Obituaries » David Samuel Natysin

David Samuel Natysin

September 3, 1949 - April 7, 2023

David Samuel Natysin, 73, of Leesburg, Virginia passed away on Friday, April 7, 2023. Dave is survived by his wife of 51 years, Kathy, who loved him deeply.  He was also loved by his sons, Brian Natysin (Shannon) and Adam Natysin (Michelle), and daughter Gina Natysin Stratford (Andrew), and his seven grandchildren, Logan and Sydney Natysin; Kiley, Reese, and Paige Natysin; and Taylor and Brooklynn Stratford. He was the son of the late Edward Natysin and Evelyn Olson. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his stepmom, Louise.

David was born on September 3, 1949, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Beginning at age 10, he worked on a truck farm picking vegetables to make money to buy school clothes. He was then a student at Vocational High School in downtown Minneapolis and studied Hotel/Restaurant Management.  At 16, he left the truck farm and started working for McDonald’s restaurants.  He started out making milkshakes and eventually became the night-shift manager. When he was 17, he finished high school and started a full-time career with McDonald’s management. At 19 years old, Dave was drafted into the army and was ordered to Vietnam.  He was quickly promoted to Sergeant and Squad Leader.  At 21, Dave was discharged from the army and resumed his McDonald’s career.  He spent the next decade in Minnesota, before a quick stop in New Berlin, Wisconsin, and then landing in Virginia in 1983, where he remained until his passing.  He retired as the Senior Vice President of McDonald’s East Division after 42 years with the company.  He celebrated his 51st wedding anniversary with Kathy on June 5, 2022.

Dave enjoyed spending time playing golf and leisure traveling with his wife Kathy. He also enjoyed spending time reading, gardening, and walking endless miles on the treadmill.  You could catch him on the sidelines of his grandchildren’s sporting events or taking them out on his boat at Smith Mountain Lake. Dave was a member of Emmanuel Lutheran church for 40 years.  Dave has been known to say, “It’s been a wonderful life.”

A celebration of life will be held on April, 21 2023 at 11:00 am at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, in Vienna Virginia.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Ronald McDonald House Children’s Charities(Fairfax, VA), The Green Beret Foundation, or Emmanuel Lutheran Church (Vienna, Virginia).

Tharp Funeral Home, Smith Mountain Lake is assisting the family.  To send condolences, please visit

Condolences & Tributes

Celebrate David's life with a short message, photo or video!

To Kathy and family, My sincere condolences to you all. I worked for Dave for a number of years. He was a man of integrity, a great leader and visionary. Sheila and I will continue to keep you in our prayers for peace, comfort and guidance in the way ahead.

Posted by William Williams on April 25, 2023

Our Deepest sympathy to Kathy and the entire family. Dave meant so much to many of us who grew up in McDonald's land. Ana and I learned so much from him and owe him much of our success. We will miss him dearly, but we will cherish the memories we had with him. Ram and Ana

Posted by Ram and Ana Takata on April 21, 2023

I've always looked up to my brother Dave. I used to wait for him to return from work at night & we'd hang out & watch old movies. Sometimes, he'd bring McDonalds home & that was a real treat! The strip across from our house served as our family athletic field...Whenever Dave was around, he'd play softball or football with us--Always fun to have our big brother join in. Everyone should know, his brothers & sisters loved him dearly. My heart goes out to Kathy & the family.

Posted by Gary Natysin on April 20, 2023

I worked with Dave at McDonald’s during “the 90’s” as his financial controller, although there was really no way to “control” Dave, and his ability with numbers was as good if not better than my own. It was a special time, with a special team led by Dave, that I remember fondly. Dave always insisted that we read business books, but someone should really write a business book about Dave. He exemplified the qualities of an outstanding business leader: integrity, intelligence, empathy, vision, humor. So many people learned so much from him, and we are better for it. My thoughts are with Kathy and Dave's family during this sad time. May his memory always be a blessing.

Posted by Nancy Kaminsky on April 20, 2023

Kathy, Brian, Adam and Gina We're so sorry we won't be able to attend. Hoping our favorite passage gives you some peace. Rev. 21.4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.

