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Instructor Information

David Habben

David Habben is a cemetery historian and what's known as a "taphophile."  This is a person who has a passion for cemeteries and grave yards, especially their history and symbolism.  He has been researching, documenting and photographing cemeteries and grave yards for over 16 years.  In addition to his classes, David also gave historical tours of the cemeteries in Boise.

David worked in law enforcement in the Chicago area, and then moved to Oregon and Idaho where he has worked as a paramedic for 38 years.  He travels extensively for his EMS work in instructing, consulting and doing evaluations for accreditation.  David also works part time for funeral homes.  He has found historical and interesting cemeteries in every town he's visited.  He has taken thousands of photos in hundreds of cemeteries all over the U.S. and internationally.  He has done extensive research in the burial customs of various cultures, and the meanings of the symbols and emblems found on grave stones.  Thousands of his photos appear on the website of the U.S. Cemetery Project and on  He presents for Community Education, historical and genealogy societies and at conferences and workshops nationwide.