JOPLIN - David Eugene Alley, 53, died on Friday, Jan. 10, 2003, in his home where he collapsed getting ready to attend a basketball game.

A memorial service will be Thursday at 1 p.m. at Bethel Lutheran Church in Joplin.

David was born in Havre on March 17, 1949, to Bert W. Alley and Kathryn "Kay" VanDessel. He grew up at Joplin and received his education there, graduating from Joplin High School in 1967. During his school years he excelled in sports and still holds the shot put record at JHS. He continued his education at Northern Montana College in Havre, where he played football for one semester.

David married Faith Ann Knab in Joplin on June 16, 1968. They made their home in Joplin until they divorced. David lived and worked in the Joplin community his entire life. He farmed with his brother north of town. In addition to farming, the Alley family ran a lawn service business in the Hi-Line communities during the past 20 years. David also drove bus for the J-I School system for 24 years. Because of a disabling heart condition, David quit his job as school bus driver in 2001.

A well-known Hi-Line sports enthusiast, David enjoyed competing in adult sports, including softball, bowling and golf. He played in the Hi-Line softball leagues for 20-plus years. An exceptional first baseman in his prime, he spent his summer weekends playing in softball tournaments around the state. More than once he was named to tournament all-star teams for his excellent play and his athletic "split-like stretch" at first base. His favorite league team was the Joplin Big Sky Husky Sky Dogs, but he played with several other teams for tournament action. In later years, he worked as a softball referee for the Hi-Line leagues.

Dave played Little League baseball in his youth and coached Little League as an adult. He also served as the J-I Junior High basketball coach in the early 1980s. He volunteered as a junior varsity and junior high referee for several years. A loyal supporter and fan of J-I sports, Dave was especially proud of the girls volleyball team. Many times he drove the team bus, assisted with paperwork and stats, and served as a line judge during volleyball play. David enjoyed helping with school events, and was always ready to volunteer for community projects.

Dave was a member of the Bethel Lutheran Church, where he was baptized and confirmed. He was a past member of the Joplin Fire Department and a past president of the Joplin Commercial Club. In his youth, Dave was a Boy Scout and attained the rank of Eagle Scout. He cared for his fellow man and was loyal blood donor for many years.

David was preceded in death by his father in 1984 and his sister, Judy, in 1981.

Survivors include his sons, Micheal (Lisa) Alley and Martin (Patty) Alley, all of Joplin; daughter, Michelle Alley of Omaha, Neb .; mother, Kay Alley of Joplin; brother, Duane (Nancy) Alley of Joplin; nephew, Jarad Alley of Tempe, Ariz .; niece, Danette Alley of Gilbert, Ariz .; many aunts, uncles and cousins; and two grandsons.

Memorials may be given to the Joplin Community Hall, Joplin Fire Department, Liberty County Hospital or to a donor's choice.

Cremation and arrangements are by the Rockman Funeral Chapel in Chester.


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