David R. Kushlan, the former proprietor of the Bristol Store and a guiding force at the Bristol Boys & Girls Club, died at UConn Health Center in Farmington on June 8, 2019, at the age of 77.
David was born in New Haven, on April 14, 1942. His parents were the late Samuel and Ethel Kushlan of New Haven. David attended the Hopkins School in New Haven, Lafayette College in Easton, Penn., and the NYU Graduate School of Political Science in New York City. Following graduate school, he worked for the Anti-Defamation League in New York City before returning to Connecticut to run the Bristol Store, a hardware store and home center that was started in 1919, by his uncle Charles Kushlan. The Store was a landmark institution in Bristol until the late 1980’s and David became a prominent community leader. In the late 1970’s, David began his decades-long association with the Bristol Boys & Girls Club. He and his family established the Charles Kushlan Memorial Scholarship which is annually awarded to the Club’s Youth of the Year recipient. In recent years, David played a leading role in initiating science and technology (STEM) activities at the Club. In his typical low-key and unassuming manner, David helped to organize and partially funded a robotics program that allows middle school students and Club members to build robots while competing against their peers. The program has encouraged students to develop skills that are highly relevant to the 21st century economy. David received the Oliver Gaudreau Award in 2016, in recognition of his tireless work to benefit the Club and its members. David was also a 30+ year member of the Bristol Rotary Club and was honored as Bristol’s Rotarian of the Year in 1988.
David was the loving and beloved brother of Nancy K. Wanger; uncle to David K. Wanger, Dr. Gwen Kane-Wanger, Betsy K. Wanger and Steven A. Steinbach and great-uncle to five grand-nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held at the Congregation Beth Alom Cemetery in New Britain. Memorial gifts may be made to the Bristol Boys & Girls Club, 255 West Street, Bristol, CT 06010. The Weller Funeral Home, 424 Elm St., New Haven was in charge of arrangements.