David P. Scorza
1942 - 2021
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David P. Scorza

David P. Scorza, 78, a retired missionary, passed away on February 16, 2021 in Chandler, Arizona. Dave was born on November 11, 1942 in Chicago, IL to Arnold and Lorraine Scorza. He spent his childhood in Illinois and North Carolina, attended Willowbrook High and competed as a ring man in gymnastics. He met his wife Jackie at Columbia Bible College in NC. Together they joined Wycliffe Bible Translators and left for Papua New Guinea (PNG) in 1967.

For 50 years with Wycliffe, he loved and served the people of PNG. He and Jackie were supported in their missionary journey by many beloved churches, friends, and family members.

While there, Dave made invaluable contributions in translation, completing the Au language New Testament in 1983, and to the work of Summer Institute of Linguistics and the Bible Translation Association, and for a period worked alongside his son, Kurt, and daughter-in-law, Melinda, and their children Nadia and Bella. Dave went to PNG as a translator and linguist, and left as a beloved brother, uncle, second father, and "Papa Kela" to hundreds.

Dave was a true renaissance man: translator, linguist, jogger, weightlifter, gymnast, tennis player, storyteller, author, avid reader, guitar and banjo player, singer, scuba diver, rappeler, caver, motorcyclist, horse rider, EMT, builder and mechanic when necessary. He was interested in every person he met and was known for his warm heart, sense of adventure, and quick puns. He will be greatly missed!

After leaving PNG, Dave and Jackie settled in Chandler, AZ, near his daughter Kristi and son-in-law, Michael, and their children Reegan, Dominic and Christopher (Amanda). He and Jackie were married over 54 years.

He is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren and great-granddaughter Brynlee. Also, his siblings Miriam (Al) Meyer, Ken (Judy) Scorza, Rich (Judith) Scorza, and their families.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM Saturday, April 17, 2021 at Grace Community Church, 1200 E. Southern Ave., Tempe, AZ.

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Published in The Arizona Republic from Apr. 6 to Apr. 7, 2021.
Memorial service
02:00 PM
Memories & Condolences
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4 entries
April 7, 2021
I wish I had known David for much longer than I did. David and Jackie, not only reached out to those in the language community but to those of us working in Ukarumpa. Visitors come and go, but an encounter with David is much more than that.

Bikpela sori go long Jackie na ol narapela famili. Blessing bilong Bikpela i ken stap wantaim yupela. Wish you are here so we can grieve together.
Rudy Yawiro
April 6, 2021
PNG memories around 1981-Baker Village house in Tumam ESP. They were a blessing to our family in Papua New Guinea. Prayers for the family.
Angi Near (Baker)
April 6, 2021
This man will be so missed by not just family but many others...he was my Brother in Law and he always exhibited a spirit of acceptance and love towards others. Always quick with a smile and an encouraging word. Twinkling eyes that showed his quick wit and humor. Always a favorite with children. "Uncle Dave" will always be remembered for his stories at bedtime and his willingness to show his "childlike heart" with the young ones. I loved him dearly....there was little that David could not do....most of all he loved the Lord and his sweetheart Jackie. Your crown will have many jewels David..I will not say Goodbye. See you soon.
Joy Schuetz
April 6, 2021
I will miss you Uncle Dave!
I will always remember your storytelling, your way of adding sound effects and great detail held me as a little girl captive! Your love and adventure for life was admired, love of people, and there are many in heaven today or will be someday because of the godly man and the answer of the call to mission by you and Aunt Jackie!
I love you both so very much!
Keri Rhoden
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