David William Thorpe

January 12, 1940March 15, 2018

David William Thorpe was born on November 24,1940 in Oakland, California to Inez Anna Bellquist and William Chatteley Thorpe. He was the eldest of three boys who grew up in the old Thorpe house at 1177 Regent Street in Alameda, California. David attended Alameda High School and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1963 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. During the Vietnam War, he was an Electronics Technician in the Naval Reserves at Alameda Naval Station from 1963-69. After graduation from UC Berkeley, David was offered a Federal Civilian Service position with the Food and Drug Administration as an inspector of food production in California. He was transferred to regulatory guidance in Washington D.C. and remained with the FDA for 42 years, retiring in 2005. David loved music! From boyhood on up he sang and learned to harmonize in the church choir. In middle school, he embraced the trumpet which he could practice for hours and helped him forget his troubles. Home life was often difficult. Reading and a daily paper route kept him busy throughout his youth. Trumpet playing was a hobby that took him through Middle School band, High School marching band, and University marching band. It was after college and while singing in a church choir that he met someone who would become his lifelong friend. Early in 1965, David met a young lady whose soprano voice captivated him. He found someone who could hold the melody while he complimented with harmony. A short while later on April 11, 1965, David married Colleen Doris O’Brien at First Baptist Church in Anaheim, California. David and Colleen lived in Alameda a short while and then moved to Oakland. In December of 1967, David was blessed with the birth of his daughter Suzanne. A few years later in April of 1970, he welcomed his son Brien into the family. In 1972, David and Colleen purchased a small farm with a home on the outskirts of Stockton, California. An FDA promotion and transfer to Washington D.C. brought the Thorpe family to Annandale, Virginia in 1974. There David found himself overjoyed as a father of three with the birth of his youngest son Michael. David was an avid reader and a devoted gardener. If there wasn’t a book to be read, he could be found turning the mulch pile or digging a “garden” somewhere in his property on Sleaford Road. After wintertime snowstorms with no gardening to do, David could be found shoveling snow…neighbors’ sidewalks…even the whole cul-de-sac! David William Thorpe is survived by his wife of 53 years, Colleen; daughter and son-in-law Suzanne and Fr. Mark Lichtenstein; son and daughter-in-law Brien and Mariya Thorpe; son and daughter-in-law Michael and Danielle Thorpe; ten wonderful grandchildren: Anna, John, Paul, Gregory, Hayley, Brayden, Emily, Ryan, Johnny, and Solomia; brothers Milton Eric Thorpe and Robert Emil Thorpe; Sister-in-law Kathy O’Brien; brother-in-law and wife Art and Jamalle O’Brien; cousins: Marion (aka Bun and husband Hans Mark), Tom (and wife Gloria Thorpe), Mr. and Mrs. John Bellquist; four nieces: Kjerstin Boorstein, Melody Thorpe, Isabel Thorpe, Amethyst Thorpe, three nephews, Kenny Ryther, Kyle (and wife Katrina) O’Brien, and Caleb (and wife Lauren O’Brien) and several grand nieces and nephews. David was a kind, gentle husband and father that will truly be missed…


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David William Thorpe

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