David Robert BURR
Vinters Park Crematorium
Thursday 1st February 2018 at 11.45pm
Puff Daddy "I'll be Missing You"
Welcome Good morning, my name is Philip Painter and I am a Life Celebrant. I believe that our lives are a very precious gift and that every one of us has our own unique part to play in the lives of others. This gift of life should be valued, cherished and celebrated. This is why, when I welcome you all today as we mourn the sad passing of David Robert BURR or Sparrow or Horse or perhaps even just Dave as he was known, I would like to remind you that we are also here to celebrate his life. We will reflect on what he meant to you and others. We will unite in love and friendship, not Just to say "Goodbye" but also to pay tribute to him, to give thanks for his full and productive life and remember the good times you had with him.
His mum, children and his brothers and sisters would like to thank you for being here today your presence is much appreciated.
I would like us to start our celebration of Dave's life with Gill reading a poem chosen by his siblings
Today is full of memories of a Brother laid to rest
And every single one of them is filled with happiness.
For you were someone special
Always such a joy to know
And there was so much pain when it was time to let you go.
That's why this special message is sent to heaven above
For the angels to take care of you and give you all my love.
Today our service has been prepared by Dave's family and there are contributions from his friends as well. It is a unique service for a unique man, and that is only right.
Sometimes when a person dies, friends and family like to make a contribution to a charity that is special to them. Today, should you wish to do so, donations are being collected to go to support the work of the haematology departments at Kings College Hospital and Medway Maritime Hospital. Places where Dave was treated. Any donations you make will be used to support the work of the staff and volunteers of this amazing organisation.
Dave would not have wanted you to feel under any pressure. The details are on the back of the order of service books and you may wish to make a donation at a time of your choosing, not necessarily today.
I hope that we will be able to raise a significant amount of money, in advance thank you for your kindness. But there is something else that we can all do. The Anthony Nolan Trust manage the bone marrow register for those between 16 and 30. Bloodwise or the DKMS has a similar role for those of us who are over 30 and the National Blood Service is vital in providing blood products for people like Dave. Today is a day when we can all make a difference, even by signing up to the register or giving blood. If you promise that today, please follow that commitment through tomorrow. These are life saving and life changing things that almost everyone can do.
Today everyone is invited for light refreshments after this service at K Sports in Ditton,
I hope that there you will share your memories of Dave and celebrate everything he achieved with his life. Everyone is very welcome and they really hope you all will be able to join them.
Dave died at 3am on 12fr January 2018. He was in Medway Hospital. He had lived with cancer for many years but was diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2015. He had fought a long and brave fight. It was a fight that he conducted with good grace and bravery. A fight that was not just for himself but also for those around him who he supported even at this time. His family had been with him just hours before.
He had been with those he loved , surrounded by the love of his family. I am sure that he drew comfort from that fact.
At 62 years of age Dave was, of course, much too young to die. He should be spending time with his family and friends, enjoying the fresh air and spending time with the activities, the kick boxing and gym work that gave him and many others so much pleasure. But that was not to be.
Today is a day of mixed emotions, including sadness that Dave is no longer with us. Perhaps anger that his condition remained resistant to a cure. Surely disappointment that a gentleman so full of life, with so much to live for, has been taken away. But it must be combined with a sense of relief that his illness was not prolonged further at the end.
He is now at peace, free from any pain and suffering.
The theme of our service this afternoon is memories. Michelle and Paul have prepared tributes for us to hear today and I am going to talk a little about Dave as well. It is important to remember those things that a person did that made a difference to our lives.
I have mentioned that the messages of sympathy have been gratefully received by his family and that is so true. Today they wanted to capture some really positive messages from you , his friends.
Outside the chapel and also back at K Sports will be a memory book. This is definitely not a book of condolence but a place where good memories can be recorded. If you are not going to K Sports the book will be outside the chapel near the flowers for you to add your thoughts.
After talking with his family, I believe that Dave would not want you to mourn him forever; certainly he would not want us to remember him in a sad way, but rather as the wonderful Son, Father, brother, and friend that he was.
Today , I know that Krista will also be in your thoughts today. Remembering her today is only right and a single rose will be laid alongside Dave shortly in her memory.
Whilst we are here today, primarily to celebrate Dave's life, it is still very important to acknowledge our grief. It is right that we feel sad today, yet at the same time neither should you ever feel guilty for smiling as you remember all the good times spent with Dave as you move forward with your lives.
Grief is such a powerful feeling it cannot be disregarded, it is important. It is a hard and painful part of the healing process and our service today is a time when you can safely let our tears flow as you start to move your relationship with Dave from that of physical presence to one of memory.
So let me invite you to try, if you can, to turn your grief around and to not only think of Dave in terms of what we have lost but to also try to remember everything you have gained from his life.
I believe that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, every thought and every decision we make. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared time with them.
