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David B. Hubbard, 70
David Baldwin Hubbard, age 70, of Washington, formerly of Dassel, died peacefully at his home among family, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2009.

He was born in St. Paul April 2, 1939. David spent his early years in St. Paul and Aberdeen, S.D., before moving with his family to live on Lake Washington in Dassel.

Dave graduated from Dassel High School, where he was known as a natural leader.

During his childhood, he enjoyed camping with family and friends in Canada, and portaging the canoes they rode in. He worked hard at various jobs to earn money to buy his first car, a 1948 Plymouth convertible. The work included setting type for the Dassel Dispatch, cleaning incubators for the chicken hatchery, and detasseling corn. He wanted the car desperately so that he could drive to where he took flying lessons, his earliest dream. He was active in the teen version of Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

Dave earned his college degree in aeronautical engineering from Parks College in St. Louis after enlisting in the US Air Force. After graduation in 1961, he was stationed in Waco, TX.

It was in Waco that, after a blind date, he fell in love with his beautiful wife, Lucia. The couple married in December 1962.

Dave served at many Air Force bases throughout his career. He never forgot who he was, and carried his prayer book on every mission he flew. The most adventuresome assignment was in Okinawa, Japan, where he flew reconnaissance missions. It was during this time that he earned his master’s degree, owned his single engine Tri Pacer, a high wing airplane, and started a remote control, model airplane club for other airplane enthusiasts.

In order to avoid an assignment that would keep him away from his family for a year, Dave chose his first non-flying position in Ellensburg, WA in 1979. He was the detachment commander, professor of air science at the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps Unit at Central Washington University. He later passed up a promotion to stay and have his children graduate in Ellensburg.

Dave retired after 22 years of service as a lieutenant colonel. Only a few days ago, his family discovered packed away in a box the numerous medals and honors which he earned in his career, but never mentioned. Those included the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Commendation Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation, Outstanding Unit Award with V for Valor, three awards for the Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Longevity Service Award (four clusters), Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Vietnam Service Medal (three campaigns).

Dave tried his hand at real estate for a year before deciding to purchase his own business. He poured his heart and soul into the business as he made his deliveries and visited with customers. He loved being “on the road.” While making his rounds, Dave would place his prayer book on the dash on his truck in hopes that others might see it and ask him about it.

Dave was a lifelong Christian, active in the Episcopal Church, and set an example for many to follow in how he lived his life. He served the church in many ways, from fixing things and shoveling the walkways, to leadership positions.

During these years, he enjoyed trips to the Oregon coast with his wife and dogs. He always had a free hand to pat a furry head or scratch behind an ear. He loved going to the mountains to cut firewood, and split enough wood to have a fire in the fireplace every night.

“Papa” adored his grandchildren and spent hours with one or several of them in tow around the property, while fixing something, or giving a ride on the lawn tractor. His smile could warm anyone’s heart, and he did so much to help create beautiful memories – he will be missed beyond belief.

Dave is survived by the family in which he was the quiet, strong, even anchor: Lucia, his beloved wife of 46 years, now from Spokane; daughter Kim Daniel and husband Claude “Tuffy,” with grandchildren Cole, Cassidy and Cameron, of Kennesaw, GA; daughter Staci Prior and husband Brian, with grandchildren Brooks and Gage, of Spokane; son David “Skip” Hubbard Jr. and wife Angela, with grandchildren Pierce, Samantha, and Mitchell, of Spokane; sister Suzanne Alexander and husband Stan of Florida; and sister Jane Settergren and husband Dale of Minnesota. And, of course, his two golden retrievers, Bo and Cassie.

A celebration of Dave’s life took place Thursday, Sept. 10 at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Spokane.

Arrangements were by Heritage Funeral Home in Spokane, WA.