Pheonix — David Victor MacCollum passed from this life to join his wonderful wife, companion, champion and best friend, Nancy, on January 28, 2020. He was 96 years of age and is survived by his three children, Sandy Dosh (Richard), Judy MacCollum and Bill MacCollum (Paquita Parks); granddaughter, Brittney Underwood and her children Heaven and Mehki, and niece Ashleen Law (Jim). Dave is preceded in death by grandson, Angelo Toliver.
Dave was born in Portland, Oregon on June 10, 1923 to Victor White and Jane. At age 17, upon the attack at Pearl Harbor, Dave enlisted in the Navy and shipped out to the Marshall Islands in the Construction Battalion as a Seabee. Dave was a very proud WWII U.S. Navy Veteran. After the war, he attended Oregon State College (now University) on the G.I. Bill, graduating in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Technology – Business Administration. While in college, Dave worked at logging camps in Oregon which, at the time, was very dangerous work with numerous monthly injuries and fatalities to the loggers. Such incidents had an impact on Dave and he was always trying to figure out how to change things so that the workplace would be a safer place. This is where Dave began his passion and legacy for being a safety advocate for all workers.
In the early 1950’s, as a member of the U.S. Corp of Engineers, he was instrumental in bringing rollover protection on tractors and other vehicles as standard equipment. He was successful in instituting backup alarms for trucks and other industrial vehicles, powerline alarms to alert operators of boomed equipment when overhead power lines were present in order to prevent electrocution, and many other safety features that have allowed construction workplaces and those who work in these environments to be much safer.
He moved his family from Tacoma, Washington to Sierra Vista in 1963 and settled into the beloved home he designed and built in 1965. Although a 50-year longtime resident, Dave considered himself a native to Sierra Vista, Arizona. During this period, Dave was the Safety Director for the Army Electronic Proving Ground (USAPEG) on Fort Huachuca. With a strong desire to make a contribution in construction safety, he left his Fort Huachuca job and went into business for himself as a Certified Safety Professional and a Professional Engineer. His private business enabled him to ultimately become a well-known and respected expert trial witness, testifying against heavy equipment companies that did not include safety features as standard equipment. During this time, Dave became a representative for Bernold Steel Company of Switzerland, who built tunnels throughout that country. Dave wanted to bring Swiss tunneling safety technology to the United States.
Dave also created the Hazard Information Foundation, Inc. (HiFi), established to become a resource center for trial attorneys across the United States. HiFi provided information and opinion on many subjects relating to unsafe practices.
Dave was a member of many safety organizations throughout his career, including President for the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) (1975 – 1976), President of ASSE for the state of Arizona, Fellow for ASSE, National Safety Council for Professional Engineers (NSPE), and board member for Sulphur Springs Valley Electrical Cooperative, along with many memberships and organizations. He was a member of a U.S. President’s safety committee in Washington, D.C., and continued throughout his career helping those who were injured and families of those killed in heavy equipment workplace disasters. He became a fearless champion for all working men and women.
Dave authored several safety professional training books, and long after he retired, he became a blogger, wrote for professional journals and authored two fiction books, based on safety practices. Dave LOVED his profession, won many awards and mentored others in the industry. He has a scholarship in his name through ASSP (previously ASSE): The David V. MacCollum-Visionary Scholarship.
In 2016, he was honored by the Masons for his membership of 75 years. Dave came from a long line of Masons and enjoyed the brotherhood of the Masons throughout his life, associating himself with all Lodges where he lived, from Oregon, Washington to Arizona. He relished his membership with the Tombstone chapter, and enjoyed the cowboy environment with his Masonic brothers.
Married for 64 years to the “love of his life” Nancy, they were avid travelers, sometimes to destinations that had just opened to tourists from the United States, including China and Russia. Dave was a family man at heart and a fun Dad, known for all his teasing! As a family, there was always hiking, camping, spelunking, “rock-picking” and very memorable family vacations throughout the states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. Dave was a very accomplished parent and a best memory would be the meals at home in the dining room, by the fireplace, surrounded by all who loved him and in the house he so loved.
The service for Dave MacCollum has been postponed due to the extraordinary times of our country regarding COVID-19. David lived by these words: SAFETY FIRST, so the family will wait this out and select a date for his service when it is SAFE to do so.
In lieu of flowers: Donations may be made in David’s memory at www.assp.org/donate. Donors should add “David MacCollum Memorial” to the line that indicates if this gift is in memory of someone. We will ensure that gifts noted as such are credited to the support of the David V. MacCollum Visionary Scholarship Fund.