17 Mar David Michael Peterson
David Michael Peterson, 73, died at home from medical conditions on March 10, 2023. Cremation has occurred. Born June 4,1949 to Hazel J. and Clarence T. Peterson, Dave grew up on a homestead in Painted Woods Township near Wilton, ND.
Due to boredom, Dave quit high school at 14, later acquiring his GED, and began to learn the carpenter trade while also working for local farmers to support himself….many a rock pile he made.
At 17, he volunteered for the Army and later paratrooper school: serving with Alpha Company, 2d Battalion, 503d Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade (SEP) 1968/1969 in Vietnam. In 2002 his unit was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation and the Meritorious Unit Citation and “is recognized as one of the most heroic and valorous units in the history of the United States Army”.
Dave was often “Point Man” in combat assaults. When a platoon goes towards the enemy, someone has to be “first” in line. That someone is the Point Man who is the literal point of the spear, considered the very worst and most dangerous position. As a ND farm boy, Dave had a keen eye and ability to spot trip wires and other signs of the enemy thus he had the trust of his Sergeant. Dave was awarded: Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal & Bronze Star Attachment (Double), Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon w/ Device (1960), Marksman Badge & Auto Rifle Bar & Machine Gun Bar & Rifle Bar, and Parachutist Badge-Basic AND Agent Orange resulting in cancer of his vocal cords. According to those who served with him, “Dave was a damn good soldier”.
Transitioning from combat duty to civilian life was a challenge. It was difficult for him to stay in one place very long. Dave hitchhiked from here to there, sleeping under overpasses, working and quitting many jobs as he didn’t have tolerance for taking ‘crap’ from a foreman who had not looked death in the eye or had never put their life on the line. He often said, “I was a grunt. I lived and slept in the wet pouring monsoon rains of the jungle for days at a time, all I need is a roof over my head, so I don’t need to work for an A–hole”.
Dave met Madonna in 1970 and they lived together off and on as it only took him 17 years of ‘pondering’ before he could actually make a commitment. They married in 1987. In 1990 they moved to ND to build their home which he built with his own hands, without house plans other than a one sheet of grid paper. He was that skilled of a carpenter.
Dave worked construction specializing in building and setting forms for large concrete pours for contractors including Peter Kiewit Construction Co., one of the largest and most respected construction/engineering organizations in North America, where he was highly valued for his experience and work ethic. His supervisor pleaded with him to not leave the company, but returning to ND was a priority as he loved fishing, hunting, and a simpler way of life. He eventually went to work for Garrison Diversion Conservancy District which he retired from. He served several terms as President of Painted Woods Township Supervisors.
He loved short and long road trips, and made three to Alaska as well as many others in the US. He enjoyed planning those trips and traveling alone, on his own terms. Like a cat, he had nine lives as death knocked at his doors that many times. Yes, he had many stories to tell, and he told them.
Although Dave and Madonna had separate needs and living quarters the last few years, they loved one another with their heart and soul, so there was no true separation between them. Like their early years, their love was not restricted by time nor space.
Dave was very appreciative and thankful to Jessica and Jeff Biesterfeld who kept a watchful and supportive eye over him while his health and mobility steadily declined. Their close friendship and attention permitted Dave to live independently in the country where he needed to be. “A very low bow to them.”
He is survived by his wife, Madonna Logosz; sisters: Jean Binsfeld, Mary Lou Hanson; brothers: Frayne, Jim, and Gerry (Corrine). Memorial contributions may be sent to Central Dakota Humane Society, Mandan or the Women’s Action and Resource Center, Beulah.
So those are some facts…more or less about Dave’s life. His energy still exists, it is just subtle energy now and less orderly. Memories are the best legacies that exist after death; the memories of friends bear witness to the kind of man Dave was and can be read as follows.
