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We received the news of David's passing with shock and great sadness, and can only imagine the sense of profound loss being felt by Barbara and the family at its suddenness.
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As a first cousin, I have been mindful of David all my life: always of his larger than life personality, nurtured by the quiet humanity of his father John.
My earliest memory is being in awe when, as a very young child on a family visit to his home in North Belfast, he played his first gramophone record on the recently acquired gramophone - Bill Haley's "Rock around the Clock".
As a teenager, he took me trout and pike fishing in the rivers around Banbridge; an adventure in the then green-liveryed public transport. We also camped and swam in the ice-cold river and stone-bound ponds flowing down through Donard Park at the foot of the Mournes.
Later, I was enthralled by his stories of diving and swimming with whales in the Pacific Ocean; of being immersed in their blue world.
I always enjoyed his company and will miss him - his infectious laughter, his joie de vivre, his uncomplicated fearlessness, and in the breadth of his expectations and achievements.
He will forever be in my memory - through the rustling of stones in the ebb and flow of tides, and in the beautiful songs of whales.
All our love.
Alyson and Ward Erwin
Sunday 19 May 2019