David Shular: An Appreciation

David Shular

There is so much that has to be said about David Shular. David was a person of character who took no pleasure in praise and compliments. He would always to the work asked of him and more, but never acted like he needed public acknowledgement. During his involvement with Peoples Temple, he took care of Temple children, drove Temple busses, visited the elderly, and more.

The most wonderful thing about David was that he was self-motivated and about doing the world’s chores, with a pleasant attitude. He expected to be asked to do it, to do it to the best of his ability, and to come back for more.

When I think of the team of Janet and David Shular, I think of a southern California metaphor: salsa and chips. David was crisp, predictable, and comfortable with himself. He had the courage and introspection to follow his own lead. He didn’t push ideas on others – or get pushed by others – away from his center. His strength of character allowed him to be inclusive, caring and genuine in every setting.

Janet brought the color, the spice, the aroma, the fire. She brought the dance and the fight into the relationship. She’d take on the injustice or inhumanity she saw, and jump into the fray with both feet kicking. Whatever your position on an issue, it was better if you had Janet on your side.

David and Janet more than complemented each other. They were incomplete without each other. Although you can eat chips or salsa separately, it is the combination of flavors that we know and love.

I am honored that I was able to know them both individually and as a team. I am so blessed to still have Janet by my side. There is so much work left to be done, so much light needed in the world. There isn’t time to rest.

(Laura Johnston Kohl, who had lived in Jonestown but was working in Georgetown on 18 November, died on 19 November 2019 after a long battle with cancer. She was 72. Her writings for this website appear here.)