David Love

David Love

February 10, 1945 ‐ March 01, 2021
Birthplace: Lorain, Ohio Resided In: Westlake, Ohio

David Love, age 76, of Westlake, son of John Elmer Love and Ardeth Jane Love, passed away on March 1, 2021. Dave was born in Lorain, OH on February 10, 1945. He is survived by his beloved wife of 53 years Cherry Roberta Love (nee Arbuckle), their three children Jennifer Elizabeth, Jeffrey Michael (Rachel), and Jeannine Marie, and their two granddaughters Evelyn Marie and Veronica Elizabeth. He is also survived by his siblings, Jane Haslage (Russell) and Jack Love (Janet McKim), along with numerous nieces and nephews.  He is preceded in death by his parents, his stepmother Ruth Elizabeth Whitmore Love, and by Jeannine’s late partner Aric Hughes Hiser.  

A lover of trains, ragtime, and fly fishing, Dave grew up on the family dairy farm in Brownhelm Township, where he worked with his father from a young age. In his youth he was part of the Future Farmers of America and participated in 4-H showing beef cattle at the Lorain County Fair. Dave graduated from Firelands High School (1963) where he played football, baseball, and basketball, was a member of the National Honor Society, and was beloved by a close circle of friends whom he kept in contact with through school reunions across the years. 

It was while attending Ohio State that his life path was forged. Under the growing economic strains faced by small farmers, it became apparent that the family farm would not sustain another generation. Dave chose to follow his love of animals and switched career paths to pursue a future in veterinary medicine. He joined the Omega Tau Sigma veterinary fraternity and graduated from the OSU School of Veterinary Medicine in 1970, where he met his lifelong friend and fellow mischief-maker, David Barley. Even more consequential, however, was that math class he just couldn’t quite figure out. Facing near-certain failure, he wisely chose to ask the beautiful girl who was acing the class out on a date. She said yes, he passed math, and together they built a life filled with love.

Dave and Cherry moved to Westlake in 1974 and quickly became immersed in the community. They opened the Westlake Animal Hospital that same year, where Dave provided empathetic care of the highest quality to innumerable companion animals and their humans. He became an American Board of Veterinary Practitioners diplomate with a prestigious certification in canine and feline practice and was successfully recertified three more times, making him one of a small handful of veterinarians certified for the full four decades the certification had been in place. In 1991 he built a state-of-the-art veterinary facility designed around his commitment to accessibility and inclusion for pet parents. Having felt the fear of not being allowed to accompany his son for an x-ray in the ER, Dave was acutely aware of the anxiety such separation could cause and was determined not to repeat that experience for his clients. Clients were welcome in all areas of the hospital, and he even installed a picture window in the surgical suite.  

Dedication to community was central to Dave’s life philosophy and this was reflected in his commitment to service. He provided free veterinary care to the Westlake Police Department’s canine officers and to thousands of animals in need of forever homes at the Westlake Animal Control. He supported Westlake Little League teams, participated in career days at Westlake City Schools, welcomed high school students to shadow him at work, and provided an annual scholarship to graduates of Westlake High School interested in pursuing careers in medicine. He was a member of the Westlake Kiwanis Club, a regular fixture at the annual pancake breakfast, and he and Cherry were longtime members of Dover Congregational Church. For their extensive community service, Dave and Cherry were named Mr. and Mrs. Westlake by the Westlake Town Criers, an award to recognize couples who “have best served the interests of the youth and citizens of Westlake in a positive and outstanding manner.”

But of all his achievements, his greatest joy was family. Dave was a devoted husband, loving and wise father, and doting grandfather. Cherry was the love of his life, and she and their three children were the center of his world. Together they created a home full of love, laughter, music, and a menagerie of pets.

A man who loved abundantly and who never met a stranger, Dave Love will be deeply missed by the many who cherished him.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to either Westlake Kiwanis Youth Foundation https://secure.givelively.org/donate/kiwanis-westlake-youth-foundation-inc or to the Firelands Schools Community College Fund https://lorain.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create?funit_id=1493

Services will be held at Dover Congregational Church on a date and time to be announced.

Guest Comments

Kirsten Zielinski
North Ridgeville

your kindness and compassion for people and animals was obvious to all. you will be missed.

Mandy Pajer
Los Angeles, CA

Dr Love was kind, gregarious and generous. He gave me scholarships, without me asking, when I couldn’t afford to go on High School field trips. He sewed into me and encouraged me at a crucial time. Jennifer Love was one of my best & dearest friends, and Dr. Love & Mrs. Love let me stay over at times that I had no where else to go. He was like a father figure to me and I'm learning he was the same to other youths in the community. In recent years, his hearts and "thumbs ups" on my social media posts meant the world to me. I had been meaning to reach out to him a few weeks ago to tell him how much his kindness and support still meant to me. When those little signs of encouragement paused a short time ago, I noticed and felt a pull to reach out to him and express my gratitude for his always encouraging spirit once again. I am devastated that I did not get that chance before he passed. He will always be remembered for his warmth, heart, and for his willingness to stand in the gap.

Kay and Bob Cilimburg
Westlake OH

Dr. Love has been an important person in our community and church. We are keeping the family in our thoughts and prayers.

Amy Dexter
San Diego, CA

Thank you, David, for your legacy of love and care. I met you through your daughter Jeannine and did not know you for long. But I was blessed to watch how you cared for her and to hear the stories of some of your animal rescues. You love in the deep and quiet way that is strong and stable when things get hard. When your heart broke because your kids were hurting, when a poor bedraggled cat crossed your path, you were the quiet strong love they needed. Thank you for that example. The world is better because you passed through it.

Shelley Cobb
Southampton UK

All my deepest condolences. Dr Love was such a funny, kind and generous man.