Our love and thoughts go out to all who have been touched by Dave's death and today we show our care and support especially to his family: To his mum Rose, children Jay, Michelle and Paul and his brothers and sisters Richard , Marion, Chris , Roy, Gill and Paul.
I know that they are incredibly proud and honoured to be associated with Dave and his memory.
And to everyone else, those of you sitting behind his family, his friends, his extended family if you like, by your presence here today, I know that you are committed to continuing your support to them over the coming days, weeks, months and even years as they come to terms with their loss.
Like many of us Dave would have been brought up with elements of religion in his education. We know that he lived his life by Christian values but did not have a strong faith and would not have wanted a traditional religious funeral set-vice.
So we now say goodbye to him in the way that we hope that he would have wanted, with love, compassion, with music that he liked and tributes from his family and friends. But most importantly in a manner that is in a way that would have been in keeping with his beliefs and philosophies.
The Theme from "Heartbeat"
A tribute from Dave's children
From Michelle- attached
I struggle with the right words of what to say... as I stand and think of the memories we made, so many great times, so many laugh's so many jokes we shared along the way.
As I sat writing these words it still didn't feel real, the fighter, the man who was strong and courageous that never showed any fears my dad my old bear no longer here, it brings tears to my eyes but I smile at the happy memories we all shared throughout your life.
I think back to that fateful day and although we all new your fight was coming to an end, I thought I hoped in my head you would prove everyone wrong and still be here and that was selfish of me old bear because I think back and I remember looking into your eyes, we both knew you were saying goodbye, you were getting ready to go to make that next journey and let our dearest mum show you the way to reunite with her and be in no more pain
I miss you Dad and life will never be the same but I know your with Mum now, I believe Those we love never go away they walk beside us every day, unseen unheard, but always near, still loved and still cherished and held dear.
There so many more things I wanted to say so many future plans we made old bear, but I promise you and mum that we will continue to carry on and although this is difficult at the moment your fight your determination that was such a inspiration will get us through. I promise we will look after each other we will continue to make you both proud and you will both live on through us your both taught us well and now my dearest dad I say goodbye. Please give mum a hug from me
Love you Dad my old bear
I am now going to speak a little about Dave and his life. I cannot hope to capture a life time in just a few short minutes so we will have a time of quiet when you can have a time of contemplation and be at one with your own thoughts.
Davis Burr was born on 27ff February 1955 in Edgeware Middlesex. One of seven children born to Rose and Bob he was the second eldest.
The family were to arrive in Ditton , after brief stays in a couple of other locations and Dave was to go to school in Teapot Lane.
He had a number of interests and was involved in the scouts, being a keen performer in their shows called Gang Shows. He did okay at school and was to leave and was awarded an apprenticeship as a panel beater. As with all apprenticeships the money was poor and his friends were earning good money so he left and went working on the railways involved in track maintenance and the like.
He did well and earned enough to travel around the world a little and have some good holidays. Dave didn't choose the more traditional locations at the time and spent time in North Africa. Over an extended period of time he would travel back and forth, working in between.
He would say about Morocco that he thought it was a bit lawless and he would wake up with his throat cut. He obviously liked the idea of adventure and travel with an element of danger. lt was around this time that he joined the TA in Ditton as part of the Medical Corps. Pleased to do his part if needed. Dave was to meet Krista, his wife to be when he was in his mid 30's and Jay her son was to become an integral part of his family.
This was one of the happiest times during his life. They were to meet because Janek, (Yanek) her brother was friends with Dave
I was told that Dave was her man in a million. They were so much in love and were like a couple of giggling teenagers, recapturing their youth and so happy together.
They were to marry and in due course the family was to grow with the arrival of Paul and Michelle. Unfortunately they were to separate. I think it would be true to say that they couldn't live together and couldn't live apart. With the common ground of their 3 children they would always remain in contact and there were some good times.
Tragically Krista was to fall asleep in 2013 something that I am sure she will be with you today in your hearts. Dave was never to get over losing her.
Dave was a lorry driver for Spadeoak, driving large trucks involved in the resurfacing of roads and the like. Thankfully Health and Safety didn't apply to Dave and he would sometimes take his kids to work in his lorry. Michelle remembered that the day would always start with a McDonalds breakfast- a Bacon and egg Mc Muffin. One occasion he thought she had dropped the bacon out of the sandwich so he bought her a fresh one. It wasn't the whole piece of bacon though Michelle was it ?
And then on the way home they would stop for a portion of chips and a chip shop picked onion. Michelle seemed to have an ability to drop her food and on one occasion they both watched as her pickled onion rolled off down the road.
I was told about a group of friends who were a permanent fixture of Dave's life , the 3 Dave’s and Gary . Dave Fishlock, and Dave Parsons with Dave and Gary Moodley were good friends , there for each other and particularly with their partners they supported Dave always , notably when the going was very tough. For that he and his family are very grateful.
