OBITUARY: Dave Breuning, 81, Passed Away Oct. 31 at the William Childs Hospice House in Palm Bay
By Space Coast Daily // November 15, 2023
George was a civil engineer who worked on various massive government projects in the U.S.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Dave Breuning was born on June 19, 1942 in Durango, Colorado. He departed on October 31, 2023 Palm Bay, Florida.
The funniest, most self-effacing, kindest, gentlest, and honest person the world can hope for, died on October 31st, 2023. David George Breuning was 81.
Fittingly, on the eve of All Souls, David and a brilliant Harvest Moon waned together at the William Childs Hospice House in Palm Bay. A blythe spirit and poet by nature, he relished the words of great literature. He recited poems aloud. He embraced beauty in the air and on the ground. He recognized beauty and drama in all people.
David was the son of George and Doris Breuning of Melbourne. George was a civil engineer who worked on various massive government projects in the U.S., and so David was born in Durango, Colorado. In 1952 George was assigned to the design team of the new Cape Canaveral in Florida and the family settled on Fee Avene in Melbourne.
Dave attended Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic school down the street. He graduated with Mel-Hi’s Class of 1960, and to his surprise was chosen Master of Ceremonies for the senior talent show. He retained a select few dear high school friendships though his lifetime.
He worked and studied in Gainesville and got his associate degree from Santa Fe Community College.
Going forward, Dave set about on a journey of exploration across the country, by thumb and by bus, taking in wonderous diversity in music, art, and in humanity. His unlikely first job with Belcher Oil back on the East Coast began a career path ultimately leading as far as Alaska and through international waters.
A succession of Maritime jobs came to him as if by magnet. He crewed fishing boats, research vessels, oil rigs, tugboats and tankers. He was a deckhand, a roustabout, a messman.
“Tugboat Dave” finally settled in Long Beach, California, where he mastered the art of safely fueling monstrous container ships arriving in Port. As a union member of Seafarer’s International, he attained the respected rank of Able Bodied Seaman and was a member of the Merchant Marine.
He bought a small condo in Naples and therein he installed a landscape of Lionel Trains on a platform that took up the entire living space. He explored California on his big Japanese motorcycle, his old VW bus, his Toyota pickup, and put in many miles on foot and on a vintage 10 speed bike. He was accompanied in later years by his rescue dog BO-D (for big old dog.) His heart belonged to a longtime girlfriend but he never married.
Dave retired there from Crowley Maritime Corporation.
He was nourished by the deep friendships within his tight knit family of exceptional SoCal neighbors and friends who had his back and remember him fondly. As a life-long insatiable reader, he was known to converse for hours over coffee with wit and wisdom on just about any subject. David retained a reverence for his Catholic upbringing.
He judged not, worked diligently, lived frugally but joyously, and gave generously.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Doris Elizabeth Obley and George Henry Breuning; his sister Barbara Breuning Montano; brother-in-law Leonard Harold Montano and his nephew Eric Lee Montano.
David is survived by his sister Christine Breuning Schornagle, brother-in-law Frank W. Schornagle III, niece Erin C. Schornagle, and nephew Frank W. Schornagle IV.
A graveside memorial and interment of ashes is planned for Saturday, December 2nd at Melbourne Cemetery at 11:30 a.m.