David S. Wilshere

1943 - 2022

COOPERSTOWN – David Sprague Wilshere, a long-time resident of Cooperstown who served as caretaker of Doubleday Field for many years, passed away late Friday night, February 4, 2022, at his home on Curry Road in Hartwick with his wife, Meme, by his side. He was 78.

Born August 28, 1943, in Iowa City, Iowa, David was a son of Vernon S. "Whitey" Wilshere, a left-handed pitcher who played for Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics in the 1930s, and Betty Jean Munden Wilshere, a painter and Emergency Room RN at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown.

When he was four-years-old, David and his family moved from the mid-west to his father’s hometown of Skaneateles, where David attended a one-room schoolhouse. In 1953, they moved to Cooperstown and settled into their home on Chestnut Street. 

A graduate of Cooperstown High School, Class of 1961, David excelled in sports and was a letterman in baseball, football, wrestling and track. 

In September of 1961, David enlisted in the United States Navy, and proudly served his country during a tour of duty at the NATO base in Naples, Italy. During this time his wife and daughter joined him. He received his honorable discharge from active duty in the military on August 10, 1964, and was released from the reserves in August 1967. 

Following his military service, David worked for Sun Oil Company in Bettendorf, Iowa. He returned to Cooperstown and first worked for Jack Mitchell Moving and Storage. He then went to work for the Village of Cooperstown and served as caretaker for Doubleday Field until retiring in 1992. 

On February 17, 1962, David married Mary Ellen “Meme” Norman in a ceremony at the First Presbyterian Church of Springfield with the Rev. Fredrick W. Connell officiating. David and Meme had two daughters, Whitney Ann and Faith. 

Throughout his entire life, David was a devout fan of the New York Yankees, and he often said that if the Yankees weren’t in the World Series, baseball was over that season. He also enjoyed watching football. 

David was an avid beer can collector and amassed an enormous collection through the years. He joined the Beer Can Collectors of America in 1970 and would travel all over to go to beer can trade shows. He also loved gardening -- his flowers were always quite beautiful -- and mowing the yard. In his later years he enjoyed watching his grandsons Reece and Isaiah Johnson in football games, wrestling matches and track events at Cooperstown Central School. 

David was preceded in death by his mother, Betty in 1976 and his father, "Whitey" in 1985; a daughter, Whitney Ann "Nina" Humenanski in 1990; a sister, Diane J. Howard in 2013; and brothers-in-law William R. “Bill” Norman in 2009 and William T. “Bill” Milburn in 2003. 

David will be greatly missed by his wife of almost 60 years, Mary “Meme” Wilshere; their daughter, Faith Wilshere Carrella and husband, George; a granddaughter, Jessica Van Dyke and husband, Jeremy; two grandsons, Reece Johnson and Isaiah Johnson; and a brother, Denis A. Wilshere and his partner, Teresa; his sister-in-laws Barb Norman, Gail Milburn and Margo Norman; and numerous nieces and nephews. 

Friends are invited to pay their respects to David’s family from 2 – 3 p.m. on Friday, February 11, 2022, at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown. Immediately following, a time of prayer and reflection to be led by the Rev. Betsy Jay will be offered at 3 p.m. at the funeral home. At the conclusion of the gathering at the funeral home, all present are welcome to re-gather at Cooley’s Stone House Tavern for a time refreshment and fellowship.

Later this spring, David will be laid to rest with Military Honors in Lakewood Cemetery, Cooperstown. 

For those who wish to make a donation in memory of David please consider the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown. 

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers at (607) 547-8822, or A Rose is a Rose at (607) 264-3100.