David L. Debus

David L. Debus was a retired Air Force Colonel with a passion for his family, his garden, and pipe organs. Born in Chicago in 1934 to the late Edwin Henry and Ruth Debus, Dave was lovingly raised by his aunt Esther and uncle Joe F. Ilg, Jr. Throughout his life, Dave exemplified grace, honesty, and kindness. He was a gentle and humble soul who loved his family dearly. Dave and his soul mate Claudia met in 1956 and were married in 1957. Dave was an avid supporter of his children¹s and grandchildren’s endeavors. He and Claudia enjoyed many band concerts, soccer games, and dance competitions throughout their years together. Dave loved all kinds of music. Dave regaled us with numerous funny stories of his days playing the saxophone in various bands in his youth. One of Dave''s most enjoyable hobbies was gardening. With meticulous care, he planted, weeded, re-arranged and created a haven of flowers, azaleas and trees in his backyard. His gardens included numerous bird feeders that included a wide array of defenses against the devious squirrels trying to eat the bird food. He had a quiet sense of humor, was well read and loved his Green Bay Packers. Dave was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend, who will be missed immensely. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he was commissioned an Air Force officer in June, 1956 and served in the United States Air Force 27 years. During that time, he served in Newfoundland, Canada with the 323rd Fighter Interceptor Squadron; the Air Force Space Systems Division in Los Angeles, California; two tours at the Air Force Aeronautical Systems Division at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; the Air Force Military Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas and at the Air Force Systems Command at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. During his career, he attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., and obtained a Masters Degree in Industrial Management at the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. His last assignment was with the Deputy Chief of Staff for Contracting and Manufacturing, Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base. He was a member of the Air Force Association and the Military Officers Association of America. After retiring from the Air Force, he worked for several defense contractors in Arlington, Virginia until August 1996. Dave was a member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Virginia where he was active in various church organizations over the years. He chaired the Board of Weekday Education, chaired the Staff-Parish Relations Committee and was a member of the Education, Communications, Building, and Music Committees. He loved the pipe organ and chaired organ committees at the First Methodist Church in Inglewood, California (1963) and at Aldersgate. He oversaw the design and installation of the new Casavant pipe organ at Aldersgate in 2001 and continued as its caretaker until 2016. He was also a member of the American Guild of Organists. On August 26, 2016, Dave lost his long and courageous battle with Metastatic Ocular Melanoma. Left to cherish his memory is the love of his life, his faithful and loving wife, Claudia, a son, David and wife Christine and their two daughters Charlene and Kelsey Rose; daughter Lori Wright and husband Henry and their daughter Lacey; daughter Linda Finnerty and husband Mike; daughter Marjorie Lynch and husband Doug and their children Kinsey and Charlie; cousin Judith Peterson (Ilg) and husband Charles; several nieces and nephews; and many furry grand-pets. A service celebrating Dave''s life will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, September 10, 2016, at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 1301 Collingwood Road, Alexandria, VA. Interment at Arlington Cemetery will be at a later date. Professional services entrusted to the staff at Demaine Funeral Home, 5308 Backlick Road, Springfield, VA. The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses, hospice and caregivers for their loving care and attention to our dad and husband. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Ocular Melanoma Foundation, 1717 K St. NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20006. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Ocular Melanoma Foundation, 1717 K St. NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20006. Published in The Washington Post on Sept. 4, 2016.