David James Browitt, 74, a lifelong resident of Roslyn whose career and personal involvement impacted numerous facets of the Upper Kittitas County community and beyond, died April 26, 2013, of complications related to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
A funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, May 7 at 11a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Roslyn. A rosary will be recited on Monday, May 6 at 7p.m. at the same church.
Dave was born June 25, 1938 in Roslyn, the middle of five children of Harold and Elizabeth (Franciscovich) Browitt. He attended the Roslyn School through 8th grade and graduated from Cle Elum High School in 1956. He graduated with a B.S. in biology from Central Washington State College in 1961 and a B.S. in forestry from the University of Washington in 1964. In 1962 he married Jean Vandetta, whom he had met when they were both students at CWSC, and they had four children – the first of whom, David, was born while he completed his studies at UW.
Throughout his life, Dave was inextricably linked to the mountains and forests of Washington's eastern - slope Cascades. As a youth he was introduced to his family's customary summertime haunt – Fish Lake – and happily imbued that tradition on his grandchildren, not to mention his four kids. As a teenager he took his first job in the woods, maintaining telephone lines to the various fire lookouts within the Cle Elum Ranger District. And after 10 years with the U.S. Forest Service, most of which was spent in fire control, Dave accepted a position with Boise Cascade and served that company in several capacities – among them logging supervisor, federal sales specialist and area manager – for almost 40 years. Along the way, he directed crews that planted several million trees, thinned hundreds of acres of overgrown forestland and maintained untold miles of trails.
In the years leading up to his retirement from Boise Cascade and thereafter, Dave engaged in some far-ranging pursuits: He and Jean traveled internationally, visiting venues where one son-in-law happened to be on film location (they were granted an audience with Pope John Paul II in 2004); they became devotees of the various collegiate and NFL teams for whom their other son-in-law coached; and Dave fished for steelhead in the rivers of Washington and Idaho, and for salmon off Vancouver Island's Pacific coast.
But his favorite endeavors were always those for which he had an enduring association and occurred close to home. Dave relished hiking into Hyas Lake, especially in the spring when runoff-swelled creeks were difficult to cross, and casting a line for eastern brook; he loved spending a summer evening beside a campfire at Fish Lake, chatting with friends and family while watching the grandkids make s'mores; he savored the brisk fall mornings in hunting camp, meticulously glassing remote, rugged Cascade hillsides in search of a nice mule deer buck; and though he would be loathe to admit it, he enjoyed shoveling snow. He was a snowmobiler, a boater, a sports fan, a little league coach, a berry picker, a seeker of wildflowers, an admirer of autumn colors, and an ardent walker of the streets of Roslyn as well as the paths that dissect the wooded terrain above town.
Dave was a lifelong parishioner of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and was heavily involved in the church's recent restoration; he was a charter member of the Snomads, Upper Kittitas County's first snowmobile club, and its inaugural president; he was a board member of the Intermountain Logging Conference, serving as the organization's president in 1993; he was a board member of the Roslyn Cemetery Commission; and he served in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Dave is survived by his wife Jean, with whom he celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in December; son David H. A. (wife Christy) of Roslyn; son Jim (wife Tracy) of Lewiston, Idaho; daughter Kristen Linehan (husband Scott) of Detroit, Mich.; daughter Kerri Caviezel (husband Jim) of Westlake Village, Calif.; grandsons Matthew, Michael and Marcus Linehan, and Bo and David Caviezel; and granddaughter Lyn Caviezel; brother Edward (wife Sheila) of Lake Stevens, Wash.; sister Eileen Stewart (husband Ken) of Suisun, Calif.; and brother Robert (wife Lisa) of Roslyn. He was preceded in death by a brother, Gerald, and a sister-in-law, Gerald's wife Ruth.