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"A celebration of my David's life"


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Dear Friends,

Forgive me for staying away so long. I have kept you in my thoughts and prayers constantly.

I thought you might like to hear details of the "Celebration of David's Life" which my family and I held for him. I have copied this from an account which I sent to my friends and relatives.


I thought you would all like to know about the "Celebration of Life" which we held for David so I will do my best to relay it to you.

Friends of Patti and Barry Gump, ( the parent's of one of Karen's, (my daughter,) two best friends,) offered their large and beautiful home for us to use and they also , despite our protestations, insisted on doing all the catering too!. Patti and Barry are such wonderful people.

In the foyer of the house, Karen arranged a table covered with a deep- burgundy coloured satin cloth. On it she placed her Dad's Police cap and sword , his medals and one of his beautiful train models which he made from scratch. There was a large framed photo of my David, one of us on our wedding day and one which was taken in the snow at "Badger Pass" in Yosemite,( in which he is wearing shorts and I am looking very frisky!! ) A lovely arrangement ( from Jean and John ,my brother and sister-in-law,) looked perfect on the table, as it had a beautiful ribbon which matched the cloth very well. My tribute to my Darling man was a single red rose tied with a silver cord and a white card with my personal message. I placed this on top of the sword. In front of the table we put a beautiful arrangement from my sisters and families in England and South Africa. Karen had also filled four boards with pictures from David's life, going from baby-hood to a few weeks before he passed away. In the dining room was placed the most beautiful, huge, upright arrangement of red roses, yellow single crysanths, white carnations and white clarkia, which was sent by Jacqueline's squadron, "The 22nd Intelligence Squadron!"

Jacques had done the most incredible job of arranging the program and introducing the people who wanted to speak about their memories of her Dad. She said she wanted to do this rather than speaking herself as she thought she would just blub if she did! She says her thoughts were between herself and her Dad anyway. Both she and Karen looked lovely, Jacques in a beautiful burgundy pant suit and Karen in a lovely green and gold pant suit.

I made a program using an "Ella Wheeler Willcox " poem, from a little book which my mother treasured and passed on to me. It is called "Life's Journey" in which Ms Willcox relates life to a train journey. I put a small illustration of a "Daylight" train which I had done for David sometime previously. My son-in-law Paul helped me to design and print it, as I was in a bit of fog.

Many of Dave's good friends, some from the British South Africa Police force and some from the publishing company made heartfelt speeches. They all stressed that Dave had been a wonderful "Gentle Giant" and a "man of intelligence, integrety and loyalty".

We asked "Cheri Usher", (one of the daughter's of our good friends Annabel and Jerry, who'm we have known for many years,) to read the "23rd Psalm" .(David had asked me to read this one night when he was feeling so ill.) Cheri adored Dave and he had a soft spot in his heart for her too. He always used to tease her and pull her long braid. Anyway it was so touching as she almost broke-up in the middle the reading,and had to take some very deep breaths before she could go on. Her Dad, Jerry Usher also broke down when he spoke of his friendship with Dave. His daughter's told me that they had never seen their Dad cry before.

Karen spoke very touchingly of her special relationship with her Dad. I am so proud of both our girls, where they found the strength to do all they did, I don't know. Their Dad would have been so proud of them too, and I like to think that he was.

So as you can see everything was very beautiful, elegant , solemn and yet tinged with laughter and not fussy or overdone, in fact, just as David would have wanted it. There was also a lot of love and support expressed from all our Dear friends and family overseas.We recieved so many "memories" from everyone that we could not read them all, however we had them written down for people to read. Thank you so much for them.

All our love, Pat, Karen, Jeff, Maia, Scotty, Jacqueline and Paul .


I will try to send a picture of the table arrangement later, as soon as I can work out how to do it.

I am missing my sweet David more every day and I still look for his huge presence above the crowd. I wonder if I will ever be completely happy again without him.

Love to you all,


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I have started writing something here a dozen times. Nothing really says what I am feeling. I, too, don't know if I will ever be heart happy again.

It is almost 3 months since Earl died. In some ways it is as raw as if it were yesterday and in other ways it is like it happened forever ago.

The memorial sounded wonderful, filled with love and memories.

Paddy, if I could give you any advice it would be to stay busy, busy, busy.

My worst times are when I am alone, in the shower, in the car etc. Don talks about cancer as the new normal, we are now in yet another new normal. Be good to yourself.


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it's good to hear from you. i'm so happy that you had a chance to celebrate david's life. i know that things must be so hard for you right now. i have been continually thinking about you during the past few weeks since my mom was going through a similar situation. please contact me if you want to talk (i pm-ed you and your daughter with my contact info). take care.

God bless,


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Dear Paddy,

I first want to say how sorry I am that we all lost David. My condolences to you and your family.

Your celebration of David's life was just filled with love, kindness, respect, sadness and happiness. That was such a beautiful tribute. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us, as you also shared David with all of us over the last several months. It was a honor to know him through you.

Take care and I hope you'll stay with us.

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It sounds like you did a wonderful job of remembering David in a way he would be happy about. It sounds beautiful. I have been thinking so much about you and hoping you were ok. It has been a long hard trail for you and will continue to be rough for quite a while. I hope you will find some comfort here and post as often as you feel it would help you. My thoughts are with you.


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Dear Paddy,

I have followed all the posts from you and Karen regarding David's battle and was so very sorry for your loss. You have my deepest and most sincere condolences. I, like everyone else that has posted, am overwhelmed with the beautiful celebration of your beloved David's life. He must have been an incredible man to have had such wonderful people in his life. I hope that you find peace and healing with time.

Love and prayers,

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Dear Paddy,

Thank you so much for sharing the details of Davids memorial. David must have been cherished by so many..

I don't know how to ease any of your pain, all I know is to say that I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you gain strength from the support of your family, your daughters sound so loving and caring, I know you will be there for each other. May God watch over each of you. Love, Sharon

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