David Allen Cogswell

July 4, 1948November 8, 2020

David A. Cogswell, 72, of S. Dartmouth passed away Sunday, November 8, 2020 in Little Compton, RI surrounded by his family. He shared 40 years of marriage with his ‘bride’, Patience (Smith) Cogswell. In true form, his departure from this life was followed by a 4.2 earthquake just a few miles south of the home he shared with Patience; Dave always had to have the last word.

Born in New Bedford to the late Raymond B. and Beatrice L. (Tremblay) Cogswell, Dave was a proud lifelong resident of Dartmouth. After graduating from Dartmouth High School in 1966 he served in the United States Army during Vietnam. David attended New England Institute of Technology in Boston; graduating as a licensed refrigeration mechanic. A self-made man who believed “if you don’t have your word you don’t have sh*t”, Dave owned and operated Cogswell Refrigeration until the summer of 2020. Chances are, if you had a cold drink in the heat of summer at almost any local establishment over the last 50 years, you have Dave to thank. Always the one called in an emergency, Dave was legendary for his ability to solve and repair even the most temperamental old refrigeration units and ice machines. He personified Yankee ingenuity.

Dave was a car fan, especially keen on Chryslers from the 1950’s and 60’s. Known for his enduring wit, often nonsensical catch phrases [“it don’t make a p*ss-hole in the snow”] and his prowess behind the fryolator; Dave was a fixture at countless community fund raisers and events. One of the original crew who created ‘Blowout’; an epic all day, fundraising event, Dave was a mainstay behind the fryolator, whipping up his signature clam cakes, fried scallops and fish and chips for thousands of hungry fans always sporting his signature suspenders and paper bag hats.

Dave was a member of the oldest Elks Lodge 73 located in New Bedford. He also belonged to the Westport and Dartmouth VFWs, the Eagle, and Moose Lodges, and was a member of Allen’s Neck Friends Meeting. Dave gave countless hours to these organizations, volunteering to cook for community events, fundraisers and church dinners.

In addition to this wife, he is survived by two children, affectionately nicknamed #1 and #2; Sarah Cogswell (#1), her wife Kate Levin and their son, Massimo Vliet of Little Compton and James Cogswell (#2) and his partner Kellie Perry of W. Wareham, and several nieces and a nephews. Dave was predeceased by his brothers, Raymond Cogswell and Robert Cogswell.

A a celebration of life will be held from 1pm – 5pm on Sunday, September 19th 2021 at The Eagle Lodge, 217 County Road, Lakeville, MA 02347. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Allen’s Neck Meetinghouse, 739 Horseneck Rd, South Dartmouth, MA 02748.


  • Celebration of Life

    Sunday, September 19, 2021


David Allen Cogswell

have a memory or condolence to add?

Andy Sylvia

September 9, 2021

The last time I saw David was at the memorial service for my younger brother Tim. He showed up in foul weather gear on a blustery, raw, cold summers day. He was the only person dressed correctly for the outdoor ceremony. It meant a lot to me for him to interrupt his hectic schedule to join us. May he rest in peace. Love, Andy Sylvia and Chris Burke

Kathy Gallagher

September 8, 2021

Dave was certainly one of a kind. He gave countless hours to Allens Neck Meeting dinners over the course of 30 some odd years. He was always there with a smile and a joke. He wrangled the best deals for meats for the dinners, including linguica whenever he could. We talked about what a “Good girl” Sara is and how she works so hard. He was very proud.
Loved the crazy hair.
Thank you Dave, you are missed.

Michael D King

September 8, 2021

I met your Dad in the summer of 1985 when I was a line cook at the Sportsgarden Pub in New Bedford. He was a master of his profession and I enjoyed his Joie de Vivre, he was a true Gentleman and Professional.
I loved the interaction between your Dad and my Boss, Ken Sylvia as your Dad explained it was time for Kenny to upgrade his equipment😉
I am sorry for your loss, but I know he will be remembered for everything that made him special. Sarah when I met you for the first time at a SEMAP event, just before you left that Gig, I knew he had made his mark in the world and mine got a little smaller🙏🏻
RIP Mr Cogswell, here’s to a life well lived!