Wrangell Sentinel -

Obituary, David Robert Galla


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David Robert Galla

David Robert Galla of Wrangell, Alaska passed away April 8, 2016 in a tragic accident.

Dave was born on March 3, 1956 in Roseburg, Ore. to Robert and Donna Galla, then starting out in the logging industry in Oregon. The family grew to include his younger brother Mark and younger sister Patti while the family worked in the forests of Oregon.

In 1967, Dave's dad, uncle, and grandfather moved to Alaska with their families, creating the Galla Logging Company. From age 11, Dave lived with his family in logging camps where he developed his love of the outdoors. The family lived three years in Fish Bay on Baranof Island, two years in Sunrise Bay on Woronkofski Island, and three years at Roosevelt Harbor on Zarembo Island. Dave attended school through 8th grade in the logging camps where his mother homeschooled and cooked for the workers. Like all the kids in logging camps at that time, Dave housed out in town to attend high school.

In Wrangell, Dave lived with Thorne and Carol Ferguson and with Bob and Fern Neimeyer while attending school and graduated from Wrangell High School in 1974. Dave loved the outdoors, but flying was his passion. After high school, Dave worked a variety of jobs both locally and up north, but always with the goal of working towards becoming a pilot.

Early on, Dave developed a close friendship with Tyler Robinson who also shared his passion for flying. In the early 1980s Dave and Tyler bought a plane together, and Dave got his private pilot license. Over the years they flew together; at first Dave flew as a pilot for Pete White, and Diamond Air and then for Sunrise Aviation, working for Tyler. In 2004, Tyler and Dave decided to become business partners and Dave bought into Sunrise Aviation. They recently expanded to include Pac Wings in Petersburg.

Flying was Dave's passion, but nothing was more important in his life than his girls.

Dave married Michele Kreuscher in 1995, and they had two beautiful daughters together; Kristin Grace, and Caitlyn Faith. Although they divorced, both remained committed and involved co-parents to the girls, even living in houses within walking distance so their daughters always had a warm and welcome home with both their parents.

Dave recently met Mindy Sherwood, who brought adventure and romance to his life over the past few years. Dave was a good and honest man who led an honorable life.

Dave was preceded in death by his father, Bob Galla of Myrtle Creek, Ore.

Dave is survived by his mother, Donna Smith of Port Angeles, Wash.; his two daughters, Kristin and Caity Galla of Wrangell; his brother Mark (Dee) Galla of Wrangell; his sister Patti Olson, of Portland, Ore.; nieces Shena Gallegos, Lindsay and Shawna Olson, Kacie and Erin Galla; nephews Sherman Galla and Ryan Olson and several grand nephews and nieces.

A memorial service was held April 16 at Harbor Light Assembly of God with Kem Haggard and Matt Gerald officiating; a graveside service followed at Sunset Gardens Cemetery in Wrangell. A community potluck reception was held that evening at the Elks Lodge.


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