Despite his healthy sense of humor, David was “wise beyond his years,” Michael said. Even as a child, he was known to surprise his family with deep, thought-out comments on life, relationships and other observations.
In 2005, Briscoe Middle School gave David an award for generosity, humility, sensitivity and sense of humor.
The last adjective rang true as the family found the plaque in the living room soon after — David had hung it on the wall himself.
A 2009 Beverly High School grad, he played basketball and was captain of the lacrosse team.
At UMaine, Cheney was working on a major in public administration and two minors: renewable energy and environmental administration. He planned to join the Coast Guard after graduation, his family said.
He held several leadership positions with Lambda Chi Alpha. David was known for making sure his brothers kept their GPAs up and even helped those in need of counseling to find help.
Over the summers, Cheney worked at Manchester Marine and at Marini Farm in Ipswich, planting, picking and delivering produce.
He loved the work, his family said, especially learning from and interacting with the farm’s international workers.
“That shows you how special he was, and not just because he was my kid,” Michael said. “He was kind (and) helped people. He didn’t care if you were (a farm hand). That’s just how he was.”
Cheney also did an internship at Beverly City Hall, working with the purchasing and planning departments.
He worked on an evaluation of the city’s recycling program and loved the fact that he got to drive around in trash trucks for two weeks, Erin remembered with a smile.
The Beverly City Council held a moment of silence for David at a recent meeting and remembered him as “extremely bright, energetic, eager to learn and work.”