I met David about 16 years ago when he took my son under his wing to train him as a pilot. My son got his pilot’s licence before he got his driver’s licence! David and Heather were also good friends to my mum and dad. I had regular chats over the phone with David about my dad’s golf plans, which he was very keen to sort out for my dad. David loved to help others and he loved to plan and organize all things and everyone!
So much so, that David called me a few months ago after he got his initial cancer diagnosis, asking if I would be the celebrant for his funeral when the time came. It was an honour to be the celebrant for the celebration of David’s life on the 27th July 2023. My dad was heartbroken that his best mate had died. I’ve not seen him break down and cry like that since my mum dad 11 years ago (30th July 2012)
David Sercombe, Serko, was a larger than life character who could: excel at anything he undertook, command an audience, and help people to reach their goals whether it be flying a plane, learning to play chess, or just getting to golf on time. David was a gentleman and a sincere friend and colleague to many people.
The three poems that were read at David’s ceremony had been read at the funeral of Heather and David’s son, Ian, only six years earlier. This added an extra element of honouring the depth of grief of this family.
Here are some excerpts from the ceremony.
They say there is a reason
They say that time will heal
But neither time nor reason
Will change the way we feel
For no one knows the heartache
That lies behind our smile
And no one knows how many times
We’ve broken down and cried
We want to tell you something
So there won’t be any doubt
You’re so wonderful to think of
But so hard to live without.
David loved and cared for his family: his beloved and adored wife, Heather and his sons, Tim and Ian. He cherished his grandchildren, Nathan, Rachel and Sarah.
David was a deep thinker and a high achiever. He will be remembered for the things he was passionate about: aviation, teaching, chess, golf, boat building, skiing, growing kiwi fruit… French cooking. David loved to take to the skies and he will be remembered for his observation and knowledge of the clouds, the winds and the weather. David flew with skill, and due diligence; safety was paramount.
David will be remembered for his generosity of spirit, his service to others, his mental acuity, his respect for colleagues and friends, a gracious host…and his sense of humour. As his friend, George said, David was a witty scallywag. He will be missed for his good company and long chats.
We commit David’s body to the elements. His body will be cremated after this ceremony and his ashes scattered at a later date. We say goodbye and give thanks for David’s life of care and service.
May David rest in peace.
To the living, I am gone
To the sorrowful, I will never return
To the angry, I was cheated
And to the happy, I am at peace
I cannot speak, but I can listen
I cannot be seen, but I can be heard
Remember me in your hearts
In your thoughts, and in the memories
Of the times we loved, the times we cried,
The battles we fought
And the times we laughed
For if you always think of me,
I will never have gone.