David H. Shattuck, 70, passed away on July 30, 2023, after a 9-year battle with lung cancer, surrounded by family, in his home in Louisville, KY. David, known as Dave or Guitar Dave, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 7, 1952, to Eva J. and John H. Shattuck, Jr. Dave’s family moved periodically since his dad was a career Navy man. His family lived in a quonset hut in Guam; Naval housing in San Diego, CA; San Pedro, CA; Norfolk, VA; and, Louisville, KY., during his elementary school years and then during his high school years, where he remained living in the city he loved. For one year of his life, age 6-7 years, he lived with his paternal grandmother, Madeline E. Shattuck in Boston, MA. He fondly remembered this as the best year of his childhood. Dave was a graduate of Butler High School, Louisville, Class of 1970. One week after his 18th birthday he was a member of the City of Louisville Fire Dept. At that time, the fire department hired recruits and waited until there were enough new hires to start drill school. Dave’s drill school program did not begin until he had been on the force for 6 weeks. He ran fires on day one, using someone else’s hat, boots and jacket. He ended his career with the rank of Captain at Truck 8. During his time as a firefighter, he had odd jobs delivering milk and ice cream, washing residential windows and then apprenticing with a friend installing and refurbishing hardwood floors. When his friend retired, Dave took over the business and changed its name to Shattuck Flooring. He trained both of his sons to work on hardwood floors and retired this business following his cancer diagnosis in September 2014.
Dave was an avid KY Wildcats basketball fan, talented bluegrass guitar musician who enjoyed traveling, going to festivals and camping with his bluegrass family of friends. He got a guitar as a young teen but never learned more than some guitar riffs to popular music of the time. As an adult he wanted to take up the guitar and enrolled in a classical music class for two semesters at Jefferson Community College, Louisville. He was proud of his 4.0 grade average for those semesters. He performed in classical ensembles and said that was the loneliest genre, because you only heard the sound of a full piece when the ensemble was together. Each had their own part to play. With bluegrass music he enjoyed the fellowship of making music together in a jam or band and the solo spotlight that is given to each musician who wants to take their own “break” that highlights their skills. He had some great licks!
It is said that he could be called upon almost at any time and was ready to pick. He would reminisce of spending all day working, taking care of chores, spending time with his wife and children and then heading to the basement about 10pm to practice guitar. He would awaken in the wee hours to find himself sleeping on the side of his guitar. He performed in several regional bluegrass bands, the most noted was the hard-driving bluegrass band” The Drunk Mountain Boys”. There were many different configurations of the DMB, and he enjoyed playing with each member.
Since he and his partner Sonya began a relationship in September 2012 they have enjoyed traveling across the US, hauling their instruments with them everywhere they traveled. They picked wherever they stayed or visited, enjoyed indoor and outdoor bluegrass festivals and jams and regularly played music with their friends at the Eaton Fairdale Shed. These same friends and many more came to his home to pick in Dave’s Pickin’ Parlour.
Dave is survived by his cherished partner, Sonya Robles Cotton, of Louisville, KY; three children, Scott Shattuck (April), Parker, PA; Meghan Stoops (Harry), Louisville, KY; and, Eric Shattuck, Louisville, KY; step-children Craig Cotton (Tammy), Louisville, KY; and Carly Cotton (Chad), Louisville, KY; grandchildren, Madison Stoops, Logan Stoops, Addelyn Stoops, Storm McLeod, Madasin Henderson, Andrew Arnouts, Heaven Shattuck, and Silas Shattuck; step-grandchildren Shelby Daily, Tori Jude, Ethan Cotton, Nolan Cotton and Will Cotton; plus, great-grandchildren Lydia and Remington Shattuck. He is survived by his elder sister, Eva S. Gholami (Abbass), Louisville, KY; younger brother John H. “Jackie” Shattuck III, Jacksonville, FL; younger half-sister, Angel Kohls (Tara) San Diego, CA; nieces Elizabeth M. and Christina M.Gholami, niece Emily Lucille Kohls, and cousin Gwendolyn “Winky” Koelemeyer., Chesapeake, VA.
