David (Dave) Oscar Zopf passed away peacefully after a short illness Wednesday, March 8, 2017, surrounded by his loved ones. He was born Feb. 2, 1929, to Ione and Oscar Zopf in Evansville, Ind.
A sister, Lucretia (Lucy), was born in 1930. His family lived throughout the United States during the Depression and eventually settled on the West Coast. He graduated from Ventura High School in Ventura, Calif., in 1946. He spent two years at Ventura Junior College and graduated from Stanford University with a Master’s in Electrical Engineering in 1952. He remained an active Stanford Alum all his life.
Dave married fellow Stanford student, Nancy Ward, in 1952. They met in the Stanford choir and continued singing in church and community choirs throughout their lives. He would even conduct on occasion. They had three children, Heidi (1953), Lisa (1955) and David (1957).
Dave worked for Curtiss-Wright, Borg-Warner, Bell Aircraft, Boeing, and was co-owner of E. Bollay Associates, which was sold to EG&G in 1970.
He joined the Oregon State University Oceanography Department shortly thereafter and oversaw the development of the Hatfield Marine Science Center. After retiring in 1988, he continued contributing to the university as a consultant to the president.
Dave’s career included moves to Oxnard, Calif., Federal Way, Wash., Santa Barbara, Calif., Steamboat Springs and Boulder, Colo., and Corvallis, Ore. Each move brought new adventures for the family. In retirement, he and Nancy were involved with their grandchildren and enjoyed traveling, particularly to Scotland, where they lived on three different occasions, making life-long friends. In 1996, they settled in The Dalles where Nancy had grown up. Dave eagerly dove into the community as a volunteer with the Lions, Red Cross, Mid-Columbia Senior Center, Mid-Columbia Medical Center and various churches.
He also enjoyed landscaping and gardening throughout town, keeping trees and plants appropriately pruned and trimmed. He felt very strongly that contributing to his community was “the rent we pay to be here.”
Dave was a man of character, discipline, intellect, strong work ethic, humor, generosity and compassion. He was a kind and loving father, grandfather, uncle and friend. His presence is sorely missed by those family members left behind: wife Nancy; daughter Lisa (Tim); son David (Julie); son-in-law Ghazanfar grandchildren: Jordon (Jennifer Mains + 1);Eleanor; Jessica; Caroline (Mike); Kelley; Kathryn and Edward; brother-in-law, Lynn, and many nieces and nephews.
We trust he is now happily accompanied by those dear ones that preceded him: daughter, Heidi; sister, Lucy; and parents, Ione and Oscar.
Dave’s family was blessed to care for him in the final weeks of his life and will treasure the many special moments that time offered.
Special thanks to Heart of Hospice and The Springs at Mill Creek for their grace, support and kindness.
A celebration of life will be held at the Mid-Columbia Senior Center in The Dalles, Ore., on Saturday, March 25, 2017, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Lunch will be served.
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