, Salem, MA

Local News

December 5, 2012

Beverly native lived life to the fullest


Since David’s death, the Cheneys have been flooded with condolence messages and support from the community. Stacks of cards several inches high have been collected on their dining room table. Janice said she’s gone to her mailbox and found flowers and notes from people with names she doesn’t recognize.

The family said they are very appreciative of the “overwhelming” support they’ve received.

The Nov. 16 plane crash occurred in Owl’s Head, Maine. David and two friends were on a sightseeing trip when their single-engine plane crashed on takeoff from the Knox County Regional Airport.

Members of the Cheney family went to funeral services for the accident’s other two victims: Marcelo Rugini, an exchange student from Brazil, and William “B.J.” Hannigan III of South Portland, Maine.

The close-knit Cheney family will remember David for his love of the outdoors — kayaking, mountain biking, snowmobiling, hiking, skiing, swimming and boating were favorites — as well as being an early riser.

He’d always be the first one up, sipping on a cup of coffee, waiting for the family to wake up so he’d have someone to play with, Michael said.

But most of all, they’ll remember his good nature, generous heart and sense of humor.

“He was the best. The best friend, the best role model,” Erin said. “When you have kids, you hope they’re half the person he was.”

Bethany Bray can be reached at and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.

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