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.

Highly trained

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.”

‘Diesel Dave’

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.

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