David Kent Warkentin 20 August 1951–9 September 2010
20 December 2017 (online)
David Warkentin, creator of Macrepertory, passed away peacefully at his home in the forested hills of Nicasio, California attended by his partner Vajra Matusow and many close friends who cared for him tenderly through his last days. He had no inkling of illness until early July 2010 and survived barely 2 months from the time of his diagnosis. It was stunning to see such a rich and complex life extinguished so rapidly. How we will miss him!
He was born in Atherton, California. We can only imagine the dawning happiness when as a young homeopath David realized that his very birth name contained the heart of homeopathy in it. J. T. Kent was one of David’s great heroes as reflected in the name he christened his ground-breaking software company: Kent Homeopathic Associates or KHA.
After studying computer science and electrical engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, David followed his diversified interests with great passion before finding homeopathy. He became an expert river guide, he led wildlife kayaking tours in remote areas of Alaska and Mexico. He was a fantastic outdoorsman, finding renewal in nature. David made hundreds of whitewater rafting trips including nearly a dozen trips down the dangerous Colorado River. In fact his only expressed regret concerning his illness was that he was unable to make a planned trip down through the Grand Canyon this summer. Even after brain surgery, he still held some glimmer of hope that he would be able to make the trip.
I met David in Athens, Greece when I attended the first international seminar given by George Vithoulkas in 1978. At that time, still in medical school, I had never laid eyes upon an actual homeopath. David took me under his wing and we immediately became friends and travel mates. I remember his dry and cutting wit balanced by the gentlest of spirits. At that time, David was already a practising homeopath of high reputation, working in an office with Bill Gray, Nancy Herrick and Peggy Chipkin as a lay prescriber. David attended the month long Esalen seminar given by George Vithoulkas in 1980. While there together, his only flaw as a roommate was that he had an unerring ability to ferret out the stash of chocolate that Geroge Guess tried to hide from him in our joint room. And of course at 6′4″ (1.94 m) he also had a killer spike in our Esalen group volleyball games – I remember Karl Robinson was the victim of a particularly wicked one.
In the early 1980’s David decided that gaining a credential would increase his effectiveness as a force for the spread of homeopathy. He earned his degree as a Physician Assistant from the University of California at Davis following his friends Christine Ciavarella and Nancy Herrick in the program. He revered many of his many teachers especially George Vithoulkas, Francisco Eisayaga, Bill Gray, Rajan Sankaran and his dearest friend, Massimo Mangialavori.
In 1985, David was one of the cofounders of the Hahnemann Medical Clinic in Berkeley and one of the first instructors at the Hahnemann College of Homeopathy where he taught until the college closed in 2004. David continued to teach at almost every educational forum in America and in Europe and Asia. David’s practice of homeopathy was side-tracked in the mid-1990’s due to the increasing responsibilities with KHA, but in 2006 he began to practise again. He told me that his clinical results had reached their highest level in this year and he remained as excited by the miracle of homeopathy as he was when I first met him.
David began his seminal work with homeopathic software in 1986 with his program MacRepertory. Originally designed for use solely on the Apple computer, David introduced the many purist, nature-oriented, vegetarian, California homeopaths to the world of technology. I remember the first computer David convinced me to buy was the second generation of Apple computers. He told me to buy an external hard drive with an astounding 20 MB capacity because “You’ll never need more storage than that!”
KHA has remained on the cutting edge of homeopathic software ever since. Many people in competing firms have acknowledged that David was the engine that drove the development of homeopathic software. His innovative spirit, drive for excellence and desire to help make homeopathy accessible and rapid kept him in dialogue with the finest teachers in our profession, always willing to learn and to adapt the program to the needs and ideas of the profession. For many of us, David’s encouragement and willingness to support our work with his technology made our work possible. My own investigation of Carbon remedies would have been impossible without David’s help and I know many others feel the same way.
Luckily for KHA, the core staff continues to market, service and support the KHA programs without a hitch. Programmers Mike Hourigan and William Smith, Beth Niles in office management and interfacing with authors, and the rest of the staff have done a fantastic job keeping the company running as if nothing has happened. We assure the profession that the same high standards and openness to the needs of prescribers will be maintained.
But of course we will no longer have David travelling to practically every seminar and conference in the world. Though incredibly shy, David loved exchanging ideas and information with people. His reclusive urges were overcome by his profound wish to facilitate the spread of knowledge and ideas. For example, David served for many years on the board of directors of the National Center for Homeopathy with Todd Rowe, Joyce Frye, Jay Borneman and Julian Winston. Our shy David was paradoxically one of the best storytellers. I ever met and used humor to help connect people from various factions of homeopathy. Perhaps this role as facilitator more than anything else led to David being awarded the Henry N Williams Professional Service.
David died from a very aggressive malignant melanoma having a dozen cerebral tumors at the time he first became symptomatic. His primary tumor was hidden in his pelvis, unnoticed. I mention this because David would want to help others even in his death. There is a well-documented link between electromagnetic frequencies produced by cell phone and other technologies and melanoma. David’s computer sat in his lap (immediately above the location of his primary tumor) perhaps 12 h/day (except when river rafting and maybe even then!) hooked up to a cell phone receiver. Let us use this as a caution to be wary of assurances that these technologies are harmless.
David was a loving friend. He gave his heart to many and was loved in return. There has been a tremendous out-pouring of love and sympathy from every corner of the globe by which David was profoundly touched and he asked us to tell everyone how much he appreciated these messages. David was deeply concerned with spiritual matters, read widely and participated in many meditation retreats and worked with spiritual teachers from many traditions. He had a great thirst for deeper meaning and realization. One of David’s most cherished moments was a private interview with His Holiness the Dalai Lama whom he met with his dear friend Melissa Fairbanks. David will be remembered for his gentle spirit, his devotion to our profession and his innovative genius. The loss to our profession is as incalculable as it is painful to those of us who loved him.