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Obituary (WA): David Anthony Orriss '62

Posted on 04/16/2018

David Anthony Orriss  (MAY 21, 1938 ~ APRIL 7, 2018 (AGE 79))

Our beloved Father and Papou, age 79, died April 7, 2018 in San Diego, California. He was born May 21, 1938 in Great Shelford, Cambridgeshire, England to Clifford Walter Orriss and Eileen Mary Orriss (née Brown). His father Clifford (MBE), served in the Royal Air Force as a mechanic during World War II in Europe and India. During our grandmother’s estrangement from our grandfather, she met a U.S. serviceman named Harley Schumacher. After the war Granny and Dad came to the United States on the RMS Queen Mary and settled with Harley in Enumclaw, Washington. His older sister Angela joined them later, and his stepbrother Christopher was born in 1952.

From the time he arrived in the United States until he entered the Navy, Dad was very much a “small town boy” and “local hero”.  He went to school in Enumclaw and later moved to nearby Buckley, graduating from White River High School in 1955. Dad lettered in basketball and football and was a bit of a hometown hero.

During and after high school Dad worked various jobs; he worked for a logging company rigging and cutting trees, as well as the phone company in Seattle before enlisting in the United States Navy in 1956. Shortly into his enlisted tenure, his Commanding Officer suggested that he tender an application to the United States Naval Academy for a fleet appointment from the Secretary of the Navy. After obtaining a Congressional Nomination letter, and sponsorship by the Buckley Jaycees, he was first admitted into the U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School at Port Deposit, MD, and then entered the Naval Academy in 1958. While at Annapolis, “Limey Dave”, as he was known by classmates, lettered in soccer and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1962, with Surface Warfare being his deployment choice.

While attending the Naval Academy he became good friends with Jim (Sotir) Liakos, a fellow midshipman. Prior to the Youngster (Sophomore) Ball at the Academy our Uncle Jim asked our Dad “Hey, how would you like to meet my sister, Frieda? She’ll be in town…”.  3 years after that chance meeting, they were married and began their lives together.

Dad served for 24 years in the Navy at duty stations throughout the country and world. He commanded the minesweeper USS Impervious (MSO-449) during two tours of Vietnam. Later, he went into the Submarine Service and qualified as an Engineering Duty Officer, earning the Submarine Engineering Duty Insignia – a designation only a small number of highly qualified individuals receive. He became a Ship’s Superintendent at his final duty station, supervising the overhaul and refit of nuclear submarines when they came in to dry dock at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in California. He retired as a Commander in 1980.

After leaving the Navy, he worked for the Shell Oil Company as a Senior Engineer, retiring from the company after 20 years, in 1999. He and our mother then returned to Enumclaw to spend their retirement years close to family. They were married 54 years, had six children and nine grandchildren, and were always together until Mom passed away last year. Dad spent his remaining months travelling when he could, going back to Annapolis to the 55th reunion of his USNA graduating class, as well as seeing the Pacific Fleet in San Diego one last time.  Papou, as his grandchildren called him, was at peace when he left us.

He is survived by his sons David Jr. (Katrina) of Bonney Lake, George of Seattle, Clifford II (Iris) of Bellevue; daughters MaryAnn (Carlos) of Tampa, FL, Elena of Enumclaw, Eileen of Bonney Lake; 9 grandchildren: Alexandra, Anastasia, David III, Isabelle, Joseph, Julius, Nadine, Vincent, and William. He was preceded by his parents Clifford and Eileen, stepfather Harley, sister Angela and stepbrother Christopher.

He inspired many lives and left more of an impact that can be measured by mere words. Dad, you will be sorely missed. Go be with Mom... we know how much you missed her.

Weeks' Enumclaw Funeral Home
1810 Wells Street
Enumclaw, WA 98022
Tel: 360-825-3548