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David Martin Rebstock

December 9, 1936  –  October 21, 2023



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David Martin Rebstock passed away peacefully at home in Rochester, Minnesota on Saturday, October 21 at the age of 86.  He is remembered for having been a loving husband to Ellen, father to Mark, Tim and Peter, and for having lived a life of global service.  He cared deeply about the world, its people, and the challenges facing our planet.


He was born in Waterford, Wisconsin December 9, 1936 to Milton and Alfreda Rebstock.  He has fond memories of playing in the Fox River there and took great pride in his fishing boat, his newspaper route, and working at an early age.


He studied at Luther College in Iowa and completed his BA in Accounting at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he also served in ROTC.


He served in the United States Army from 1959-1961 and was stationed in Stuttgart, Germany.  While there, he took advantage of leaves to explore Italy, Spain, and Scandinavia.


After the Army, he returned to the University of Wisconsin, as he said, to get his Masters and his Mrs.   He had met Ellen Vinette Long in 1962 while at the University of Wisconsin and they were married in 1965.  Their family soon grew with the arrival of Mark, Tim and Peter.


He worked as a CPA at Arthur Anderson from 1964-1976. David and Ellen joined the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA), a human development organization in 1976.  While with the ICA, he made economic development treks to communities throughout Southeast Asia, Jamaica, and the United States.


As a family, David and Ellen and their three boys lived in more than 25 places in 58 years of marriage including Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Scheveningen, Netherlands; Chicago, Illinois; Singapore; San Francisco and Los Angeles, California; Kingston, Jamaica; Cincinnati, Ohio; Sacramento and Santa Rosa, California; Greensboro, North Carolina; Baltimore, Maryland; Rochester, Minnesota; and for 8 months, an R.V. named Maggie.


He is preceded in death by his parents, Milton and Alfreda Rebstock.  He is survived by his sister, Barbara Bucholtz; wife, Ellen; his sons, Mark, Tim and Peter; daughters in law, Tracy and Katherine; and grandchildren, Charlie and Anna.


A celebration of life service is being planned by his family for later this Fall.


Gifts in David’s memory may be made to the Institute of Cultural Affairs-USA.



Dear Ellen and Rebstock family, Dick and I were deeply saddened this week at the death of a long time friend, David.   And had great rememberings:  from him digging in the Bubun vegetable garden in the deadly tropical heat, being in Kansas City and Lorimor when you had kids there, to finance treks to the HDP locations, the trip in your van in 2000 from Denver to Vail with the Lanphears for the Order gathering, book studies and conversations with Mariana Bailey, and more.  In gratitude,

          ~~   Dick and Gail West


Dear Ellen and all the family, For David’s long life among us and his servant-leadership around the globe, I am filled with gratitude. Love, God’s Grace and Peace,

          ~~  Ellen Howie


Your father played a special role in my life . He was supportive when I was completing my accounting degree with my two small children while I lived at Kemper. A very caring and compassionate person. I am sorry for your loss.

          ~~  Katherine Sharko


We were sorry to learn the news of David’s passing.  We too join our colleagues in celebrating David’s extraordinary life. Our first memories of David go back to knowing him at the Kemper Building in the late 70s.  David was using his expertise in working with HDPs to develop economic projects during that time.  Fast forward to 2011 or so.  David and Ellen moved to the Baltimore area and we eagerly invited them to join our DC/Baltimore House Church group.  We discovered David was an imaginal educator, insightful teacher and wonderful film facilitator.  His intellect was dedicated to the service of the earth in crisis and justice for all.  We are grateful for the gifts he shared with the order, those he encountered in the many places he worked and with us.  We send our love and prayers to Ellen, Mark, Tim, Peter and the other dear family members. Grace and peace,

          ~~  Jack and Louise Ballard


Ellen and family, I know the grieving process is long. May the memories hold you close and perhaps you’ll experience what I’ve been told are “hugs from the inside.” David was such a quiet force of nature. I appreciate our time of connection. Blessings,

          ~~  Sunny Walker


Ken and I will miss David’s profound care for the Order and the world.  We will miss long talks with David and Ellen in Chicago and in  many places where we shared global adventures.  Our thoughts are with Ellen, Mark, Peter and Tim. May peace be with you all,

          ~~  Mary Laura Jones and Ken Otto



Dear Ellen and family, Jim and I send our deepest condolences to you all in your sadness over David’s passing on. I found it a great pleasure to reconnect with David when we both took part in The Last Chapter series. David always was interested in what was happening in Australia especially around the Oombulgurri project. We are grateful his life touched ours in a very meaningful way, thank you for sharing him  with us. With our prayers and our love,

          ~~   Isobel and Jim Bishop



Awesome fellow. I always will remember that sort of squint he did before he made a comment!! I am richer for having known him — and Ellen and you boys!! I ran across this poem. It seems relevant, to many of us, particularly to David.

