David Joseph Island peacefully departed this world on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023, and commended his spirit into the hands of the Lord at the tender age of 92. He was surrounded by his family and his wife, Maureen, the love of his life for 54 years.
David was born in Lead, South Dakota, to Olaf Island and Constance Marchiando on Feb. 20, 1931. He excelled in school and spent most of his time outside among the trees and animals in the Black Hills. He found God in nature. In pursuit of service to God, Dave studied for the priesthood right after high school. In May of 1957, Dave was ordained a Catholic priest for the Diocese of Rapid City. His service in South Dakota included teaching at the elementary and high schools as well as tending to the local cathedral. After 12 years, David decided he had accomplished all that he hoped for the community and resigned to follow his dreams in publishing and education. At that time, he also met Maureen. They were married and moved to Cincinnati, where Dave found his avocation in publishing, working for the World Library of Sacred Music. David would continue to manage several Catholic publishing companies and served as a consultant to religious publishers around the country. Maureen and David raised four beautiful children during those years and established a family on a small farm, where they taught their children to garden, nurture animals and appreciate the land.
In 1983, one of Dave’s clients, Oregon Catholic Press asked him to join them full-time, so he packed up his family and moved to acreage near Battle Ground, Washington, their “Forever Home” just across the Columbia River. While David served as marketing manager, under his care, OCP grew to be one of the largest publishing houses in the nation, often requiring Dave to travel overseas. Travel was one of his favorite responsibilities, always taking his adventure companion, Maureen. Together, they traveled to Australia, England, Switzerland and Italy, staying at the Vatican City several times.
His love of travel followed him into retirement, where he and his love bought an RV and explored the west and Gulf of Mexico, staying at all the national parks or just anywhere the wind blew them.
David will always be remembered for his joyful humor, his clever wit, a soft-spoken thoughtfulness, a passion for his family, and his tender nurturing of all God’s creatures.
David is survived by his beloved wife, Maureen; their daughters, Danielle and Mary; sons, Thomas and David; grandchildren, Lilian, Shelby, Sophia, Joshua, Jacob, Lorenzo and Matteo; as well as their cherished seven great-grandchildren. His family was one of the greatest joys of his life. Funeral arrangements will be through Sacred Heart Church, Battle Ground, Washington, on Nov. 10, 2023.