Dave enjoyed his life. He would spend a lot of time at work , earning money to support his family but he also enjoyed time with his family and friends. With Krista and Paul and Jay and Michelle they would spend long nights at Ramsgate casino playing roulette. He had his own special numbers 28,30,33 and 36 whereas Krista would just place chips everywhere. These all night sessions often not finishing until 5am. If he lost he kept the fact to himself. If he had a win, he would share it with his family.
He never let his illness get him down and one day despite having spent the whole day at Kings with Michelle, they decided to go for a Chinese on the way home. Unfortunately he shut his thumb in the car door and there was blood everywhere. Michelle used her cardigan to stem the flow as they went to A&E, he promised to replace the cardigan , but I understand she is still waiting!
In 2011 following an assault in Maidstone , Paul and Dave decided to join the gym so they could look after themselves better. Paul passed out but Dave stuck around and I would like to share with you the Facebook message from his kickboxing club, I think it says so much. In fact when someone subsequently tried to mug him at a cash point he turned on them and ended up chasing after them
From the members of the club
RIP an excellent friend , team player student of the martial arts and a true fighter until the last second
Dave joined the KIXX Martial Arts Club in August 2011 he rarely missed a class for 6 years leading up to his illness. He was a relaxed and constantly positive image for all who trained with him. Despite starting his martial arts career later in his life he always worked hard becoming fitter than some of his younger sparring partners. He never gave up when learning new and very difficult techniques. He inspired a lot of younger fighters with his can do attitude and determination not to quit or give in when training.
Today I want to mention a very special award that has been made to Dave. Today, alongside him is his red belt. Recognising the man as a true fighter and a man who was prevented from completing the very final part of his qualification by his illness, his sport have honoured him with the award in recognition of his bravery, commitment and fortitude. There were many words used to describe Dave,. Vocal, a man with a bit of a temper ...maybe. A man who didn't like nonsense , especially from traffic wardens. But he was a kind and gentle, a man who always had a smile. A man who would use that smile to inspire. If he could smile with what he was going through , surely we can get through anything.
I would like to finish with the words of Dave's brother Paul who said the following.
From his brother Paul
Dave always had a heart of gold and would put himself out to help others. And never had a bad word for anyone. But he had a wicked sense of humour about people and everyday life.
You will all have your own recollections of Dave and the times you spent with him. All unique, all special and all different because you shared different times together. As we listen to "Time to Say Goodbye" Katherine Jenkins I would ask that you remember what Dave meant to you, say a prayer if you wish , remember the good times.
"Time to Say Goodbye" Katherine Jenkins
Shortly it will be time to leave the chapel. At the end of the service the curtains will remain open, so you can , should you wish to , say your own personal goodbye.
The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever.
Will you all please stand- Open
Dave, may the light of love shine forth upon you - on those for whom you care and those who care for you, may you be blessed with peace and understanding as you travel on, may you come to the end of your journey in gentleness and joy.
It is now time to say farewell to Dave. We remember that he is not here, but he lives on in our hearts and minds,
Dave. your soul is all around us, part of what we are and part of what we will become. You are not apart from us but a part of us, for those we love shall be with us for all eternity.
In grief at your death but in gratitude for your life we now commit your body to be cremated.
Dave Burr was a private person who cared for and about others. A man who inspired and a man who was a fighter, He made the world a better place. It is now time to remember him and keep his memory alive.
May you Rest in Peace
The track we are to listen to as we leave needs no introduction.
"We are the Champions" by Queen
To my dearest Dad,
I sit here almost a week on since you grew your angel wings and left behind the hardest battle that life threw in your direction. I sit here heart broken and I'm struggling to write the words to express what you mean to me. It all seems too familiar as I have now lost both my beautiful parents to the paradise in the sky, amongst the sunshine, the moon and the stars that twinkle in the night sky.
As I stand here today it is clear for all to see how loved you where and what a huge impact you had on so many. To me you are my Dad you loved me for who I am and accepted me for all the things I strive to achieve in life, no matter how hard everything is at the moment I promise you that I will continue to love with all I have, cherish the ones I have, live for the moments that we are blessed with that make us smile.
I will always remember and cherish the times I got to spend with my Dad moments I will keep safely tucked away in my heart, fond memories that will help me through the days it all becomes too much to bear.
I am certain that we will all have our own memories of my wonderful Dad, One Memory I believe that we can all unite in is that my Dad was a true inspiration, his acts of kindness, his witty sense of humour, and most inspiring of all his upmost determination to fight the hardest battles with a beautiful smile and a positive attitude.
Until the day we meet again Dad there is one more thing to say....
I could not be prouder of all you achieved in your life, the courage, strength and determination you gave to fight the hardest parts in your life have inspired me in more ways than I can ever put into words. A life lesson that both you and my beautiful mum have taught me is life is precious and is something not to be taken for granted for we never know when we will lose the greatest gift we are blessed with the family, friends and loved ones that shape our future and make us a part of who we have become.
Rest in peace my beautiful Dad, my friend, my fighter, my hero.
I miss you and I love you. XXXX
David Robert BURR