David Lee Stern, 68, peacefully passed away in the early morning on Tuesday, August 7th at his home on Bainbridge Island.
The youngest of four boys, he was born May 27, 1950 to Stanley and Genevieve Stern of Ellensburg, Washington. He attended Lourdes Academy in his youth and graduated from Ellensburg High School in 1968, where he was active on the swim team and in band. After high school, he attended Yakima Valley Community College and later earned a certificate in hard hat diving from the Divers Institute of Technology.
In 1973 he married Mitzi Huff, whom he met while she was a student at Central Washington University. She was from Bainbridge Island and after a few visits to her family home he came to treasure the Puget Sound area and called it home for the next 45 years. David began a career in 1980 with the Washington State Ferries at the Eagle Harbor facility on Bainbridge Island. He was very knowledgeable of the inner workings and mechanics of all the vessels and docks around Puget Sound.
David loved his family and always looked forward to reunions, yearly camping trips during the summer, snow skiing trips in the winter and taking out his boat to fish and waterski. He loved being on the water and never missed a crabbing season, low tides for clam digging or trolling for salmon. For a few years, he was a member of the Bainbridge Aquatic Masters and participated in the “Swim the Columbia” event, where the group would swim from Oregon to Washington. Every football weekend, the house was rarely quiet as David & friends enjoyed getting together to watch the Seahawks and WSU Cougars play.
David had many friends and was blessed to have a chance to reunite with some of them at his 50th high school reunion just days before his passing. He is survived by his wife, Mitzi, of 45 years, his daughter Rachel (Paul) Tuhy and grandchildren Cael (9), Evelyn (5) and Charlotte (2). Brother Bill (Judy) Stern of Redmond, Sisters-in-law Elaine and Joan Stern, Reesa (Steve) Zuber and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers Tom & Dick Stern.
There will be a celebration of David’s life on Saturday September 8, 2018 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at the Bainbridge Island Commons next to the waterfront park. Donations may be made in David’s honor to the Puget Sound Restoration Fund or a charity of your choice.