Obituaries - David Dodsworth Wallen, 79
October 12, 2023
David Dodsworth Wallen, a loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend, passed away at the Evergreen Health Center in Kirkland, Washington, on September 23, 2023, surrounded by his family.
The oldest of eight children, David was born to Glenn and JoAnne (Dodsworth) Wallen on December 25, 1943 in Macomb, Illinois. He graduated from Western High School in Macomb in 1961, then attended the University of Washington, where he earned his Bachelors of Science in Oceanography. While pursuing a PhD in Oceanography at the University of Alaska he worked as an oceanographic research assistant.
In 1968 David married Judith Ann Harris (Aurora Ann Fox) and they had two children, Serenity and Kesia. Before divorcing in 1994, he and Judith worked together on the F/V Yahli, R/V Aleutian Tern, and F/V Torun.
David was captain and co-owner, along with Tom Greer, of the F/V Kesia Dawn in Alaska for forty years until his retirement in 2011. He participated in many fisheries, including long-lining for halibut and black cod, and tendering salmon. A Southeast Alaska legend and a "highliner" among his fellow fishermen, David modeled a strong work ethic, mentoring and supporting many young fishermen over the years.
For thirty-nine years he lived in Port Alexander, Alaska, where he was an active member of the small remote community. David gave in hand and heart as mayor, city council member, water quality manager, handyman, electrician, and as a good neighbor happy to pitch-in on just about any project someone needed help with.
In June 2010 David moved to Petersburg, Alaska, where he again became an active and beloved community member, volunteering at the Humane Society and serving as the President of The Petersburg Community Foundation. In 2014, he married Tikvah (Melara) Wallen and became step-father to her three children, Ya'akov, Katerinne and Eliezer Melara. In 2017 he and Tikvah moved to Bothell, Washington, to be closer to needed healthcare.
David had curiosity and wonder for all things natural, especially the cosmos. His children share fond memories of him sitting on his back porch observing nature, keeping his young daughters up late with hot cocoa to watch Hailey's Comet pass over, or hunting for blueberries, mushrooms and beach asparagus – followed by long days of canning. He was always willing to help with math homework, chop firewood or tackle a house project – taking coffee breaks over games of cribbage. He was an avid stamp collector who enjoyed drinking double tall mochas, eating ice cream, and attending Cirque Du Soleil performances and Trans-Siberian Orchestra concerts. As a father, he was proud to walk his two daughters and his "bonus daughter," Danelle (Hein) Gundersen, down the aisle on their wedding days.
David was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Marilyn Wallen; and his brother, Richard Wallen.
He is survived by his children: Serenity (Kyle) Gray of Kirkland, Washington; Kesia (Dustin) Micheletti of Bellingham, Washington; and Danelle (David) Gundersen of Bothell, Washington; his four grandchildren: Caden and Easton Gray; and Jasper and Aram Micheletti; his wife, Tikvah Wallen and her three children: Ya'akov Melara, Katerinne Melera, and Eliezer Melara of Bothell, Washington; his five siblings, Marsha (Thomas) Bleedorn of Wildwood, Missouri; Micheal (Carol) Wallen of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Barbara (Conrad) Minor of Lovettsville, Virginia; Janis (Greg) Ford of Versailles, Illinois; Jeff Wallen of Blandsville, Illinois; and Richard's wife, Maureen Wallen of Macomb, Illinois; twelve nieces and nephews; and nine great-nieces and nephews.
Donations in his name may be made to the Petersburg Humane Association