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David P. Schmarje Lieutenant Colonel

February 5, 1937-March 19, 2019

FORSYTH, Mo. — On Tuesday, March 19, 2019, Lieutenant Colonel David Paul Schmarje passed away in Forsyth, Missouri, at the age of 82. He and his wife of 36 years, Osa, had moved there 18 months before from Lompoc, California. Born in Charleston, West Virginia, on February 5, 1937, David is survived by his wife, Osa, and children, Julie and Dawn Schmarje of Los Angeles, California, Mark Schmarje of Branson, Missouri, and Katie Schmarje of San Diego, California; granddaughter, Destiny, of Springfield, Missouri; a sister, Diane Wood of Lubbock, Texas; and his stepchildren.

David was a retired Lt. Colonel in the Air Force. He entered the military in the 1960s and served his country for over 20 years, through both active duty and the military reserve. In 1964, he was awarded the Airman's Medal for saving multiple people from a burning building when an aircraft crashed on his air base in El Centro, California.

While in the Air Force Reserves, he worked for his family's business, Schmarje Tool Company, in Muscatine, Iowa, as a mechanical engineer before moving his family to San Diego, California. He worked at Rohr Corporation and General Atomics for many years before returning to active duty where he reached the rank of Lt. Colonel. In the Air Force, he worked at the Los Angeles Air Force Base, where he met his wife, Osa. Together, they moved to Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California, where they raised their daughter, Katie. David was a dedicated member of his community, serving as a local Air Pollution Board Member and teaching at the local community college. After retiring from the military, he continued to work at Vandenberg Air Force Base as a civilian.

In addition to being a loving husband, father, and friend to all, he had a great love for his country, which was evident not only from his many years of service, but also in his vast bald eagle collection. He could be counted on to help at a moment's notice. With a big heart and beautiful soul, he is missed by all who were lucky to know him, but we hold dear the blessing of having had him in our lives. A celebration of his life will take place in Lompoc, California, where he was active in the community and a long-time church member. The Memorial Service will be held April 27 at Lompoc Foursquare Church followed by a reception at the Officers Club, Vandenburg Air Force Base. For more information, please contact either Shannon Peru at shannonmperu@gmail.com or Julie Schmarje at jeschmarje@raytheon.com.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in his name to either Wounded Warriors, the Forsyth Nursing Home and Rehabilitation, 477 Coy Blvd, Forsyth, MO. 656653, or Preferred Hospice of Missouri, 910 South West Ave. Springfield, MO. 65802.

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