A man who cared deeply about his work, his church and family

David Capper.
David Capper.

The Housing Executive’s former district manager for Brownlow has passed away

Mr David Capper (72), died at his Canvy Manor home after an illness, gave selfless service to the many groups, to individuals and to the family he adored.

He will be sadly missed.

David joined the NI Housing Executive, moving to live in Portadown in 1980 and was appointed district manager at Brownlow 10 years later, after which the new city office and that in Lurgan amalgamated and he took over the joint set-up.

He remained there until he retired at the age of 55.

Mrs Myrtle Wright, pastoral visitor, paid a glowing tribute to Mr Capper at his service of thanksgiving in Edenderry Memorial Methodist.

She spoke of a man of deep Christian Faith, who lived the faith and always thought of others.

Mr Kenneth Twyble, who was BB Captain at Edenderry Methodist (7th Portadown) when David was an officer, said, “He was a decent, meticulous man on whom you could really depend.

“He was involved in so many aspects of the company and the wider church.

“David Capper was, quite simply, an example of how to lead a committed Christian life.”

Mr Twyble, lay leader of the Methodist Church in Ireland, added, “David also had a great sense of humour and a real rapport with the boys and with Edenderry in general.

“He loved his football, remaining a Linfield man, having been brought up in Belfast.

“But we never held that against him!”

David Capper was brought up in north Belfast mainly by his mother, his father having died when their only child was nine months old.

And being the early “man of the house” shaped his caring character - he was doubly saddened when his mother died when he was just 21.

He was brought up a Presbyterian, his ‘home’ church being Agnes Street, Belfast, where he gained an early taste of the Boys’ Brigade, joining the church’s Life Boys and later the Company Section.

The young David was educated at the Boys’ Model School in the city.

His first job was as a clerk with the Belfast Corporation, after which he joined the giant Harland and Wolff ship building company when industry in the city (especially east Belfast) was at its zenith.

Coincidentally, at that stage, he began working in Portadown - his first stint in the town - when he worked in the social security office in Jervis Street.

His caring nature shone out even then.

David still retained his Presbyterian ethos, joining 4th Portadown BB (Edenderry Presbyterian), he was also a member of the church.

That was in the early 1970s, but he returned to Belfast after being appointed full-time secretary of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme of the province.

His job was organising many aspects of the project, including the presentations.

In this regard, he met the Queen and the Duke, although the presentations were left to celebrities.

Mr Capper changed his religious pursuits to Methodism at this stage when he married his wife Averil - the ceremony was at Ballynafeigh Methodist in east Belfast, and they lived in Carryduff for 10 years.

They have a son Glyn, daughter-in-law Joanne and grandchildren Caitlyn and Daniel in Lisburn.

They had planned to move to Lisburn to be closer to their extended family prior to David’s death.

Mrs Capper will follow that route in the near future.

The couple spent their holidays in their mobile home in Portstewart, having a great love for the North Coast.