David Avila, Jr., 55, of Dayton, passed away Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at
Providence St. Mary Medical Center after a long battle with complications from diabetes.
“Dave” was born April 16, 1957, in Scottsbluff, N.E., the first child of David Avila and Sara Escamilla Avila. He was later joined by two brothers and three sisters. He attended schools in Nebraska and Colorado, graduating from Campion Academy in Loveland, Colo., in 1975.
Dave attended three years at Union College in Lincoln, Neb. He took a job as a correctional officer at the Nebraska State Penitentiary. He worked three years there before relocating to Walla Walla to be near his family.
Dave began his 30-year career as a correctional officer at the Washington State Penitentiary on Nov. 1, 1982. While working there, he met his honey, Megan. They made their home together, with Megan’s son, Eric, in Dayton. Dave was forced to retire due to his declining health on Nov. 1, 2012.
Dave was an avid fisherman, loving long days on the wall at Little Goose, cooking for his fishing buddies and waiting to holler “fish on!” He loved to cook for his friends and family, and he made sure no one ever left hungry. He was a master griller and his smoked steelhead was the best! Dave was an avid collector. Among his many interests were coins, sports cards and guns. He looked forward to taking his fifth-wheel to the river and on trips with his family to his favorite vacation destination — the Oregon Coast. Many trips were made over the mountains to Seattle to see his beloved Mariners and Seahawks.
Dave was a kind and compassionate man. He will be missed by many.
Dave is survived by his father, David Avila, Sr., and mother, Sara Avila, both of Walla Walla; his honey, Megan Gilbertson at their home in Dayton; her son, Eric Gilbertson of Pullman; three sisters, Carol (Ron) Elder of Lordsburg, N.M.; Diana (Sid) Ghaffari of Frederick, M.D.; Nina (Larry) Carter; two brothers, Solomon (Lydia) Avila of Walla Walla; Gabriel Avila of Yakima; and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder St., Walla Walla. The funeral service will be held at 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 28, 2013, at the Village Seventh day Adventist Church, 715 S.E. 12th St., College Place.
Burial will follow on Friday, March 29, 2013, at 1 p.m. at the Dayton City Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to the Dayton family home after the burial for light refreshments.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association, or a charity of the donor’s choice through Herring Groseclose Funeral Home. Friends and family are invited to sign the online guest book at www.herringgroseclose.com.