David "Dave" Courtney

Obituary of David "Dave" C. Courtney

In Memory of David C. Courtney – taken too soon on June 15, 2023

Dave was born in the Washington Metropolitan Area, the first son of Newton and Evelyn Courtney.  He is survived by us – his wife, Martha and his daughter, Amanda – in addition to his brother Mark and his wife, Deborah; nieces Laura and her husband Will, and Allison; and mixed breed dog, Kami. He is also survived by his chosen family: Tara, Mauricio, Chester, Tawanna, Gary, Jan and many others he loved to laugh with over the years. Because Dad wanted his ashes sent into space, his memorial service will take place in Q2 of 2024 with the next available launch.

First and foremost, Dave was an adoring, devoted, and much-loved husband and father. Putting family above everything else, he spent the majority of his afternoons with me either sitting in the back of a theater supporting my efforts in drama – he was the one who saw before either Mom or I the makings of what would become my future career or hoping there were no math homework questions. My first and one of my biggest fans.  He was Martha’s “fix-it” man, always willing and able to tackle anything broken. He was also “the wind beneath her wings.”  Always giving me peace of mind that the kid and dog would be well cared for in my absence when I had to work long hours.

Dave was known for his sense of humor. In 1992, the “guys” used his own car jack, aided and abetted by me, his soon-to-be wife, to slightly raise the drive wheels of his car off the ground so when put into gear, the car would mysteriously not move. Instead of getting mad, Dave laughed as hard as the pranksters. He was known for his “dad” jokes, silly phrases, and comic relief. He was gifted with an innate understanding of mechanical things – this manifested primarily as a love of cars, planes, space flight, and woodworking. He had a knack for electrical and computer problem solving, and never seemed to have enough time to complete everything he wanted to build. His love of music crossed all genres from rock and roll, to rap, to classical. His favorite group was the Moody Blues, and his favorite song was Driver’s Seat by Sniff ‘n’ the Tears.

In retirement, he was a docent at the Valiant Air Command War Bird Museum (donations in Dave’s name in lieu of flowers) in Titusville, Florida, and a volunteer at the Brevard Zoo.  With our move to Florida, he accomplished a life goal of watching rocket launches from his front yard. He served his country as a CIA officer specializing in physical/technical security and contracting, and retired after a successful 36-year career. Dave loved to travel overseas and filled our house with collectibles. Dave adored his Tahoe and any 1969 Camaro he ever saw.

The notes received from friends and co-workers since his passing are a testament to Dave. They consistently speak to his kindness, generosity, ability to elicit smiles, and willingness to be helpful in a society that seems to be forgetting these basics. In short, Dave was a good man and is terribly missed by his family and those who knew him. While in the ICU, we played him his playlist of favorite songs. One of the last to play was “Lucky Man” by Emerson, Lake and Palmer – “Oh, what a lucky man he was” is the perfect tribute to how Dave viewed himself and his life. So, raise a Jack and Coke to him, play some of your favorite 70s music, and give a big hug to those you love; he would be honored to be remembered in these ways.  

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