In his youth he was a daring rock climber and sailor. Once, as an introduction to sailing, he and two others crossed the Pacific from California to Hawaii in a small boat — no small feat. In the early 1960s, while serving in the Air Force, David was based in the cold latitudes of Newfoundland — working on the early version of air-deployed cruise missiles. Later, working for Boeing, he engineered miles of wiring on the new behemoth 747s. Retiring early, he built a boat from a burned out hull and sailed from Seattle to Juneau, Alaska. Indeed, he did this a number of times — the last time, aboard his new Robert Perry designed 40′ Vanguard (the first of this beautiful classic line).
Through summers and winters, he lived in his sailboat in a Juneau marina. He told me of the times he would have to chop at the ice forming on the pilings so that the floating docks could stay with the formidable tides. David worked for five Alaska governors — regularly carrying into their offices reams of dot-matrix budget figures, which he would interpret to them. Surprisingly for an adventurer, David was a very analytical guy.
In her Juneau photography store, he met his sole-mate, Rose Mary, and the two of them married. They went on to decades of travel in various motor-homes and campers — seeking bird and scenery photographs and videos.
They were one of the most content couples we had ever met. And they redefined the concept of an active retirement to us. Sadly, their long, glorious ride has come to an end with David’s passing.