Jane R.: I have such happy memories of being on the farm and the time he came to Georgia. Dave was a diamond in the rough, and I’m sorry he’s not here for you. I’ll be keeping you in my prayers. Love you
Brian E.: The canyon story: In 1981 or so Pete had bought a nice big stable canoe and we decided to fish Boysen Res. (WY). It was a beautiful calm day but no fish so we chose to take the canoe down Wind River Canyon. We had Madonna’s cool dog Ghia with us and soon learned it wasn’t canoe water. Not long into the trip we tipped and lost our gear and Ghia in the rapids. I was able to get out fairly quickly but Pete got to see a lot of the scenery from underwater. He finally was able to get out on the same side of the River, the side with train tracks and tunnels. The bow line had wrapped around Pete’s feet and very easily could have been tragic. Got help from two local kids and the four of us carried the canoe and big cooler through the tunnels and back to the truck. We couldn’t find Ghia and spent the night in Thermopolis after looking everywhere. The next day we had a very quiet trip back to Casper without Ghia. Pete thankfully excused me from having to face Madonna with the news. They went right back to Boysen (100 mi.) and found Ghia at the spot we put in at. The canoe was sold shortly thereafter. Pete sold me my favorite gun, a lever action Marlin 30/30 for $100 and a case of Bud in cans. A true friend and Western Man, Pete-which I only know him as- was a great influence and to some extent, mentor to this fellow flatlander
Jon G.: (Our Best Man at wedding) Pete pretty much always out fished and out hunted all of us. He was a great shot with a shotgun and I was pretty terrible. But I had a great retriever. Pete always kidded me because Boone would often walk closer to him than me when we walked through fields hunting. He’d say even Boone knows who’s the better shot! I got him back though when we were trout fishing. I grew up fly fishing and Pete wasn’t much of a believer in it. We had hiked into Outlaws Canyon to fish the Middle Fork of the Powder River. Great trout fishing there. There was a phenomenal stonefly hatch coming off and the trout were feeding on them like crazy. I was catching trout like mad and Pete was getting mad , because he wasn’t even getting a strike with his spinning gear. So, we found a bobber to give him some weight to cast, and I gave a few of my stoneflies to tie on below it. I showed him how to cast it upstream, watch the bobber as it drifted down and set the hook whenever the bobber went down. In no time we were both catching fish and Pete finally recognized that fly fishing wasn’t an elitist way to fish, but sometimes the best way to catch fish! Been spending a lot of time thinking about Pete the last couple days. Called some of the old crew and let them know. We all shared some of the old stories….there’s so many!!
George L.: My Uncle Dave, I have known him most of my life. You knew where you stood when you were talking to him. You were
usually part of one of 3 groups. You were either Good People, Regular people including friends and
family, or what he considered a Dumbass just taking up good space.
He was a leader not a follower and most of the people he knew would follow him and if they didn’t he
would just go it alone. A lot of times he preferred to go it alone and had no problem with that. Whether
it was driving to Alaska, fishing on a lake or river or hopping in the Shaggin Wagon and driving around
the country for months at a time stopping as he pleased and going on his own schedule. He liked the
independence and he used the term (He didn’t have anybody whining at him).
He liked to explore almost anywhere that is out in the country. He would spend 3 hours extra driving
country roads instead of taking the interstate just to see new places especially if it helped him avoid
cities and busy roads. He would drive even farther out of his way if someone told him that there was a good BBQ joint
somewhere with cold beer. That could be a 2 week trip all by itself.
He loved the freedom of riding his Harley and if nobody was willing to go with him he just rode by
himself and enjoyed every moment of it. Dave and I made a few trips about a week long each. We rode
in blistering heat and had it rain on us for days at a time but he never complained, he just kept on going
knowing that if it got too bad we could find a bar somewhere to dry out and have a couple of cold ones.
He did enjoy a good poker run or hopping from town to town having a beer at all the little bars where
he knew all the bartenders and most of the local folks.
If he had the choice between a new pickup truck or a used one that was 10 years old with a 100,000
miles on it he would take the old one stating that the old ones were easier to work on and he didn’t
need all the fancy stuff like anti lock brakes and didn’t want to hear all the alarms warning of lane
departure and seeing a check engine light. I am a little surprised that he tolerated power brakes, power
steering and cruise control. If they had still been making International pickups and Scouts I am sure he
still would have been driving them.Even though the truck might have a 100,000 miles on it he was happy it was ¼ the cost of a new one and still had another 150,000 miles left to go and if any problems would arise he always knew someone that
could repair it for a case of beer or some old fashioned horse trading.
