David L. Witt - 1929 - 2019


David L. Witt was born October 15, 1929, at home in Banks, Oregon, and passed peacefully May 15, 2019, surrounded by his family in his home in the hills of Sheridan. His dad, Rudy, was a logger and taught David his way in the woods. At 14, David was driving log and hay trucks. He grew up on the coast of Garibaldi where his father also taught him his love of the ocean. David felt at home on the water, water skiing, working on a charter boat, being the captain of his own boat, fishing, crabbing and clamming. He was an excellent fisherman and avid hunter with entries in the Oregon Record Book and Boone and Crockett. He filled his once-in-a-lifetime Oregon sheep tag in Eastern Oregon at the age of 81.
David attended Banks High School and graduated from Beaverton High School in 1948. David received his bachelor’s degree from Oregon College of Education in 1975, and later his master’s degree in criminal justice. In 1951, David enlisted in the Army and went to fight in the tumultuous Korean War. He was very proud of his service with the 52nd Field Artillery Battalion. He returned to Oregon and was hired as a trooper by the Oregon State Police in 1953 in Albany, Oregon. He was promoted to corporal and moved to McMinnville in 1964. He was later promoted to station commander of the McMinnville office and rose through the ranks to become a major in District One in Portland, retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 1984. He was appointed by the governor the year after he retired to be one of the first Oregon State Lottery commissioners. He also worked investigations for the Yamhill County Sheriff’s office. In 1976, David graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and later served as President of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy Associates Oregon Chapter. He also served as executive vice president of the American Association of State Troopers.
In 1995, he bought a ranch in the hills above Sheridan, where he and his wife built a home and raised cattle and chickens. David resided there until his passing. He was preceded in death by his dad, Rudy; mom, Susan (Nielsen); and brother, Gordon. He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Dawn Vyette Witt; sister, Charlotte Ackerman; his three children, Randy Witt (Paula Hartzell), Debbie Winkler and Julie Gettman (Alan); their mother, Betty Witt; his six grandchildren, Kristin, Kelly, Kayla, Conner, Kari and Casey; and six great-grandchildren.
Funeral services for David will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 21, at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in McMinnville. To leave online condolences, please visit www.macyandson.com. Contributions may be made to the American Legion Post 21 or Legacy Hospice in McMinnville.