David Ettinger of Bechdel Jewelers Dies at 69

IndependentsMar 28, 2024

David Ettinger of Bechdel Jewelers Dies at 69

He’s remembered as a “font of passion,” leaving behind a legacy of dedication to his craft and community.

David Ettinger
David Ettinger, the recently retired owner of West Virginia’s Bechdel Jewelers, died earlier this month at age 69. He is remembered as an instant friend and a dedicated craftsman.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated post-publication to include comments from Lori Ettinger, David Ettinger’s wife.

Inwood, W.Va.— David Evers Ettinger, longtime owner of Bechdel Jewelers in Inwood, West Virginia, died March 13.

He was 69.

Recently retired, Ettinger and his wife of 28 years, Lori Ettinger, were attending their final jewelry trade show, the Independent Jewelers Organization (IJO) show in Dallas when he “passed away unexpectedly, but peacefully,” according to the family.

Another jeweler who also was attending the IJO show was arrested and charged in connection with the incident that led to his death.

The investigation is ongoing, with a police spokesperson telling The Dallas Morning News last week that the case will be referred to a Dallas County grand jury. 

Ettinger was born on Sept. 25, 1954, at Kings Daughters Hospital, and he graduated from Martinsburg High School in West Virginia in 1972. 

He was a master jeweler at Bechdel Jewelers, where he had worked since Lori’s father, Charles Bechdel, opened the store in 1975.

The couple became co-owners of the store when Charles retired and remained in the business until announcing their own retirement and the store’s closing last fall.

Lori said he loved being a jeweler. 

“There was no project he’d reject. Whether it was a precious piece of jewelry or an attached belt on a favorite dress. He never said no,” she said.

Ettinger was a member of IJO, the Retail Jewelers Organization, The Virginias Golf Association, Cress Creek Golf Club, and the Panhandlers Dinner Club.

“Dave was a very loyal and devoted member of IJO for nearly 17 years. He never missed an IJO show and traveled to Antwerp 11 times with his peers. His smile and warm personality made everyone around him feel special,” IJO President Stephen Barnes said.   

“Dave’s legacy will live on through the many lives he touched throughout his illustrious career in the jewelry industry. We at IJO will miss Dave, but he will always be remembered as a kind, gentle soul. May he rest in peace.”

His family remembers Ettinger as charismatic, becoming an “instant friend” to everyone he met, as well as a beloved member of his community.

“I never heard him raise his voice at anyone,” Lori said. “He was kind and always avoided any conflict in his personal life and our business.”

Ettinger enjoyed playing golf, skiing, traveling, savoring a good beer, and spending time with friends and family.

He also loved relaxing at his beach house, where he enjoyed spotting dolphins, collecting seashells, and helping baby sea turtles start their journey, the family said.

They described him as “a font of passion” who had genuine enthusiasm for his interests and hobbies, but also those of his friends.

“He loved life and wanted to live forever,” Lori said. “He was a loving husband, father, son, sibling and friend.”

Ettinger is survived by his wife, Lori; his daughter, Megan Lilly, and her fiancé, Bryan Paduano; his brother, Richard B. Ettinger, and sister-in-law, Carol; his sister, Deborah D. Carrier, and brother-in-law, Andy; and other family members.

Ettinger was preceded in death by his parents, Brooke E. and Rosalee L. Ettinger, and his father-in law, Charles.

A visitation for family and friends was held at Brown Funeral Home South Berkeley Chapel in Inwood on March 24. 

A funeral took place at the chapel the following day, officiated by Pastor Sandra Kline Mortimer. Interment followed in Pleasant View Memory Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for contributions to the American Heart Association or the Berkeley County Historical Society. 

Lauren McLemoreis the associate editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments.

The Latest

My Next Question webinar
Recorded WebinarsApr 12, 2024
Watch: What Jewelers Need to Know About Insurance

From cybersecurity liability to trade show coverage, insurance experts share tips on how to build the right policy.

Evil Eye Charm with Turquoise Disc
CollectionsApr 12, 2024
Piece of the Week: Lionheart’s Evil Eye Gemstone Charm

The charm is a modern rendition of the evil eye amulet that has been worn for thousands of years.

The Jewelry Symposium scholarship winners 2024
Events & AwardsApr 12, 2024
The Jewelry Symposium Announces 4 Scholarship Winners

Ahead of its trade show next month, TJS awarded free registration and accommodations to one jewelry professional and three students.

Brought to you by
The Blueprint for Success in Scalable, Personalized Jewelry Retail

With Ho Brothers, you can unlock your brand's true potential and offer customers the personalized jewelry experiences they desire.

SRK Empire and SRK House
Policies & IssuesApr 11, 2024
SRK Exports’ Journey Toward Net Zero Impact

By the end of this year, SRK’s diamond manufacturing complexes will achieve net zero emissions, one of an impressive array of achievements.

Weekly QuizApr 11, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this seven-question quiz.
Take the Quiz
AGTA logo
Lab-GrownApr 11, 2024
AGTA Bans Lab-Grown Diamonds, Gemstones at GemFair

Members can still sell lab-grown stones, it said, but only natural gems are allowed on the show floor.

