Mac mourns David Huttner: friend, musician, Bon Appétit staff


David Huttner, 33, who passed away on March 4. Photo courtesy of Sheri Ledin.

Lindsay Weber

Bon Appétit staff member David Huttner, well-known on campus for working the Coffee Cart in the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, March 4.

Huttner was 33 and a resident of Savage, Minnesota. He was an avid musician and collaborated with several local bands throughout his musical career.

Macalester community members remember Huttner for his fondness for books and music, as well as his friendly and personable demeanor.

“He always asked me about how my day was going and what I was reading,” Valerie Hallberg ’19 wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly. “He knew I was always running low on aux points, so sometimes he even gave me some free coffee if he was closing down the cart.”

French department chair Andrew Billing became acquainted with Huttner through short interactions buying coffee at the Coffee Cart.

“We talked about our shared interest in science fiction,” Billing said. “He was always reading — he had a book with him at the Coffee Cart almost every day… It was a great shock to learn he passed away so suddenly.”

Some Macalester students lamented the lack of acknowledgment of Huttner’s passing from the Macalester administration. In the days following, the Mac Daily did not announce his passing, as is custom for faculty and staff deaths.

“The fact that the school has not released a statement or any acknowledgment of the death of this worker implies the school doesn’t respect Bon Appétit workers and assumes they don’t have an impact on the students at this school,” Laura Andersen ’21 said.

Andersen, too, became acquainted with Huttner from frequent Coffee Cart visits.

Hallberg reached out to Barbara Laskin, who submitted the Mac Daily post announcing Gerald Booker’s passing in December 2017. Booker was a Bon Appétit staff member who worked in the Atrium.

“[Laskin] said the person who would do such things is out of the office and that she had forwarded my email. I have received no response and that was about a week ago,” Hallberg said. “This is unacceptable.”

The Mac Weekly was unable to reach Huttner’s co-workers at Bon Appétit for comment.

Several of Huttner’s friends started a GoFundMe page for Huttner’s family, which had raised $2,890 of its $3,000 goal on Wednesday, March 13. Also on Wednesday, the Cabooze music venue in Minneapolis held a benefit show to help cover costs.

“Although David was an excellent drummer, he was not a famous musician,” Huttner’s sister, Laura, wrote in a message to The Mac Weekly. “He was famous for his ability to connect with others.”