David Lee Waldron (1930 - 2012)

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  • "David was my friend and I will miss him. Mike Gordon"
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    - Sue Lyman
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Col. David Lee Waldron (Ret.) finished his life on April 30, 2012

David was born June 11, 1930 at Burt Lake, MI, the son of Charles W. and Dora I. (McMichael) Waldron. The eighth of ten children, he grew up on the family farm in Burt Lake where he developed his love of family and farming. The farm, as many know, was a place of history, imagination and always a full kitchen table.

After graduating from Petoskey High School he was appointed to the US Naval Academy by Congressman Charles E. Potter, Cheboygan, after achieving a perfect score on the entrance examination. There he excelled academically, played football and earned the nickname "Big Red". He received his commission and B.S degree in 1953. In a break with the family tradition of seagoing men, he transferred to the U.S. Air Force to pursue his dream of flying. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas-Austin in 1958 and a Master's degree in civil engineering in 1961 from Purdue University. During his Air Force career, in addition to stateside assignments, he was stationed in Germany twice and served a year in Viet Nam, retiring in 1979, at the rank of Colonel.

After his first "retirement", he then bought and ran The Butterfield House, a historic landmark in the village of Holland Patent, NY. Deciding that his first love was construction and engineering, he relocated to Alaska and began his next phase of life. While in Alaska, he worked for the Kodiak Island Borough, the State of Alaska in Juneau and then ran a home restoration business in Anchorage.

In 2000, he returned to live full time at Burt Lake where he enjoyed farming and spending time with family and friends. David's love of farming and tractors led to his final career- growing sunflowers, vegetables, and nurturing the fields. He loved the hills and spent many happy hours on his tractor riding the trails, collecting walnuts and ensuring stewardship of his land.

He is survived by his children, Victoria Lee Waldron of Fredericksburg, VA, Kathryn Ann (Mark) Zadai of Fredericksburg, VA, Elizabeth Waldron Kelley of Chitina, AK, Bradley David (Sarah-Laisne') Waldron of Juneau, AK; grandchildren, Corey Robert Kelley, Taylor Leigh Zadai, Andrew Lucas Waldron and Kieran Patrick Waldron; siblings, Helen Tull of IL, Jack (Nancy) Waldron of Burt Lake and Fran Campbell of Punta Gorda, FL; several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his son, Douglas Alan Waldron and siblings, Betty McDonald, James, Irvin, Charles, William Waldron and Shirley Billings.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Hospice of Little Traverse Bay, Burt Lake Christian Church, or the Inland Lakes Education Foundation – Waldron Scholarship Fund.
Published in The Juneau Empire from May 16 to May 24, 2012
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