Altizer, David Gene

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David Gene Altizer died unexpectedly at his home on May 20, 2018, at the age of 83, leaving behind his wife of 62 years, Martha. He is also survived by two children, Anna Leigh Altizer and David Bryan Altizer (Donna), grandsons Matt and Jon Altizer and their families including four great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Arthur Blane Altizer, and his cousin, Randy Flinchum, and their families.

Gene was born December 2, 1934, in Warriormine, WV, the son of Arthur Brian and Virginia Whittaker Altizer. He was raised by relatives, Rebeca Altizer, grandmother, and Aunt Stella and John Flinchum. Gene attended grade, junior and high school in War, WV, graduating from Big Creek High in June of 1952.

Two weeks after graduation, Gene enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He received basic training at Sampson AFB near Syracuse, NY. He then received advanced training in Wichita Falls, TX, to be an aircraft and engine mechanic. He was also trained to be a B-26 flight mechanic (flight engineer and gun loader) and was supposed to receive flight training at Langley AFB, VA but was red-lined and sent to California to be shipped to Seoul, Korea without that training. The Korean War ended while he was at sea en route to Seoul and he was diverted to Yokohama, Japan, ultimately being stationed at Yokota AFB. Gene was assigned to work on B-29 aircraft; first on bombers and then on tankers. He became a crew chief and was promoted to S/Sgt before returning to Tyndall AFB in Panama City, FL. Gene was discharged from the Air Force on June 15, 1956.

Gene met his future bride, Martha Carolyn Tate, while stationed at Tyndall and they married on June 16, 1956.

He attended Marshall College for 4 years and received a Bachelor Degree in Engineering in 1961 from Marshall University. He worked at Celanese Fibers Company in Narrows, VA, for 31 years and retired in 1992 as a Senior Project Engineer.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, May 24th, 2018 at 11 AM in the Chapel of Riffe’s Funeral Service in Narrows. Burial will follow in Fairview Cemetery.

The family is being served by Riffe’s Funeral Service in Narrows, (540) 726-2442, and online at