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David A. Pilla


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Wilmot, N.H. — David A. Pilla, 61, of Juniper Lane, died Sunday, July 8, 2018.

He was born in Chicopee, Mass. on Feb. 10, 1957, the son of the late Antonio W. Pilla and Angelina (Rosati) Pilla.

Dave graduated from Falmouth, Mass. High School and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Sciences from UNH in 1979 and later his Master’s Degree in Forestry. He began his career at Proctor Academy in 1980. Teaching Forestry and Wildlife Science classes, Woods Team, Maple Sugaring during Project Period, he led Wilderness Orientation trips and was the creator and director of Proctor’s Ocean Classroom program. Most importantly, over four decades he masterfully stewarded Proctor’s commitment to environmental studies and land conservation. With Dave’s guidance, Proctors’ land base grew to over 2500 acres of woodlands and wildlife habitat.

Dave worked closely and served as a volunteer or as a board member with many organizations; Ausbon Sargent Land Trust, the Society of American Foresters, Wildlife Society, Ocean Classroom Foundation, Hurricane Island Foundation, Pacific Whale Foundation, Whale Trust, Andover Elementary School and the New London Outing Club to name a few.

The depth of Dave’s love for and commitment to his students was matched only by his love for his family and the impact he had on the thousands of young men and women he taught, coached, advised, and mentored over the past 39 years at Proctor. He lived on campus at Proctor until moving to Wilmot in 1998 with his wife Terry where they started their family.

Dave had a wide range of talents. He and Terry along with their son Kai, were active in their community. They loved to spend time traveling and on the water. He excelled at all his passions; surfing, sailing, photography, music, reading and baseball. He was the lead singer in the popular band, Nick’s Other Band. An accomplished musician and singer, he was especially proud of his son Kai’s musical talent and loved playing and performing with him. He was gentle and patient in his willingness to share his vast knowledge and insights with anyone who asked. While Dave considered his friends his family, nothing gave him more joy than his wife and son.

Dave chose to be an educator, but that was just a start. His gregarious personality coupled with his humility could engage people of all walks of life and ages. After spending just a brief amount of time with Dave, one was left with the knowledge they were in the presence of a very special man. He cared deeply for everything he touched; the woodlands, the ocean and the environment, his friends and family. Dave provided a safe harbor for those in need. He was a renaissance man who transformed for the better, our natural world and the lives of all he touched. His values, humility, passion and grace will continue to shape our lives, communities and world for future generations.

Dave is predeceased by his father. Members of his family surviving include his wife of 24 years, Terry Vaccaro of Wilmot, N.H.; his son, Kai Pilla of Wilmot, N.H.; his mother, Angie Pilla of Falmouth, Mass.; his sister, Lori Pilla of Mashpee, Mass.; aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins including Pam and Ernie Chaplin of Hopedale, Mass.

The family will hold a private ceremony this summer. Additionally, there will be a celebration of Dave’s life later in August for all to attend.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. (www.afsp.org). See also OUT OF THE DARKNESS Community Walks via the link above.