David McKechnie, a highly regarded member of the teaching staff at the now South West College in Enniskillen for over 30 years prior to early retirement, passed away peacefully at his Tobermore Park, Enniskillen home on November 28, 2016.
A beloved husband and much loved father, brother and son, David James McKechnie was born in Belfast on July 8, 1952. His mother Sarah and father James lived in the Castlereagh area of East Belfast and it was into the same home that David’s brother Clifford was welcomed a few years later. The boys were life long friends as well as brothers.
He attained his education in Lisnasharragh, in the Primary and then in the Secondary School, from where David joined Shorts as an apprentice joiner.
He built up his qualifications until he became a teacher at Castlereagh College. David met Rita in Belfast and once they had made the decision to marry, David moved to Rita’s home town to take up his teaching post at the now South West College.
He was at the college for over 30 years until early retirement in 2007. He is remembered with great affection by his former colleagues.
David and Rita’s family home was made in Tobermore Park, and it was where they welcomed their two daughters Victoria and Katie.
Their home became a lively, creative, fun loving place and is full of wonderful memories of happy family life.
David was well known as an action man; he loved outdoor pursuits such as mountaineering (and mountain rescuing), sailing (onshore and offshore) and fishing.
He was a good bowler and golfer. David was a very active member of Enniskillen Golf Club and undertook the roles of Junior Convenor, Secretary, and was Captain in 2010. He introduced his wife Rita to golf and supported her in her role as Lady Captain in 2016.
He enjoyed following rugby and in later years travelled far and wide to watch Ulster.
A caring and kind hearted figure, David was keen on volunteering and over the years he was involved in all kinds of youth and community work.
The family church in Belfast, where David’s ancestors had been founder members, was Mountpottinger Methodist. David had been a regular worshipper there and a member of the Boys’ Brigade. Friends made there remained his friends 40 plus years later, and the faith nurtured there remained with him for life.
Locally, he joined Enniskillen Methodist Church and was also a regular worshipper there.
David liked to encourage cross community activity as an expression of his heartfelt faith and on the back of his good experiences in his own happy marriage with Rita and their families. He was a great supporter of the work of Fermanagh Churches Forum.
David’s warm heart and sense of humour enabled him to socialise with ease.
He respected all people and liked to see honesty and generosity of spirit. He enjoyed life and took pleasure in simple things.
In October 2015, David was diagnosed with a brain tumour, which was operated on and treated, but which fought back. He took the news and the fight in his stride and coped with his illness with quiet faith, dignity, patience and selflessness. He passed away peacefully to God on Monday, November 28.
Remembered with love and affection by all, David’s very widely attended funeral service, conducted by the Rev. Sam McGuffin was held in Enniskillen Methodist Church (Darling Street) on Thursday, December 1. The Rev. Fr. Brian D’Arcy took part. Among those present were Monsignor Peter O’Reilly and the Rev. Fr. Raymond Donnelly of St. Michael’s Church, Enniskillen.
The funeral arrangements were by Funeral Directors, W.T. Morrison, Enniskillen.