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David Neal Houghton


David Neal Houghton completed his courageous battle with leukemia on September 16, 2021. His life was an adventure wherever he was in the world, and a gift to those who shared it.


Born on the island of Kwajalein, in the Marshall Islands, on April 20, 1964, he grew up in Hawaii and on the Pacific Coast including San Diego, Camarillo and San Luis Obispo, and was destined to be on the waters of the world. As a surfer, a sailor, a diver and a Caribbean charter captain, he spent years exploring the islands and the world. Coming back to San Francisco Bay and Tiburon in 2000, he commanded the Angel Island Ferry, tugs for Westar, ferries for Golden Gate and finally for the Blue and Gold Fleet as a senior captain on the Vallejo/San Francisco run. In his words, “any day on the water is a good one!”


Son of a Naval Aviator and a mom from California farming heritage, David had both roots and a wandering spirit. An amazing dad, he fought his last battles for his two sons whom he dearly loved: Kaiden (Kai) Houghton and Taj Houghton of Tiburon CA, and their mother, Grayson Davis. David is also survived by his mother, Nancy Barker Houghton, two brothers, Michael Houghton and Patrick Houghton and their families. Aunts, uncles, cousins and so many other family members and friends were in David’s life, including his baseball teams, coaches and families. Being an avid SF Giants fan, it was ironic that his Tiburon Peninsula Little League teams usually ended up being the Dodgers!


An enthusiastic supporter of the boys’ schools and activities, he could build anything, and he loved being involved and building sets for the great plays they produced.


David, you loved and experienced this life to the fullest in your 57 years, and you will be a part of whatever future adventure we take. We wouldn’t go without you! Thank you, we love and miss you!


A Mariner’s service for David will be held at sea in San Francisco Bay, as has been the local tradition for hundreds of years when a sea captain passes away. “Fair winds and following seas, David!”


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