Firefighters, family honour deceased volunteer
Several dozen volunteer firefighters assembled at the Anglican church in South River on Wednesday, Nov. 30 to pay tribute to a highly respected member of their brotherhood who died suddenly of a suspected heart attack.
David Percey, a long-time member of the Brigus fire department, passed away on Nov. 26. He was 50 years-of-age.
Percey was praised for his commitment to the fire department, his community and his family.
“He was just a great guy all the way around,” said his brother, Perry Percey.
David Percey was a 27-year veteran of the fire department, and was described as one of its best-trained members. He was an electrician by trade, but could put his hand to just about any task.
Brigus Mayor Byron Rodway, who served as fire chief from 1994 to 2000, described David as dependable, humble and hard working, and someone who never looked for credit or reward for his efforts.
“When I’d go to the fire hall, I’d be looking for David’s truck because he was one of our better trained men,” Rodway said “It was a relief to see him among the crowd when you were going on a fire call.”
The Brigus fire brigade was established in 1965, and David Percey is the first active member to pass away.
As a tribute, his casket was carried from the church to the graveyard atop the brigade’s 1969 Dodge pumper truck. The funeral procession included a convoy of fire trucks from Brigus, Bay Roberts, Bay de Grave and Harbour Main-chapel’s CoveLakeview.
“I think it was the best send-off anybody could have,” Perry Percey said.
“It showed how respected and liked he was. He was like a brother to them all.”
David was never married and didn’t have any children. But he was an incredible uncle, his brother said.
“He loved children and children loved him.”
David enjoyed Christmas, and would often enter a float into the town’s annual Christmas parade. He was planning to start working on this year’s entry over the weekend, said Perry.
He also enjoyed riding his all-terrain vehicle, and was an active supporter of the annual Brigus Blueberry Festival.
He loved pickup trucks, and earned the nickname “Diesel Dave” back in the 1980s when he started driving a brown GMC diesel truck. It had exhaust pipes that stuck up in the air, and “you could hear him coming long before you seen him. It was his pride and joy,” said Perry.
And when it came to electrical work, David was always there to lend a hand, said Perry.
“He could fix anything under the sun,” he said.
Perry said his brother always had a smile on his face and a sparkle in his eye, and was never one to shy away from an opportunity to get up to some mischief.
“He will be well missed by an awful lot of people,” Perry said.