David G. Compton

David G. Compton, 84, of rural Elburn, passed away peacefully at his home, late Saturday evening, Nov. 7, 2009.

Having battled aggressive congestive heart failure for many months, he claimed at last his heavenly home and a reunion there with his beloved daughter, Rebekah.

He was born Nov. 20, 1924, in Chicago, the son of Gove and Martha Mott Compton. He spent his early years in Chicago until 1934, when the family moved to a farm two miles west of Wayne on Dunham Road. Then, in January of 1937, they moved to the present family farm on Pouley Road. Dave attended some country schools in Wayne and St. Charles and later Riverside Military School in Gainesville, Ga.

World War II interrupted his education when he joined the Marine Corps. Shipping out to Iwo Jima, his convoy stopped in the Hawaiian islands, where it dropped off about 100 men, including Dave, at Pearl Harbor. Dave was among the few in his unit who returned.

After the war, Dave came back to the farm in 1946 and graduated from Elburn High School. Unlike many students, Dave was a lifelong learner, and a significant part of his education soon followed when he went to work on farms in Australia and New Zealand in 1950.

Throughout the rest of his life, David would take opportunities to travel whenever he could. Whether he traveled across the country to the mountains and the oceans or simply took a local train ride, David was a keen observer of the landscape, one who loved and appreciated people (Dave could make friends with a fence post), history and the fingerprint of God’s hand in every life.

He came back to the family farm, inspired to apply some of the unique farming methods he had learned. In the process, he discovered that Sally Bangs, daughter of long time family friends, would be the perfect “farm-wife,” someone who could be married to the “man and the land” and love them both. So it was that Dave and Sally were wed on Aug. 16, 1952, in Geneva, in the back yard of Sally’s uncle.

They moved into Dave’s one-room house on Pouley Road, where they lived for a year before moving to the present family farm on the Compton homestead. True to form, the two were inseparable from each other or from the farm.

An area leader in soil conservation, Dave began strip farming long before others and strove to leave every field better than he found it. He and Sally worked hard and raised their children to follow in that ethic. “Leave it on the track” David would say; his admonishment to always give your all.

Speaking of his life and passion, David said: “I have farmed this land as religiously and as faithfully as I could; trying as best I could, for no soil or water or nutrients to leave the land, irregardless of my financial bottom line. To me this has been my whole life.”

Though the farm was his life, David shared that life with his community in a number of ways. Many people knew David as the quiet Good Samaritan who helped them in their hour of need. He was also a long time member of the Community Congregational Church of Elburn, where he served for many years as chairman of the Memorial Committee, the Music Committee, the Board of Deacons, sang in the choir, worked long hours in the Elburn Days food tent and single-handedly kept the church’s recycling program active and functioning.

He was also a member of the Kane County Farm Bureau, Kane-DuPage Soil Conservation Board and a former Blackberry Township Trustee.

He is survived by his wife, Sally of Elburn; three children, David Mark ( Patty ) Compton of Oneida, Ill., Katharine “Kit” Compton of Batavia, Robin Urich of Elburn; five grandchildren, Krista (Greg) Peck of Galva, Ill., Kelly Compton of Oneida, Ill., Craig David Compton of Oneida, Ill., Amber and Rachel Urich, both of Elburn; former son-in-law and dear friend, Daniel Otto of Elburn; as well as several nieces and nephews.

David is preceded in death by his parents, Gove and Martha Compton; his daughter, Rebekah “Becky” Otto (1986); one son in infancy, Timothy Compton; two nephews, David and John Bates; and their parents, Linda and Samauel Bates.

A memorial open house will be held Saturday, Nov. 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. Following cremation, David will be laid to rest on the family farm with generations of loved ones gone before him.

A memorial has been established to perpetuate his memory and the Elburn Town and Country Public Library, where David constantly sought answers for his searching mind. Checks may be made to the David Compton Memorial and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL. 60119.