David R. Pierce
Dave, 75, died from complications of pancreatic cancer June 1, 2019. Dave attended Johnson Elementary, Arthur Elementary and Franklin Jr. High in Cedar Rapids. Dave graduated from Washington High School in 1962 and then moved to Missoula, Mont., to attend the University of Montana.
Dave was a smokejumper in Oregon from 1965 to 1966 and a Missoula smokejumper from 1967 to 1968. In 1970, Dave worked as a skydiving instructor, jump pilot and master parachute rigger for Parachutes Inc. of Orange, Mass. Dave was a BLM Alaska smokejumper from 1971 to 1980. From 1980 until his retirement in 1998, Dave worked in the National Smokejumper Technical Position at the U.S. Forest Service's Missoula Technology & Development Center. While at MTDC, Dave oversaw a project that developed an array of smokejumping equipment and procedures. In 1991, Dave received the Forest Service "Chief's Award" for transfer of new technology to the smokejumping program in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Dave retired from the Forest Service in 1998. During retirement, Dave enjoyed biking, hiking and wildlife photography in Montana.