BLOOMINGTON, IN (May 9, 2013) – Carl David Repp, 76, died April 29, 2013 in Chico, CA. An award-winning photojournalist, Repp was a mentor to generations of photojournalism students in the Indiana University School of Journalism at Bloomington.
A long-time resident of Bloomington, Repp was well-known for his love of wilderness canoeing and of jazz.
“He would rather have died with a paddle in his hand while on a wilderness canoe trip in the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota,” said James W. Brown, a long-time friend of Repp and retired executive associate dean of the IU journalism school on the IUPUI campus. “Instead he left this world from an Alzheimer’s facility in California.”
Repp was born and reared in Huntington, IN, where he delivered groceries for the family grocery. He earned a bachelor's degree from DePauw in 1959 and a master’s degree in education from Indiana University-Bloomington in 1966. He was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. While in graduate school, he worked in the Indiana University Photo Lab.
Repp, whose work was published under the name C. David Repp, remained a fiercely independent freelancer throughout his career. He worked frequently for the Louisville Courier-Journal and Times and for Indiana University. One of his most famous pictures was of former IU basketball Coach Bob Knight throwing a chair across the basketball floor.
Repp was an adjunct instructor for many years in the I.U. School of Journalism, working with the late Will Counts, the long-time director of the photojournalism sequence at Indiana and a close friend.
“Dave’s door was always open for coffee and conversation always with the background of classical music or jazz,” Brown said. “Students who got a dose of Dave’s intellect and critical review of their photographs accelerated their learning far beyond what they were learning in the classroom. Those who came back for more soon had a loyal and lifelong friend.”
Brown wrote on his Web site after Repp’s death that “Dave had a photographer’s eye for life. He saw the detail and the beauty of the world that most people miss. Sitting on a rock with a cup of coffee watching the sun set or rise in the Boundary Waters was a salve for his soul.”
Award-winning documentary photographer Melissa Farlow added to those observations, remembering Repp as a “solid, ageless and thoughtful man who always made time for camaraderie ... His intellect was deep yet he found simple ways to explain the world through his images.”
Photojournalist, editor, and writer J. Bruce Baumann wrote of a conversation he had with Repp after the move to California. “I asked him how he was doing, and he said, ‘You know, I have Alzheimer’s disease.’ I told him he’d be okay. He thanked me. I told him, no, I’m the one who needs to thank you. He will be forever part of the photojournalism community that passed through Bloomington.”
Repp is survived by a sister, Carolyn Knapton of Chico, CA, and nieces and nephews Janet Skole, Mary Lou Schuler, Doug Weaver, Holly Bowen, and Joel and Matt Arant.
Memorial contributions may be made to the IU Foundation, P.O. Box 500, Bloomington, IN, 47402, for the benefit of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music C. David Repp Music Performance Scholarship, or to the Alzheimer's Association, 2105 Forest Ave. Ste. 130, Chico, CA 95928, or to the National Press Photographers Foundation scholarship fund ( http://nppf.org ).
A celebration of life will be held in Bloomington on June 22, 2013, from 1 to 5 p.m. in the President's Room of the Indiana Memorial Union. A short graveside service will be held at 1:30 p.m. on June 23 at the Mt. Hope cemetery in Huntington, IN.