Obituary: Defeyter, David
DEFEYTER, David It was perhaps inevitable that David DeFeyter became an engineer. Intensely curious as a child, he spent his entire life feeding that curiosity, propelled by a deep desire to know how things worked - in the realm of science, human behavior, politics and economics. That lifelong quest for understanding ended May 21, 2013, with his death in Spokane. Born in Spokane in 1954, Dave graduated from Shadle Park High School and completed his Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Washington. His training took him to work on satellites at TRW in Redondo Beach, Calif., before returning to Spokane to join a family business, Power City Electric - of which he later became the owner. Here too his love affair with learning pushed him constantly to seek ways of doing things better. He became an admirer, and implementer, of W. Edwards Deming’s “Total Quality Management” approach to organizations. Active in community and professional circles, he was involved in Leadership Spokane and served on the board of trustees at Saint George’s School. The National Electrical Contractors Association was also an important group for him. While work commanded much of Dave’s time, he was also a passionate family man, deeply committed to his wife Marsha and their two sons, Peter and Aaron. But beyond work and family he found the Inland Northwest an excellent arena for his love of water, in the form of sailing, fly fishing and whitewater canoeing. And then there was his reading. Especially in recent years, when he had a more flexible schedule, he immersed himself in books that would give him insights on how things worked. After the financial crisis of 2008, for example, he read voraciously about economics, seeking his own answers to what caused the market meltdown. Dave will be remembered by family and friends as a man of integrity and warmth, who cared deeply about relationships - especially with family, friends, employees and customers. Unrelentingly curious, he was also eager to discuss what he’d learned, and loved conversations about topics ranging from flaws in the nation’s education system, to presidential politics and the role of markets. He was always ready to recommend a recently read book that he thought held part of the answer for improving some aspect of society. Dave is survived by his wife Marsha and son Aaron and Aaron’s fiancÄ‚Ĺ Jessica; his parents, Don and Florence; his sister, Teresa Osterhaus; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his son, Peter, and his brother, Jeff. A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 21, at Beacon Hill, at 4848 East Wellesley, Spokane. Memorial gifts to honor Dave’s rich life can be made to Hospice of Spokane or Cancer Care Northwest Foundation.