September 15, 1941 – February 8, 2023
In Loving Memory ~
David was truly one of a kind. His laconic emails and occasional blunt comments masked an immeasurably loyal and caring nature.
As friend John Weber once remarked: “Whenever something important needed doing, David was always the one who showed up to help out.”
He loved the outdoors, photographing wildlife and sailing, where his phenomenal memory meant he could recount every detail of the start of the third race in the Tasar Worlds for years afterward.
David was born in Bermuda to David and Rhoda Shanks, the middle of three children: Bill older, Rhoda younger. He attended junior schools in Bermuda before going to boarding school at the Royal Grammar School, Worcester, England.
He was awarded a Bermuda Government Scholarship in 1961 to McGill University, where he joined the McGill Outdoors Club. He had reconnected with many club members recently, joining a reunion in Gravenshurst, Ontario in September and planning another get-together later this year.
“Dave was a good guy. Different but good. I shall miss him greatly. I was seventeen when I met him on my very first week at McGill in 1962. He remembered everything. Thanks to him I found so many of the old people in our group,” said McGill friend Barbara Cullen.
After graduating in Montreal, David gained work experience in Bermuda before settling in Canada and heading west to Vancouver. He worked for Jimmy Pattison and then in the IT department for forestry company Weldwood of Canada (now part of West Fraser) and sailed and hung out with lifelong friends Gill Bate and Mary Paddon at Jericho Sailing Club.
He went back to Bermuda for many years to care for his elderly widowed mother, “for which he deserves a medal,” his sister Rhoda noted. In between, he worked in the hospital’s computer department and was a keen member of the Bermuda chess club.
In 2007, he returned to Canada after his mother’s death and promptly settled into Nanaimo life. He joined Vancouver Island University classes and walked almost daily around Buttertubs Marsh, camera poised to capture the turtles sunning themselves on a log.
In retirement, he joined Rhoda and Tony on annual nature trips all over North America and England. Videos of grizzly bears play-fighting and eating salmon and a bald eagle being harassed by a crow come to mind.
David is survived by his sister Rhoda (Tony); nieces and nephews Ruth (Cobby), Alistair (Helen), Esther (Cédric) and Luke in the UK and Nigel (Jonny) in New Zealand; great-nephews Adam, Zachary, Eliot and great-niece Morganne; as well as good friends in Canada.
He died suddenly at his home in Nanaimo of an acute coronary.
No service by request but an informal gathering/celebration of life will be held at a later date.
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