David K. Duston

Hampstead - New Hampshire's first Eagle Scout, David K. Duston, 72, died Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, at his home.

The loyal son of Kenneth and Dorothy Whitely Duston and brother of Janet Lamson, David was class valedictorian of the last graduating class of Hampstead High School in 1958. He attended MIT earning B.S and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering. He continued his education at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, earning an E.E. Ph.D. in 1969 while working at General Electric in Niskayuna, N.Y. He worked extensively with optics and laser technology in the 1970s and held several patents for a laser smoke detector and precision laser drill press. He was also entrepreneurial, starting two businesses, Memorial Drive VW and White Mountain Outfitters. In 1976, he moved back to New Hampshire to manage Duston Oil Co., Inc. and grow his family's business. He was an active leader on the Oil Heat Council of New Hampshire and the New England Fuel Institute. Dave was instrumental in drafting state legislation to protect the environment from oil spills; he also showed dealers how to buy better group health insurance. As a businessman, he was appreciative of loyal customers.

David loved adventures and people to share them. In his early years, he enjoyed hiking, rock climbing, boating and skiing with his cousins. He continued these hobbies with his Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity brothers, then with his wife, Beth Berglund. They raced sailboats, played golf, doubles tennis and bridge and listened to Pops concerts. In their 31-year marriage, they had two daughters, Karin Getschow (husband Christian, daughters Carolyn, Cindy and Clara) and Kristina Magnusson (husband Robert, daughters Cori and Grace), who were often unwitting participants in these adventures. David served his community by volunteering for 27 years as an EMT-I and third-generation Hampstead fireman to save people and property. He taught boating safety and navigation classes in Power Squadron.

David continued his life's adventures with his wife of 18 years, Alice Carter Woods. They loved playing golf and bridge, traveling, ballroom dancing and dining out with friends from Riverwood in Port Charlotte, Fla., each winter. Thanksgivings and Cape Porpoise, Maine, summers brought together all of Alice's children: Bill Woods (wife Alida, daughters Sara and Christina), Deborah Ryan (husband Mark, sons Daniel, Matthew and Andrew), Elizabeth Thurston (husband Lloyd, children Lloyd Jr., Mariah and Kenneth) and Kimberly Koller-Boutet (husband Sol, son EJ, daughter Keanna).

Everyone will miss the twinkle in his blue eyes when he was making mischief, pulling your leg or wearing the Winnie-the-Pooh costume in Hampstead Firemen's Annual Christmas Parade.


services: A memorial service will be held at Hampstead Congregational Church on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 2:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, David suggested donations to one of these charitable organizations: Hampstead Congregational Church, 61 Main St., Hampstead 03841, the Rockingham County 4-H Foundation, 113 North Road, Brentwood 03833, the Hampstead Firemen's Association, 17 Little's Lane, Hampstead 03841, or MIT Alumni Fund, 600 Memorial Drive, W98-2nd floor, Cambridge, MA 02139-4822, earmarked for financial aid or scholarships to New Hampshire students in his memory.

The Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium is assisting the family with arrangements.

To send a condolence or for more information, please visit www.peabodyfuneralhome.com.

Published in Union Leader on Oct. 30, 2013