David Norwood Verdery
David (Dave) Verdery, beloved husband, father, father-in-law, son-in-law, g-dad, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, great uncle, and dear friend, passed from this life on the evening of September 15, 2021. Dave was born in Waco, Texas. He was the first of three children born to David Paul and Ruthe McCawley Verdery.
Dave attended Waco public schools and graduated from Waco High School in 1961. Following graduation, he attended Baylor University, first focusing on becoming a minister. While at college he had the opportunity to sit in for a friend as an announcer for local radio station KEFC in Waco. This marked the beginning of an incredible 35-year career in radio that took him to New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. He was honored by The Gavin Report as Adult Contemporary Music Director of the Year for 1992 and 1993 for his work at KBIG in Los Angeles. One of his proudest achievements was the creation of Disco Saturday Night. This weekly program of classic disco hits that he mixed together himself, helped KBIG reach #1 in that time slot. Disco Saturday Night is still running in syndication on other radio stations today.
Dave was married to Randy Lee Mahan from 1968 to 1970 and they had a son, David Roderick (Rod) Verdery Tomlinson. Rod, and his wife, Karen, have four children, Lucas, Alexis, Elijah, and Hanna, lovingly known as the g-kids. Dave was known to them affectionately as g-dad
Upon retirement in 1997, Dave returned to Waco to help care for his mother and to discover what life’s next chapter would hold. In those next few years, he became involved with the local PBS station, KWBU, as an announcer and host for their televised fundraisers, he sat in periodically as a guest deejay for a local radio station, The Spot, and began performing in Waco and Temple Civic Theatre productions. Dave was a wonderfully gifted actor who had the opportunity to take part in numerous musicals and plays. He also went on to try his hand at directing, finding it incredibly fulfilling. Perhaps his most treasured role was that of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof.
In 2000 Dave met Curtis Cannon. They publicly affirmed their love and commitment for each other with a blessing in 2000, a holy union service in 2001, and, at long last, a legal marriage when that right was finally afforded to them in California in 2008. The couple reaffirmed their marriage vows in 2015 in Waco, Texas in celebration of the passage of national marriage equality.
Dave was formally diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in January of 2007. Although this was a huge shock, he focused on learning all he could about Parkinson’s. He joined a local Parkinson’s support group in Waco (HOT PACs) and focused his time, energy, and passion on conducting weekly exercise classes (for which he mixed special thematic music), served on their board, and helped to plan informative programs and Parkinson’s symposiums.
In 2016 Dave and Curtis decided to relocate to Southern California where they would be closer to family. Curtis left work so that he could be available as Dave’s full-time caregiver. Upon arriving in the Coachella Valley, Dave and Curtis became acquainted with Parkinson’s Resource Organization (PRO) and its many support groups, services, and programs. Dave enjoyed sharing in Round Table meetings about products that he had discovered that were helpful to him in his day-to-day living with Parkinson’s. He also enjoyed writing poems for the PRO monthly newsletter that were a window into his experience with Parkinson’s.
Dave is survived by his son David “Rod” Verdery Tomlinson (wife Karen) and their daughters Alexis and Hanna and sons Lucas and Elijah; sister Gini Verdery Bortz (husband Garry); brother Richard Verdery (wife Beverly); nephew Ryan Bortz; nephew Brennon Bortz (wife Whitney) and their daughters Aisling and Kella and son Cavan; nephew Scott Verdery (wife Traci) and their daughters Ella and Emerson; niece Suzanne Dell (husband Nick) and their sons Jacob and Jonathan; niece Laura Edmonds (husband James) and their son Harlan and daughter Samantha Ruthe; mother-in-law Joyce Montgomery Cannon; brother and sister-in-law Chris and Laura Cannon; niece Kari Stickney (partner Brian) and Kari’s son Jason; nephew Jason Stickney (wife Brit) and their son Bennett and daughter Linden; Aunt Ruth Cannon; former wife Randy Tomlinson (husband Richard); his husband Curtis Cannon, and so, so many dear friends
It's hard to conceive that this bright wonderful light is no longer with us. May his many loving contributions, and all the sweet, treasured memories console the many of us who grieve his passing.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Parkinsonsresource.org/Verdery would be a wonderful honoring David’s memory
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Remembering David Norwood Verdery
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