Dave was a VietNam war hero, an Uncle, a mentor and I am proud to call him a friend of mine. Most
people probably did not get to know him well but he was a person worth knowing. He will be greatly
missed by many people and the world is not the same without him being here.
Good travels and best wishes wherever you are.
Chuck F.: Pete and I ran around on and off most of our lives. We did a lot of hunting, road trips and even drank a few beers together. Had a lot of good times, going to miss you!
Back when Pete got back from Nam, we went on a road trip to Oregon. On our way back we ran out of money in Cut Bank MT, found a job working for a farmer hauling small square bales then doing farm work. I was cutting hay and Pete was working summer fallow. Pete finished that night and told me he was pulling a 35 foot digger, fell asleep and ended up in the middle of a neighbor’s wheat field. He turned around, went back through the fence and finished his summer fallow field. He never did tell the farmer what he’d done. We laughed about that and the fun we’d had on that trip for years!
Deb D.: Dave loved to tell stories of his adventurous travels. He had so many and he was so willing to share these with the people he would tell them to. Most recently this past summer I drove with Dave to Rochester for a procedure he has had in the past. Being in the car for all those hours was a great opportunity for Dave to “enlighten” me with his stories. Although on the way home after the procedure, he was given strict orders not to talk for the rest of the day. Sure we all know how that went. We were several hours into the return trip home and I had been listening to his non stop talking when I finally looked at him and said “Why are you talking”? “The doctor’s orders were no talking today”! His response was “It’s alright if I talk some”. My response was “yes some, but you’ve been talking nonstop since we left!”. We chuckled and I began to tell stories of my adventures in life just to shut him up.
Dave cooked many good meals for me when I would come out to the farm for a weekend visit to get away and enjoy the beautiful summer days with him and Madonna. I never was a fan of creamed peas (I never told him that) but Dave made me a fan of his creamed peas because they were so delicious. I will keep these memories with me and I will remember all those times of storytelling. I sure will miss you Dave!
Carmen E.: Some of my fav memories of Dave:He collected stuff everywhere he went. Favorite things he collected:
“My first Spam cup” that he brought back for Zane on one of his travels. Which brings another great memory:
No matter how splendid and fantastic the meal, it was NOT complete without gravy and canned “ham”. I giggle and giggle about his damn spam. He made it sound like the most splendid thing in the world. Who else would go out of his way, on a trip, to visit the SPAM capital in the USA????? Dave.
Collector of t-shirts. The memory of his t-shirts, makes me giggle and giggle some more with your description of all the damn t-shirts that man would bring back with him. So many, in fact, that the closet shelf broke with the weight of them!! Hence, the great quilt he had made and proudly used.
Collector of Harley items. On another one of his trips, he brought back a cool wooden motorcycle, about the size of his hand, for Zane that self propelled when you pulled it back. Way cool that he did that.
Dave’s famous rants and raves. That man could find and enjoy a good rant for an hour. Comical and yet so true. My favorite rant? People who don’t know how in the hell to roll up old barbed wire. What in the hell is wrong with them? So, have you ever tried to roll barbed wire? It is the absolute most god awful thing to do. Clothes get ripped, boots get slashed, blood forms all over a person’s body with the wire flying everywhere. A person is lucky to not lose an eye or get tetanus. But Dave? His rolling of his old wire was a thing of beauty. Never seen anything like it. It was a pleasure to go to his “old wire roll” stash and see the rolls lying, neatly rolled and ready to be reused.Tell me one person who can say that about their old wire rerolls. Every t
ime, I mean every time, we talked about fencing or wire, the rant would begin. So, when i am fencing, I think of the rant, and it makes me smile and rerolling doesn’t get easier, but at least I am smiling.
Dave was so detailed with his stories, and had funny quips and motions that went along with them. He loved talking about the time that he and I think it was Dennis Cleveland (?) went and rode some Paso Fino horses. He was detailed on what these horses looked like and the way their legs moved with the specific gait that the breed was known for. I felt like I was almost there, riding with him. No matter the breed of a horse, Dave was a true horseman.
