David Owen Erwin

David Owen Erwin


David Owen Erwin, 74, of Brashear, Missouri, passed away peacefully April 7, 2022, in the home where he raised a family and on the farm he loved so much. In his final days, he was surrounded by his family and supported by loved ones near and far.

David was born May 14, 1947, to Virgil Lyle Erwin and Helen (Spurgeon) Erwin, at his grandparents’ home in rural Brashear. He attended Hazel Green School, where he was known to ride his horse to school. He graduated from Brashear High School in 1965, where he participated in baseball, basketball and track. He earned a teaching degree from Northeast Missouri State University in 1969, and he taught business and coached basketball one year in Wyaconda, Missouri, before being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1970. He was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Polk, Louisiana; and Fort Bliss, Texas, where he was trained as a “Redeye Gunner.” His job was to be miles ahead of the front in Vietnam and shoot down enemy planes. A chance encounter with an Army colonel sent him to Germany instead, where his business skills were put to use in an administrative role in the 1st Battalion, 51st Infantry, 1st Armored Division "Old Ironsides." He completed his service in 1972.

David taught business and coached girls basketball at Knox County High School from 1972–1975. He went on to earn a master's degree from NMSU in 1976, and he taught business at Clark County High School in Kahoka, Missouri, from 1976-1977. From 1977-1980, he served as the NMSU Business Office Head Cashier. David later transitioned to a fifteen-year banking career, working at First National Bank and later Kirksville Savings & Loan. In 1998, David ran for Adair County Collector, a role in which he served for 16 years, retiring in 2015. He served as the president of the Missouri County Collectors’ Association from 2009-2010, and he was a member of the Kirksville Noon Rotary Club, serving as president from 2001-2002. He was active in farming throughout his life, having been born into a family with deep ties to the region and respect for the land. He enjoyed raising cattle and was known for being a good hand with a horse.

On Nov. 22, 2011, David received a life-saving lung transplant in Madison, Wisconsin, following a struggle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The selfless gift of life from Joel Marsh gave David an additional decade with his family, and they are forever grateful to the Marsh Family for their love and support.
David spent his life serving his family, his country and his community, a legacy his family is proud to continue.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Kathy (Chandler) Erwin, who supported his life and career with grace, good humor, plenty of grit and a greatness of love.

He is also survived by his four daughters, one son and 12 grandchildren: Suzanne and Michael Elmore of Kirksville (Mason, Maren and Mabry); Stephanie and Michael Jones of Kirksville (Shane and Shafer); Mandy and Travis Gray of Brashear (Kennedy and Gage); Ashlee Erwin and Jeff Neu of St. Louis (Jake and Tory); and Zachary and Jessica Erwin of Brashear (Audrey, Adrienne and Cash David).
Also surviving are his brothers, Larry Erwin of Kirksville, Don Erwin (Brenda) of Kirksville and Bob Erwin of Colorado; sisters Sharon Erwin Fehr and Joyce Erwin McVay (Gerald) of Kirksville; sister-in-law, Barb Erwin of Brashear, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Leroy Erwin; and stillborn grandchildren Nathan, Haley, Miles, Meredith and Matthew Elmore.

Public visitation will be held Sunday, April 10, from 5-7 p.m. in the chapel of Travis-Noe Funeral Home in Kirksville. Funeral services will be held Monday, April 11, at 10 a.m. with Mike Allen presiding.

Pallbearers will be Michael Elmore, Michael Jones, Travis Gray, Jeff Neu, Mason Elmore, Shane Jones and Gage Gray with honorary pallbearers Gary Clark, Mike Allen, Charles Ambrosia, Randy James, Kelley Church, Michael James, Larry Erwin, Don Erwin, Bob Erwin, Gary Chandler, and Steve Chandler.
Burial with full military honors will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Adair, Missouri.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Mary’s Cemetery, Hospice of Northeast Missouri, or Donate Life Missouri (checks payable to Missouri Organ Donor-MDHSS). Donations may be left at or mailed to Travis-Noe Funeral Home, P.O. Box 306, Kirksville, MO 63501.

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