David Scoles, 73, Austin, Texas
David Robert Scoles of Austin, Texas departed from this life surrounded by his family on Feb. 4, 2023 at the age of 73, after a short and valiant battle with lung cancer.
Dave, as he was to everyone he met, was born on Oct. 11, 1949 in Owatonna to Charles Robert Scoles and Beatrice (Linow) Scoles. An only child to Beatrice and Bob, he was also a miracle child! Dave’s parents were in the 40s upon his birth—a rarity in that time.
He would bear the loss of his dad at age 8 to the same scourge of lung cancer. Raised by his single mom, she instilled in him the traits of fortitude, responsibility and kindness.
Dave was a member of the Order of DeMolay, a boys’ organization of Freemasonry.
Dave started working at 16, while attending Owatonna High School. He joined Jostens jewelry manufacturing after high school. He possibly had a hand in making yours or a relative’s cherished class ring—and several Super Bowl-winning teams’ rings.
While employed at Jostens, he would meet his wife, Susan. After a short courtship and an unorthodox proposal as Susan tells it, sitting in his metallic green Roadrunner at the end of date, she blurted “so, we’re getting married or what?” Susan and Dave were married in October 1971. They reared two children: Patrick and Amelia. They became a close family unit facing the joys and challenges of their lives together. Dave and Susan invested in their children those same values of benevolence, responsibility, and a strong work ethic.
After an abrupt lay-off from Jostens, he attended Faribault Vo-Tech and graduated with an education as a machinist. In between his work and family, Dave loved performing live music, playing the bass guitar and lead singing in the band West Wind. I know what you’re thinking… but no, it wasn’t Polka! West Wind mainly played country and western swing with occasional rock tunes. Dave and his band mates would entertain the Midwest for years with a love of music playing that began for him in high school that shone through to everyone who listened… and danced.
Dave and West Wind would attempt touring full time in the mid 1980s; however, things didn’t go according to plan. A new plan was hatched. Dave and Susan had enough of Minnesota winters. They packed up their family and lives and moved to Texas at the suggestion of his brother-in-law. They landed in Corpus Christi in 1984, and then relocated to Austin five years later.
Dave labored in different jobs as security, as a machinist, a truck driver and an armored truck driver. He continued to play music for various bands, took family vacations and cherished being around those he loved. Dave also had the gift of gab. He knew no one as a stranger and could talk to anyone! Engaging in conversations with grocery store employees, favorite restaurant employees and patrons, and even passengers on a train in Scotland. Dave delighted in meeting individuals no matter where he was.
This enjoyment extended to Western Europe. Staying across the Atlantic Ocean for several months in 1997 training for his employer, Dave would meet life-long friends in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Dave and Susan fell in love with Holland. Its people and the country’s uncommon beauty had them visiting there often.
This natural skill to make friends came in handy when Dave and Susan retired and lived the full-time RV life. They crisscrossed the country and ventured overseas becoming friends with many whom they encountered. Dave relished the retired life, remained active and visited extended
family and friends whenever they could. He checked off a bucket list box and became a ‘carmy,’ working at an amusement park in Iowa for a few summers.
Dave is remembered by all who knew him as being self-learned, well-read, and passionate about learning history of both world and American conflict and military. He consistently had a newspaper close by. When he wasn’t reading, he had the television on, usually watching TV or movie westerns. Dave always had an overused phrase of wisdom ready to say, given the opportunity and an obscure fact to liven the conversation. His personality was hardened at times, but Dave was an unyielding good man with a compassionate heart. Forever a loving husband, dad, uncle and friend.
He is survived by Susan of 51 years in matrimony, his son Patrick of San Antonio, Texas, and daughter Amelia of Manor, Texas, and music he recorded over the decades.
He is preceded in death by his parents.
If you would like to honor Dave, please donate to the American Cancer Society.