Dave Wilga, loving husband, retired Coast Guard Avionics Navigator, and Information Technologist, died unexpectedly on April 14, 2018 at the age of 57 in Anchorage.
Dave is survived by his wife, Cheryl Wilga (née Denesha); his mother, Audrey Wilga; his sister Deb Rusenko; his godson Xander Rusenko; his mother- and father-in-law Alice and Jerry Denesha; and many Denesha family members including Marie, Shelly, Dan, and their children. He is predeceased by his father, Anthony Wilga.
Dave was born in Hadley MA on Oct. 4, 1960. He joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1979. Before posting to Alaska, on August 3, 1980, he married Cheryl, his high school sweetheart. Dave worked for 20 years in helicopter Search-and-Rescue and computer technology at Air Station Kodiak Alaska, Air Station Clearwater Florida, and Coast Guard Headquarters. He received numerous medals and awards, including the National Defense Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the U.S.C.G. Rifleman Medal, and two U.S.C.G. Commendation Medals, as well as two U.S.C.G. Commendations, four U.S.C.G. Unit Commendations, as well as U.S.C.G. Pistol Marksman. After retiring from the U.S.C.G., he was the VP of Information Technology at the Providence RI Airport for 17 years. He and his wife returned to Alaska in 2016 where he became Director of IT at Chugachmiut Corp. and then Alaska Pacific University.
Dave was a gifted builder and fixer of all things. He enjoyed traveling, cooking, telling jokes, and spending time with friends, and leaves Tim, Linda, Graham, Emily, Ken, Terry, and many new friends in Eagle River. He was also a problem-solver who enjoyed taking on complicated and challenging projects with good humor for work, home, and friends. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all who knew him.
A military service with full honors is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Friday April 20th at Fort Richardson National Cemetery on JBER (processional vehicle line starts moving promptly at 12:45, no passes are needed for processional participants). A Celebration of Life at the Eagle River Alehouse starts at 2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to ANSEP for computer science majors would be greatly appreciated.