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Memories & Candles

“Dear Dave, Andy and Jean, my cousins..Im sorry to hear about Uncle David's passing. I remember seeing him last in Foxboro for his 90th birthday, and...Read More »
1 of 1 | Posted by: Tracy Fairchild - La Jara, NM


David W. Niven, 97, died Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at Brookdale at Plymouth Beach. Born May 19, 1920 in Rochester, NY, he moved to Attleboro, MA, at age 3 with his parents, Henry and Gladys Niven. He attended Attleboro schools through high school, Class of 1938. He attended Dartmouth College and was graduated with the Class of 1942. During his senior year, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy Air Corps the day after Pearl Harbor. His service included 18 months in the South Pacific during the Solomon Islands campaign. David and Olive J. Clark of Attleboro were married in Jacksonville, FL, prior to his overseas service. After his return, they lived in Corpus Christie, TX, where David served as pilot instructor until the end of the war. David is survived by three children from his marriage. His son, David C. Niven, was born during the war in 1943 and now lives in Roanoke, VA, the father of two sons and four daughters. Andrew L. Niven was born in 1947 and lives in Guam with his wife and one son. Jean Niven Lenk was born in 1954 and lives in Plymouth with her husband and is the mother of a daughter and a son. In addition to his nine grandchildren, he leaves five great grandchildren. David is also survived by a brother Henry A. Niven, Jr., of Oro Valley, AZ. David had pleasant and vivid memories of his early life in Attleboro. He became interested in music, collecting recordings from age 12 which he archived and are now available on the internet under David W. Niven Collection of Early Jazz Legends. He played drums with Ray Conniff's band as a schoolboy, as well as Dartmouth's Barbary Coast Orchestra while in college and various other bands in Boston and on Cape Cod thereafter. Another early interest was golf. He made a hole-in-one at age 12 on Attleboro's Highland Country Club course. This was the first of four holes-in-one made as a member of the Dedham Country and Polo Club, Hyannisport Country Club, and New Seabury Country Club. David's business interests were in advertising. When World War II ended, he joined a training program conducted by Life Magazine and in 1946 was accepted as a staff member of Life's advertising department in New York. Next he was transferred to the Boston Life Magazine office and became New England Manager until Life ceased publication in 1967. David then moved from Wellesley, MA, to Cape Cod where he invested in land and developed one of the early residential subdivisions in Mashpee. In 2008, he left Cape Cod to be close to his family, living in Ipswich, Foxboro, and finally, Plymouth, MA.

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