Dave was born in Streator, Illinois, a small town – but much bigger than Moab. He earned a Bachelor of Arts majoring in psychology. He left the U.S. Navy after five years, including time aboard ship and in Asia, as a lieutenant (junior grade) and settled in DuPage County, Illinois, just west of Chicago.
Volunteer work with local fire departments and as a First Aid instructor introduced him to the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, his future wife Barbara and a job as a county forest preserve ranger. As the preserves grew from 1500 acres to 10% of the county, the job morphed into police work. Ranger or Police, his main job was working with people.
In his spare time, he and Barbara read, took up leather carving and learning spelunking. His jobs with DuPage always included the use of a house on District property. It made him available whenever needed. For years, there was a big sign at the start of the drive announcing who lived there. It didn’t bother the deer that came to eat from apple trees by the yard, a fox, or their many pets (about half of which had been dumped there). But some unexpected two-legged guests did show up at odd hours.
A trip to hike the Grand Canyon in his 50th year led him and his wife (who rode a mule) to Moab, Utah. They loved the area and enjoyed the people they meet. So, five years later, they moved in. Dave trained as a river guide and later did 4X4 tours. He was a search and rescue member for about 11 years and he and Barbara also became charter members of Moab’s Gastonia Chapter of Utah Friends of Paleontology.
Just before the pandemic struck, illness sent him first to the Moab Regional Hospital and then to the Canyonlands Care Center where Barbara could visit him. He received good care, but try as they might Dave began refusing food, eating less and less and losing weight. Then COVID hit. He made it out of the quarantine unit but had almost no strength left. Barbara read him his 48th Anniversary card a few days early. He died that night.
Dave was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Margaret; and by his sister, Sydney Cassaday. He is survived by Sydney’s kids, her husband, Donald; and by his wife, Barbara.
At Davis’ request cremation has taken place and no services are planned at this time. You may send condolences to the family at www.spanishvalleymortuary.com