David Lawrence Char, age 59, of Dayton, died Nov. 12. He was preceded in death by parents, Helaine and Anthony Char; mother-in-law, Joan Chesler; and guide dog Hershey. He leaves behind to mourn, his loving wife of 23 years, Deb; and guide dog, Claudette; son Jonathan Simmons (Ashley); and grandchildren Mayson, Liliana and baby girl due in February; son Benjamin Char; sisters Deborah Char Cloud and Deanna Char; father-in-law, Mark Chesler; many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins, and an enormous number of cherished friends whom he considered family (you know who you are). David was well-known and admired for how he managed his gradual vision loss due to retinitis pigmentosa, which resulted in complete blindness. He attended The Ohio State University and ultimately earned his degree in hotel and restaurant management from Columbus Technical Institute. Among other professional endeavors, he owned and managed the Oaks Lounge, where he held many beach parties as fundraisers for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and was a serial entrepreneur. Faced with further vision loss, he transitioned to a successful career as a licensed massage therapist for almost 20 years. David was in the last graduating class at Fairview High School in Dayton and was a proud Bulldog. In his youth, he was very active in the local and state B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO), where he met many of his lifelong friends. At OSU, he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity (Sammy), where he met many other lifelong friends. David instilled Buckeye pride in both of his sons but confused friends and family by marrying a true-blue Michigan Wolverine. David’s greatest joys were his wife and sons and Ohio State and New York Giants football. He will be remembered for his bear hugs, kindness and warmth, booming laugh, ability to make others feel special, listened to and cared for, and how he continually faced life’s challenges with grace and determination. He will be greatly missed. Donations may be made to Temple Beth Or (, Guiding Eyes for the Blind (, or a charity of your choice.

To read the complete December 2023 Dayton Jewish Observer, click here.

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