Dave Rushlo, Friendship Village Tempe Resident, Recalls How Woodworking Saved His Marriage

Sometimes, life leads us to a seemingly dead end street, only to provide a previously unseen way out. For Dave Rushlo, the dead end was alcohol and the way out was a chisel and some blocks of wood. He’d developed a habit of imbibing a few too many pitchers of beer far too often, and his wife had had enough. Get sober or get going was the ultimatum she presented him.

“She laid it right out there,” said Rushlo. “It was her or the alcohol. I had to make a choice.”

Fortunately, Rushlo found a way to save his marriage, put down the bottle and hone his skills as a master craftsman all at once.

“I enjoyed woodworking, but quitting alcohol gave me the opportunity to truly pursue it,” said Rushlo. “It turned out I was pretty good with the chisel.”

“Pretty good” is an understatement. Over the years, Dave’s been honored multiple times by his peers. His works have been featured in numerous exhibits and he continues to create impressive works of art.

His wife is no longer with us, so Dave now spends about 6 hours a day, 6 days a week on his craft. He recently appeared on ABC 15 television, as the local news team featured a story about his triumph over alcoholism and the wonderful works of art he continues to create each day here at the community.

Friendship Village Tempe takes great pride in providing an environment that gives residents freedom and opportunities to pursue passions, find new interests and enjoy a purpose-driven lifestyle.