker Dave was a true dedicated seeker of the truth and the full story, an honest and honorable man. As a true friend we remained in contact when fate took me to Japan and later to Virginia. I was so happy to host Dave and Luci at my VA home when they came to tour Washington DC and watch his beloved Dodgers play the Nationals..too bad the Dodgers lost. The north country has lost one of its best, but we are comforted to know that Dave and Luci are together now forever.

By Marsha Davis Spiridigliozzi on 05 04, 2017

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Bettie we are sorry to hear of your brothers passing. Our prayers go out to you and family. Lynda wood

By Lynda and Elton wood on 05 04, 2017

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David you were a true friend of ours and will be truly missed. Even though we were miles apart I have wonderful memories of our bowling days,the nights we all played cards till the wee hours of the morning, bingo, and eating lots of strawberry shortcake. You are with Luci once again my friend. Love to you both Annie Fults

By Ann Fultd on 05 04, 2017

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Dave Shampine was a friend and neighbor growing up on south clinton street in carthage - the neighborhood played baseball by the hours in his backyard - a real gentleman of a person. loved the dodgers and we used to talk about all the great players. years later,he came to spring training in sarasota,fl when i was managing the baltimore orioles - full circle from the days in the old neighborhood. had a tremendous professional career and will be remembered as a class act.

By dave trembley on 05 04, 2017

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Dear Bette, My deepest condolences on the loss of your brother. May God bless and keep you in this time of sorrow. Deb Buckingham

By Deb Buckingham on 05 04, 2017

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