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Memorial created 03-15-2014 by
Barbara DeSpain
David Gene DeSpain Sr.
March 31 1935 - January 16 2014

This online memorial was created in loving memory of David DeSpain Sr., whose life story is told throughout this memorial website. Please sign David's guest book and let us know you came to visit. We will remember David forever.



Streams in the Desert - January 16 And there arose a great storm (Mark 4:37). Some of the storms of life come suddenly: a great sorrow, a bitter disappointment, a crushing defeat. Some come slowly. They appear upon the ragged edges of the horizon no larger than a man's hand, but, trouble that seems so insignificant spreads until it covers the sky and overwhelms us. Yet it is in the storm that God equips us for service. When God wants an oak He plants it on the moor where the storms will shake it and the rains will beat down upon it, and it is in the midnight battle with elements that the oak wins its rugged fibre and becomes the king of the forest. When God wants to make a man He puts him into some storm. The history of manhood is always rough and rugged. No man is made until he has been out into the surge of the storm and found the sublime fulfillment of the prayer: "O God, take me, break me, make me." A Frenchman has painted a picture of universal genius. There stand orators, philosophers and martyrs, all who have achieved pre-eminence in any phase of life; the remarkable fact about the picture is this: Every man who is pre-eminent for his ability was first pre-eminent for suffering. In the foreground stands that figure of the man who was denied the promised land, Moses. Beside him is another, feeling his way -- blind Homer. Milton is there, blind and heart-broken. Now comes the form of one who towers above them all. What is His characteristic?

His Face is marred more than any man's. The artist might have written under that great picture, "The Storm." The beauties of nature come after the storm. The rugged beauty of the mountain is born in a storm, and the heroes of life are the storm-swept and the battle-scarred. You have been in the storms and swept by the blasts. Have they left you broken, weary, beaten in the valley, or have they lifted you to the sunlit summits of a richer, deeper, more abiding manhood and womanhood?

Have they left you with more sympathy with the storm-swept and the battle-scarred? --Selected The wind that blows can never kill The tree God plants; It bloweth east, it bloweth west, The tender leaves have little rest, But any wind that blows is best. The tree that God plants Strikes deeper root, grows higher still, Spreads greater boughs, for God's good will Meets all its wants.


There is no storm hath power to blast The tree God knows; No thunderbolt, nor beating rain, Nor lightning flash, nor hurricane; When they are spent, it doth remain, The tree God knows, Through every tempest standeth fast, And from its first day to its last Still fairer grows 








 Going Home to Willoughby ≈


David G. DeSpain, Sr.


March 31, 1935 to January 16, 2014


David Gene “Bunkie” DeSpain, Sr., 78, St. Joseph, passed peacefully into Heaven on Thursday, January 16, 2014, surrounded by his family at home where he wanted to be.

David fell head over heels with Barbara Joanne (Slater) DeSpain, the love of his life and they shared 60 years together. She survives of the home.

In April 1952, at the age of 17, David enlisted in the Marine Corps and proudly served his country during the Korean War. During his military career, he received the National Defense Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Expert Rifleman Medal, Expert Marksman Medal, and a prestigious Presidential Unit Citation. He was honorably discharged in April 1955.

David attended NWMSU receiving degrees in business management and pre-law. David worked in the management profession until his retirement in 1988. He was a trouble shooter and innkeeper for the Holiday Inn Hotel chain for several years, was the first manager of the Bode Ice Arena, and the last manager for the Hotel Robidoux. Upon his retirement, he opened the Collector’s Emporium which specialized in antiques and collectables with his son David Jr.

His hobbies included jewelry making, watching British mysteries, collecting stamps and coins, going to the casino, eating at Cracker Barrel, traveling, and holding hands with his wife. David loved the holidays and enjoyed having the responsibility of baking the pumpkin pies on Thanksgiving. He was teased about burning them and looked forward to it every year.

David loved his family and they were the most important thing to him. He made sure every day that they knew it. He had ways of making every family member feel special in their own individual way.

He would call his children and grandchildren on their birthdays to sing happy birthday and would do so in the worst out of tune singing voice he could. He never missed a birthday and even added some because he enjoyed it so much.

He enjoyed spending time with his family and highlighted that with adventures of hunting for the Keeblers and Goonie Rabbit with his grandchildren. David taught his family many life lessons one of which was to appreciate the importance of Pogiebait (junk food).

He was preceded in death by his parents, David Louis and Reva Margaret (Sebille) DeSpain; two brothers, Lloyd Alfred “Sonny” DeSpain and Richard “Dick” DeSpain; and son, Christopher Lee.

Survivors: wife; sons, David Gene Jr., Mark Scott and Michael Charles (Leslie); daughters, Cynthia Susan Martin (Mike) and Elizabeth Anne White; 12 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; great-great-granddaughter; his baby sister, Audrey Marie Colwell; several nieces and nephews; sister-in-law, Virginia DeSpain; brothers-in-law, Richard Slater (Janet) and John Forest; and his buddy, Admiral, his pug.

Service: 1 p.m. Tuesday, Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory. Interment: Helena Cemetery. The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Monday, Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory, where friends may call after 5 p.m. Monday.

Flowers are appreciated and for those wishing to make a contribution, the family requests they be made to the Noyes Home.



50th anniversary

Stephanie's wedding with her three daughters and granddaughter
Beth's graduation from UNO with degree in International Studies. Go Beth!

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