David Andrew Fastabend

March 20, 2020
David Andrew Fastabend

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David Andrew Fastabend of Williamsburg, VA passed away on 20 March 2020 after a courageous battle with Brain Cancer. Born 6 May 1952, David was the son of Patrick Andrew Fastabend and Bessy Leatrice Kitchen. He is survived by his wife Karen Maculley-Fastabend, his daughter, Sara Zenz and her husband Eric, his grandson Connor, his step-daughter Chloe Brackens and his siblings Dr. Carl Fastabend and Mary Susan Tucker. David grew up in Petersburg, VA with an adoring family whom he loved and respected. He and his family spent many weekends on the James River enjoying beaches, boating, fishing, collecting sea glass, camping and generating life-long memories. His father was a brilliant man; a renaissance man in his time. He taught David carpentry, his love for boats, commitment to family and hard work. David was especially close to his mother with whom he shared his passion for gardening and his innate ability for diplomacy, patience and listening, love for family and respect for nature. David graduated from Saint John Vianney Seminary. Upon graduation, the Virginia Congressman nominated David to West Point given his near perfect SAT score. David graduated sixth in his class of 1974 and proudly served our country for 35 years. He was a highly respected and admired thought-leader in strategic planning and led several key command and staff teams as a Senior Engineer Officer both in the US and while deployed overseas. More importantly, he is known as a gracious and kind man and loyal friend. He had an infectious smile, laugh and sense of humor. David treasured spending time outside on the beach soaking in the sun, swimming in the water and collecting sea glass. At the helm of his boat on the James River, he would tell happy childhood stories of growing up on the James River camping, fishing and exploring nature. He loved to garden, always adding a splash of color, manicuring or simply moving an existing bush or tree somewhere else “because God didn’t intend for that to be there.” He was known for categorizing things into the “Fastabend Fives” because he believed number five is the natural order of all things. He deeply loved his daughter, Sarah and he was so proud of what a great mother and wife she’s become and for her intellect and kindness. Sarah provided David with the greatest son-in-law, Eric and a “perfect” grandchild, Connor. David was so proud of being Conner’s Grandpa spending time with him making sandcastles, running on the beach and exploring the outdoors. David played a significant role in raising his step-daughter, Chloe who he loved dearly. He was so proud of the young lady she’s become; intelligent, witty and compassionate. He loved and respected his older brother, Carl who shared his love for Military history and the beach. He adored his younger sister, Susan for her courage and laughter. He loved his mother-in-law, Nicole who he affectionally referred to as “Momma Lena.” David was seen in Ford’s Colony sailing boats (#5) every week on the pond with his friends and walking our dog, Dobby teaching him “Scouts Out” and squirrel hunting. David simply lived every moment as if it were his last; quite simply grateful for the time he had on earth to leave it just a little bit better than when he arrived. As his wife, I thank David for being my soulmate, my best friend, for loving me in spite of all of my flaws and showing me how to love by how he loved, for his inspiration, for his unyielding passion, for making me laugh, for showing me how to have uninhibited fun, for showing me grace, kindness and vulnerability. Thank you David Fastabend for every moment that I was blessed and privileged to share my life with; although too short but infinitely life-times worth. I’ll always love you desperately and forever.

David retired from the US Army in 2009 as a General Officer after 35 years of honorable service. Throughout his career, David was known and respected for his intellect, his caring and competent leadership, as a complex-thinker and master of metaphors, a mentor, a kind and humble diplomat and friend to all. David served as the Commander, 555th Combat Engineer Group, US Army; Commander, Northwestern Division, US Army Corps of Engineers; Deputy Director, Futures, US Army; Director of Strategic Operations, Multinational Forces Iraq; and Director of Strategy, Plans and Policy, US Army. Upon retirement, David served as Director, Strategic Planning and Technology Development for ITT Defense and Information Solutions; Vice President, Exelis Advanced Information Solutions; and owner of “Fastabend Solutions, LLC.” Further, David served as a Member of the Spectrum Group and the Army Science Board, Advisor to Glacier Point LLC and Outside Director for Riverbed Technology. Education included BS in Mechanical Engineering, US Army Military Academy at West Point; MS in Structural Dynamics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Master of Military Arts and Science, Command and General Staff College; and a Strategic Fellow for The Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Professional Awards include the Bronze Star, US Army; Distinguished Service Medal; Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit; and Professional Engineer in Virginia. David’s published articles and papers include “The Army in Joint Operations: The Army’s Future Force Capstone Concept 2015-2024”; “The Categorization of Conflict”; “A General Theory of Conflict: Bosnia, Strategy and the Future”; “Checking the Doctrinal Map: can we get there from here with FM 100-5?”; “Analytical Modeling of Dynamic Bridge Response”; “Fighting by the Numbers: the Role of Quantification in Tactical Decision Making; “An Institutional AAR: SBCT vs FCS 1999-2009”; “Theory of Conflict and Operational Art”; “Do Iraq and Syria no longer exist? (9): Maybe, but it isn’t up to us any ways”; “Military Aid to Civil Authorities” and “Adapt or Die.”

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the National Brain Tumor Society.


A memorial service will take place at a later date.

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  • January 13, 2024
    Regina Walker Kyle says:
    David was a brilliant student, the leading mind of our Class of 1966 at St. Edward the Confessor School, the first Class ever to graduate from this young school. He had every quality necessary for a lifetime of accomplishment, success and happiness. A true Eagle Scout, David was always striving and working towards many goals, yet he displayed a constant happiness because his growing knowledge, and his love of family and their close relationships, were his greatest sources of happiness. He was respected and admired by everyone who knew him. Not only a young man of great intelligence and kindness, David possessed a keen wit. We shared a love of literature and spent stimulating hours after school once a week for three years as members of the Great Books Society. We discussed writings of the ancient Philosophers of Greece and worked our way up to the great writers and poets of England and Europe before graduating. David was a born leader, and was the most frequent class member to be elected Class President. It was my pleasure, and always an honor, to serve every year as his Second in Command. I will always remember David Andrew Fastabend as a very good friend and the most accomplished student of our school. I am thankful that he achieved the success and acclaim, the love and happiness, that he so richly deserved.

  • November 06, 2020
    Joseph T. Gerard lit a candle:
    Lit since November 6, 2020 at 11:58:45 PM