David Arnold Strange
Oct. 20, 1953 - Jan. 11, 2020
SAN JOSE, CA, FORMERLY OF FRUITLAND
David Strange, beloved husband, son, brother, uncle, friend and co-worker, died at home in San Jose, Calif., on Jan. 11, 2020 surrounded by friends and family. He was 66.
David faced the diagnosis of brain cancer as he did everything in his life. He learned all he could about it, then showed quiet strength, determination and purpose as he fought back through surgery, radiation and many rounds of chemotherapy for 18 months.
David Arnold Strange was born Oct. 20, 1953 in Ontario, Ore., to George and Nina Strange. He had a Tom Sawyer childhood amid the farms and orchards around Fruitland, Idaho, according to his older brother Jim, fishing, hunting, exploring on his bike. Some of his best memories were summers on his beloved Grandma Sanders’ farm northeast of Payette.
Although he was a shy, quiet kid, David also was a perfectionist who had a burning desire to succeed. When he sold newspaper subscriptions for the weekly Independent-Enterprise newspaper as a youngster, he dominated its annual contest, winning several bicycles and cash prizes. Driven house to house by Grandma Sanders, no one could resist the adorable kid with the deep dimples and large, expressive eyes.
Yet David also had a deeply curious, analytical mind. He read voraciously and played for hours with his erector set and electronic kits.
He graduated with honors from Fruitland High School in 1972, earning a scholarship to a summer engineering program at USC before his senior year and eventually a scholarship to Cornell University, an Ivy League school in Ithaca, N.Y. He was a superior student who earned a degree in electrical engineering in 1976, was in a graduate program at the University of California (Berkeley) and earned his MBA from Santa Clara University in 1983.
He was introduced to the love of his life, Roxana Yichoy, in 1979 through a mutual friend. They were engaged two months later and married June 28, 1980 in Santa Clara. David embraced Roxana’s family, and was a doting uncle and godfather to his nieces.
The couple loved traveling, cooking, dining out and spending weekends at a home they owned near Paso Robles, Calif. Their travels took them to Roxana’s native Peru and other countries in South America, as well as Europe, China, Mexico, Hawaii and the Caribbean. He enjoyed road trips on the East Coast and Canada and motorcycle rides throughout the West.
David used his work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit to build a career as an electrical engineer in Silicon Valley, starting at Narda Microwave (1977-1987). He also worked at Acrian, Gamma and Spectrian before founding his own company, Tampico Enterprises. He reinvented himself late in life at two start-ups, Cuil and 8X8, where he worked with Roxana. His broad experience, kindness and willingness to help others earned his coworkers’ love and respect.
David was a frugal man who planned every detail of his life. He had a strong moral compass, refusing to follow the latest fad and standing up to something he didn’t think was right. When he spoke out, others listened because his thoughts were always convincing and well thought out.
His interests were deep and varied. He loved music, humming tunes throughout the day, playing ukulele as a kid, the trombone in middle school and high school, and jazz piano for more than 20 years.
David was also committed to fitness, and he and Roxana worked out with their personal trainer twice a week for 13 years. He was still doing push-ups and pull-ups in December.
His hobbies included ham radios, woodworking, gardening, cooking and baking.
David found his best self the past few years, reaching his peak physically, mentally and emotionally. He was healthy and happy, and satisfied in his marriage, work and life. When cancer came, he was a perfect patient, remaining positive to the end, an inspiration to everyone around him.
He is survived by his wife Roxana, his father and mother; brothers Jim (Marsha) and Rich; sister Jean Church; brother-in-law Willy (Cindy) Yichoy, sister-in-law Monica Neumann and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by four grandparents, his father- and mother-in-laws Victor and Julia, and brother-in-law Victor.
Roxana thanks the many friends, family and co-workers who visited and supported David during his illness, and caregiver Latu Vaitai, who gave him love and comfort at the end.
Family, friends, co-workers and caregivers are invited to celebrate his life Saturday, Jan. 18 at 1 p.m. at David and Roxana’s home at 4589 Tampico Way, San Jose, Calif.