After learning that Brother David had died overnight, school administrators gathered all students and staff in the gymnasium at the start of the third class period on Thursday to share the news and to begin a full day of prayer and remembrance. “From the first of the morning to the end of the day, he wanted to teach,” DeLaSalle President Barry Lieske, AFSC, said in sharing the news with the school community.
Once the school sent corresponding notice to parents and alumni, the circle of support began to widen exponentially on social media. Many young alumni and parents past and present sent or posted messages of condolence to the DeLaSalle staff and students, via social media or calls to the school.
Staff and counselors were available throughout the day to help current students and community members process the news and their reactions. Brother David’s classroom soon turned into a makeshift memorial site, with several notes and several of his more famous quotes adorning the space, as students and staff shared stories of his teaching and lessons.
The 74-year-old Barth took final vows as a Christian Brother in 1969 and taught at three other Lasallian schools in Minnesota and Wisconsin in the 1970s and 1980s before returning to his alma mater in 1988. Barth also served as DeLaSalle’s Dean of Students and Director of Student Activities, but he is best remembered — and highly respected, almost legendary for many — as a Theology teacher whose lectures were captivating and expectations uncompromising for all of his students. The many, many stores are continuing well into the evening hours… and beyond.
Survivors include his brother Patrick of Marietta, GA, stepfather Dale Johnson of Edina, and the DeLaSalle Christian Brothers. Visitation will be May 22 from 4:30-7:30pm at DeLaSalle High School, with a vigil at 7:00pm, and a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated May 23 at 1:00pm at DeLaSalle. A private interment will be held at Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights, MN.