Dave showed such love for animals and sympathy for when they were suffering. Many years ago, when lived in Wilton, and I had my old mare Cinnamon, the love of my life, getting older and suffering, I had been out walking in the dark, trying to work through the grief of having to decide her suffering was so great that it was time to ease it for her and put her down. Bawling my head off and here drives by Dave and of course stops to visit. He was tearing up too and I will never forget what he said “She ain’t having fun no more, Carmen ”. It makes me think of how Dave has been living recently and he wasn’t having fun no more either.
Be free, breathe easy, Dave my friend.
Blaine P.: So a good solid short story for Dave is as follows. I am still in the Air Guard. It’s drill weekend and it’s also my “Major” Party. For real, I am being promoted to Major and I am hosting a celebration at the house. My wife Kathy calls me up and says some strange man rode up into our driveway on a Harley, strode to the door and knocked. He said hi, I am here for Blaine’s Major promotion party. Kathy had no idea who this guy is, so called me up and asked if I knew anyone that rides a Harley that would be attending the celebration. She said this guy kind of looked like my Dad but not exactly. I was floored and asked Kathy to see if the guy would answer to Uncle Davey. Dave smiled real big and said hello. With that smile Kathy instantly knew he is family and Dave fit right. What a great surprise! Truly meant a lot Lucky I was easily accessible that day. He did mention when I arrived
home that he was “impressed “ with my tight security.
Jeff H.: I was asked by Madonna to write up a short story about one of mine and Dave’s times together. So here we go.
I drew a buck tag for the badlands area 4C and Dave knew the area well because of time he spent on the Ed Storm ranch. We stayed at an empty ranch house north of the Storm ranch.
We were able to ride out hunting right from this old house. The first evening we rode out hunting never really turned up anything but saddlebags full of empty beer cans, imagine that. But the next morning we were up and out there before it got light out. We were riding in some fairly rough country and we even joked about a 4-wheeler or atv trying to get back to where we rode. Well we crossed a couple pretty steep wash-outs that were more than a little tricky getting to the other side, chances are we didn’t think anything of it. At least nothing was said. While crossing this one that was a little soft, I was in the lead and Dave was right behind me, I heard a little commotion behind me and when I turned around I seen Dave’s horse fencer lose his footing for his rear feet. Well the very bottom of this washout was around 3-4 feet deep but luckily only 12-18 inches wide. With nothing solid to stand on, Fencer went up and over backwards. From where I was sitting it was all in slow motion but then again I wasn’t the one in the wreck either. Dave was working his way out of there but ended up under Fencer and was pushed down into the very bottom that was 12-18 inches wide, luckily the horse and saddle couldn’t fall down any lower as Fencer was just too wide.
Well with nowhere to tie my horse I rode up out and tied to the first tree I could find. By this time Dave crawled out from under his horse and was sitting on the bank. With his horse laying on his back unable to get back on his feet I tied my lariat to his lead rope and with Dave’s instructions, I was unable to see what was going on from up on top, I was able to flip Fencer around so his feet were underneath him by pulling him over with my horse. I was quite shook up at this point but Dave seemed to remain quite calm. I knew he had to be hurt but didn’t know how bad. We also knew the only way out of there was that grey gelding he rode in on.
Well somehow we got Dave up on top of his horse and we slowly worked our way out of that canyon. I think we had about 4 miles to ride back to the ranch where the trucks were at. Dave was doing good and could have made it back with no problem but we happened to come across some deer and I had to take a look. I told Dave the one buck looked to be a dandy and he said to shoot him. I had to ride down straight to the dead deer without losing sight of where he laid and Dave rode around to that side on the top. By the time Dave got there I had the buck gutted out. I seen Dave was hurting badly and he said he couldn’t ride any more. It was at this time I realized shooting this deer wasn’t the brightest thing to do.
I led his horse and rode like hell back to the truck. When I got back to Dave with the truck we got him loaded up and headed to the hospital in Dickinson. Every little bump Dave felt in his broken leg but he still managed to take his boot off because he wasn’t gonna let them cut it off, they were still a good pair of boots. Well we got to Dickenson and drove right by, Dave said he could make it to Bismarck and would be closer to home. So around 9 o’clock that evening Dave finally got some medical attention for his broken leg.
