Dave Koontz was in the office during regular business hours, but he never really stopped working to ensure the online security of Mary Baldwin University. His wife, Ann — who came to Mary Baldwin herself seven years ago and now serves as campus switchboard operator — recalled Dave monitoring system updates and fielding inquiries while the couple was watching a movie at home or during their annual vacation to Virginia Beach.
“He knew that he was dealing with issues and systems that don’t take breaks,” Ann said. “He didn’t mind the round-the-clock work; he enjoyed being needed and was very committed to doing what he could to keep things running properly and maintaining the best network security possible. He was proud of how tight the system had become.”
Dave Koontz, 51, passed away November 6 at Rockingham Memorial Hospital. His Mary Baldwin tenure began in 1997, and his most recent position was lead systems analyst in the Office of Information Technology.
Before he found his niche at Mary Baldwin, Koontz worked in a variety of positions including video store management and office equipment distribution. Dave’s wife of 23 years said he was “into computers before they were mainstream” and that “there were motherboards all over the house” when he dove into computer rebuilding projects as a hobby. Before Facebook and instant messaging, he created and facilitated a type of chat forum that he referred to as a bulletin board, Ann Koontz said. He completed several courses and special programs at Blue Ridge Community College to enhance and update his knowledge in the field.
At Mary Baldwin, he worked closely with colleagues to introduce and update the campus email system, roll out an effective ID card system, and ensure security for campus credit card transactions.
Dave Koontz was born in Florida and spent most of his childhood near Dallas. He finally convinced Ann to travel to the city with him in 2011, where he enjoyed reminiscing and attending a Dallas Cowboys game.
A celebration of Koontz’s life is planned for November 23 in the Student Activities Center Ballroom. The event will begin at 7 p.m. and will include a family receiving line, a prayer by former college chaplain Patricia Hunt, refreshments, and an invitation for attendees to share memories.
“Dave was faithful, but not religious in the traditional sense,” Ann said. “I felt like this kind of memorial at Mary Baldwin would be appropriate because of his deep connection to this community.”
Contributions in Koontz’s memory can be made to the Staunton Fire and Rescue Department, 500 N. Augusta St., Staunton, VA 24401 or to the Staunton/Augusta Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 2566, Staunton, VA 24401.