David Allen Autry, 77, of Amarillo passed away Tuesday, August 21, 2018.
A visitation will be 6:00-7:00, today, Friday, August 24, 2018 at the funeral home.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, August 25, 2018 at Trinity Fellowship North Campus, 503 E. Willow Creek Drive with Pastor Bo Williams as Officiant. Burial will follow at 4:00 p.m., in Fairview Cemetery in Pampa. Arrangements are by Schooler Funeral Home.
Dave was born December 16, 1940 in Harlingen, Texas to James Lewis and Leona Speck Autry. He married Linda Davis Walker on April 2, 1977 at Lake Meredith on the BlueWater # 3 Sailboat that he built, combining two families with love and six children.
Dave attended Amarillo High School and joined the United States Navy in 1958 serving until 1962 as an Aviation Electronics Technician, VA155 Attack Squadron aboard the Aircraft Carrier, USS Coral Sea CVA43. He completed three Far East Cruises after completing Electrical School in Norman, OK and Electronics School in Millington, TN. Dave was proud to have served his country and had many fond memories from those years.
Following the USN, Dave worked in Amarillo, Dallas, and Oklahoma City before returning to Amarillo in 1970 to work for his cousin, George “King” Autry at George Autry Printing. He then became a partner in Trafton and Autry Printing enjoying a long career in printing, print sales, ink sales, and publication. Dave founded Accent West Magazine with the first issue being published in January 1972. The successful magazine continues publication today.
Dave designed and manufactured sailboats in Amarillo, TX from 1976-1981 producing two models, the 14’ BlueWater Gaff Cat and the 24’ BlackWatch Sloop. These boats are still in use and treasured today as can be confirmed by Googling,” BlueWater Boat Works”, the company he founded in 1976. Economic issues and high interest rates forced Dave to forgo his love of boat building and return to printing in July 1981. During that time, he worked alongside his wife, Linda and was employed by his cousin, King Autry at King Autry Enterprises Inc., dba Swifty CommuniGraphics. Dave and Linda purchased the business in 1984 and enjoyed building the company together. Dave retired in 2006 to become a full-time golfer.
During his printing years, he became a co-owner of the Golden Light Café (established in 1946 and continues in operation today). Dave said the Golden Light was one of the most fun jobs he ever had; it was his “Night Job.”
Dave was an avid golfer, and enjoyed many years of the game and carried a single digit handicap for several years. He accomplished three holes-in-one on the Tascosa Country Club course. He joined TCC in 1989, served on the Board of Directors during the 1990’s and was currently a member of the club. He also served on the Ryan Palmer Foundation Board of Directors at its inception, continuing until his health began to fail. He was then honored by the foundation with the status of Honorary Board Member.
Dave was also an avid sailor and spent many years at Lake Meredith teaching family, friends, and the students enrolled in sailing classes with Amarillo College Continuing Education Program. He also taught the children in the Junior Sailing Program he began at Lake Meredith to love the sport as much as he did. He was honored as a Lifetime Member of the Amarillo Yacht Club.
He enjoyed chartering sailboats with friends and traveling to a number of Island locations including The Bahamas, The US Virgin Islands, The Leeward Islands including St. Martin, St. Barts, and the French Polynesian Islands of Raiatea, Taha’a, and Bora Bora in Tahiti. He also sailed the islands of Key West, FL and the Bahamas on the Trimaran he lovingly rebuilt in 1999 and docked in Miami, FL. This allowed many trips with family and friends over several years.
Dave was a member of the Palo Duro Masonic Lodge and The Khiva Shrine, serving in The Muleskinners and Duffers units. He received the degree of Life Member for his continuing efforts. Dave was also a past member of Southwest Ambucs.
He is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Jim Autry; sister, Patricia Wynn Caudle; brothers-in-law, Tom Wynn and Earl Caudle; sister-in-law, Linda Gail Davis; and son, Shane Walker.
Dave is survived by his wife, Linda; daughters, Carolyn “Cassie” Matoba and husband, Tim of Cameron Park, CA, and Elizabeth Anne Kerr and husband, Michael of Muncy, PA; sons, Cody Walker and wife, Cynthia of Amarillo, David T.Autry and wife, Hillary of Amarillo, and Brian Autry and wife, Kristal of West Jordan, UT; brother-in-law, Joe Gary Davis; grandchildren, Kyle Matoba and wife, Trung, Karina Myers and husband, Michael, Ashley Henderson, Sawyer Henderson, Halston Kerr, Sterling Kerr, David M. Autry, Taylor Autry, Connor Autry, Sam Autry, Dillon Walker, Taylor Bingham and husband, Bryan, Krissanne Freeman, and Kiersten Freeman; and one great-grandson, Edward Ichiro Matoba of London, England.
The family suggest memorials be made to The Alzheimer’s Association, 1400 Wallace Blvd., Amarillo, TX 79106 or a charity of choice.