Cover photo for David “Dave” Michael Kuklentz's Obituary
David “Dave” Michael Kuklentz Profile Photo

David “Dave” Michael Kuklentz

b. July 1, 1970


David “Dave” Michael Kuklentz

David Michael Kuklentz, known to all as Dave, passed away peacefully near the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of his favorite places on earth. Dave was born on July 1, 1970, in Vestal, NY, the son of Richard and Marylou Kuklentz and the late Jane Schmock. He was 53 years old.

Dave was a man of many talents and passions. He held a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and successfully ran an IT business that served clients throughout the East Coast. His technical acumen was exceeded by his zest for life and adventure.

Dave’s career began in Phoenix, AZ, and although he moved back to Charlotte in his late 20s, he found solace hiking and camping in the deserts of the Southwest all of his life. It was in this rugged terrain that he grew close to his future wife Jen, whom he guided on a memorable hiking trip through the majesty of the Grand Canyon. Dave was also a dedicated cyclist, both on the road and mountain trails, and an enthusiastic yogi and yoga teacher, sharing his passion for mindful living. 

Dave spoke openly about his journey to sobriety, sharing his story with 12-step groups, and celebrating over 24 years of sobriety. His commitment to helping others in recovery programs was unwavering, and his impact will be felt for years to come. 

Above all, Dave was a family man. Dave’s young children, London and Waylon, will cherish the memories of their father for the rest of their lives. “Builder of forts, fixer of toys, carrier of flashlights, maker of mac and cheese, swimmer of rivers, good person to the environment, hanger of curtains, and good supporter” are just a few of the ways the children describe their father. Dave’s family was his pride and joy, and he always put them first in everything he did.  

Dave’s legacy of courage and unyielding spirit will live on in the hearts of those he touched. He did nothing half way. Cycling, yoga, mountain biking, hiking, friendships and family – he gave it his all. 

He is survived by his wife, Jennifer Leigh Towell, his children, London Jane and Waylon Joseph, father and step-mother, Richard (Marylou) Kuklentz of Charlotte, step-brothers, Bob (Caroline) Simyon of Hickory, Jeff (Pam) Simyon of Waleska, GA, father in-law, Joseph (Debbie) Towell of Jefferson, mother in-law, Janet Towell(AJ Mitchell) of Hollywood, FL, sisters in-law, Kristin (Drew) Newman of Tampa, FL, and Haley Hill of Charlotte; a host of cherished aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews also survive. He was preceded in death by his mother, Jane Schmock, and his sister, Karen Kuklentz.

The family would like to express their appreciation to the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office, Ashe County Emergency Management, Local Fire & Rescue, and all the responders, businesses, and the community that helped search for Dave. Your dedication and no quit attitude will not be forgotten. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Dilworth Center (Outpatient Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center), 2240 Park Road, Charlotte, NC 28203, in honor of Dave’s dedication to supporting those on their own paths to recovery. 

A private family service will be held to honor Dave’s life, with a public celebration of life planned for a later date.  

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

Words of remembrance or condolence may be sent or viewed through our website

Ashelawn Memorial and Badger Funeral Home of Ashe County, NC were entrusted with Mr. Kuklentz’s arrangements.


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