David Alton Brumbaugh



David Alton Brumbaugh was born on August 18, 1935 in Roanoke to Helen Collins Brumbaugh and Frederick David Brumbaugh. His family had the privilege of surrounding him with love as he drew his last breaths on Wednesday, August 30, 2017.

David attended primary and secondary schools in Roanoke, where he earned his Eagle Scout rank. He was a 1957 graduate of Roanoke College in Salem with degrees in physics and mathematics. As a teen and young adult, he was instrumental in taking care of his mother who suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis.

David moved to the Washington, D.C. area after college to work for various engineering and technical companies, performing research and development work for the U.S. Navy. He had a long career as a “Beltway Bandit” (a term he loved to use), becoming an expert in mines and mine countermeasures. His work contributed to the successful demining of the Suez Canal and of Haiphong Harbor.

Mr. Brumbaugh and Beverly Mae Leffell, of Vinton were married on July 29, 1961, celebrating their 56th anniversary last month. Although they grew up just a few miles apart in Vinton and Roanoke, they didn’t meet and begin courting until they were both working in the Washington, D.C. area. He used to like calling Vinton a “suburb” of Roanoke.

David was an active leader in the churches he belonged including Heritage Christian Church, Silver Spring, MD, Faith United Methodist Church, Rockville, MD, Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church, Arlington and Fredericksburg United Methodist Church, Fredericksburg. He made significant contributions to the communities in which he lived by serving in leadership roles on homeowner boards and committees. David was an active volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and Meals on Wheels. In all these roles, he was known and valued as a quiet but effective leader who allowed all opinions to be heard and who could distill consensus from even the most divided constituencies.

When he retired in 1999, he and Beverly fulfilled their lifelong dream of traveling the world. They hiked in England, Wales, Ireland, France, Italy, Switzerland and explored ruins in Turkey. They sailed the Danube River, and recently returned from a canal boat trip in Alsace-Lorraine on the French-German border. They traveled the United States from California and Alaska to New England and Florida, and led mission trips to support disaster relief in various communities in the Southeast.

The return of Major League Baseball to Washington rekindled his boyhood love of the game, and in his later days he became one of the Nationals’ biggest fans. His sole complaint in the hospital was that his cable TV selections did not include the baseball channel.

David is survived by his wife, Beverly; his son, David, Jr. (Anne) of Durham, N.C.; his son, Michael (Andy) of Gaithersburg, MD; his sister, Alice Vierra of San Francisco, Calif.; and his granddaughter, Jocelyn of Richmond.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 9 at Fredericksburg United Methodist Church, 308 Hanover Street, Fredericksburg, Va. 22401. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you honor David’s legacy of leadership and service by making a donation to the church’s newly-formed Brumbaugh Mission Scholarship Fund to support youth mission trips, an activity that was near and dear to his heart (http://www.fumcva.org/brumbaugh/).