          ~~  Jim Wiegel

Perfection Wasted

And another regrettable thing about death

is the ceasing of your own brand of magic,

which took a whole life to develop and market —

the quips, the witticisms, the slant

adjusted to a few, those loved ones nearest

the lip of the stage, their soft faces blanched

in the footlight glow, their laughter close to tears,

their tears confused with their diamond earrings,

their warm pooled breath in and out with your heartbeat,

their response and your performance twinned.

The jokes over the phone. The memories

packed in the rapid-access file. The whole act.

Who will do it again? That’s it: no one;

imitators and descendants aren’t the same.

 John Updike


People sometimes perceive accountants to be boring number-crunchers, but these adjectives never applied to my Dad. Instead, he used his MBA to promote economic development in rural communities in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and around the United States. He cared deeply about the world, its people, and the challenges faced by our planet. And he cared about his family, loved being a dad and a grandfather. He passed away last night, peacefully and at home, at age 86. I already miss him terribly, but I hope he’s at peace and perhaps reunited with his parents. So grateful to you, my friends, for your love, support, and friendship!

          ~~  Mark Rebstock


Condolences to Ellen , Mark, Peter and Tim. We have enjoyed having David in our movie discussion group for the last few years. We will miss him.

          ~~  Maxine and Roger Butcher


We first met David in Singapore. He was a kind, gentle and knowledgeable person. When we saw him again after several years in Seattle, he was the same warm person. Always greeting us with his friendly smile. We will always remember him with fondness. Our deepest condolences to you and all the family, especially your mom. Love and hugs.

          ~~  Sheela Westre


I spent many hours with David working on financial books for different human development projects. I loved every minute of it. He always knew exactly what to do and he always kept us laughing. He will be greatly missed.

          ~~  Martha Laird


Here’s to you, David. In admiration of your character and your service. Ever grateful.

          ~~  Ken Fisher


David and I went to several HDP to find out why their economic project didn’t work. We had so much fun. Then David and Ellen came to see me in Arizona. He sent me An Ikon of St Francis and Claire. He was such a caring man. Ellen and his family, I hope that you share the memories you have of him. I will miss him.

          ~~  Kaze Gadway


In grief on his passing and in gratitude for David’s words and deeds.

          ~~  Rob Work


I wasn’t assigned with David during past ICA years, but I got to know and appreciate him in zoom conversations in the past 2 or 3 years. He was a wonderful, caring man with a gentle personality. So sorry to hear of his passing. My sympathy to you and your family.

          ~~  Nancy Trask


So sorry to hear this. He was a fine man I have fond memories of working with him in Chicago.

         ~~  Elizabeth Caperton


What a beautiful tribute to a life well lived. And I’m sure he’d say you kids are his finest accomplishment. I am sorry for the pain of having to say good bye.

          ~~  Jane Sharp


David has been missed in a movie group we were both in. I didn’t realizing he was ill. May all his family be comforted.

          ~~  Jann McGuire


Ellen, I am sorry to hear about David’s death this week. He was such a positive force for good his entire life. I am praying for you and your sons as you both celebrate and grieve over his passing.  Love and peace,

          ~~   Karen Snyder Troxel


David was part of the Springboard gathering at Lake Junaluska, NC, attending from their home in California, I recall. Later, David and Ellen spent a year or more in Greensboro, when John and I were still living there.  We enjoyed time together with them as they settled in.  Ever the teachers, they became affiliated with one of the Presbyterian churches there in the university area and helped orchestrate several programs with global contexts as well as a movie night.


In more recent years when we both resettled near our children, David was most helpful in helping some of us get acquainted with zoom technologies.

We celebrate this man of many talents and his expenditure in projects around the globe. We send our care to the Rebstock family in this time of transition. Grace and peace,

            ~~  Lynda and John Cock



I give thanks often that I was assigned with the Rebstocks while I was in San Francisco, a very difficult year for me.  They were tremendous support for our work and me personally.  The three boys added their own sparkle to our life.  David got a good job accounting in San Jose.  Everyday he drove to San Jose for work; not an easy commute.  He is missed.

          ~~   Joan Knutson



I appreciate Dharma’s comment about another part of our community being gone.  I have been struggling to find my voice and still do not feel up to is but I felt moved to speak. I was trying to say something about Elaine Telford, David Rebstock, and Sandy. I can not speak to wholeness and gift of each but I can describe how they intersected my life my life in a particular order and each impacted me and others. Each had a combination of wisdom and an ability to hold the space in a gentle way, less assertive than my own but just as steadfast.  They held their ground and invited others to reflect and choose their own.


David I am sure I have known a long time but I did not meet him until Covid or just before as the virtual world of books and research expanded.  Several time David and Jim Wiegel and I worked together on projects of learning.  I really appreciated his intention to follow and to understand.  To try to make sure that commitments made are commitments met. With love, respect and remembrance

            ~~  Larry Philbrook