David S. Waddell
1939 – 2021
David Stephen Waddell passed away March 15 shortly after being diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. He was 81 years old. He follows his beloved wife of 58 years, Mary Lu, who passed just seven weeks before him. David truly embodied a life well-lived. He was dedicated to family and friends, enjoyed a successful career and traveled the world. He was smart, inquisitive and a role model to those who knew him.
David was born June 16, 1939 in Youngstown, OH to Kathryn and Charles Waddell. The family later moved to Pennsylvania and he grew up in the Pittsburgh suburb of Munhall. He was a 1961 graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Business Administration. He was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. He met his wife at Penn State during their junior year at a fraternity-sorority mixer. They were married after graduation on August 19, 1962 in Seaford, DE.
David served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy from 1962 to 1966. He received his commission from officer candidate school in Newport, RI. He worked as a supply corps officer on the USS Hugh Purvis destroyer ship. In October 1962, the ship went to Guantanamo Bay to provide gunfire support to the Marines during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Their first daughter, Susan, was born in Newport in 1964.
After retiring from the Navy, he took a job with U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh as a Senior Buyer. Their second child, Amy, was born in 1967.
In 1973, a ski trip to Aspen, CO inspired David and Mary Lu to move "West." He subsequently landed a job with Xerox in Dallas, TX. His role in procurement and commodities took him to many foreign countries including China, Japan, Korea and Tawain. When he was not working, he coached his daughters' soccer, softball and basketball teams and enjoyed playing tennis at the Canyon Creek Country Club in Richardson.
In 1985, his job transferred to El Segundo, CA. While house hunting, David and Mary Lu serendipitously
stumbled across a charming town called Manhattan Beach. They made their home there for more than 30 years. Several years later, he left Xerox and went to work in senior management positions at Allied Signal, Western Digital and Terra Data.
David retired at age 59 and never looked back. He enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, entertaining friends, bicycle riding along the South Bay bike path, jogging on the Strand, golfing, reading and participating in a men's book club. He loved watching all types of sports and rooting for his beloved Penn State Nittany Lions along with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Pirates and Steelers.
David and Mary Lu also traveled extensively and visited five continents. He delighted in talking with people from other countries and learning about life in other cultures.
A friend to all, a good conversationalist, an inspiration. He will be greatly missed.
David will be laid to rest alongside his wife at Miramar National Cemetery. He is survived by his daughters Susan Wirth and Amy Albin, sons-in-law Wade Wirth and John Albin, grandchildren Kenzy and Trevor Wirth, sister Janice Bond and her husband Garland, sister Barbara Muir and her husband Bill, brother-in-law William Hill, along with many close relatives.
Donations in David's name can be made to the Hunt Cancer Center at Torrance Memorial Medical Center where he was treated for neuroendocrine cancer in 2017. Visit www.torrancememorialfoundation.org
or call (310) 517-4703.
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store
Published by The Beach Reporter on Apr. 27, 2021.