That evening I recruited Mike Deichert to ride along the next day to help me get that buck out and haul our horses and gear home. I never did receive the ass chewing that I had coming from Madonna but I bet Dave did. RIP My Good Friend
Rob C: (Nam Fox Hole Buddy) Even though he and I drifted apart the last decade, I am feeling an empty spot in my heart for the friend I once knew and trusted.
Dave, or Swede as we knew him in Vietnam, volunteered for the draft in order to choose for himself how he would serve the country during the War in the 1960s. He also volunteered to serve in the Airborne and attended paratrooper school at Ft. Benning GA. He served with the “elite” 173rd Airborne in Vietnam. By “elite” what I mean is that whenever there was a tough job the 173rd was sent to lead the way. What this translated into was that the 173rd Airborne suffered some of the highest per/unit casualties in the War.
Dave was assigned to Alpha Co 2nd Battalion 503rd Infantry (Airborne). Our nickname was No-DEROS (Date established to Return from Overseas). We earned this dubious distinction because our Company was so poorly led that most people were either killed or wounded so severely that they were sent home before their tour of duty was complete. We had a lot of bad damn luck. Alpha Company is where I first met Dave, although I can’t recall the day; it was like we were just thrown together in the same fire team. We became “Fox Hole buddies.” During monsoon season we slept in the same mud puddle, when we went on reach outs we had each other’s back. When we were ambushed we shivered in fear together. When a tough assignment came down we volunteered together.
Dave was not one to conform himself to the Army way of life, rather he made the Army conform to what was comfortable to him. Again, he chose for himself how he would serve his country, but I alway knew that he had my back in the tough fights and I had his as well. We did our best to manage the difficult times with a sense of humor. CAs or combat assaults were the way of life for Alpha Company day in and day out, we would mount up in a chopper and fly into some trouble spots, jump out guns a-blazing in a clearing somewhere deep in the Central Highlands to confront our enemy. Sometimes it ended up being a complete cluster fuck, other times it resulted in a small skirmish; many times it ended up being quite intense. These CAs became so routine that Dave and I would get together in our fox hole at night and joke about making a movie from our experiences. We would rate each CA as to whether we deemed it worthy of making it into our imaginary movie or to cut it. It always gave us a good laugh together and formed part of the bond that held us together when times came and there was so little to laugh about.
Our bond together was based upon knowing that we trusted each other with our lives. I knew that if I ever got into deep shit Dave would find me and get me out, and he knew that I would do the same for him. Our bond was also built in our foxhole at night when we would wonder if we would ever see another sunrise. Many nights we would sit together shaking in fear and talking about that fear. We would joke together as the motor round exploded around us and hoped that if we were going to get it we wanted to get it at the same time so that neither one of us would be left behind. We were that close.
The longer the war went on for us the closer we became as friends. Vietnam was a very insular and lonely war in those days. We did not “deploy to Vietnam as part of a cohesive unity. We got “individual orders” to show up at an airforce base to catch a ride to Vietnam. We were simply a number on a flight manifest that contained the names of dozens of others with similar orders that we did not know. We were replacements in units for people that were killed or wounded. As such we just showed up and were sent off to fight with others that we did not know. People came and went without notice. Some were wounded and sent for medical rehabilitation somewhere and we never saw them again; some we killed and the bits and pieces were sent home for burial; occasionally someone would complete their tour of duty and were sent home, and we never saw them again.
And so it was with Dave, one day he was gone, and I don’t recall that day; we never got the chance to say goodbye. Some new guy came to take his place and getting to know that person started all over again. For me, the replacement that took Daves place could never fill his shoes. We were not able to build the intensity of friendship and trust that Dave and I shared because he was a damn fine grunt with loads of experience. It was just the loneliest damn experience I’ve ever known. That is until last night when Madonna sent me a message that Dave was gone, and I know that I’ll never see or hear from him again.
Things were not always so tight between Dave and I. We got together about 10 years ago to get acquainted. What we discovered was that time and circumstances changed us both. Neither of us was to blame; it was just the nature of life; the only certainty in life is change. We were unable to rekindle those bonds of friendship that we both depended on in Vietnam. Dave had changed and was not the same guy I remembered, and I had changed too. I regret that we lost that connection, but I am so very thankful, proud and honored to have served with Dave. I hope that I am a better man because I knew him. I wish I could tell him that, but now he is gone and I will never see him again.
