David J Marutiak

Birth Date: 
Aug 11, 1954
Date of death: 
May 14, 2001

“It’s important to know your immediate vicinity, but you should also not lose track of the universe around you.” – David J. Marutiak

On May 31, 2021, David J. Marutiak completed his last trip around the sun. The party ended way too soon, with Carolyne, relatives and close friends at his side. Dave was born Aug. 11, 1954, in Owosso, Mich., to Peter and Helen Stengle Marutiak. Uniquely talented, highly intelligent and charismatic, his exuberance for life was contagious. In the eighth grade he was invited to become a member of MENSA and graduated from Owasso High in 1973. He was awarded a National Merit Scholarship and attended Michigan State University where he earned both his BS and MS in Systems Science / Electrical Engineering.

After graduation Dave began his career in telecommunications and business management with Bell Labs in New Jersey where he was responsible for several patents and for 15 years was a Distinguished Member of Technological Staff. Since 1990 Dave was involved in wireless communications and worked with several notable companies. Although many in the tech realm will recall his innovative contributions and award-winning work on mobile phone software architecture and commerce, Dave said his colleagues at Microsoft would remember most his, “long hair, concert t-shirts, and dogs in the hall.” His knack for keen observations, combined with his easy-going nature enabled his global success in the tech world, as well as the wider universe.

Dave put the art in party. His presence filled the room at every gathering and all were drawn to his contagious laugh, sharp wit and warm embrace. He made friends, not just acquaintances, and not long after meeting he would introduce you as, “my good buddy.” Dave loved everyone, but none more than Carolyne. They met in 1988 in Woodside and were married in Berkeley in 1997. The couple traveled widely and together they made homes in Oakland, Seattle, Paris, London, and most recently, Alameda. Warm and gracious hosts, their door was always open and the guest room rarely vacant. Visitors were greeted enthusiastically by their two Brittany dogs. He was an avid supporter of local musicians; the legendary Leo parties hosted by Dave and Carolyne featured Bay area artists and were faithfully attended by a core group of dear friends.

No one filled out a Santa suit like Dave. But it was not just his physical resemblance that made his appearances at Christmas so popular. He thoroughly embodied the spirit of Santa and it was obvious he enjoyed playing the role as much as the crowd he was entertaining loved him. His boundless generosity, deep laugh, sharp wit and painful puns are fond memories for all. Dave worked as hard at spreading music and joy as he did in his career, and made lasting friendships wherever he went. Crogan’s in Montclair will be quieter and the pups and humans who frequent the Point Isabel and Alameda dog parks have lost a fine companion.

Preceded in death by his parents, Helen and Peter, he is survived by his wife, Carolyne Orazi of Alameda, brothers Peter (Gail), Mike (Gerda), Joe (Mieken), Mark, and Pat (Laura), his sister Teresa Marie, nieces Eileen, Katrina, Erica, nephews Peter Leroy and Kristian, great-nieces, Lizzie and Natalie, and great-nephew Kyle.

On his social media page, he posted this quote: “People will forget what you said or did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.” Dave made everyone he met feel accepted, valued and unconditionally loved. We are grateful he left us with so many memories of his generosity, kindness, and the reminder to celebrate and live each moment to the highest degree.

A celebration of Dave’s life is planned for a later date. Memorial Donations may be sent to the Alameda Food Bank.