David D. First, 91, of Meadville, died Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, at UPMC Hamot, Erie.
He was born in Meadville, Dec. 31, 1920, a son of Silas Arthur and Marguerite Crouch First. He married Carrie May Raymer Dunn on Jan. 20, 1962, and she preceded him in death Jan. 24, 1994.
David was a 1938 graduate of Meadville High School and a 1942 graduate of Allegheny College with a bachelor of arts in music. He was a veteran of World War II, serving with the U.S. Army’s 90th Infantry Division, and was among the soldiers who landed at Utah Beach on June 7, 1944. He was a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient. Following the war, he returned to Meadville and worked briefly as an inspector at Talon Inc., before moving to New York City and working as a piano technician at Steinway & Sons. After two years, he returned to Meadville to attempt to build a piano technician business and again worked at Talon in the engineering department. Dave resigned from Talon in July 1971 after successfully growing his piano technician business. He held contracts over the years to service pianos at Allegheny College, Westminster College, Clarion State University, Slippery Rock University, Edinboro University and occasionally at Mercyhurst College and Alliance College. Dave was still tuning pianos at Allegheny well into his 80s. He also worked as an adjunct associate professor in the music department at Allegheny College.
David was a longtime member of Grace United Methodist Church, serving over the years as its choir master, pianist and substitute organist, chairman and member of the board of trustees, on the Pastor Relations Committee and as a lay speaker. He was a former Boy Scout scoutmaster of Troop 227 and adviser to Explorer Post 227. In September 2009 he was honored for service to his community by the Washington Trail District of Boy Scouts of America’s French Creek Council at their Patriot’s Day ceremony. He was a member of the Piano Technicians Guild and served as chairman of the Pennsylvania Piano Technicians Guild, and helped coordinate the North East Convention of the organization in Erie. He was also a member of the Conductors Guild Inc., the Theater Organ Society, the American Guild of Organists, the Tuesday Morning Music Club (was currently serving as historian) and the Phi Gamma Delta, PI Chapter at Allegheny College.
In addition to playing and composing music, he enjoyed painting and pencil sketching, composing poetry, hiking, bicycling, canoeing and airplane piloting (once owning a Taylorcraft Taildragger for a short time).
He is survived by a stepdaughter, Judith Morneweck and her husband, James, of Meadville; a stepson, James R. Dunn and his wife, Karen, of Erie; three stepgrandchildren, Jeffrey Morneweck and his wife, Juli, of Cuddy, Julie Aaron and her husband, Michael, of Frogtown, and Mark Dunn and his wife, Karlee, of Bend, Ore.; two nieces, Carol Baldwin of Corpus Christi, Texas, and JoAnn Benedict of Colorado; a nephew, Danny Williams and his wife, Carol, of New Orleans; and four stepgreat-grandsons, Andy and Tommy Morneweck and Michael and Nicky Aaron.
The memorial service will be held at a later date.
Arrangements are under the direction of Robert W. Waid Funeral Home Inc., 581 Chestnut St., Meadville.
Memories and condolences may be shared at waidfuneralhome.net.