Kerry B: This is a really tough time. I realized I missed not taking some time to see Dave these last couple of years. I have no excuses as I should’ve went to see him. I could write a book on all the time I spent doing things with Dave. So let me try to put this into a short and to the point version.
I first worked with Dave in 1996, but it was a couple of years later that I really MET Dave. This is when we had a Supervisor to Employee meeting about performance issues. Dave told me his story and why he only wanted to be a HALF A STEP ahead of being FIRED. It was my second year of supervision at GDCD and Dave and I were having issues on his work effort and desire to do what I considered was a good effort. After several weeks of me getting after him to pick it up he said, let me explain myself, and he proceeded to give me his history of Vietnam and life; and I quickly learned that Dave’s effort and reasoning for giving that effort made perfect sense, and that I shouldn’t expect everyone to be an overachiever. Dave just wanted to do the minimum and was ok with not being the best. He was honest about this as work wasn’t as important as enjoying life.
It made me look at things differently too, as life experience’s like War do shape/change people and make them realize that getting by is better than getting ahead. His honesty and courage in saying this showed me that he knew who I was as a Supervisor, but I didn’t know who he was as an employee. This showed me that Dave was an honest person first and foremost. He said what he thought and felt and didn’t worry about the outcome. I liked this because you didn’t get BS you got the true Dave when you dealt with him. Not always what you wanted, but you got honestly.
You also got a true friend. If Dave considered you a friend he was there when you needed him. If you needed a helping hand he did what he could. If you needed a Beer and a Listening Ear, he provided both. Dave also had a Big Heart. He loved his Dogs and Horses and talked about them all the time. He also shared his horses with three young girls who also developed a love of both horses and dogs. They now have four dogs and two horses. It brought joy to Dave to see the Joy in others who loved his horses and dogs. My girls loved both as well as Dave.
Dave was more generous than most people knew. He never wanted to take advantage of anyone. When selling hay, he sold for less and wanted to build a relationship more than make a quick profit. He was also quick to assist someone in need. Once giving several months wages to a friend and stating he needed it more than me.
Dave was a TRUE American and a Veteran. He was a good soldier and served his country with Honor and Dignity. He did what was asked of him and did it well. He was wounded in Vietnam and accepted it as Doing his Duty. His only disappointment was his reception when he got home. He was a Hero, but wasn’t received as one. This bothered him as it should’ve.
The last thing, is how Dave explained to me how he met Madonna. He said he noticed the Prettiest girl at a party and then he saw her carried out by someone and he decided that he wanted to be the one who carried the prettiest girl home! Dave also knew he wasn’t perfect and admitted he could’ve done better. But he didn’t dwell on the past and chose to look towards the future. He realized the Farm didn’t work for both of you as you reached retirement and you needed better access to Bismarck. He wanted to make sure you could get out when he was gone on his trips. The Farm wasn’t as important as your security. Dave wanted to travel, but he also wanted to know you would be OK while he was gone. He understood his selfishness, but he also wanted you to have security. I’m not sure if he ever said this to you, but it was always clear to me that he wanted you to be secure even if he wasn’t there. I hope this helps you with putting something together to describe Dave.There are so many other good times like hunting and fishing and Dave had allot of good times riding his horses with Jeff Heilman and other friends.Let me know if you need anything else as you are also part of that friendship that I’ve let slip.
Almont Family: Dave Peterson, a stranger that wandered into our small town and into our lives. He became a true friend to us and will be so missed!
He usually showed up unexpectedly and would spend the afternoon reminiscing of his wild past and adventures. He was able to relate to most of our lifestyles from ranching and hunting to caring for family in nursing homes and health issues.
He called and texted his friends here to check on them and always left us feeling cared about and a smile on our faces.
His friendship was an inspiration to us all as he traveled down here to sit on a porch with an ailing friend recovering from cancer treatments and hopping on a party bus to celebrate a surprise birthday. He made time to have supper with his friends and attended benefits and gave moral support when needed.
