Obituary of David Richard Schechter
The Mayor of Spacetown Has Passed
David Richard Schechter died peacefully on Sunday afternoon August 27,2023 from complications of Parkinson’s disease. An article written in Rollins magazine, “Mayor of Spacetown,” highlighted some of his accomplishments leading to his receipt of their 2017 Alumni Achievement Award, as well as provided a new title that cleverly embodied his persona. His life as a community leader, civil servant at NASA, and family man will be remembered by the many people positively affected by his energetic and ambitious spirit.
David R. Schechter lived as a community leader for the city of Satellite Beach as well as having significant roles with youth sports. He was involved in the Florida League of Cities, Trinity Wellsprings Church and the local Space Coast American Red Cross Organization.
Named Mayor Emeritus of Satellite Beach for his long term service to the city, he filled the roles of Councilman, Vice Mayor, Mayor and volunteered for almost every aspect of the town’s workings. He focused on keeping Satellite Beach family-friendly and a great place to live. He supported projects and facilities including —the current Fire Station, Police Station, City Hall, Samson Island Park, Pelican Point Beach Park, and the 100K square foot Recreation Center named in his honor. He supported projects, programs, initiatives and budgets that kept the city running for decades. He would consider one of his most important contributions to be his support to the people of the town who made it all happen. He worked very closely with City Managers, Police Chiefs, Fire Chiefs, and all those who managed making sure they had the resources and abilities to accomplish demanding and challenging jobs.
He passionately supported youth sports. He thoroughly enjoyed coaching Little League Baseball, as well as serving as President of that organization. He avidly followed local high school sports calling games for the Satellite Scorpions football and basketball teams until he physically could not attend the events due to his Parkinson’s.
David served on the board of directors for the Florida League of Cities as the organization sought to strengthen and support local and city governments throughout the state. As the son of a Pastor, he felt at home and always had an affinity for Trinity Wellsprings (formerly Trinity Presbyterian) church. For years he lead Sunday school services, served as an Elder, and helped manage their sound system and facility’s growth. He tapped into his caring nature and served as the American Red Cross President as well as a member of the local and state Board of Directors. David helped the Red Cross fulfill its mission on the Space Coast and also happened to be a member of the “50 Gallon Club” (he religiously donated blood through the Red Cross until Parkinson’s prevented him from doing so).
With degrees in Math and Physics from Rollins College, David R. Schechter began his career by working for NASA’s launch team in 1968 as a computer programmer/analyst. He processed guidance telemetry data for Atlas-Centaur launches. As America’s manned space ventures evolved through the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs, David had roles as Director of Ground Support and Director of Communications and earned a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Florida Institute of Technology. He worked for NASA until his retirement in 2003 at the Kennedy Space Center with a hand in moon landings, satellite deployments, and space walks.
David Richard Schechter was born to David Oliver Schechter and Ruby Yordy in Chicago in 1943 and grew up in Detroit. David R. Schechter married his wife Ruth Clay Schechter while teaching at Melbourne High School in 1967. David and Ruth recently celebrated their 56th Wedding Anniversary this past August. David is survived by his wife Ruth, his son David William, daughter Stephanie and seven grandchildren. He is also survived by brother Dean Stanley Schechter of Arizona and two sisters Patricia Wright of Tennessee and Cathy Bissey of New Mexico.
David held family as priority one. Family time at holidays and events took precedence over all other pending activities. Although his Detroit Lions never lived up to his hopeful expectations, joyful meals and warm conversations always were the tradition at his gatherings.
David R. Schechter will always be remembered as a community leader, for his career at NASA, and being the head of an appreciative and loving family. Most everyone who knew him appreciated his drive, sense of well-being, and effort to make the world a better place. David only hoped that we carry forward remembering how he served and to take a little bit of his example forward in the next generations.
Services will be held at Trinity Wellsprings Church Friday, September 8th at 1pm, with a reception hosted by the City of Satellite Beach at the David R. Schechter Center to follow. The family would appreciate that if anyone has photos and/or memories to share of David, please bring them to this Celebration of Life.
In-lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Satellite Beach Community Medics, Satellite Beach Fire Department, St. Francis Reflections Hospice, Parkinson’s Foundation, or the American Red Cross.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of David Schechter, please visit Tribute Store