David Wilson Soukup was born on Dec. 15, 1933, in Elmhurst, Ill. His father, Phillip Soukup Jr., owned a chain of hardware stores, and his mother, Ruth (Wilson) Soukup, was an elementary-school teacher.
After graduating from Iowa State University, Mr. Soukup enlisted in the Army and served at Fort Lewis in Washington State. He married Anne Mathews, a former office worker, in 1959 and settled with her in the Seattle area. They had seven children.
After he received a law degree from the University of Chicago in 1961, he was hired as a prosecutor in King County, Wash., which includes Seattle. In the 1960s, he was appointed a judge of the Seattle Municipal Court and later of the King County Superior Court. He remained on the bench until 1983, when he stepped down to practice arbitration and mediation law.
His first marriage ended in divorce in 1995. Soon after, he married Beth Waid, who had been the executive director of the national CASA network until 1994.
After founding the organization, Judge Soukup remained an active board member, meeting political figures to promote its mission and working to expand the network. In 2017, after he addressed CASA’s national conference in Seattle, hundreds of volunteer advocates from around the country lined up for a photograph with him.