David Millstein
1945 - 2020
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David Terry Millstein passed away peacefully during the first fall snow, surrounded by his family, on Monday, October 26, 2020 at the age of 75. The cause of death was complications from a three year long battle with Leukemia.

David was born in Kansas City on September 10, 1945 to Tommy and Bertha Millstein. The oldest of two kids, David helped out considerably with the family army surplus business. It was working at the family business that shaped and influenced much of his career later in life as he was surrounded by a variety of gadgets, tools, and machines. "I can't get this to work" was not something you'd hear from David.

David was a standout track star at Shawnee Mission East, still holding a nearly fifty year old shot put record. After high school he attended the University of Kansas on a track scholarship. It was at the University of Kansas where he met his future wife, Susan, trying to impress her by driving his motorcycle up the stairs of The Wheel. She might not have been impressed at the time but on October 3, 1970 David and Susan were married at the Douglas County courthouse. This year marked their 50th anniversary, and the end of an incredible partnership.

David and Susan started and grew Sunflower from a small surplus and camping store into an all encompassing outdoor sporting goods store. It would be the start of many community inspired businesses.

In the mid-eighties, David started a new project with Charley and Tensie Oldfather to rehab a then dilapidated Liberty Hall. The restoration was a beautiful success: wispy clouds on the walls, murals painted by local artists, elegant chandeliers, and dual Saturns leading all ways. Opening night was a success and showed a play close to David's heart: the Ballad of Black Jack. The topic at the center of everything that Liberty Hall was, and is, meant to represent.

In addition to David's professional life, he was an incredible father and husband, always pushing the people whom he loved to keep evolving, work hard, and be compassionate.

At the center of David's life philosophy was respect. Respect for animals, history, architecture, music, and most importantly his community. To David there was no role too small, no detail too slight. Everything and everyone held equal value to him. He moved through his life with effortless love for what he believed in and made an impact on everyone he met, just as they made an impact on him. From the romantic plains of Kansas to the warm waters of Jamaica, Dave will live on in the electric pinks of the setting sun.

David was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by his wife Susan, sister Cydney (Richard), three children Josh, Audrey (Thomas), and Casey (Eric), three grandchildren, Aliyah, Ira, and Ivy, and two dogs, Donnie and Ruby.

A memorial will be planned for friends and family when we can all safely get together.

Condolences may be sent at rumsey-yost.com.


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Lawrence Journal-World on Oct. 29, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
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20 entries
November 3, 2020
I am so sad to learn of David's passing. He was such a Lawrence fixture....so knowledgeable, friendly and kind. My heart goes out to his family and many friends. He was one of a kind and irreplaceable.
Gayle Dunaway
Friend
November 2, 2020
Susan, I want to send a personal letter. I have your address from your sister in law. I worked with her quite a few years. I was your neighbor downtown, across the street, in the early 70's. Round Corner.
Dennis Salyer
November 2, 2020
I know Dave made an impact in the community,he was a very kind and peaceful person, my heart goes out to his family and all his friends and anyone that had the pleasure of knowing him. Peace out Dave!
Tom McCloskey
Acquaintance
November 2, 2020
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William McCloskey
November 1, 2020
I am saddened to hear of David’s passing. My relationship with David began some fifty years ago when he took me under his wing as a partner at Sunflower Surplus. It was with his guidance that I learned how to navigate the business world. My sincere condolences to Susan and your family.
Randy Davis
Friend
October 31, 2020
Our deepest sympathy to you Susan and the kids and their families. Dave was a great guy who made Lawrence a better place. He will be sorely missed.
Jerry and Gloria Roach
October 31, 2020
Sending love and condolences to Susan and family. Sorry for your loss....so appreciate that David made the world a better place.
Charlie and Kim Eadie
Family
October 31, 2020
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Jarrett Johnson
October 31, 2020
I am so saddened to hear of Dave's passing..Dave brought so much depth, generosity, & solidity to Lawrence, and to my own life. My sincerest condolences to his family and all who share in this loss. Peace Dave.
Jeff Johnston
Coworker
October 31, 2020
Dear Susan, I am so sorry to hear about David's passing. He was a bright spot in this world and made it a better place to live; he will remain a positive influence, not only in the Lawrence business community but in the lives of many many people. Our thought and prayers are with you and your family. Bob Skahan
Bob Skahan
Friend
October 30, 2020
David was one kindest, mellow, individuals that I have met. He will truly be missed.... Peace
David Clark
Acquaintance
October 30, 2020
David was a great friend to my dad, and he was always good to me, as well. Millstein family, you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Dustin Burr
Friend
October 30, 2020
David was a great friend to my dad and he was always good to me, as well. Millstein family, you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Dustin Burr
Friend
October 30, 2020
David Millstein what a good person to be associated with ............ thanks David for being on the planet.

Dickie and BethAnne
Dickie Heckler
Coworker
October 30, 2020
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William Marshall
October 29, 2020
I’m so sorry to hear this sad news. I can’t imagine Lawrence without David. He helped make it a really, really special place. Sending love and peace to Sue and the rest of their family. He will be greatly missed.
Lisa Pool
Coworker
October 29, 2020
I am very sad to hear that Dave has passed. Dave and Susan gave me great opportunities in which I learned and grew. I appreciate it very much. My heart goes out to the whole family.
Terri Faunce
Friend
October 29, 2020
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Erin Revey
October 29, 2020
I'm so sorry to hear about David's death. What a loving and steady presence, always full of humor and ingenuity. I send my love and deepest wishes for comfort and peace to the family. May his memory be for blessing.
Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
Friend
October 29, 2020
I am so sad to read about David's passing. What a great loss for his family, friends, and our community. His legacy will live on. My condolences to Susan and their children.

Marcia Riley
Marcia Riley
Acquaintance
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