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Originally published Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at 9:41 PM

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Former Tukwila official David Fenton mourned

David Fenton, a former Tukwila city councilman who died in a motorcycle accident in Seattle on Sunday, will be remembered for his service to the city, his sense of humor and his patronage of local restaurants, said friends and relatives.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Editor's note:

Commenting has been disabled because of the sensitive nature of this story.

David Fenton, a former Tukwila city councilman, will be remembered for his service to the city, his sense of humor and his patronage of local restaurants, said friends and relatives.

"He was a very funny guy, an awesome storyteller and an unbelievably giving man," his daughter, Monica Fenton Manthey, said on Tuesday. "But he was not a cook — there's going to be a lot of restaurants that miss him. He had his own special chair in some of them."

Mr. Fenton, 67, died when his motorcycle struck a light pole Sunday afternoon on West Marginal Way Southwest, police said.

According to Seattle police, some witnesses reported that Mr. Fenton, who was on a Harley-Davidson, had been racing with a black SUV just before the 2 p.m. crash. Police said Mr. Fenton either failed to negotiate a curve or was forced off the road by the larger vehicle.

The SUV left the scene, according to police.

Detectives are seeking information from people who may have witnessed the incident or who have information on the SUV.

Manthey, 42, of Renton, said the Harley her father was riding was his fourth or fifth motorcycle. It was "souped up to the nines," she said, but there was "no way" he was racing.

He had been riding for years and was a fierce advocate of rider safety, she said.

"He was a concerned citizen and a huge advocate of getting people through the [motorcycle] safety class," she said.

Mr. Fenton was born in Glens Falls, N.Y., .on Sept. 26, 1944. He moved to Washington when he was in the Air Force and was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base outside of Spokane, his daughter said. When he left the military he remained on the West Coast, working as a manager for an upscale department store and the Nabisco plant in Spokane.

"He would bring home these bumped-up boxes of crackers and we would be like 'Not another Triscuit!' " Manthey said.

Mr. Fenton served on the Tukwila City Council for eight years, through 2005. His mission, he said during his campaign, was to bring more business to Tukwila, lower crime and to be a voice for apartment dwellers and owners.

Records show he was the manager of the Samara Apartments, which are across the street from Foster High School, and are advertised as a guaranteed "crime-free," family friendly complex.

Current City Councilman Joe Duffie, who served alongside Fenton, said his colleague ran the best-kept apartments in the city.

"He was a great guy, a great manager and a great service to this city," said Duffie. "If you want to see apartments that are well cared for and well run, you would look at his. Those are apartments you would want in your neighborhood."

Council President Verna Seal agreed that Mr. Fenton ran "a tight ship."

He set strict rules and expected his residents to behave themselves, his daughter said. In many cases he became their friends as well.

Mr. Fenton was among a group of regulars who had breakfast nearly every morning together at the Pancake Chef in SeaTac, his daughter said.

There, and at the many other restaurants he frequented, he made friends with people from all walks of life, his daughter said.

"The waitresses would fight over who was going to take care of him," Manthey said.

In addition to his daughter and her husband, Steve Manthey, Mr. Fenton is survived by his son, Mark Fenton, of Canton, Ohio; his granddaughter, Kimberly Fenton; his brother Paul Fenton of Glens Falls; and his dog Abby.

A memorial service will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Foster Golf Links, 13500 Interurban Ave. S., in Tukwila.

The service will include a slideshow and an open podium for sharing stories and memories about Mr. Fenton from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or cclarridge@seattletimes.com

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