David Francis Ehman Oct. 21, 1950 - Oct. 16, 2023


October 18, 2023

Dave is gone.  For someone who was consistently late to every appointment, he left this world way too early.  David Francis Ehman was born to Shirley Ehman and Marvel Brodt Ehman on October 21, 1950, in Dayton, Ohio.  He joined sisters Kathy and Marilyn.  Later, Julie would join them.  He attended public schools in Dayton, Ohio through high school, and went on to attend and graduate from Valparaiso University in Indiana with a Political Science degree.  Beginning as a teacher's aide, David was immediately drawn to working with children with disabilities and decided to turn that into his life's work.  In 1980 David moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington's school of Education and earned his master's degree in special education.  Enamored with the natural setting of the Pacific Northwest, he decided to stay.  

He worked in the Lake Washington School District, then the Stanwood-Camano School District, and ended his teaching career in the La Conner School District, completing a 42-year calling. 

In his earliest years of teaching in Ohio, David began his lifelong interest in backpacking and hiking in the summers. One summer he was employed as a chambermaid at the Grand Canyon Lodge, so that he could spend his off-hours hiking the canyon. He was proud to tell anyone who cared that he was promoted from chambermaid to head of the linen closet in just one summer.

Dave had a well-developed spiritual life.  Sometimes church-related, having grown up in the Lutheran Church, and sometimes nature-related, finding peace, solace and inspiration in the mountains.  Dave spent as much time as possible in nature, backpacking and hiking, and recruiting as many family members into that lifestyle as he could.

David loved animals. During his adult life, Dave was never without a dog, sometimes one, and at one time as many as four.  He has loved other animals as well, and collected a veritable menagerie: Cats, dogs, ducks, chickens, goats, sheep.

He enjoyed every form of entertainment:  Reading, movies, music, sports.  He enjoyed being the "voice" of the La Conner Braves basketball team as the home announcer, and conversations with anyone about anything. He was someone who sincerely cared about other people's lives and interests.

Dave was inspired by music. He loved all genres. He played the trombone in high school, and the stand-up base in a band in Stanwood (though he confessed that he didn't know how to play it, just wanted to be in a band).  Always with a song on his lips, it is appropriate that David's final words were lyrics: "Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right..."

David was always thoughtful, inquisitive, kind and absolutely hilarious.  He was adored by all of his nieces and nephews.  Dave related well to young people, mostly because he was young at heart himself.  His optimism was unending and endured through his battle with cancer. 

Family was very important to Dave, and he was especially proud of his daughter, Jessie.

Dave is survived by his wife, Sara, his daughter Jessie, and his sisters Kathy Ludeman, Marilyn Dallet, and Julie Knostman.   He will be forever missed by his extended family of Harlans (Mit, Maureen, Mike, Jennifer, Morgan, and Lane), and his many Ehman nieces and nephews.  Anyone who knew Dave is going to feel like the world is a little too quiet now.

A celebration of David's life will take place later in the spring.

Memorial contributions can be made to Skagit Humane Society or the Sierra Club. You may offer your condolences and share memories of David online at http://www.kernfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are in the care of Kern Funeral Home.


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