Posted by George Thomas Vickery and Maria on April 20, 2023

My 13 years working for McDonald’s was a pivotal moment in my life. And I was very appreciative to have worked under Dave Natysin’s leadership. Dave was an amazing businessman who constantly taught and demonstrated dedication, leadership, team building, commitment and his love for McDonalds. I cannot express enough gratitude for having working with him and cannot express how sad I am at his passing. To his family, my prayers and thoughts are with you, and thank you for sharing Dave with us.

Posted by Denise Robinson on April 19, 2023

My love is sent to Kathy, Brian, Adam & Gina. I met Dave in Mpls where he interviewed me to join him as his Marketing Guru in Milwaukee, but within the year Dave was promoted to D.C. as Regional Manager. Fortunately for me Dave brought me out to DC to join him and his team which is where I retired from at the end of 1999. But Dave wasn’t just my boss — he became a good friend who I greatly respected and admired for his strength, knowledge & kindness. I remember the late nights rehearsing for Blue Chip, the annual fishing trips, monthly Coop meetings, and especially when he had us going thru TEAMS (which initially none of us understood but we did it for Uncle Dave. But we succeeded and did it ensure we made Dave. There aren’t enough words to describe what Dave meant to so many people or how he will be greatly missed. Gone too soon my friend!

Posted by Bobbie Starr on April 18, 2023

Dear Kathy and family, I am so deeply sad to hear of uncle David’s passing. Though the times we have seen you both are rare I truly enjoyed the times I did chat with you over the years. I remember interviewing Uncle David about his service in Vietnam for a college class many years ago and did a speech on the information he shared with me. I really received an education from him, it was fascinating and got an A+ on my speech thanks to him. I will pray for peace and God’s richest blessings for you and your family. With love, Julie and Micheal Kelly

Posted by Julie Kelly on April 16, 2023

Uncle David was larger than life! When talking with him, he made you feel important, heard, and comfortable. His sharp wit and kind heart were difficult to match. One of my fondest memories was heading out to Virginia with a friend of mine back in college. We stayed with Uncle David and Kathy (Adam and Gina were home also) and enjoyed some wonderful days together. I've never since had hosts so warm, generous, and endearing. My Virginia family is thought about and loved from back here in Minnesota. I cannot express how deeply sad I am for all of you-Kathy, Brian, Adam, Gina and your families. Love, Angie

Posted by Angie Bickman on April 16, 2023

Dave was a member of our ROMEO (retired old men eating out) club and we enjoyed his great style, his warm humor and his great participation with our group very much. Kathy, we will miss him so much!

Posted by kurt lackner on April 16, 2023

So saddened to hear of Dave’s passing. He was a great mentor, boss, and friend to us all. Humbled by his knowledge and thankful for his caring. Condolences to his family. 🙏🏻

Posted by Nancy Wilson on April 16, 2023

Dave Natysin my mentor the man that taught me EVERYTHING I knew about MvDonald’s! My success was a direct reflection of the knowledge he gave me! So many napkins that I could of made a training manual. I will miss you! Thank you for what you taught me, and for being who you were the best mentor anyone could ask for!

Posted by Donna Maertens on April 15, 2023

Dave, like to so many was a great friend, boss, and mentor. Jeff was a store manager in McDonald’s of Tysons Corner. We are honored and blessed for his guidance. Our family enjoyed his company from his lake houses at Smith Mountain, to his homes in VA. The numerous get together for holidays and birthday for many were always a joy for the entire family. Dave was major movie buff and enjoyed movie at home in his man cave to going out and seeing them at the theatre. Jeff once referred to the movie of the Dave that came out in 1993. Dave would often use quotes like “ we are walking walking” not sure if that quote was exact. One I do recall is when Dave’s Secret Service Agent was asked if he would take a bullet to protect him the answer was YES. Jeff would say that he felt Dave was so important to so many people and family that he too would take a bullet for Dave Natysin if needed. Our condolences goes out to Kathy and the entire Natysin family.

Posted by Jeff and Donna Bell on April 15, 2023

Dave was a wonderful man! Quick to make others laugh, he was a great family friend, and his family and friends miss him so much! We love you, Dave!

Posted by Jennifer Miller on April 15, 2023

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