David "Dave" Gerard Westling
August 24, 2023
David "Dave" Gerard Westling, cherished husband, father, papa, and brother, left us on Monday, August 14th after bravely battling early-onset Alzheimer's disease. He was 69 years old.
Born prematurely on January 27, 1954, to Walter and Joan Westling, David's early arrival was the first and last time he was early for anything. Dave grew up as an Air Force brat, with most of his early childhood memories at Nellis Air Force Base outside of Las Vegas, before landing in Pavilion, Wyoming at the family's fifth-generation ranch. A proud alumnus of Wind River High School, 1973, David excelled in both football and track. While he earned a master's degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Wyoming, it was winning the heart of Lisa Botham that truly captivated him.
Tying the knot in 1983, Lisa and Dave built their lives in Green River, Wyoming, raising their three daughters Lauren (Daniel), Kayli (Jackson), and Adar (Ryan). Beyond his own, David embraced many honorary children and a menagerie of pets into his fold, including horses, dogs, cats, fish, pigs, and sheep.
David's legacy shines on as an exemplary Girl Dad. He was unconditionally loving and ever present – assisting with math homework, joining in their musical theater cast, coaching soccer teams, captaining rafting trips, and navigating cross-country family vacations in his iconic van. It was important to David that he pass along his love for skiing and snowboarding to his girls and his grandchildren, and he was always up for waking up early, loading the van and taking his family and all their friends to the slopes. While he loved skiing- and later snowboarding- his favorite winter activity was shoveling snow from his and his neighbor's driveways. His joy for his girls was evident in home videos where his distinctive laughter is the highlight of the VHS audio.
Serving the City of Green River for three decades, David's legacy includes revamped city streets and a reputation for an inability to be idle. If not with his family or at work, he was drawn to cowboy dancing, the WWCC choir, the horse corrals, tinkering in his garage, or helping a friend with a project. He was also proud to serve as a Trustee at the UCC Church, Treasurer for the Professional Engineering Group, and host for Wyoming Math Counts.
Lisa was David's world. Though not a traveler by heart, he'd quip, "Lisa loves to travel, and I love Lisa." Their journeys around the world were punctuated by his affection, apparent until his last moments. Her name was the last word he was able to say as the disease progressed and he would light up with her presence.
David is survived by his devoted wife, daughters, siblings Walter, Jerry (Karla), Kristi, grandchildren Aidan, Julia, Troy, and numerous relatives. He reunites with his parents, sister Joann (Delmar), and extended family in the afterlife.
Celebrating his love for ice cream, all are welcome to join us for a memorial and ice cream social at Expedition Island in Green River on Sunday, August 27, from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm. In honor of David's casual style, come in relaxed attire, Wyoming cowboy outfits, or his daily uniform-wranglers. If you can't attend, honor his memory by emulating his virtues and indulging in a generous scoop of ice cream. The family will also be floating the river all weekend, so feel free join or honk and wave!