Dave Gutknecht – LBG #221

We are shocked and saddened by the news received this day that LBG Dave Gutknecht, Badge #221, suddenly passed away.  Dave was last in to work on March 17 and appeared in perfect health.  He scored #1 in the draw that day – an enviable place for any LBG.

We publish his obituary for the benefit of those without email: David Ross Gutknecht, MD, 66, of Danville, entered into the Lord’s presence on Saturday, March 31, 2012, at the Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, surrounded by his loving family.

David was born Aug. 16, 1945, in Plainfield, N.J., to the late Henry and Helen (Ross) Gutknecht. He graduated as valedictorian of his class at Nutley Senior High School, Nutley, N.J., in 1963. In 1967, David received his undergraduate degree in zoology from Cornell University where he was a brother in Psi chapter of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. He received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in 1971.  He completed a residency in medicine and was chief resident in ambulatory medicine at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. He also served his country as a Major in the Air Force, Medical Corps, at Loring Air Force Base, Maine, from 1973 to 1975.

For the past 35 years, he was an associate in the Department of General Internal Medicine, Geisinger Medical Center, and served as director of that department from 1987 to 1994.  Professional organizations of which he was a member include the American College of Physicians (Fellow), Society of General Internal Medicine, and the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine. From 1989 to 1995, he served as editor of the Geisinger Bulletin. David wrote a number of papers and chapters published in national journals and other media.

He had an ongoing passion for teaching and educating beginning physicians. During his career, David served as Clinical Professor of Medicine for The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Jefferson Medical College, and Temple University School of Medicine. He received the Golden Apple Award as Teacher of the Year in 1998 and was currently serving as Grand Rounds Coordinator and Director of the General Internal Medicine Fellowship.

He attended First Baptist Church, and for 20 years was a member of the Susquehanna Valley Chorale and a frequent soloist. He served two terms on the chorale’s board of directors.

David had a lifelong love of history with a special interest in the Civil War, specifically Gettysburg.  He was a member of Friends of the National Parks at Gettysburg, the Civil War Preservation Trust and an associate member of the Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides. He was most proud of his accomplishment in becoming a licensed battlefield guide and enjoyed conducting tours at Gettysburg since 2006.

David is survived by his beloved wife, Donna (Sacks), with whom he celebrated 43 years of marriage in December, and three children, Kristin O’Rourke,  Andrew Gutknecht, and Liesl Lewis.  He was blessed with three granddaughters, Chelsea, Olivia, and Lily, and was expecting another grandchild later this year.

Friends are invited to call from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at First Baptist Church, 20 Brookside Drive, Danville. A funeral service will then be held at the church at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday with the Rev. Dr. Harry H. Wonderland officiating. Burial will follow in Odd Fellows Cemetery. Military rites will be accorded by the Air Force Honor Guard. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Gettysburg Foundation, P.O. Box 4629, Gettysburg, PA 17325,, or Susquehanna Valley Chorale, 570-523-1041,  Arrangements are under the direction of Visneski Funeral Home, Inc., 10 W. Mahoning St., Danville,


In consideration of the services of The Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides®, their officers,  agents, and members, and/or all other persons or entities associated with those businesses (hereinafter collectively  referred to as “ALBG”) I agree as follows: 

Although ALBG has taken reasonable steps to provide me with appropriate equipment and experienced,  skilled guides so I can enjoy an activity for which I may not be skilled, ALBG has informed me this activity is not  without risk. Certain risks are inherent in each activity and cannot be eliminated without destroying the unique  character of the activity. These inherent risks are some of the same elements that contribute to the unique  character of this activity and can be the cause of loss or damage to my equipment, or accidental injury, illness, or  in extreme cases, permanent injury, trauma and/ or death. ALBG does not want to frighten me or reduce my  enthusiasm for this activity, but believes it is important for me to know in advance what to be aware of and to  expect and to be informed of the inherent risks as reasonably as possible. Most programs will be conducted on  the grounds of the Gettysburg National Military Park (“GNMP”). The following describes some, but not all, of  those risks.

  • Tripping, slipping and/or falling on uneven, slippery and/or brush and/or leaf-covered terrain
  • Exposure to severe weather, including but not limited to: Excessive cold, heat and/or humidity, sun,  heavy rain, thunderstorms, lightening and/or high winds 
  • Exposure to stinging insects, poison ivy and/or poison oak 
  • Traffic on GNMP and public roadways adjacent and through GNMP, which may be heavy at times and  may include, but is not limited to: automobiles, buses, motorcycles, scooters, horses, horse-drawn  vehicles, Segways and bicycles 

I am aware that outdoors programs entail risks of injury, trauma and/or death to any participant. I  understand the description of these inherent risks is as complete as is reasonably possible, and that other unknown  or unanticipated inherent risks may result in injury, trauma and/or death. I agree to assume and accept full  responsibility for the inherent risks identified herein and those inherent risks not specifically identified but may  also occur. My participation in this activity is purely voluntary; no one is forcing me to participate and I elect to  participate in spite of and with full knowledge of the inherent risks. 

I acknowledge that engaging in this activity may require a degree of skill and knowledge different than  other activities and that I have responsibilities as a participant. I acknowledge that the staff of ALBG [and the  Staff of the Gettysburg National Military Park who are publicly available to all Visitors for information at no  charge] has been available to more fully explain to me the nature and physical demands of this activity and the  inherent risks, hazards, and dangers associated with this activity. 

I certify that I am fully capable of participating in this activity. Therefore, I assume and accept full  responsibility for myself, including all minor children in my care, custody, and control, for bodily injury, death or  loss of personal property [including but not limited to automobiles, other vehicles, pets, etc.] and expenses as a  result of those inherent risks and dangers identified herein and those inherent risks and dangers not specifically  identified, and as a result of my negligence in participating in this activity. 

I have carefully read, clearly understood and accepted the terms and conditions stated herein and  acknowledge that this agreement shall be effective and binding upon myself, my heirs, assigns, personal  representative and estate and for all members of my family, including minor children.

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