David Lawrence ‘Dog’ Distel
ONTONAGON — David Lawrence “Dog” Distel, 74, passed away peacefully in his cherished Ontonagon home, with his wife, Lynn, and her daughter, Kirsten, by his side, on September 1, 2018.
David was born on January 21, 1944, in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, to Lawrence and Maryann Distel. His father was in charge of German prisoners, and when the war ended, they settled in the Lansing area.
As a youngster, David created a neighborhood newspaper, offering local news and services, thus beginning his successful writing career.
In search of sunshine, as a young teen, David and his family moved to Palm Springs, California, for a few years, then to what became their permanent home in Santa Ana.
David graduated from Santa Ana High School, and went on to attend the Santa Ana College, where he was the editor of the school paper.
At a very young age, David was offered a positon with the Orange County Register, where he covered the L.A. Angels baseball team and became close to the owner, Gene Autry.
While raising his three children in Santa Ana, David’s career flourished and landed him an opportunity with the San Diego edition of the L.A. Times, where he was the editor of the Sports Department until his retirement.
During these years, David penned three books, “Race Horse Doctor,” “Michael and Me,” and “The Sweater Letter.”
After raising his three children, Eric, Dina and Lisa, Dave then met the love of his life, Lynn Rogers, who introduced him to what he believed to be the most beautiful town on earth.
He fell in love with the people in the community and the beauty of Ontonagon, and said it was like living in a national park.
David became a member of the Ontonagon Men’s Association, Holy Family Catholic Church, and volunteered with the local cancer association.
His membership at Ontonagon Golf course was the highlight of his life here, as well as hours spent cheering on his grandchildren in their sporting events.
David is survived by his wife, Lynn; his children Eric (Kahn) Distel, Dina (Jeff) Purvis and Lisa (Bill) Butcher; his brother, Peter (Jeanie) Distel; sisters, Marty (Jerry) Abts and Sister Julie, a Dominican Nun; his grandchildren, Nicollette Walls, Alyssa Distel, Taylor & Casey Purvis, and Samantha & Alex Butcher; great-grandchildren, Amiri Walls and Esmerelda Distel; Lynn’s children, Kirsten (Mark) Menigoz, Melissa (Geoff) Kelly, and Jacqueline (Wyatt) Cameron; Lynn’s grandchildren, Henry, Theadora & Gabriella Menigoz, Olson, Curran & Georgia Kelly, and Race, Finnegan & Kai Cameron.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, September 7, 2018, at the Holy Family Catholic Church, with visitation at 10 a.m. and service at 11 a.m. with Father Michael Jacobus officiating.
Burial will follow at the Holy Family Catholic Cemetery with arrangements by Cane Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Ontonagon County Cancer Association, P.O. Box 282, Ontonagon, MI 49953.