David Willard York
January 24, 1943 – August 24, 2022
David Willard York, born January 24, 1943, in Cleveland, Ohio and long-time resident of Chagrin Falls, Ohio - passed away peacefully on Wednesday August 24, surrounded by his family. David attended Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, PA, through his junior year and was a graduate of Orange High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University and was a member of the Delta Chi fraternity.
David began his career with Reliance Electric, and enjoyed living and working for three years in Lucerne, Switzerland, where he became fluent in German and Swiss-German. He obtained his Professional Engineer License from the State of Ohio, and managed his own startup, York Research, Inc. He finished his professional career in 2005 after working for 15 years at NASA Glenn Research Center, where he was known for his expertise in software and systems engineering. He served as the Chief Engineer of the Flight Software Engineering Branch, performed software validation and verification on multiple launch vehicle missions, led the Electrical Power System Team for Space Station Freedom, and worked other ground breaking projects that led to advancements in healthcare and remote learning as a member of the team that developed the first embedded web server. He received an exceptional service medal and numerous other awards for his outstanding contributions. David was known for his leadership, wisdom, and ability to integrate people as well as technology.
David was full of life and love for God and neighbor. He was an active member of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, where he sang in the choir, was an invaluable contributor to the pro-life activities of ArcAngels for Life, served as a catechist at the parish school of religion, and taught the Adventure Crew at Vacation Bible Camp. David was selfless in his volunteering and support of those less fortunate than himself. For example, he dedicated many hours to the Young Men’s Chance for Change, arrived on site in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to help with cleanup efforts, and never passed up someone on the street asking for a little help.
David was well known for his sense of humor, cheerful welcoming smile, and ability to contribute to the conversation on any subject. His love of travel, which led him to visit 49 of the 50 states and numerous countries, was the source for many of his great stories. He enjoyed meeting friends for a meal at local restaurants, and brought joy and caring to all who knew him. He had a life-long thirst for learning and inspired many of his friends and colleagues through his actions and service.
David is survived by his four children, Susan (Keith) Lowry, Kenneth York, Jennifer (Jonathan) Pilgrim, and David York; four grandchildren, Stephanie Renninger, Kayla Renninger, Amy Pilgrim, and Molly Pilgrim; brother, Richard; godson, Gabriel Khula; and the love of his life, Maria Babula. He was preceded in death by his parents; and grandson, Andrew Renninger.
He will surely be missed by many people, including several with whom he held decades-long friendships.
The family would like to thank the Cleveland Clinic hematology / oncology team of doctors, nurses and staff, led by Dr. Brian Hill, for the outstanding care and support received during the entire journey through David’s leukemia.
Family and friends may visit on Monday, August 29, 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. and Tuesday, August 30, 9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 496 E. Washington St., Chagrin Falls. Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 10:00 a.m. in St. Joan of Arc Church (https://www.stjoanofarcchurch.org/). Interment will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery, Brook Park.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent in David's name to St Joan of Arc Catholic Church, The
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (https://givenow.lls.org/), or The Rescue Village Humane Society (https://give.rescuevillage.org).