Nov. 16, 1936 — Feb. 8, 2019
David Zerby was born Nov. 16, 1936, in Longview. He went to be with the Lord on Feb. 8, 2019, at the age of 82, in Port Angeles, due to natural causes at Olympic Medical Center.
He met his wife, Lydia, in the second grade as she was his best friend Leroy’s sister. She was in first grade. He graduated from R.A. Long High School in 1954 and immediately enlisted in the Navy. He was deployed on the USS Essex where he started out as a boiler room technician, but quickly “advanced” to the position of “Head Cleaner.” He was honorably discharged from active duty with in December 1957, but continued in faithful service through the Navy Reserves until 1962.
In 1958 Dave secured a job with Boeing in Renton, Wash., as an aircraft electrician. Shortly thereafter, childhood sweethearts Dave and Lydia were married. The Lord blessed Dave and Lydia with two children: Julie, born in 1960; and Jim, born in 1965.
He remained at Boeing for 11 years until resigning amidst their layoffs in 1969. Dave started a career with the Cowlitz County Public Utility District back home in Longview, where he continued for 30 years as a field electrical engineer. During those 30 years, he continued his service for the Lord maintaining the position of usher, Sunday school bus driver and church board member, as well as countless other less glamorous but deeply needed roles.
In 1972, Dave became a founding member of Unique Tin, a local car club. Based on solid roots, this club is, to this day, the largest in the area and hosts the premiere car show and cruise in the northwest.
He retired in 1997, at the early age of 60, and traveled around for a year looking for a suitable place to retire. Dave and Lydia settled in Sequim in 1998. Dave and Lydia’s Sequim home became the base for many traveling adventures over the next 20 years. Their travels ranged from Northern California to Southern Canada and from the coast to far inland. Most of the destinations were coincidentally scheduled in or through areas where the elusive classic Ford parts would congregate; swap meets or the rumored barn find, for example. Fortunately for Lydia, there was never a shortage of ceramic, porcelain, plastic or stuffed toy chickens to be found. Dave being smart and the type to pick his battles, would always save room in the truck for both Ford parts and many chickens — 60 successful years of marriage will do that!
Dave was well-known for a number of things with a penchant for organization being high on the list. One look at any space in his life—garage, vehicles, house, yard, office—and you would instantly know that everything has a very specific place with a purpose.
Once established in Sequim, Dave joined the Model A Car Club of America. There he was active at their car shows, cruises, meetings and of course, more swap meets.
His artistic abilities were also in high demand throughout his career, particularly for office parties, retirement parties, church get-togethers and similar festive events. His drawings, always with a humorous theme, would be given to the local bakery so they could transfer it to a cake for the event. These were a hit, and to his surprise during his own retirement party, a large number of those drawings had been saved over the course of his 30-year career and revived for the occasion.
He was an active member of the Sequim Grange. Prior to that, going back to the late 1970s, he became known for growing amazing zucchinis, affectionately known as the Notorious Zerby Zucchini. Famous for their size and delicious taste, Dave would grow far more than he or his family could possibly consume in a season’s time, so the obvious recipients of the excess became his church, his office, family and friends. Although many have tried to beg, borrow or steal his technique, the mystery to his zucchini success remains a family secret to this day.
Dave was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Irene Zerby; a sister, Stella Rose Cyr; and an infant brother, Raymond Arthur.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 60 years, Lydia; his children, Julie Rinard and Jim; and his younger siblings, Ted, Dan and Sylvia.
Dave Zerby; husband, father, best friend. Forever remembered and dearly missed.