Mr. David William Chalkley, 83, of Damascus, died Tuesday evening, Feb. 12, 2008, in Rockville. He was the husband of Mrs. Mary S. Chalkley, with whom he celebrated his 60th anniversary Dec. 27, 2007.
A native of Maryland, he was born Dec. 4, 1924, the second son of Dr. Harold W. Chalkley and Zora Chalkley. He graduated from Bethesda Chevy High School in 1942, where he was selected as the most rugged individual, and enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 1942. He served with the 4th Marine Raiders and 4th Marine Regiment. As a Raider, he saw action at the Viru Harbor/Bairoko, Enogai, and Emirau. With the 4th Marines he fought on Guam and Okinawa and participated in the occupation of Japan, where he took part in the first team to climb Mount Fuji. He earned the Bronze Star, with a Combat V, and a Purple Heart on Okinawa and admiration among his fellow Marines for his initiative in disarming land mines. He took great pride in serving Corps and Country.
In April 1947, still on active duty, he traveled by train from Washington, D.C. to a new duty station in Barstow, Calif. En route, he met Mary Strauss, of Brooklyn, then on vacation. They were married, in Brooklyn, Dec. 27, 1947. Together, they raised eight children. He received his bachelors, on the G.I. Bill, from the University of Maryland in 1955. He subsequently entered a career specializing in the production of semiconductors, with specific electrical and physical properties, made from rare earths. During his first job with the Bureau of Mines, Department of the Interior, at College Park, he received a department meritorious service medal for rescuing a fellow employee from a chemical fire. He retired in 1994, after working primarily for TransTech, now Skyworks Solutions, in Maryland, and for Motorola, in Phoenix, Ariz.
He found his satisfaction and happiness in life in the love and companionship he shared with his wife, in the joy of raising his family, in solving technical and engineering problems, and building things. He kept his own counsel but spoke his mind with alacrity when needed. Always ready to lend a hand, he proved most reliable when the need was greatest. He frequently gave subordinates, who could receive incentive awards, ideas and concepts to improve production so that they and the company could grow. He offered everyone a strong handshake. He called the president of the company and the janitor by their first name and extended a cordial greeting to strangers to make their day a little better. With everyone, he shared a subtle and quick sense of humor. As a working man, he preferred navy blue work clothes, with a pencil in the shirt pocket, to a suit and tie. The latter was always a trademark bolo tie to make him feel more comfortable. He learned by asking questions and searching for answers. Proud of the accomplishments of all his children, he took special notice of two sons who retired from the Marine Corps.
Besides his wife, he is survived by four daughters, Christine of Damascus, Clare Josaitis (Bob) of Gooding, Idaho, Eileen Wardwell (Steve) of Chepachet, R.I., Ellen Lara of Phoenix, Ariz., and three sons, John (Donna) of Sharpsburg, William (Cindy) of Jackson, N.C., and Robert (Nan) of Reston, Va., and 12 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a son, Edward, 1963-1968.
Friends may call from 3 to 5 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 17 at the Molesworth-Williams Funeral Home, 26401 Ridge Road, Damascus. A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m., Monday, Feb. 18, at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church, 9250 Damascus Road, Damascus. Father Kevin C. Kennedy will offer prayers. Interment will be at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 20, at Quantico National Cemetery, Quantico, Va.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.