We all mourned the death of his beloved dog Boobs. We all loved to see her by his side in the bar. This was a great loss to him, and we are sure his reunion in heaven was glorious!
We all cherish and feel blessed with the time we got to spend with Dave and he will truly be missed!
Your Almont family
Jack B – A good horse, a Harley, a box of beer and someone to share it with. A damn good dog and a few roosters on a sunny day. Some country without too much blacktop. Driving 100 miles for a meatloaf sandwich. These are a few things that remind us of Davey
Jessica B – Davey had an opinion about everything and when that opinion turned into a rant it was unforgettable. Those opinions and his stubborn nature were loveable and difficult all at the same time. Jeff and I had the honor of being neighbors across the yard with Davey for the last four years of his life. He would call me and say, “it’s your neighbor.” I’d say, “which one?” He’d laugh and say, “the one you can see out your window.”
He would text me at midnight on a work night to tell me I should get up to look at the moon. I’d be mad at being woken up, but he was right, the moon was worth waking up for. He loved nature and that was the thing we had most in common. Wildflowers on our hillside were one of his favorite things. He would toodle around on his 4-wheeler with beer in hand and his dog “Boobs” following along and just enjoy taking in every beautiful thing to see. He truly enjoyed life.
I’ll never forget when he first moved to our hill in the country, he said he really had a hankerin’ for a good BBQ sandwich. That proceeded with him planning a trip across country to see if some restaurant he ate at in some southern state was still open and if their BBQ sandwiches were still good.
I learned a lot from Davey about how to live life better.
Jeff B – One of my favorite memories of Davey was when I was in my teens and I asked him to go hunting Canada Geese. It was a productive Fall and we had a pretty good setup across the highway in the corn field. We had pits dug to lay in, and we would cover ourselves with white sheets for camouflage as the geese would see the decoys and normally come in by the dozens. On this morning we laid in our respective spots about 15 yards from each other and for some reason there were not many geese moving around. As we both started getting chilled from laying on the cold ground and not moving around, we contemplated leaving. Just then, we spotted 4 geese come off the river searching for a place to feed. Davey and I prepared as the geese noticed our decoys and came in for a hard look. Their wings set, and this was the moment we were freezing our butts off for. Just as the 4 birds were ready to touch down, I hollered “Kill ‘Em” and proceeded to throw my sheet off and raise my 12 gauge in their direction. Davey was having issues and I didn’t understand why I didn’t hear any shooting from him (He was always quick to draw a deadly bead) but I couldn’t wait any longer or the birds would get away. I pulled the trigger and pumped the 2nd round into the chamber almost as quickly as the first bird hit the ground. My second shot found bird #2 and it dropped. Now there were only 2 birds left in a frantic dash to get away. Still no shots came from Davey as I found out later he had the sheet wrapped around his gun barrel and corn stalks and a lot of choice words were flying as he knew the moment was almost over. The final 2 birds were my focus and they were getting out there a ways by now, I saw them head toward a common point in the sky. Just as they crossed that point, I squeezed off my 3rd and final round and both birds fell to the ground. About that time Davey got untangled from his mess and pointed his shotgun ahead. Seeing what had happened he hollered “AWWW ya (expletive) PIG, you killed all of “em!!!! He proceeded to tell me how he wasn’t ever hunting with me again because he didn’t even get a shot off. We laughed and laughed, and since the limit on Canada Geese at that time was 2 per person, we packed up our decoys and headed home.
I have been very fortunate to know Davey my entire life, and he was a great friend. I will miss our “Happy Hour” discussions that we would have over at his “digs” in the shop when I would get home from work. He always had Jeopardy on and it amazed me how he answered some of the difficult questions with ease. I will also miss our 6 pack rides up the section line to walk the dogs Boobs, Piper, and Kirby. We spent a lot of the past 4 years together as I watched his health steadily decline, and we both knew (and discussed) the end of life would be coming sooner than later. He was at peace with whatever would happen, and ready to move on. Jessica and I consider ourselves very fortunate to have had Davey out here at our place, things will never be the same for sure. I am just happy knowing he was able to finish out his final years the way he wanted to: “In a 2 room shack on a hilltop in western Oliver County.”