David Alan Starkweather of Longbranch died unexpectedly March 10 while on vacation in Manzanillo, Mexico. He was 77 years old.
David was the sixth child born to Guy William Starkweather and Helen Lucille (Arnold) Starkweather in Lincoln, Nebraska, Jan. 31, 1946. He graduated from Lincoln High School in 1964 and Chadron State College in 1969. He married Diane Louise Gressley Oct. 14, 2000, in Longbranch.
David is survived and missed by his loving wife Diane; son Gibson Marsh (Reyna) and grandson Ezra David of Lakewood; brothers Rodney, Robert (Bob), and Greg; sister LaVeta; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Charles and Leonard; and sister Guina.
Theater was a love formed during David’s time at Chadron where so many lifelong friendships were forged. He was involved in building the Post Playhouse at Fort Robinson in Crawford, Nebraska. His love of theater continued in Longbranch where plays were produced with David in the role of writer, director and actor. He collaborated with the Key Singers in 2000 and wrote a radio-style play called “America: The Last 100 Years.”
David took on many passions. He loved nature — he was a true tree-hugger — and enjoyed working on his property and going for walks. He was a champion of environmental responsibility and advocated for the rights of all people. As a visual artist, he found joy in using found and recycled objects to express himself in his art. He used his artistic talents to run a successful decorative painting business called DAS Design while living in Tacoma. He retired from the position of maintenance supervisor at Rocky Bay Health Care in 2016.
He had a love of literature. The way words spoke to him influenced how he communicated with others. He was a non-boastful, sensitive individual who used his writing to express himself. He was a great debater, usually winning. He enjoyed small children and was a reading mentor at Evergreen Elementary School in the Little Eagles program as well as Minter Creek Elementary for many years.
David was a 30-year resident of Longbranch. He enjoyed doing puzzles, playing cribbage, playing gin with Diane and drinking beer with his friends. He was a loving father, grandfather, husband, brother and friend to many on the Key Peninsula and across the country. He will be greatly missed.
The family would like to thank kind Dr. Thomas Martinez of Manzanillo, the “family” at Villa Camino del Mar in Melaque, and friends Dan and May Wilson who opened their home and hearts when they were needed most.
There will be a celebration of David’s life May 20 at 2 p.m. at the Longbranch Improvement Club.
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