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David Manuel Gonzalez

David Manuel Gonzalez

July 12, 1946 ~ April 11, 2022

David M. Gonzalez embarked on his final cruise on Monday, April 11th, 2022.  Born in Bethesda, Maryland, adopted son of the late Manuel Gonzalez and Eunice (Dorsey) Gonzalez, he grew up to be a disc jockey (specializing in ’50s and ’60s music complete with an extensive collection of 45 rpm records) and radio personality, as well as serving a short stint as an insurance salesman and then a sheriff’s deputy complete with canine partner.  During the Vietnam Era, he dodged the draft by enlisting in the U.S. Navy right out of high school.  He served as the enlisted mission specialist on aerial recon flights based on an aircraft carrier.  He returned to civilian life, trying his hand at college, but partied his way out.  After trying to support a new family as a sheriff’s deputy and an insurance salesman, he reenlisted in the U.S. Navy.  Both he and his bride, the former Karen-Ann Miller, joined the Navy Reserve.  They remained on active duty as TARs (The Active Reserves) and soon were sent to Millington Tennessee.  They ended up at the Naval Air Station Glenview Illinois, where, unfortunately, they got divorced after nine years of marriage.  David was trained as an avionics mechanic and often moonlighted as a military policeman during the evenings.  He was an expert marksman with his sidearm of choice a 45 revolver.  He acquired an interest in safety and occupational health and safety act (OSHA) compliance.  He took full advantage of the nearby OSHA academy located in Des Plaines, Illinois, quickly completing almost every course they offered.  One of his areas of expertise was accident investigation, specifically aircraft accidents.  He also authored a monthly safety newsletter for the Navy Reserve.  In his spare time, he learned to fly small, two engine aircraft, and trained in jiu jitsu.  His squadron commanders quickly learned they could rely on his advice in matters of military protocol.  He was also an accomplished dancer and very much in demand at all the squadron parties. One of his assignments was at Andrews Air Force Base where he established himself with the Washington, D.C.  American Mensa community, hosting an annual “sock hop” at his home every fall and participating in every road rally that came up, among other things.  One evening, he interrupted a robbery at the neighborhood 7-11, chasing the would-be robber (who was armed) down the road and through a field, and holding him for the police.  For his bravery, he was awarded the Navy commendation medal.  He had a wonderful voice, as well as being an excellent guitarist.  Those qualities serendipitously put him together with two other singers and they formed the trìo ‘Three D’, singing at Mensa gatherings up and down the east coast. From D.C., the Navy sent him back to the Chicago area, where he quickly became an integral part of the Mensa group there, one of the largest of such groups in the country.  His last assignment was at the Naval Air Station in Alameda California.  While there and with a lot of encouragement from friends, he completed degree requirements through a combination of his initial college attendance in Florida, College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams, and taking GREs in political science and sociology.  His real-life learning earned him a double degree in those fields from the State University of New York at Albany. David returned to Chicago in 1991 to begin his retirement, first working as an OSHA compliance specialist for a small business, and then as an OSHA compliance and safety specialist in a one-man office for the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.  He retired completely in 2008 and moved to South Prince George, Virginia in 2011.  He was a loyal friend and a man whom one could count on.  He was chivalrous to a fault and always exquisitely mannerly. He is survived by his son, Kevin M. Gonzalez, his partner of 30+ years, Jeannette Blumenthal, and 14 felines who miss him very much. A Memorial Service will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery, 1 Memorial Avenue, Arlington, Virginia 2221. Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Colonial Heights Chapel of the E Alvin Small Funeral Homes and Crematory, 2033 Boulevard, Colonial Heights, Virginia 23834