In Memory

Dave DeGraff

David John "Dave" DeGraaf, Jr., 43, died suddenly Feb. 2, 2004, at Whidbey General Hospital. He was born March 26, 1960, at Harpole Maternity Home in Coupeville to David J. DeGraaf, Sr., and Gladys (Hassler) M. DeGraaf. Dave was a lifelong resident of Oak Harbor. He graduated from Oak Harbor High School with the Class of 1978. David served in the U. S. Army from 1979 to 1983. He left the Army as a specialist four, having spent much time in Germany. He received two Certificates of Achievement, Good Conduct and an overseas ribbon. Dave worked for Copeland Lumber, Island County and Krieg Construction Company for many years as a heavy equipment operator. He then went to work for Brown and Root at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. At the time of his death he was an equipment operator supervisor for Chugach Development Corporation aboard the Naval Air Station. "Big Red", as many friends referred to him, was active in area sports with a great passion for baseball, both men's and co-ed softball, as well as basketball. He played with Jet City, P & L Construction, Krieg Construction, Oak Harbor Tavern, JoJo's Harbor Light, Cedar Ridge, DCI, Cooper Tire and Chugach Development. Coach Dave could be seen on the fields of North Whidbey Little League, courts of NW Youth Basketball, as well as assisting with the Oak Harbor High School Girls Softball program. Dave's loves were the outdoors, fishing, hunting, sports, crabbing, golf, cutting wood and spending time with his buddies. He will be remembered as a man who always puts his friends and family ahead of himself. He contributed his time, skill and wisdom to many charities in the community. Those whose lives he touched will miss his intoxicating smile, blue eyes, white hat, hard work ethic and zest for life through family and friends. Dave was a member of the NRA; North Whidbey Little League Association; North Whidbey Parks and Rec. representative; president of the Men's American Softball Association (ASA); district commissioner for ASA; Ducks Unlimited; North Whidbey Youth Basketball and the AAU Girls Basketball. Dave is survived by one daughter, Crystal DeGraaf at the family home; his parents, David J. and Gladys (Hassler) DeGraaf, Sr. of Oak Harbor; three sisters and their spouses, Connie and Jim Westergreen of Stanwood; Cindy England of Oak Harbor and Debbie and Jim Masden of Sedro Woolley. His adopted daughter Leslie Fritch and her children Alexis, Elizabeth and Joseph, and his significant other Maggie Bear and her children Josh, Libbe and Lindsey also survive him. Nieces and nephews, Josh Westergreen, Jennifer Burt, Amber Westergreen, Clark England, Tanya Anderson, Becky Anderson, Michael Anderson, James Madsen and Jack Madsen and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins and his two former wives, Heike DeGraaf and Donna Rivera, also survive. Funeral services for Dave DeGraaf were held Feb. 10 at First Reformed Church of Oak Harbor with the Rev. David Lura of First United Methodist Church officiating. Private burial will be held at Maple Leaf Cemetery, Oak Harbor. Memorials may be made to the North Whidbey Little League or the North Whidbey Youth Basketball League. Arrangements by Burley Funeral Chapel.