David Oesting

Obituary
  • "Thank you to everyone that has written here. I just now,..."
    - Sarah, Daughter
  • "OK, here I am 9 months late to offer condolences, having..."
    - Ben Hole
  • "Blessed to have him as a neighbor, blessed to work with..."
    - Marianne Lindley Girten
  • "Lake Clark miss many people this pass weekend, but the sky..."
  • "Dave, you were missed last weekend at Lake Clark, You were..."

David Winslow Oesting took off on his last "flight" on May 11, 2014, at the age of 69 at home surrounded by his family. Born in Chicago, he graduated from Earlham College where he met and married Susan ("Sue") Seymour, his wife of almost 50 years. He attended Washington University Law School in St. Louis, MO, graduating second in his class as editor of the Law Review.

In 1970, he moved his young family to Seattle to join the law firm of Davis, Wright, Todd, Riese and Jones where he most noticeably practiced bankruptcy litigation. Dave, Sue, and their three children moved to Alaska in 1980 when Dave and his fellow law partner, Parry Grover, opened the Anchorage office of Davis Wright. They were actively involved in both Anchorage Olympic bids and AFS Foreign Study.

Dave's love of travel, sailing, skiing, hunting, camping, rafting and fishing was only exceeded by his love of flying, especially to remote places in Alaska such as his cabin on Lake Clark. Dave was a rare combination of professional litigator, educator, and mountain man. He led a purposeful and multi-faceted life. His voracious reading and insatiable curiosity led to a wealth of knowledge on almost any subject and his photographic memory allowed him to draw on information instantaneously. He traveled the world yet grew a prodigious garden every summer, changed the oil in his aging truck and greased the bearings on his skiff trailer. He was well-studied on the geology, weather, flora and fauna of any place he visited. His enormous and often salty vocabulary lent to enthusiastic storytelling. A life-long "Cheesehead," he liked to tell the story of the "Ice Bowl" as he was there in the stands - impervious to the cold. Described as a "bet-the-company litigator" by Best Lawyers of America, Dave was best known for his key role in the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Litigation as the Court-appointed Lead Counsel for 30,000+ plaintiffs. Dave was a member of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers. He was widely respected for his unwavering ethics and no-nonsense approach to any legal problem, large or small. Later in life, Dave found a new passion and poured his immense energy into his beloved grandchildren. In his brief time with them, he passed on much of his enthusiasm and wit.

Dave and Sue were getting their retirement home established in Homer when he became ill. There Dave was already involved in the HOPP community effort and in establishing the Ptarmigan Arts Cooperative.

In addition to his spouse, Susan; and children, Aaron of Redmond, Washington, Sarah of Beaverton, Oregon and Erica of Homer, Alaska; Dave is survived by his six grandchildren, Mali, Connor, Lauren, Zachary, Weston and Andrew; and siblings Sarah of Bristol, Rhode Island, Jon of Bellingham, Washington and Jim of Roanoke Island, North Carolina, along with many nieces and nephews scattered across the country.

Straight and level,' Dave:

There will be two memorial gatherings in Dave's honor:

The first will be held in Anchorage on June 6, 2014, at 6:00 p.m. at the Alaska Native Heritage

Center (8800 Heritage Center Drive, Anchorage). Dave was one of the founders of this

organization and actively involved for many years.

The second will be held in Seattle on June 13, 2014, at 4:00 p.m. at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

(1201 Third Avenue, Suite 2200, Seattle).

Memorial contributions can be made to Ducks Unlimited or to the Alaska Airmen's Association,

Scholarship Endowment, 4200 Float Plane Drive, Anchorage, AK 99502.



Published in Anchorage Daily News from May 25 to May 26, 2014