David William Ingram, 80

June 12, 2019

David William Ingram died in the spring of his 80th year. He went home to a place he’d never been before, where the mountains rise up and treasure abounds.

David left this life on May 21, 2019 at his daughter’s home in Charlotte Hall with his sweet pup, Gigi, by his side.

He was born on May 18, 1939, in Sutherlin, Virginia, at home on the family farm. He was the son of the late Yancey Jenkins Ingram and Elizabeth Martin (Shelhorse) Ingram. Born into a large family, David was the sixth (6th) child of nine and was raised to explore the world with a wondering eye and adventurous heart. He survived a tornado as an infant when the entire house around him was destroyed. Only he and the bed he rested on was left of the home after the natural disaster spun out of control across the Virginia countryside. This was the beginning of his charmed life. He worked hard as a child helping on his family’s farm.

In the fall of 1947, David’s father packed the family into an old Army truck and moved them across the country to a farm in Debeque, Colorado. There he grew into a fine young man and at the age of 17, he joined the United States Navy on November 21, 1956. After mastering the art of Morse Code, he spent the next three years working as a Radio Operator for the Navy Beach Jumpers, Unit 2. During two of his enlisted years, he was stationed in Italy and he loved the Italian cities and countryside and all the opportunities this experience gave him to explore the world. He was proud to say he was a member of this elite team that can only be compared to the Navy SEALS of this day in age. David earned a Good Conduct Medal and was honorably discharged on June 6, 1959.

After his return to the civilian world, David settled in the Washington DC metropolitan area where he began his career as a Teletype Operator with the US Government at the Atomic Energy Commission. There he met his former wife, Roberta Kelley, and they wed in 1963. Their family grew to three children who made his day full and their innocence ignited the sense of adventure he’d never lost. They spent many weekends enjoying the outdoors exploring and camping with skies filled with stars and dreams in their hearts. In 1974, because of a beloved family dog and the inability to find a campground, a beautiful piece of Almost Heaven was purchased in West Virginia and became a family and friends getaway. Other adventures took him and his family on trips to Colorado and Oregon to visit his mom, siblings and their children. Many times there were side trips to see the natural wonders and beautiful parks the States have to offer. Spending time and making joyful memories with his family and many dear friends was his greatest achievement. His government career gave him many lifelong friendships and took him to the Department of Health and Human Services which he retired from in 1988 as Chief of Buildings Operations.

After his retirement, David moved to the rustic family cabin in West Virginia with his beloved dog, Meggie. He lived many years without running water or electricity, touching on his boyhood memories and where-with-all. He loved to say he had running water; he ran to the creek and got it. It was several years of this rugged way that sealed the honors of being a Mountain Man. It was during this time that David became even closer to nature and his love for the outdoors became even more of a lifestyle. His passion for treasure hunting grew and he was often seen walking empty cornfields in the Lost River Valley for arrowheads and other relics. He also spent many hours in mining areas of Colorado, Idaho and California searching for gold and other beautiful gems, all the while charming those who listened with his tales of adventures. He was a member of the Gold Prospectors Association of America.

David was a prominent member of his community and made many lifelong friends who will truly miss him and his kind soul. From his special friend who he met every Thursday morning for coffee, to many songs sung around a campfire, to infamous card tricks and volunteering at the local museum and sharing his large collection of Civil War and Native American finds, David loved life, joking around and loved to help and support everyone. He lived the way he wanted and loved it the entire way.

David will be missed by many, but none as much as his family. His legacy will live on in the lives of his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He was a caring man with the heart of gold and soul of a prospector. The joys of days spent panning for gold, treasure hunting and embracing natures many bounties will be shared for many generations. The world lost a “Mountain Man” but his family lost a Mountain of a Man.

David is survived by his three children, Angela Bryant (Daniel), of Charlotte Hall, MD, Matthew David Ingram of Chestertown, MD and Teresa Schaefer (Richard Wirtz) of Chestertown, MD; four (4) grandchildren, Matthew (Katja), Will (Lauren), Carolyn (Tyler) and Mason; and one great-grandchild, Kannen. David is also survived by two siblings, Mae Marquand of Portland, Oregon and Carroll Ingram (Peggy) of Little River, South Carolina and many nieces and nephews. Along with his parents, David was preceded in death by six siblings, Francis Ingram, Martin Ingram, Helen Orona, Brooks Ingram, Betty Crow, Leslie Ingram.

The family will be holding a Memorial Life Celebration for David on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at Lost River State Park, 321 Park Drive, Mathias, West Virginia 26812. Interment will be private.

Condolences to the family may be made at www.brinsfieldfuneral.com

Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home & Crematory, P.A., Charlotte, MD

2 Responses to David William Ingram, 80

  1. Chris on June 13, 2019 at 8:52 am

    That was a very nice obituary. RIP

  2. usernametaken on June 19, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    Beautiful obituary. Sounds like David was true to his heart & lived a wonderful life.