On 9/2/2018, David Ambrose Potts of Seattle passed away at age 78 after a brief battle with lung cancer.  David, the eldest of 9 children of Ambrose and Mary Potts, grew up in the foothills of Mount Rainier. He was a brilliant student, skipped 2nd grade, and, at age 16, graduated from Eatonville High School, earning a 4-year National Merit Scholarship. David used his scholarship to attend Reed College in Portland, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Economics.

     In 1962, David married fellow Reed alum Edith Skip Wolff and moved to Seattle to begin working on a Master’s degree at UW. While pursuing part-time work to fund his education, he fell in love with photography, initially doing darkroom work, then photography assignments with the Associated Press. In 1966, David was hired by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer as a full-time photographer. During his 12 years with the P-I, he photographed Richard Nixon, The Beatles, Bobby Kennedy, the maiden flight of the Boeing 747, corruption in King County government, the Seattle SuperSonics, UW QB Sonny Sixkiller, Jim and Lou Whitaker climbing Mount Rainier, and so much more.

     David and Skip became a family with the birth of their children, Michael David, and Cory Lynne in 1968 and 69, but divorced in 1972.  In 1975, David bought a tiny house in Ballard and, in 1977, met Mary Catherine “Mary Kay” Rohwer, and they were soon a couple. They developed a vast circle of friends together, but also enjoyed their weekends with Michael and Cory. In 1982, David and Mary Kay were wed and remained happily married to the end.                                                                                                              

     In the late 70s and early 80s, David worked for Delta Marine building fishing boats.  Starting in his forties, David worked in construction and eventually started his own home remodeling business, restoring and renovating numerous Seattle houses, as well as working on major improvements at UW and Woodland Park Zoo.

     Active throughout his life, David enjoyed mountain climbing, sailing, motorcycling, skiing, and scuba diving in his youth, and graduated to tamer pursuits, including hiking, fly fishing, and golf in his later years.  David and friends were avid participants in the Lake Union Duck Dodge sailboat races for many years.  He approached life with astonishing vigor, considering that from age 39 on, he was a cardiac patient who endured countless bypass and stent procedures, and, in his late sixties, had a kidney removed. One year ago, he was thrilled that he was still able to hike the Pinnacle Peak Trail at Mount Rainier with several of his high school friends!

     Possessing a lifelong appetite for learning, David was an avid reader and loved taking adult education courses on astronomy, geology, fly fishing, music, sumi painting, and fretted-instrument construction.  He mastered the art of building and repairing ukuleles and guitars in his later years, with the advice and encouragement of the staff at Dusty Strings and members of the Seattle Ukulele Players Association.

     David is remembered by friends and family as being hard-working, generous with his time and experience, and having a keen sense of humor and irony.  He was a good and patient listener, had a knack for letting people talk their way through their own problems, but was also known for calling out BS where he saw it!

     David is survived by his wife, Mary Kay, son Michael (Dani), daughter Cory (Peter), grandchildren Brandon, Logan, Simone, and Asa, and his eight siblings: Richard, Mary Denend, Carol Mack, Larry, Aaron, Ted, Elmer, and Sally Purkett, and his “talking” cat, Dorothy.  A memorial gathering is intended for next spring.