David Jay Mortensen, 78, of Alden, MI, died on March 27, 2023 from sudden complications of undetected long Covid. Having fallen victim for the past several years to vascular dementia, those observing found comfort knowing he was well cared for under the gentle hands of his brother, Garth.
Born Sept. 6, 1944 in Mt. Pleasant, MI, first son of Jack and Margaret Mortensen, where he grew up and met lifetime buddies Richard “Sonny” Helber, Walter “Wally” Link, and James “Jim” Fortino. David attended Mt. Pleasant Kinney Elementary and High School. At 5' 6" Morty, known by most, was quite an athlete, from amazing football tackles, a varsity Oilers buzzer winning basketball shot from half-court, to the thrill of minor league baseball tryouts.
After attending CMU, with encouragement from his accounting professor, David decided to pursue his passion for numbers as a bookkeeper, although not before honorably serving in the National Guard that started with his Boy Scout pride. He shared in the success of Reef Petroleum Corporation as their operation grew, moved from Mt. Pleasant to Traverse City in the early seventies, and became affectionately known as, Bookie.
David loved to have fun and shared with others, from water skiing, downhill skiing, SCUBA diving, dancing, card playing, motor cycling, fishing, duck hunting, boating on beautiful Torch Lake, to especially hunting with lifetime friends at their Redding Lodge deer camp where hunting was secondary only to feasting on Fortino’s famous gourmet meals. Christmas was his favorite holiday, with the Lionel train setup under the tree and added merriment when his bearded face grew whiter and nose sported his wire-rimmed glasses, David was suited to be Jolly Old St. Nick.
David is survived by former partner and wife of 24 years, Zaidee Anderson of Sacramento, CA; siblings, Gayle McBride (Bill Gillingham) of Lodi, CA, Diane Mortensen (John Peterson) of Alden, MI, Garth (Sheron Smedley) Mortensen of Kewadin, MI, and Janet (David) Mortensen-Chown of Williamsburg, MI; niblings, Jill Graham, Dawson Mortensen-Chown, and Kaysen Mortensen-Chown; great-niblings, Drew (Chantell) Graham and Alyssa Graham (Joe Erman); great-grand-niblings, Callen Erman, Emery Graham, and Sloan Graham; stepdaughter, Cari Anderson; step-grandchild, Zaidee Anderson Linch; step-niblings, Jennifer Lewis, Chris Lewis, and Wendy Montalvo; step-grand-niblings, Chance Lewis, Rosita, Thalia, and Felix Montalvo; lifelong friends, Walter Link and James Fortino.
Parents, Jack and Margaret (Cheney) Mortensen; brother, Bruce Eric Mortensen, at age five; aunts, Sylva Gilmore, Eileen Monahan, and Virginia Mullet; uncles, Bruce Mortensen and Jack Cheney; nephew-in-law, Kevin Graham; lifelong friends, Richard Helber and James Wentworth preceded him in death.
A celebration of his life will be announced and held early this fall.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Grass River Natural Area (GRNA), P.O. Box 231, Bellaire, MI 49615.
Arrangements have been handled by the Central Lake Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Please sign his online guestbook www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com.