DAVID JOHN MCCRORIE OAKLEY

Obituary
3 entries
  • " To David Oakley's Family, Our deepest sympathy on..."
  • "Barbara. So sad yo hear Dave passed. I have to smile when I..."
    - Donna Williams. 2223 Camas
  • "Dad, My love for you is eternal... always in my heart, I..."
    - Barbie Holmberg
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DAVID JOHN MCCRORIE OAKLEY David John McCrorie Oakley passed away on March 19, 2017, at the Chaplaincy hospice house in Kennewick Washington. He was born in Dalmellington, Scotland on July 5,1920. His family emigrated to the United States and eventually settled in Kenmore, N.Y. David was raised in Kenmore near the Niagara river. As a teenager, David was often found on the river either fishing or kayaking. Since this was during the depression he built his own kayak. His passion for airplanes started early with David building model airplanes. After, graduating from Kenmore H.S. in 1938, he took a job as a structural steel draftsman turning down an acceptance to MIT. He worked as a draftsman until he enlisted in the Army Air Force in September 1942. During WWII, David served in the South Pacific and took part in the invasion of the Philippines. He returned home in October 1945, suffering from malaria along with a distaste for flies. He never wanted to return to the tropics again. Now, able to realize his dream of becoming an engineer, David enrolled in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York in 1946. Before starting school, David visited friends who had written to him while he was in the Army. On one such trip to New York City he visited the Moy family and soon after began dating their daughter Barbara. Barbara and David were married in June of 1948. They lived in temporary army barracks on the RPI campus. Coincidentally, their daughter Susan also lived in these same facilities 31 years later. David graduated with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree with Honors in 1950. After graduation, David went to work for Owens Corning Fiberglas in Newark, Ohio as an engineer, where their daughter Susan was born. The next year the family moved to Schenectady, NY where David had joined General Electric at their Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (KAPL). His premier project during his 17 years at KAPL was working on the submarine, Seawolf under the direction of Admiral Rickover. David helped design the power plant for the submarine. The Seawolf was the second nuclear powered submarine built and was launched in July 1955. David was honored to be invited to the event. While in Schenectady, David completed a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from R.P.I. in 1961, became a licensed pilot (instrument rated), built his own fabric covered airplane, spent many fall days hunting birds or deer and welcomed three more children David, Karen and Barbara. The family moved to Richland Washington, when David took a job with Battelle N.W. in 1968 to work on the design of the FFTF. When Westinghouse replaced Battelle, he was assigned the management of the Core Support Structure. He assisted in the final assembly of the reactor. David retired from Westinghouse in 1989 and joined Battelle to work on a part-time basis. David loved working as an engineer and by the time he retired in 1997 he had total of 47 years in Nuclear Engineering; held 8 patents for Westinghouse; worked on many first of a kind facilities including FFTF and FMEF. David had many interests: fishing, camping, shooting, faceting gem stones, building model airplanes, woodworking; he made a bunk bed for his youngest grandson. David still managed to find time to volunteer: he taught gun safety classes and was a Richland police department volunteer. His great love though was flying his Beachcraft Bonanza. He flew for 45 years all over the US and Canada. He belonged to: American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Assoc. , Experimental Aircraft Assoc, Civil Pilots Assoc. Richland Rod & Gun Club, National Rifle Assoc. Tri Cities Shooting Assoc. & Veterans of Foreign Wars. David is survived by his wife Barbara of 68 years, daughter Susan Husa, Dr. David Oakley (Gwen), Karen Durant (Ted), Barbara Holmberg, 6 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on May 20, 2017 at 2:00 PM at Einans Events at Sunset, 915 Bypass Hwy. in Richland. In lieu of flowers donations would be appreciated to Hospice House 2108 W. Entiat Ave Kennewick, Wa. 99336.
Funeral Home
Einan's Funeral Home, Inc.
915 By-Pass Highway
Richland, WA 99352
(509) 943-1114
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Published in Tri-City Herald on May 7, 2017