obit template2018-11-29T12:10:12+00:00

David Boyd

David B. McChain was a caring and compassionate man who brought a smile and sense of humor to any situation. He was creative, talented, motivated and fearless – he had a deep commitment to family and a strong faith in God. With faith as his guide, David accomplished much in life and loved abundantly. He will be fondly remembered as a loving and dedicated husband, father, son, brother and friend to all who knew him.

In 1945, the world wasn’t a very safe place, as World War II showed little signs of abatement as more and more troops shipped out for the European continent. At the same time, thousands of women stood united and labored to keep domestic industries running full steam. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, life was much simpler for Gordon and Ruth (Stanelle) McChain, Sr. Already the proud parents of two sons, Gordon Jr. and James, on April 3, 1945, the couple delighted in welcoming their third son, David Boyd. He was later joined by his youngest brother, Russell, who completed the McChain household.

Along with his brothers, David spent his early childhood growing up in Milwaukee, but later moved north to the Random Lake area, where the family owned and operated a dairy farm. Their parents made sure the boys learned responsibility by pitching in with daily farm chores. By the time David was a teenager, he learned that in order for him to go out on Saturday night, he had to complete his work, and help with milking early the next morning. Because David’s father worked a full-time job at Kohler Company, his mother kept the farm running smoothly with the help of her boys.

David did not want to make a life out of farming, so after graduating from Kewaskum High School in 1963, he went on to attend the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee (UWM), where he earned a Business Administration Degree. David put his education to good use working for Arthur Anderson for a few years, then at Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. He traveled quite a lot for this job, and eventually left after 4 years to work at Armco Insurance Company for about 4 years, at that time the company was forced to close. After this, David worked at a few other places before his career path took a new direction. In addition to his work life David had a desire to help others, that led him to become a mentor and big brother as part of the Big Brother organization, where he touched many young lives.

In 1979, a wonderful thing happened to David – he met the love of his life, Betsy Schwanke. The two met at J.J.D.’s Pub, where they both stopped in for a drink and David started up a conversation with Betsy. It wasn’t long before love blossomed between the two and they were happily married on September 5, 1981, in Shorewood, Wisconsin, followed by a reception at the Bavarian Inn. It wasn’t until later that Betsy heard about a conversation that David and her father, Vilas Schwanke, had that really touched her heart. David wanted to pay for their wedding, though Mr. Schwanke would hear nothing of it – he was going to pay for Betsy’s wedding just like he did for his other daughters. Determinedly, David told him “I love your daughter, I really do!” to which he replied “So do I.” Whatever the outcome, Betsy truly felt loved.

After saying “I do,” David and Betsy settled into married life together in a home at 2028 North Cambridge Avenue on the east side of Milwaukee. This is when David began a new career investing in rental properties in the area, which built up to 70 rental units. This quickly became David’s full-time job, managing the properties and tenants; in conjunction with this work, he became a member of the Income Property Association.

After some time, David and Betsy started a family of their own with the birth of their daughter, Megan, on November 5, 1986, followed by their son, Andrew, on March 28, 1989. David was never too busy to spend time with his children, and he took an active role in every phase of their lives. He encouraged them in their every endeavor, sharing with them his creative and imaginative side. David was a huge John Denver fan and faithfully listened to his tape every morning while driving his kids to school; now these songs will forever be etched into their memories. David also took his role as a protective father seriously, especially when a new boy came around to date his daughter.

Time together as a family was always important to David and Betsy, and they took many fun-filled trips b to visit family. David enjoyed fequenting his favorite watering hole, Wolski’s Tavern. Over the years, David developed a great passion for the annual Milwaukee Irish Fest, the largest Irish Festival in North America. He looked forward to volunteering with it every year, and enjoyed every minute of it. As part of his community, David was an active member of the Eastside Neighborhood Association, and served on its Board. Church was also a very important part of David’s life, and he was a faithful member of the Summerfield United Methodist Church, where he attended Bible studies and services regularly.

David was a well-rounded guy on many topics, as he was an avid reader, particularly on current events, politics and the stock market. He liked to keep his life simple, with his family at the center and everything else just a little off to the side. You couldn’t help but laugh at one of his great jokes, even though the delivery was a little off.

In December 2009, David was diagnosed with cancer, which was found in his lung, brain, bones and liver. Although quite ill, David tried to maintain a normal life, and using a wheelchair was out of the question – it “was not cool.” In August 2010, he mustarded all his strength to volunteer for the last time at Irish Fest, bartending for two shifts. As his illness continued to progress and his health worsened, David was moved to Vitas Ruth Hospice, where he passed away on Wednesday, November 3, 2010, at the age of 65.

Although David will be deeply missed, he will be lovingly remembered for his generous spirit, his strength of mind, and his unconditional love for his family.

Devoted husband of Betsy (nee Schwanke). Proud father of Megan and Andrew McChain. Dear brother of the late Gordon Jr. (Ann) McChain, James (the late Gloria) McChain, and the late Russell McChain. Further survived by other relatives and friends.

Family and friends will gather on Saturday, November 6, at Summerfield United Methodist Church, 728 E. Juneau Avenue in Milwaukee from 1:00 p.m. until the time of the Life Celebration at 3:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Summerfield United Methodist, Church 728 E. Juneau Avenue, Milwaukee WI 53202, Stand Up to Cancer, 1801 W. Olympic Blvd., Pasadena CA 9199-1224, or Vitas Ruth Hospice, 8300 W. Beloit Rd., West Allis, WI 53219. Arrangements by Suminski Family Funeral Homes – Suminski / Weiss (414) 276-5122. Please visit David’s personal memory page at where you may share a memory with his family or sign his online guest book.

Past Comments

Beverly Schmid

Although I never met David, it felt like I “knew” him through Betsy. She shared many of the things that are in his Life Story and I came to like and appreciate him. Perhaps that occured because I have always admired, trusted and loved Betsy. I believe David was a precious person simply because he was a part of her life. Betsy, I believe you brought serenity, courage and wisdom to David just as you have to numerous others. Take care and please remember that you, and your children, are loved by many.

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