In Loving Memory of David Vieten

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For the students and campers moving across the beautiful landscape at Chewonki each day, our staff and faculty are familiar faces, but they are not the only members of our community. We also treasure the spouses, partners, and children who live in residence and add so much to the vibrant life on Chewonki neck. 

This past January, we lost a much-loved member of this community, David Vieten, the husband of Maine Coast Semester Dean of Students Julie Barnes. David passed away on January 18th, 2022 after a protracted battle with cancer. 

Julie and David and their two children, Finley and Ruah, have lived on campus since 2019 and shared many adventures and friendships with folks from every corner of the organization. David will be deeply missed and we appreciate the time we were able to spend with him at Chewonki. 

Julie shares: 

“The land and people that make up Chewonki have served as a safe container for our family as we have navigated this challenging and sacred chapter in our life. We are beyond grateful for the ways that so many of you, staff, students, non-human beings, rocks and roots alike have woven themselves into our life-story, serving as buoy and nourishment for us in this time. The girls (Indigo (20), Finley (5) and Ruah (3)) and I miss David immensely. Our grief is real, powerful, and particular to each of us.  It is also balanced by a tangible connection to David’s Spirit as it shows up in Dada-Spirit hearts, snuggles and open horizons. Our family, in its new shape, continues to feel blessed to be a part of the Chewonki family and the ways that it makes space to hold the realities of death, life, and everything in between and beyond. As a member of that family, please do not hesitate to reach out if you would like to connect, and know that we cannot wait to see you when next our paths cross.”

David’s full obituary can be found here.


Please know there will be a service for David at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico on July 8th, 2022. All are welcome there. Please reach out to Julie at for more details. 

If you would like to honor David with a monetary donation please consider contributing to:

A College Savings 529 account at Vanguard for Finley and Ruah. To contribute here go to and enter the girls’ U-Gift Code: T1A-F8N. The account is currently in Finley’s name and will support both Finn and Ru’s future education, dividing them into two accounts in the future if need be.


“The David Vieten Memorial Fund” — A donor advised fund we will use to support film-centered programming at Ghost Ranch and Hollins University. To make a tax deductible donation to this fund use the contribution form found here , and follow the mail-in instructions on the form. Reach out to Julie or Fidelity Charitable if you have any questions or would like to learn more.

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