Vale David Demoor

Early life

David was born in the Bronx in New York in 1940 to two wonderful parents.

His mother was from Hungary and she met her Dutch merchant marine and created a wonderful life in the US. They were married for 10 years before they had David, as they didn't want start a family during the depression.

They left New York for California when David was four. He grew up in Los Angeles in a wonderful family with a mother who spoiled him rotten (this required re-education when he got married).

As a family they did lots of adventurous travelling, often to Mexico. For one big holiday, his father put all his change into a big jar so David and Janie could split it for travel spending money. However, just before they were leaving, his father was told that his holiday leave had been cancelled.

David's father said he would have to quit, as his family was more important than a job.

They had a great holiday, and he was given his job back on return.

The principle of ‘family first’ was one that David kept his whole life.

David attended North Hollywood High School with a number of movie stars and children of movie stars. From a young age, he was very focused and set himself many goals, and he was good at achieving them. He had paper routes through school and worked in shops. He saved and bought a red and white ‘54 Ford convertible with tuck and roll upholstery which he loved, and in university he exchanged it for a little yellow TR3.

While he was in high school he did university subjects. He then attended University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) where his favourite geography professor was Dr Henry Bruman, the man who had written many of the geography textbooks. Together they decided that David would work towards a doctorate in geography by researching in the Amazon. After studying German so he could read older research, and adding Portuguese to his Spanish so he could continue reading in Brazil and talking with the people, he spent one year in the Amazon. His thesis was cut short due to a calling by the US Army, but he completed his thesis, Japanese Colonization and Immigration in the Amazon Basin, Brazil, as a masters degree in 1964.

He went off to officer's training school and spent two years in England before re-enlisting for one year in Vietnam, where he became a captain in Headquarters, Transportation. He received many commendations, and David was proud of his Bronze Star.

On returning to his neighbourhood, he was welcomed home with big signs, but the university students were in full protest mode. He decided not to continue in the academia world but to complete a teaching qualification and teach high school instead.

He did his training at San Jose State University, and while finishing up he heard from a fellow student that Australia was recruiting teachers. He had a soft spot for all the Aussie soldiers he met in Vietnam, and Australia was a place he wanted to visit. He applied, was interviewed, and offered the job on the same day. After completing a week's orientation in Sydney, he arrived in Yass.


In 1971, David arrived in Australia by ship with his green TR6 full of stereo gear. Yass was his home for 41 years and he loved the people and his town. Many people will remember this long-haired man with a strange accent riding his old army Harley Davidson.

He taught at Yass High School for 26 years and looked forward to every day. He enjoyed his students and frequently had students and ex-students stopping by to chat or for advice (frequently on property buying).

He taught a variety of subjects including geography, economics, business studies, Asian and Pacific studies.

As a part of his Asian studies he organised the first overseas trip for Yass High students.

After many months of fundraising (all that sheep manure!), about 20 students and 10 staff enjoyed a study tour in Bali: planting rice paddies, learning about dance and music, getting stuck in the mountains in a thunder storm, and much more.

There were two more overseas trips, one to New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) and New Caledonia with his Pacific Studies students, and another to Bali with Asian Studies students. His students loved him.

On an outback camping trip in August-September 1973, David met Sue and they married in December of the same year. It was after much discussion and thought that they decided to have children, and they both said that this was the best decision they ever made. They raised two wonderful children, Peter and Rebecca. David enjoyed his children very much and was so proud of them. Rebecca gave birth to his first grandchild, Indiana Marie in July 2011, and Paula (Peter's wife) gave birth to his first grandson, Hayden Arnold, six weeks later in August. Rebecca and her husband Jono had a son, Eli David, while David was in hospital and Ewan is his special step grandson. These children have brought so much joy to David and Sue.

From early marriage, David and Sue worked hard to build up security for old age by buying rental homes and doing them up. He retired gradually, moving from teaching into real estate as his interest grew and created a part-time business. His Demoor Real Estate flourished and soon became a full-time job, so he stopped selling and specialised in rental management. This again became too large so he ended up in the strata world. Rebecca has continued with this area and she and David have enjoyed much time working and learning together.

David represented Yass on the municipal and shire councils for 14 years, where his pet project was bringing the TAFE College to Yass. He was on the Argyle College committee (covering Goulburn, Yass and more), which met in Goulburn for a number of years.

David was proud to chair the first annual presentation of prizes and certificates in 1984 in the new TAFE college building.

As a councillor, he was instrumental in bringing the indoor sports stadium to the showground.

David was also involved in the Uniting Church on the property committee, a member and officer of Lions for a number of years, and a member and treasurer of the local National Party.

David loved Yass and the Australian way of life and proudly became an Australian citizen in 1975 with his dear friend, Peter Walker, the president of Goodradigbee Shire, officiating.

Travel and education

David enjoyed travel from a young age.

As a young man he spent a year living and researching in Brazil, lived in England and fought in Vietnam.

As a husband and father, he travelled many times to the US to visit family and see more of his home country. With Sue, he also travelled to Fiji, Hawaii, south east Asia (overland from Timor to Singapore), and Europe.

In the last decade, Sue and David enjoyed an adventurous trip to China, a Mediterranean cruise from Lisbon to Athens, a trip to Brazil that included a couple of weeks in the Amazon, a return trip to China, many trips to Port Douglas, and they recently returned from a month long trip to Africa (from Cape Town to Dar es Salaam and then the Serengeti).

David travelled mostly for family togetherness and for the fun of learning. There is so much to learn from other people and cultures, and although David was widely read, he loved firsthand knowledge.

Education was so important to him.

His true passion in learning was history: all areas, but in particular the US Civil war and learning from his King James Bible in the original 1611 text. David became a Christian shortly after his marriage and was baptised a few years after in Seattle. However, it has been in the last few years that he became passionate about the importance of Bible study.

The word Love sums up David's life: a love of God, people and learning.

David Demoor will be missed by many in the Yass community.

David Demoor will be missed by many in the Yass community.


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