David Netti, Sr. was born at 1:05 PM on December 8, 1933, in Morris Township, New Jersey. He was born to an Italian cabinet maker, Leonard Netti, and housewife, Rose De Vita.
When David was 19, he was born again. Under a streetlamp in Wilson, Connecticut, at 1:20 in the morning, with a Bible opened to John 3:15, the light of God’s word filled his soul, the Spirit of God revealed the truth of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, and David was born again.
David went home to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, on the morning of January 30, 2021. He was 87 years old.
On the surprisingly warm winter day of January 1, 1955, David married Katherine Ann Procopio in East Boston, Massachusetts. David and Katie have been married for 66 years. This union produced several remarkable achievements, namely, six children: Ronald David, Kenneth Roland, David Jr., Darlene Janice, Leonard Anthony, and Sharon Lynn.
David was a lay preacher. It wasn’t his job, but it was his passion. His professional career certainly followed a remarkable trajectory — an Apollo project photographer at Avco Corp in Lowell, MA, a technical writer at GTE Sylvania Incorporated in Waltham, MA, and a General Manager of Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Research Center in Alliance, OH — but his True North was the Gospel. After meeting Jesus under a street lamp as a teenager, he lived his whole life creatively engaging others in the hope of introducing them to the Good News of Jesus Christ. And upon retiring in his early fifties, he devoted all his efforts to this passion, including taking the Gospel to the city of Tyumen in Siberia, Russia. He was outrageously hospitable. He and Katie have five guestbooks stretching back six-and-a-half decades. In a randomly selected short three-year period between September 1975 – September 1978, he and Katie had entertained 441 guests from 12 different countries. This hospitality stretches across a half-century. David had a playful spirit that surfaced in many ways. He played a half-dozen different instruments but was never formally trained in music or on any instrument. He loved cookies and sweets,wrote poetry, loved playing all kinds of games, had a series of nicknames for all his daughters, daughters-in-law, and granddaughters, and he never missed an opportunity to engage with others. It was not unusual to find him deep in meaningful conversation, typically about something that was both theological and yet incredibly practical. He had this knack for making deep things interesting and meaningful to young people. He was a craftsman; he didn’t value efficiency, but beauty and craft and grace. He had a huge library, and there were always several books open on his desk with many things underlined and written over. His Bible is hard to read because it is overwhelmed with his notes and markings. A random stack of papers found in his room after he passed away is a perfect reflection of his life; it was comprised of old board game instructions, sheets of music, various poems, including one to his wife, a few sermons from Jonathan Edwards, the lyrics to “Jesus Loves Me,” some historical notes about Gospel work from long ago, an article he had written on Christian worship, seemingly random photos of his family, and some things his children had written that he cherished.
David is survived by his beloved wife, Katherine Ann; his six children: Ron, Ken, Dave, Dolly, Len, and Sharon; his four daughters-in-law: Barbara (Ron), Margaret (Ken), Jeanne (David Jr.), and Jodene (Len); his son-in-law Gregory Kaiser (Sharon); his 14 grandchildren: Ronald Jr., Randall, and Melodie (Ron), Philip and Laura (Ken), Nathan and Cindy (David), Stephen, Nicholas, Jeremy, and Liana (Sharon), Isabella, Anthony, and Leondro (Len); his five grandchildren-in-law: Josh (Melodie), Amy (Philip), Ethan (Laura), Abby (Nathan), and Kurt (Cindy); his seven great-grandchildren: Jacob, Sophia and Stella (Ronald Jr.), Trent (Melodie), Matea and Ellie (Philip), and Julian (Nathan); his three sisters: Olga, Gloria, and Yolanda; and his countless nieces, nephews, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his three brothers: Anthony, Emmanual, and Daniel; two sisters: Jenny and Lydia; and his grandson, Jason Andrew Netti.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 5, 2021, at the Northwest Gospel Hall, 1350 Garfield Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504. The funeral service will begin at noon. The family will greet friends one hour prior to the service.
The service will also be available through Zoom. The Zoom link will be made available through the family.
In lieu of flowers, consider a donation in David’s name to Gospel Trust USA at http://gospeltrustusa.org/ Gospel Trust USA is a non-profit charitable corporation with a mission to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.
Correspondence, baskets, potted plants, and other encouragement can be sent to Katie Netti, 2599 Meadow Woods Dr., Walker, MI 49534.
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