David Leroy Heater was born on January 26, 1941 in Newberg, Oregon, to Carl & Margaret Heater. In the early morning of July 5th, 2023, with a fireworks sendoff, and under a super full moon, he left this world and any pain and suffering behind. He was surrounded by many loving family members. As much as he is missed, we also celebrate the absolutely amazing life he lead.
As one of 5 siblings, he grew up on a farm in Springbrook, Oregon, homesteaded by his ancestors, some of Oregon’s first pioneers. At the age of 12, his family moved to LaGrande, Oregon, and later to Newport. He saw his first television at age 9, and didn’t taste & enjoy pizza until he joined the Navy!
David married his first wife, Jean, at the age of 17, then left to join the Navy. They had 3 children together. He loved the Navy. He was assigned to “A” school at Great Lakes Naval Station in Waukegan, Illinois, then stationed on the USS Shangri-La, spending many months at sea. It was a “world of travel” for him. One of his biggest claims to fame was transferring from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean, traveling around Cape Horn & crossing the equator, thus becoming a Shellback.
Following the Navy, David worked at getting a college degree along with his brother, while working two jobs & raising a family, He graduated “at the ripe old age of 31” with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Physics. He began teaching Mathematics, his love and passion, at Toledo Jr. High, where he enjoyed coaching football and track. It was here, in February of 1979, that he met and fell in love with Janis, while teaching together. David & Janis were married on June 14, 1980, thus celebrating their 43rd wedding anniversary last month.
Eventually, they moved to Troutdale, where David taught high school math in Reynolds School District. They began their family of three, all sharing a love of travel & adventure, including camping, boating, hiking, biking, stargazing; David’s greatest joy was skiing, a passion he was able to pass on to many of his children and grandchildren. He retired from teaching in 1999.
David was preceded in death by his oldest brother, Tommy; his parents, Carl and Margaret, his brother, Chester & sister, Linda, and his daughter, Margie. He is survived by his wife, Janis; children David (Newport) & family, Robert (South Beach) & family, daughter Jamie (Kihei, Maui), son Thomas (Portland) & daughter Julianne (Gresham) & family. At last count, he was father to 6, grandfather to 9, and great-grandfather to 6. His baby sister Kaye survives him, as well as nieces & nephews. He was a FAMILY man; NOTHING was more important. He cared for, loved, nurtured, supported, gave advice. He was a proud man, highly intelligent, often quiet but extremely passionate about some things, such as politics and the state of current affairs.
At David’s request, there will be no public gathering or service. The family will meet privately for a Celebration of Life.