David W. Saunders, retired USAF Colonel, died April 7, 2021 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup WA. It is as if Dave was born singing the song, “It’s a lovely day today!” It was exactly how he existed in this world no matter what was going on around him. If you were ever in his presence, you’d hear him sing those lines and find yourself singing along with him.
His life began October 19, 1939 in Tacoma, WA and his childhood was spent there, in Seattle, and in Springfield, OR where he graduated from high school. His youth was filled with precious memories of spending time on Mt. Rainier, and he delighted in taking friends and family to “his” mountain when he moved back to the area 20 years ago. In high school, he was active in sports and student leadership.
His love of sports, particularly baseball, stayed with him throughout his life and his team loyalty would change as his Air Force assignments moved him to different locations. He wore many hats during his Air Force career -- pilot, instructor, recruiter, and commander. He enjoyed fishing and model ship building. He could fish for hours, sitting in the quiet, stillness both in the nature that surrounded him and that which was his own true nature. With the model ship building he was able to combine elements of history, technology, and craftsmanship, all of which he loved. He did not view himself as a craftsman, however, he exhibited immense patience, precision, and attention to detail to his model ships, skills which carried over into his everyday life.
Those who met Dave were impacted by his big heart and presence. He was a good man – honest and generous almost to a fault. He loved his family completely with his whole heart and mind. His physical presence will be missed by all who knew and loved him. He left so much of himself with each of us and continues to live in us and with us.
He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Deborah Lamousin Saunders; his daughter, Tory Saunders Bray; his son, Morgan Saunders; his stepdaughter, Natalie Smith; and three grandsons, Barnabas, Hollis, and Merlin.
An on-line Celebration of Life for Dave will be planned in the future. If you’d like to be included in the invitation to join us, simply contact anyone in the family.