David Anthony Sturch was born in Durant, Oklahoma, to Ernest and Catherine Sturch on April 19, 1973. While still very young, he began to exhibit a gift for music; his earliest ear training beginning as a child in church, listening to the congregation sing a capella. By the time he graduated from Durant High School in 1991, he had already been playing trumpet in the Southeastern Oklahoma State University jazz band for three years. After graduation, he attended the University of Oklahoma where he played in the jazz band, symphonic band, and The Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band under Dr. Roland “Coach” Barrett.
Later, David transferred to Southeastern Oklahoma State University where he would go on to earn his degree in Trumpet Performance. While at Southeastern, the jazz band was invited by the Chinese government to teach jazz to students around the country. One of his highlights from the 12-day tour included walking along the Great Wall of China, while wearing his cowboy boots.
David met his future wife, Katy Pogue, while in the band at Southeastern. They were married May 1, 1999, and had two children, Isaiah in 2001, and Lydia in 2002. David and his young family moved to Ardmore, OK, in 2003, where he briefly served as the Assistant High School Band Director and Head Band Director at the Middle School.
In 2004, David and his family moved to Liberty, MO, and he continued his music education at the University of Missouri at Kansas City Conservatory of Music, studying under jazz great Bobby Watson. While with the UMKC Big Band he traveled to Europe for a two-week tour that included highlight performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands. David also began performing in the Kansas City music scene, quickly becoming known as a “go-to” player among band leaders, earning recognition for his extreme versatility and stylistic accuracy. He was a permanent member of three Latin jazz/Salsa bands, and frequently subbed in many others of varying genres. He was also a cast member in the six-week run of the touring Broadway production, Love, Janis.
After several years in the Kansas City scene, David made the decision to fulfill a personal dream of his while also providing for his family; he enlisted in the U.S. Army, turning 35 years old while in Basic Training.
From 2008-2019, David served his country as an Army Bandsman. He earned his “C1” (a now-defunct rating signifying excellence on one’s instrument), and moved to his first duty station, Fort Hood, TX, with the 1st Cavalry Division. During his time with 1st Cav, he served a 12-month tour of Iraq, playing for troops in dozens of performances, helping keep spirits high for countless soldiers in theatre.
After completing his tour, David was stationed with the TRADOC Band at Fort Monroe, VA. Though the historic fort was already scheduled for closure, he was able to spend almost eight months there. David was hand-selected to play the final bugle call for the fort’s decommissioning ceremony. His performance of the “Last Post” bugle call during that ceremony marked the official closure of Fort Monroe as the nation’s oldest active military base.
Following Fort Monroe’s closure, David (and TRADOC) moved to Fort Eustis, VA. David spent two more years with TRADOC, one year in Korea, then returned to TRADOC where he completed his time with the military. By the end of his Army career, David had spent over 11 years as a prominent part of the Army Band field. He served as a section leader, was chosen by his peers or leadership to play in every ensemble that required trumpet, played for live audiences of more than 75,000, as well as nationally televised broadcasts, and he prepared and led an eight-soldier team during the execution of more than 30 missions without incident. And finally, as a solo bugler, David performed military honors for more than 300 funerals, memorials, and ceremonies.
During his last year and a half in Hampton Roads, David was a member of the pop/rock group, Brass Wind, with which he was able to play his final performance less than a month before his passing.
David’s reputation as a musician often preceded him. But it was his infectious sense of humor, warm, affable nature, and personal sense of style that earned him a lasting place in the hearts of those who knew him. Throughout his career, David was bestowed with a variety of nicknames… Hoss, Pressure Cooker, Screech, Boots (a nod to his ubiquitous cowboy boots) and Thunderlips, to name just a few. The names he treasured most, though, were son… brother… husband… father… friend.
David Anthony Sturch passed from this life to the next on December 19, 2020, in Norfolk, Virginia, at the age of 47, due to complications from Covid-19.
Left behind are his loving wife, Katy, and their children, Isaiah and Lydia; his siblings, Lisa Kutait, LuAnn Nystrom, Chris Sturch, Jerry Sturch, parents, Ernie and Kathy Sturch, many nieces and nephews, and countless friends all over the world.
Honorary pallbearers include his son Isaiah Sturch; brothers Chris and Jerry Sturch; brothers-in-law Dondi and Daniel Pogue; and brothers-in-arms, James Tyler Jaeger, Ray Murphy, and Tony Tellez.
Due to health concerns, the family has respectfully requested a closed service. A live stream will be made available, however, via the Holmes-Coffey-Murray website (holmescoffeymurray.com) as well as the Holmes-Coffey-Murray Funeral Home Facebook page. The service will begin Tuesday, January 12, 2021, at 2:00pm, with Dr. Greg Clay officiating.
Memorials may be made in David’s name to The Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band at the University of Oklahoma, The Pride of Southeastern Marching Band at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and The Durant High School Marching Band.
Finally, the family would like to extend sincere thanks to the Park Avenue Church of Christ, Miss Olivia Owen, and countless friends and family for the encouraging words, gifts, and donations for Katy, Isaiah, and Lydia. They have been blessed by the outpouring of support and are deeply grateful.
Services are under the direction of Holmes~Coffey~Murray Funeral Home in Durant, Oklahoma www.holmescoffeymurray.com
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