David Raymond Sala, 51, died at home in Ester on Jan. 27, 2013, of brain cancer.|
A memorial potluck to celebrate David's life will be held from 5-7 p.m. at the Ester Community (Hartung) Hall on Saturday, March 23.
David was a broadcast engineer and husband to Janet Thompson, his loving partner for 25 years.
David was born Oct. 12, 1961, in Rochester, N.Y., the son of Lois and Dan Sala.
Dan's National Weather Service job required frequent moves.
David's sister, Cynthia, was born four years earlier in Wichita Falls, Texas.
After David's birth, the family moved to Richmond, Va., then to Huntington,
W.Va., before Dan was transferred to Fairbanks in 1968. When Dan's job next took him to Guam, Lois and the children stayed behind and settled in a log house in Ester, where David grew up and Lois lived until her death in August 2011.
After graduating from West Valley High School in 1979, David visited his father and his new stepmother, Joan, in Guam. On his return, David attended Tanana Valley Community College (now UAF Community and Technical College), where he received an associate of applied science degree in 1984.
David got his start in broadcasting at KSUA, the University of Alaska Fairbanks student radio station, where he was a DJ and engineer. He helped set up the station's first equipment, which transmitted through the campus' electric wiring, and later their system to broadcast on the public airwaves.
During his career David worked for most of Fairbanks' television and radio stations, and for KSKE, a radio station in Kremmling, Colo. For the past 13 years, he was chief engineer at Tanana Valley TV, owner of Fox 7 and CBS 13 television stations and Chet FM 95.3 and FM 96.9 radio stations.
David and Janet lived in Guam for a couple years, where David worked for Guam Cable TV. While there, he became an avid sailor like his father. David left Guam in 1990 as one of a three-man crew sailing the "Desperado," a 38-foot home-built boat, to San Diego, a voyage of more than 6,000 miles lasting 60 days.
David's wife, Janet, and his stepfather, Del Thorngren, cared for him during his illness with help from friends and family in Ester.
At David's request, Janet and Del spread his ashes on the waters off Hawaii, like those of his mother and sister.
David will be remembered by his many friends for his sense of adventure and his compassion toward others.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Dan and Lois; and his sister, Cindy.
He is survived by his wife Janet; stepfather, Del Thorngren; sister-in-law, Amy Simpson; brother-in-law Mark Simpson, all of Ester; by his stepmother, Joan Sala, of Tammuning, Guam; and by cousins in Georgia and Illinois.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that friends donate to Hospice of the Tanana Valley. Checks should be made out to Greater Fairbanks Area Hospital Foundation (G.F.A.H.F.), with "For Hospice" written in the memo section.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Feb. 27, 2013