David Allan Barkley
Last week, longtime Lake Tahoe resident and international businessman David Allan Barkley died tragically in a bicycling accident.
Born in 1940 in Los Angeles, David moved to South Lake Tahoe with his family in 1946. He attended local schools and graduated from South Tahoe High School in 1958, in one of the first graduating classes in Tahoe. After spending three years at the University of Nevada, Reno, David transferred and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in business from San Jose State University in 1965.
Upon graduation from college, David moved to San Francisco to take a job at the advertising firm of Foote, Cone and Belding. In 1965, David moved back to South Lake Tahoe to help manage the family business where he worked as vice-president and manager of The Barkley Meat Company from 1967 until 1988.
David Barkley and Ann Merrill married in 1965 and they had two children, Matthew David in 1970 and Sarah Ann Barkley in 1972.
David took flying lessons in 1974 and developed a lifelong passion for aviation, which included earning his private pilot’s license, a multi-engine rating, a commercial license, seaplane rating, along with an instrument rating. He had accrued more than 5,000 hours of flight time and was working on the transition from piston engine to jet engine rating at the time of his death.
David and Ann’s marriage ended in 1977 and was followed by a brief marriage to Robin Hartz Rose. In 1984, while completing scuba diving certification in Lake Tahoe, David met his current wife, Kitt. Also in that year, David and two longtime friends flew a single engine plane around the world. Sharing his love for adventure, Kitt joined him on a Pacific crossing in 1986. David and Kitt lived for four months in Queenstown, New Zealand, where David began cultivating business connections, establishing Pilot Trading Company in 1986. Now known as Pilot Brands, the company is a leading importer of premium meats and seafood products from New Zealand and Australia. Pilot Brands currently operates from the Zephyr Cove office, where they manage a nationwide distribution network of more than 10 domestic and international sales offices, plants and storage facilities. Combining business with adventure, David would ultimately ferry five planes across the Pacific to various locations in the southern hemisphere.
In addition to flying, David enjoyed world travel and was a passionate athlete. He was a lifelong skier (representing his high school team in ski jumping,) a hang glider, runner, tennis player, golfer, and bike-riding enthusiast. He rode mountain bikes and road bikes and traveled to France last year to follow Lance Armstong’s record victory at the Tour de France.
It was while riding his bike along a rural highway near his second home in Bigfork, Mont., that David was struck by a car and killed instantly on May 15. David was an amazing man, having accomplished much in his lifetime.
He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
David leaves behind his loving wife, Kitt Barkley; son, Matthew; daughter-in-law, Lucia Thoenig; 7-week-old grandson, Gavin; daughter, Sarah; son-in-law, Vince Porter; 6-week-old grandson, Rowan; sisters, Susan Barkley Van Hoosan and Kim Barkley Wilbanks; brother, Fenn (Buck) Barkley Jr., along with their spouses, Bill Van Hoosan, Sam Wilbanks and Libby Barkley as well as several nieces, nephews and devoted friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Fenn and Ruth Barkley.
Memorial services will be held Wednesday at 1 p.m. at Edgewood Tahoe. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lake Tahoe Community College Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Public Broadcasting System or a charity of your choice honoring David’s memory.
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Over the weekend and Monday 58 new coronavirus cases were reported in El Dorado County.