David A. Masartis

of Wood, South Dakota, died on Monday, March 5, 2018
at his home in Wood at the age of 68

​David Masartis was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on April 25, 1949. He attended Pittsburgh Public Schools, graduating in 1967. He was to serve as the Best Man at the wedding of his brother, when he was drafted into the Army the week before the wedding. Serving during the Vietnam Conflict, he finished his enlistment at Ft. Hood, TX, where he was part of the Armored Division.

​Home from the service, he worked in the steel mills of Pittsburgh and Butler, PA. David married the sister of his brother’s wife – two brothers, married to two sisters. David had 3 children, where all continued to live in Pennsylvania. Following a divorce, he moved to Benton, Wisconsin, to be near his brother, his sister-in-law, and his former step-mother-in-law with whom he still had a close relationship. When his brother was asked to become the director of a relief agency in South Dakota, the four of them finally moved onto the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, where they worked together until 2015. At Tree of Life Relief Agency, David’s skills were put to good use; he was an electrician and assisted in making emergency repairs to homes of impoverished families, and he had a Commercial Driver’s License that he used to transport donations from across the United States. David was a volunteer there, and because of his dedication to the mission and the help of other agencies, Tree of Life was able to distribute 1,500,00 pounds of groceries every year from their food pantry. Many of the residents of the reservation came to know and love him for his work, especially the children who quietly came to him and stood shyly beside him hoping that he would notice them and give him a treat from his seemingly endless pocket of candy and gum. To many he was Uncle David. Such was the respect given him, that David was adopted by one of the Lakota families. His new brother was a medicine man, and David was able to bring hundreds of volunteers to some of the Lakota Spiritual ceremonies.

​David retired in 2015 and moved to Wood, SD, where he was content to be the caretaker of an acre of land, and watch over a flock of chickens. Neighbors would usually find him on his riding mower, or sitting on the porch with chickens sitting in his lap or on his shoulders.

​David is survived by his son, Christopher; two daughters, Chelsea and Nichole; 5 grandchildren who reside in Pennsylvania; and by his brother and sister-in-law, Russell and Donna. David also has 6 nieces and 1 nephew, 2 grand-nieces and 4 grand-nephews, and many other family and friends, including those of his adopted family among the Sicangu Lakota.

​He will be interred at the Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, at 11am on Thursday, March 8, 2018. The service will be led by his brother, the Rev. Russell Masartis of the Wall, SD, United Methodist Church.

Cards and memorials may be sent to P.O. Box 167, Wall, SD 57790.

Service Details

Black Hills National Cemetery
Sturgis, South Dakota

Pastor Russell Masartis

All Relatives and Friends in Attendance

Black Hills National Cemetery
Sturgis, South Dakota

Guest Book

I offer my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of David Masartis, I know that I don't know you, what you are feeling or what you are going through, but I would like to share with you what brings me comfort in hopes that you will find comfort as well. That comfort comes from Jehovah Gods word the Bible, it gives us a wonderful hope for the future to help us cope with the present, overcome the past, and give us something to strive for so we can walk with determination toward the future. There are countless scriptures in the bible that bring us comfort but this one stood out to me. Revelation 21:3, 4 says “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. 4  And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” Jehovah God himself promises that one day in the future he will bring back our loved ones to a life of perfect health and happiness on a paradise earth. Where the stinging pain of death will never reach us and we will only feel the joy of everlasting life.
   ~ Grace Stevenson Oregon (3/8/2018)
My condolences to the family.
   ~ Debbie Bryan Wall SD (3/6/2018)