Macy’s Herald Square store
MajorsApr 11, 2024
Macy’s Opens Books for Possible Buyout

The retailer also appointed two new board members, avoiding a proxy fight from a potential buyer.

Jewelers of America Fly In Washington, D.C.
Brought to you by
How Jewelers of America Represents Your Business

For over 30 years, JA has advocated for the industry, fought against harmful legislation and backed measures that help jewelry businesses.

AGS Conclave 2024 logo Austin
Events & AwardsApr 11, 2024
10 Can’t-Miss Sessions at AGS Conclave 2024

From lab-grown diamonds and AI to the inevitable Taylor Swift mention, here are some of Conclave’s most intriguing educational offerings.

Sylvie Jewelry model
CollectionsApr 10, 2024
Sylvie Launches New Nature-Inspired Collection, ‘Tulira’

The bridal collection consists of 35 engagement rings and seven wedding bands.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea in 18-karat yellow gold
WatchesApr 10, 2024
These Are Rolex’s New Watches for 2024

The crown introduced a dozen timepieces in Geneva, including a heavy metal version of its deep-sea divers’ watch.

With Clarity NFL wedding bands
CollectionsApr 10, 2024
With Clarity Partners With NFL on Wedding Bands

The limited-edition men’s rings can be customized with one of 12 team logos.

Asian Star’s diamond manufacturing facility in India
SourcingApr 10, 2024
Compliance, Caution, and Concern: The Current Outlook of Indian Diamantaires

There is a willingness to comply with new government-mandated regulations, with an insistence that they should be practical and realistic.

Chrono24 watch inspection lab
WatchesApr 09, 2024
Chrono24 Debuts Pre-Owned Watch Authentication Program

The program, now live in Europe, will roll out to the U.S. this summer.

6.21-carat fancy vivid pink diamond
AuctionsApr 09, 2024
Phillips to Offer 6.21-Carat Vivid Pink Diamond

Colored gemstones and signed jewels are the focus of its upcoming Geneva sale.

Lucapa rough colorless and pink diamonds
SourcingApr 09, 2024
Former De Beers Exec Appointed to Lucapa Board

Stuart Brown, who was De Beers’ CFO and interim CEO, is now Lucapa’s independent non-executive chairman.

Jewelers for Children POS System Donations
MajorsApr 09, 2024
Jewel360 Announces New POS Integration, JFC Partnership

The point-of-sale software can now prompt customers to round up their credit card purchases as a donation to Jewelers for Children.

Bharat Ratnam, a Mega Common Facilitation Centre (CFC)
SourcingApr 09, 2024
Reinvigorating SEEPZ, the Epicenter of India’s Studded Jewelry Exports

The zone’s modernization will enhance and increase India’s jewelry manufacturing capabilities while aiding small and mid-sized businesses.

Charles & Colvard moissanite bypass engagement ring
SourcingApr 08, 2024
Charles & Colvard Debuts B2B Portal for Moissanite

Select independent jewelers and retailers can now purchase moissanite through Charles & Colvard Direct.

Amber Rank
Events & AwardsApr 08, 2024
AGS Announces First Recipient of ‘Women in Leadership’ Scholarship

Amber Rank of Exclusively Diamonds will receive mentorship, registration to AGS’s 2024 Conclave, and $500.

Jaeger-LeCoultre citrine pinky-ring watch
AuctionsApr 08, 2024
Sotheby’s ‘Rough Diamonds’ Sale Is All About … Watches

The auction will take place Thursday and is underground, literally.

JOGS logo
Events & AwardsApr 08, 2024
JOGS Show Returns to Las Vegas for a Second Year

The trade show is moving downtown to the Expo at World Market Center.

Kira Diam solar plant
Lab-GrownApr 08, 2024
Indian Lab-Grown Diamond Manufacturers Keep Growing

A combination of factors is driving growth in the industry despite the precipitous drop in prices across the board.

Brilliant Earth and Jane Goodall collaboration logo
MajorsApr 05, 2024
Brilliant Earth Partners with Jane Goodall

The company is teaming up with the Jane Goodall Institute to promote ethical practices and environmental conservation.

Monica Rich Kosann Slim Heart Locket in gold and Jacquelyn Jablonski
CollectionsApr 05, 2024
Piece of the Week: A Locket for Autism Acceptance Month

Monica Rich Kosann created the “Slim Heart” locket in partnership with model and philanthropist Jacquelyn Jablonski.

Professor Frank Fraley teaching
Events & AwardsApr 05, 2024
BIJC’s Jewelry Education Program for High School Students Begins

“The Future Jewelers Academy” kicked off at the Brooklyn STEAM Center this week.

703 carat Tanzanite
SourcingApr 04, 2024
703-Carat Tanzanite Sets Guinness World Record

Carved by Naomi Sarna, the “L’Heure Bleu” is now the world’s largest cut tanzanite.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy