American Veteran 04

David Pino

June 5, 1940 ~ October 13, 2020 (age 80)


After a three-month battle with cancer, David William “Dave” Pino passed through the veil at 9:49 a.m. on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at his home in Vernal. He was 80.

Dave was born Saturday, May 4, 1940 in La Veta, Colorado to John Ernest Pino and Bonnie Marie Belo. He was raised in Murray, residing in the family home at 345 West Winchester Street (6400 South). He fondly recalled climbing the Murray Smokestacks while in high school. Dave graduated from Murray High School, Class of 1958. He furthered his education at LDS Business College (now Ensign College), graduating in 1974 with a degree in business management. Dave was a truck driver for many years and worked as a global transportation manager.

As a young lad, Dave was involved in the Civil Air Patrol, the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force. Dave was a veteran of the United States Army, having joined at age seventeen. He completed basic training at Fort Ord, California and Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, where he graduated from radio school as Intermediate Speed Radio Operator.

Dave later returned to Utah and was an administrative supply technician at the Murray Armory. He eventually went to South Korea during the early days of the Vietnam War and was honorably discharged following an accidental shooting that left him with shrapnel in his back for the remainder of his life. The perpetrator fondly remembers being disappointed at having “missed him by this much.” Dave was a member of the American Legion.

Dave was a natural salesman and always had such a way with people. With the charm of a young Donald Trump, Dave had a truly breathtaking way of weaving tales of mystery and high drama. From the latest Walmart/Costco/Sam’s Club trip to the most recent Wendover adventure, he always had a fun yarn to spin.

Dave had an unforgettable personality and dominated a room like no one else. When he was there, you knew it. He especially loved spending time with Shirley and being very involved in her life. Dave often blamed his Joe Pesci-ness on his Italian (“eye-talian,” as he used to say) ancestry. As it was later revealed through a DNA test, Dave is of mostly Cherokee descent. He took it all in stride, though.

Dave absolutely lived for Shirley’s cooking (as do we all — she is a gifted chef in the vein of Julia Child). In addition, he was an exotic dining enthusiast. His favorite restaurants included Subway, Olive Garden, Chuck-A-Rama, Golden Corral, and Chinese Gourmet.

Dave had a fascinating way with the English language and was blessed with the gift of gab, which left us all spellbound with equal parts wonder and befuddlement. He also loved writing poetry. In recent years, we were privileged to hear some of his poetry, which he showcased in a surprise performance at the funeral of his step-son, Marc. We can only imagine the reunion Dave and Marc are currently having.

Dave enjoyed the simple pleasures of life, like bowling, gambling, traveling, yard work, decorating for holidays, and especially shopping — in the days following his passing, Walmart and Amazon stock experienced considerable drops; our thoughts and prayers go out to them. He could regularly be found at estate sales and yard sales throughout the state. Dave was an ardent admirer of animals and loved spending time with his Shih Tzu, Midget — lovingly nicknamed “Midge.”

He married Barbara Jean Schulz on May 8, 1957 somewhere in Salt Lake County. Later divorced. He married Jean Young on October 19, 1963 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Later divorced. He married Caroline Lacox on February 27, 1977 in Elko, Nevada. Later divorced. He married Marlene Williamson Buist on October 12, 1978 in Elko. Later divorced. He married Lila Skinner Merkley on July 23, 1985 in Elko. Later divorced. He married Shirley Danielsen Curtis on September 13, 2002 in Murray. Dave recently said that 13 has been his lucky number ever since the day of his marriage to Shirley.

Throughout his life, Dave lived in a number of places, including Murray; Draper; Midvale; Vernal; Orem; Santaquin; San Gabriel, California; Glendale, California; the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles, California; and La Crescenta, California.

He is survived by the “love of his life,” Shirley Curtis Pino; children, Becky (Don) Mason of Sandy; Tony Pino of West Jordan; Darla Young (Michael Whitlach) of Taylorsville; Dale Curtis of Salt Lake City; Dave Curtis of West Jordan; Robert (Terri) Curtis of Tooele; Pam (David) Coonradt of Vernal; and Kim (D.J.) Shelton of Moncure, North Carolina; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; siblings, James E. (Debra) Pino of Riverton; John C. (Carol) Pino of Midvale; Kenneth L. Pino of Hayward, California; and Bonnie (Roy) Wilson of Cedar City; and a multitude of friends, nieces, and nephews, all of whom were very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very saddened to hear of his passing. He was preceded in death by his parents; son, David William Pino, Jr.; and step-son, Marc Douglas Curtis.

In accordance with his wishes, Dave was cremated. There will be no services and he‘ll be enniched in the columbarium at Utah Veterans Memorial Park, 17111 South Redwood Road (1700 West), Bluffdale.

In lieu of flowers, please register to vote and participate in your local elections. Dave had such strong opinions on the subject of voting, and we feel it would be a great tribute that would truly honor his legacy. Online condolences may be shared at

Rest easy, Dave.

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