Funeral services for David Lee Preator were held Dec. 4 at the Burlington L.D.S. Church. David, 65, passed away Nov. 30 at his home in Powell.
He was born May 6, 1950, the second son of Stanley Eyre and Vivian Salmela Preator. He grew up and received his education in Burlington and graduated from Burlington High School in 1968. David raised sheep and participated in FFA, basketball and football as a teenager.
He graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in industrial arts education in 1972. He returned to Burlington, where he met Judy Anne Waltman. They were married Dec. 21, 1973, in Cody. The couple had five children: Aaron, Brad, Ryan, Chandra and Lacey. Dave was active in his children’s lives. He enjoyed teaching them about farming and ranching, watching them as they participated in school activities and showed their champion animals as members of 4-H and FFA.
Dave and Judy farmed and raised cattle and sheep on the family homestead. After earning additional degrees in elementary education and range management, he began working with the Soil Conservation Service as a surveyer and technician. He designed most of the present irrigation systems in Big Horn County; he won many awards for his designs during his service with the SCS.
Dave was a good artist; he invented many usable things. He designed and built a log home with the help of his son, Ryan, and the Preators lived in that dream home for years until declining health took them to Powell to be closer to family. Dave continued to appreciate his small hobbies and time spent with his grandchildren, whom he thought were the most beautiful and smartest in the world.
Dave was a 4-H leader for 30 years. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
His parents, Stanley and Vivian Preator, and his grandparents, Eugene and Gladys Preator and Eino and Hilya Salmela, preceded him in death.
He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Judy; three sons and two daughters-in-law, Aaron and Sabrina Preator, Brad Preator, and Ryan and Cortney Miner-Preator; two daughters, Chandra Preator and Lacey Preator; two brothers, Craig Preator and Joe White; and seven grandchildren.