David Spenst Profile Photo

David Spenst

April 27, 1929 — January 15, 2024


David Spenst

     Happy memories comfort us, as David Spenst, joined his Heavenly Father and family this week.  David Spenst passed away on January 15, 2024.

     He was born on April 27, 1929, to Peter and Aganetha (Nettie Friesen) Spenst in Morden, Manitoba, Canada.

     He was the oldest of 5 sisters, Berniece, Amy, Mary, Vivian and Annette and a brother, James.

     The family moved by train to Cavalier, North Dakota when Dave was in first grade.   German had been the family’s language and he learned English at this time.  The German language never really left him through, as he could still speak it.

     After graduation, David attended a trade school in Wapeton, ND and learned to run a linotype for the newspaper business.  He began and ended his career of 46 years at the Watertown Public Opinion.  His ambitions also lead him to free-lance photography, where he enjoyed taking wedding, graduation and group photos.  He developed his black and white prints and slides in his home darkroom.

     Serving in the Reserves Army during the Korean War led him to become a medic at Camp Carson, Colorado.

     He married Della Delores Oleson June 14, 1953, and their family expanded to Kathryn, Susan, Larry and Mark.

     David also became known as “The Fish Man” as he set up a tropical fish store in his home.   His patience, compassion and love of kids made him a memorable man with everyone he met.

     David was an active member of his Church family, holding many positions.  He was church treasurer, sang in the choir and taught Sunday School classes.

     In 2003, David married Patricia Johnson.  Combining their artistic talents led them on many adventures.   Happy memories include living on Pine Island Florida, plein-air in France and cruises to the Caribbean.   They moved to Spencer, Iowa in 2016 due to health issues.  David moved to Longhouse-Northshire Care Center in 2018, where he enjoyed bingo, the quiet atmosphere and teasing the staff.

     David was preceded in death by Delores (2000), Mark (1985) and Larry (2023); his brother and 4 of his sisters.

     Survivors include Kathryn (Ron) of Rapid City, SD, Susan of Redfield, SD; his sister, Annette of Iowa and his wife, Patricia, of Spencer, IA; 8 grandchildren and many step grandchildren, great grandchildren and step great-grandchildren, who never felt outside of Dave’s love.

     David’s legacy is his love of family, never complaining attitude, his dry and funny wit, and the twinkle in his blue eyes as he smiles down from heaven at us.

Memorial Services will be held at a later date.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David Spenst, please visit our flower store.


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