In Remembrance: David W. Fix ’62MArch Died on January 22 2018

David W. Fix died January 22, 2018, of cancer. Originally from Lynchburg, Virginia, Fix studied violin at the Eastman School of Music for three years before serving in the US Army, and eventually receiving his bachelor’s in architecture from the University of Virginia. Upon receipt of his master’s from the Yale School of Architecture, Paul Rudolph and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe signed his licensure card and he was hired by the latter in 1962 in his Chicago offices. After practicing architecture for a number of years, Fix moved with his family to Italy to apprentice as a violinmaker, and there he made instruments for 20 years. He returned to the United States in 1990 and joined the architecture faculty at the University of Miami, where he taught until his retirement in 2015, at the age of 83. A lifelong learner fascinated by the connections between the arts, music, painting, architecture, and landscape, Fix was always in pursuit of projects, among them a study of case coloniche of Tuscany, for which he drew a series of exquisite sketches, and a study for a new design for a violin. He was working on an essay on Mies van der Rohe when he died. Most recently he had been living in Eugene, Oregon. He is survived by three children, including Sybil Fix ’88.

—Submitted by the family.

3 remembrances

  • Matthew S Meselson
    Matthew S Meselson, 8:14pm June 02 2020 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    I commissioned a cello from David sometime in the 1970s when he was working and learning violinmaking in Cremona and I was teaching biology at Harvard. Several letters passed between us, mostly me asking when I might come to take the cello and he saying it was not quite ready. When I visited him at his shop in Cremona to take the cello its varnish was not quite dry. But he assured me that it would be alright, as it proved to be.

    I still have that cello, now being repaired here in the Boston area. It is a good cello,not great but good.

    My memory of David is of a man short on cash, hard working and through his work finding himself. I believe he was married at the time but remember little of his wife.


  • Henry S. Chenault, Jr.
    Henry S. Chenault, Jr., 5:46pm August 27 2022 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Dave and I were friends and fellow journalism students at E.C. Glass High School, the original building, in 1948- 50, and beyond. I visited him when he was a violin student in Philadelphia, and he visited me when I was home from college in Norfolk and Danville. We kept in touch until I was in the U.S. Army in Germany in 1957. Unfortunately, we drew apart then over an ethical question. Nevertheless, I have thought of him fondly many times through the years. He definitely was one of my best friends ever, and I have missed contact with him greatly.

  • J. Perez
    J. Perez, 1:20pm August 29 2022 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    I was a colleague of David’s during his time at the University of Miami. He could never get my name right nor did I try to correct. We always chatted in the mornings before starting class, and it seemed that every morning I would arrive later and later to my assigned group of students because I would be regaled by one of his many tales. Tales of his time working with Mies. Tales of his time working with an old boss of mine. Or simply tales of his experiences living overseas in Italy. I was always thought what an enthralling life he lived. A wealth of experience to go along with a wealth of knowledge. I often felt that even though we were both professors, that I was very much his student during these morning meetings. I learned something new with him every day. I remember him fondly and carry with me those stories he shared with me.

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