He is proceeded in death by his parents John H. Shattuck, Jr and step-mother Lucille R. Shattuck, step-brothers Robert W. and Dana M. Shattuck, grandson, Gavin Stoops and many bluegrass friends who greeted him on the other side. We know Dave’s first words when he crossed over were “Pick!” and a jam was born.
In lieu of a traditional funeral service, come celebrate Dave’s legacy at a Celebration of Life Jam on Saturday, August 12, 2023 at his long-time “home” for playing bluegrass music with friends, the Eaton Pickin’ Shed, 809 Mt. Holly Rd, Fairdale, KY.
Open house memorial jam will begin at 10am. Bring your instrument and your special pickin’ chair, if needed. Some chairs will be provided. BYOB and Potluck with smoked meats provided. His loved ones are following his direct instructions about his end-of-life celebration. If you can make it you will experience the fun and wonder of a bluegrass jam and/or festival and you will be enjoying Dave’s passion. He told the Hospaurus nurse who helped with end-of-life care that he belonged to the Church of Bluegrass Music. Amen, brother!
In lieu of flowers, please, send a donation in his name to:
One of his favorite festivals to attend was IBMA World of Bluegrass, a full week of bluegrass conferences, workshops, jams and concerts. He attended his first IBMA festival in Owensboro, KY, where it originated. He then attended IBMA fests when it moved to the Galt House, Louisville, KY.; The Renaissance Hotel & Conference Center, Nashville, TN and The Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, NC. Because of covid, he last attended IBMA in Fall 2019 and was planning to attend this year. IBMA is great organization that fosters and supports bluegrass music in so many ways. IBMA festivals bring folks from across the globe (ie, Japan, the Netherlands, Italy, Mexico, Australia, Canada, US, all over) together in fellowship of the music they love. It is 24/7 bluegrass music heaven. Fun, fun, fun for a bluegrass enthusiast.
The Bluegrass Foundation, set up by IBMA staff, helps bluegrass musicians in times of need (illness, accidents, any time that they cannot work). Dave enjoyed sending donations to help those in need, but especially bluegrassers.
Dave’s family would especially like to thank his medical team at Norton Cancer Institute (Dr. John Hamm, Dr. Yong Cha, all his nurses and staff). They would also like to thank those who helped with his care during this illness, sent him get-well cards, care packages and warrior blankets, biked cancer rides in his honor, sent him Catholic medals of prayer, asked prayers of healing for him, to those who have posted on his Facebook site, but especially to those who came to his home to play music when he couldn’t leave it to do so. May God bless each of you and may the Universe have your back.
Peace and Love (shared by Sonya Robles Cotton)
BA is once again soliciting members to support and guide the direction of our organization. Keep the music playing. Talk with one of our current board members, about our mission and activities. We need your help in keeping our Bluegrass community vital!
Our next meeting will be held Monday July 11. Elections will be held at that meeting. If you'd like to take part, see one of the BA representatives listed below!
PO Box 3863 Louisville KY 40203
Bluegrass Anonymous, Louisville’s Bluegrass Music Association, is dedicated to promoting and supporting bluegrass music, preserving its tradition, and nurturing its growth by providing inclusive opportunities for pickin’, singin’, and listenin’.
There's lots to see here. So, take your time, look around. We hope you'll enjoy our site, and take a moment to drop us a line. Looking for great local and regional festivals? Check our Festivals page for the latest Regional Bluegrass fun. Looking for a jam? Check our Events Calendar for a list for repeating area open jams! Want to book a band? Visit our Artists page, and lots more. We're glad you're here.
Bluegrass Anonymous is a Louisville, KY based music association dedicated to promoting and supporting bluegrass music, preserving it's tradition, and nurturing it's growth by providing opportunities for pickin', singin' and listenin'. Our organization received non-profit 501c3 status from the IRS in 2006.
A way to connect with the community and the music you love. New to town, or Bluegrass music? Want to know where the opens jams can be found? How about music festivals? Local and nationally known bands? We've got it here!
Use this site! Find what interests you. Then come out to one of the Bluegrass Anonymous events, Pig Roast, Band Scramble, Picnics. Meet us at one of the jams or concerts. We're friendly people, itchin' to pick, and looking forward to including you in the fun!
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