David R. "Dave" DeSmet, 65, of Milan, passed away Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at his home.
Services will be held 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home, 201 E. 4th Ave., Milan. Burial, with military honors presented by American Legion Post 569/200 and VFW Post 1303, will be at Rock Island National Cemetery, Arsenal Island. Visitation will be 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the family to be designated later.
Dave was born on June 18, 1947, in Rock Island, a son of Elmer and Lillian Begyn DeSmet.
In earlier years, he served as an altar boy at St. Anne's in East Moline, and achieved the Webelo level in Boy Scouts. He graduated from United Township High School, where he enjoyed a successful high school football career.
Following graduation, he "volunteered" for the U.S. Army. Dave was a Vietnam veteran and finally was able to be proud of his service to our country. He lost some very close friends in Vietnam and never has forgotten them. He loved his country and was very patriotic.
Dave married Mary Miller in Rock Island on Jan. 19, 1980.
Dave previously worked for the railroad in East Moline, at Robin Hood Flour in Davenport, up to the time the plant exploded, and he was a founding member of AFSCME Local 3744 at the Quad City International Airport, Moline.
He retired from the QCIA after 33 years of service in both crash/fire/rescue and as a dedicated foreman for Airfield Maintenance. Dave always was willing to share his experience and took great pride in doing the best and right thing for the airport and for supporting employees working with him.
Dave was a member of the Milan American Legion Post 569 and Rock Island VFW Post 1303. He enjoyed spending time with his family, friends, children, grandchildren, his dogs, his flower and vegetable gardens and at family gatherings and St. Patrick's holiday weekends with family and friends. He also enjoyed "Dee-Jaying," camping, boating, jeeps and four-wheeling, New Boston and the Cloud Room at the old airport terminal.
He was a lifelong Notre Dame football fan, an avid Chicago Cubs and Bears fan (there's always next year!) and enjoyed a friendly rivalry with friends and family who are St. Louis Cardinals fans. Dave had that special gift of knowing how to fix just about anything and always had a smile or a joke. The world has lost a great person.
Dave is survived by his wife, Mary, Milan; daughter, Keri Andino, Bradenton, Fla.; sons (and spouses), Kelly (Valerie) DeSmet, Beijing, China, and Drew DeSmet (Kayla Thrap), Moline; beloved granddaughters, Gabi, Julia and Ella; and grandson, Wesley; sister, Diane DeSmet, Auburn, Calif.; nephew, Shawndar Jahal, Auburn; mother, Lillian DeSmet, Rock Island; and special aunt, Lou Taube, Milan.
Dave was preceded in death by his grandparents; father, Elmer; special uncle, Maurice "Moe" DeSmet; mother-in-law, Pauline Morse; and close friend, Cliff Sneath Sr.
Online condolences may be left for the family at wheelanpressly.com.