July 16, 1953 — March 9, 2019
This is something we did not expect to be writing for a long time to come, and it is with broken hearts that we do so now. Our family and the communities of Longview, Kelso and Cowlitz County lost a shining light on March 9, 2019, when our husband, father, brother, brother-in law and uncle, David Robert Koss, 65, passed away very suddenly after his customary morning jog around Lake Sacajawea.
David was best known locally for his service as a district court judge for Cowlitz County, a position he held from 1993 until retiring in January 2019. Prior to that, he served as chief civil deputy attorney in the county’s prosecuting attorney’s office, beginning in 1981.
David was born July 16, 1953, in Ketchikan, Alaska, to Millard and Evelyn (Snyder) Koss. He grew up in Seattle and graduated from Shorecrest High School in 1971. He graduated from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1975, where he earned a BA in political science and ran track and cross country all four years. He earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from New York University in 1978.
He married Sarah Deatherage in March 1989, and they enjoyed 30 wonderful years together. She survives him at their home in Longview. Other survivors include their son, Jeffrey Koss, who recently moved to Austin, Texas; a brother, Bill Koss (Susan) of Olympia; two nephews, Ben Koss of San Francisco, Calif., and Reid Koss of Seattle; and numerous extended family members. He was preceded in death by his parents.
David was active in Calvary Community Church, teaching Sunday school and serving as a trustee and deacon at various times on the church council. He enthusiastically participated in many community service activities and events, never hesitating to help out wherever he saw a need. In short, he lived to serve. Those who knew him best saw that he lived an exemplary life, and he was a valuable role model to many people. His kindness, consideration and compassion knew no bounds. He was a wonderful example for his extended family and friends, who — when pondering life choices — frequently found themselves seeking his guidance and wisdom.
David loved traveling and family vacations and gatherings. He was an avid reader and had great interest in current events and history. His interests in travel and history were combined when he and his family retraced the Lewis & Clark Trail, tent camping from Missouri to Washington over two-and-a-half weeks during the Bicentennial Celebration in 2005. He was a lifelong runner and enjoyed watching sports, especially Seattle teams. He also enjoyed listening to classical music, Broadway soundtracks and jazz.
David’s passing leaves an enormous void in our midst, but he gave so much of himself to all of us that we have an abundance of memories and meaning to carry forward. The family extends its heartfelt thanks for the outpouring of love and support that many in the community have offered so quickly. We very much appreciate and are lifted up by your expressions and acts of kindness along with your prayers.
A memorial service is planned for 10 a.m., Saturday at Calvary Community Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to any of the following organizations: Calvary Community Church, 2655 38th Ave., Longview, WA 98632; Cowlitz Wahkiakum Legal Aid, 1338 Commerce Ave., Suite C, Longview WA 98632; or Cowlitz Chaplaincy, P.O. Box 2578, Longview WA 98632.
Arrangements are under the direction of Steele Chapel at Longview Memorial Park & Crematory.