David Richard Kooken was born Dec. 11, 1924, to Mildred and George Kooken in Cumberland, Maryland.
During his youth, he lived in West Virginia and Maryland until enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1942. After training, he was stationed in Corvallis, Oregon, until he was sent to serve in the Pacific as a telephone fieldsman. He was honorably discharged in 1945 and then attended the University of Oregon, majoring in education.
He married Betty Walden in 1946 and moved to Battle Ground, Washington, where they lived until she passed away, shortly after their 50th wedding anniversary. Their daughter Kayda Kooken Mitchell and son Phillip Kooken were raised in Battle Ground.
Dave taught in the Battle Ground School District where several thousand students benefited from his wealth of knowledge, his ability to make learning interesting, his common sense guidance and his technical skills in and around the stage setting. As senior class advisor for many years, he stayed in touch with former students and attended many high school reunions. His volunteer work included Kiwanis, Battle Ground City Council and board of directors for the (then) Clark County Teachers Credit Union. He also found time to build a beach cabin with friends, build his home in Battle Ground and rebuild a caboose. Because of his East Coast family ties, he would travel with his family nearly every summer, visiting 48 states along the way.
In 1997, he married Margaret Aerni Hummel and they enjoyed retirement together until she passed away in 2019. They lived in Vancouver, Washington, where they had a garden railroad that they enjoyed building together. They traveled around the country several times in an RV visiting garden railroads, vintage trains and the World War II museums.
After Margaret’s passing, he moved to Sherwood to be closer to his family, especially his great-granddaughters. At age 96, he helped build them a treehouse.
Dave was predeceased by his parents; his brother, Joel; his sister, Linda; his sister, Frances; his grandson, Kyle; and stepson, Kevin Hummel (Shelly). He is survived by his sister Gretchen (Paul); daughter, Kayda (Ben); son, Phil; stepsons, Bruce (Naoko) and Brent; granddaughters Katie (Michael), Sara (Kurtis) and Elena; grandsons Keith (Sarah) and Josiah; and four charming great-granddaughters.
The celebration of life for Dave Kooken will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 3, at the First United Methodist Church, 1205 Deborah Road, Newberg, Oregon.
Please give donations in lieu of flowers to The American Diabetes Association (diabetes. org/diabetes), Friends of Netarts Bay (Netartsbaywebs.org) or the charity of your choice.