David Harold Zittel was called home on October 27, 2022, surrounded by family at home in his last days. He leaves behind the love of his life and wife of 40 years, Renee (nee Benedek, formerly of St. Louis, MO); daughters LiAnn (John) DeFlorian of Arnold, MO and Michelle (Mark Freidline) Anderson of Kalispell, MT; grandchildren Ashley Byington, Braden Anderson and Kenna Anderson; brother Howie Cisler of Independence, MO; step-sister Peggy Ann (Bill) Hain of Kansas City, MO; nieces, nephews, sisters-in-law, cousins, and many very special and loved friends. He was preceded in death by his mother and father, grandparents, and his brother Terry Zittel.
David was born July 28, 1948, in Lansing, MI, to Harold L & Lelia P (Galloway) Zittel. David grew up in the Kansas City area and attended North Kansas City High. Many summers were spent living and working at his uncle's Lake of the Ozarks marina, which contributed to his love of all things water-related. David was a Vietnam veteran and lifetime member of VFW Post 9638 in Galmey, MO, along with his father and brother Terry. He enlisted in the US Navy and after being assigned to the USS Buck out of San Diego, served from September 1966 to July 1970 as a Fire Control Technician, FTG3. After his honorable discharge, he worked for his father's construction company and went to college, receiving his Bachelor's degree from the Missouri Institute of Technology. He was recruited by Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM, and spent his 26-year career serving his country by providing "exceptional service in the national interest" in the Radar and Antenna Departments. Upon retirement, David and Renee sold their home, moved into an RV full-time, and spent 14 years traveling the country he loved. When it came time to set down roots again, they returned to New Mexico & settled in the northern part of the state.
Growing up in Missouri, David's love of the outdoors began early while hunting with his uncles and fishing in his grandparents' farm ponds. He continued hunting, fishing, and camping his entire life, spending many hunting seasons chasing after deer and elk in the mountains of New Mexico and Montana. He was in his element in the mountains in the fall, when he could fall asleep to the sound of the elk bugling. Much time in his younger years was spent on lakes in Missouri, in New Mexico as his girls grew up, and in Oklahoma with his big brother Terry. His other passions included motorcycles, woodworking, photography and computers.
At the age of 33, this longtime bachelor found his soulmate and together they raised two daughters, whom he loved unconditionally. He was so very proud of both of them, as well as his grandchildren and sons-in-law.
David fought a long, hard fight against cancer, but lost the battle way too soon. He will be missed and remembered every day until we are together again.
He will be interred at the State Vietnam Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Angel Fire, along with his brother Terry, at a later date. The family requests any contributions in his name be directed to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Wounded Warriors, or the Veterans of Foreign Wars.