HUNDREDS of mourners packed the funeral of alleged murder victim David Lavender described as ‘a good lad’ who would do ‘anything for anybody’.
A floral tribute spelling out the deceased’s nickname of ‘Lavo’ was prominent at the front of St Mark’s Church, Saltney, where Mr Lavender had been christened as a baby.
The body of Mr Lavender, 37, a groundsman, of Sycamore Drive, Lache, was found in the entrance to Edgar’s Field Park, Handbridge, about 11.15pm on Sunday, May 20. Two men face a murder charge.
His mum Dolly, who married husband Tony in the same church, was upset as she entered St Mark’s where it was standing room only, with many having to sit in a side room and watch the service on a video link.
Among those in attendance were Mr Lavender’s daughters Georgia, 14, and Ruby, 10, but his son Joshua, who is nearly two, was not present.
The Rev Wendy Steadman offered sympathy to the family over the ‘sudden and tragic death’ of David, who had always been known by his parents and sister Bev as ‘our baby’.
She said: “He’s lived all his life in Lache, first in Colchester Square and then Sycamore Drive. As a kid he was always active and busy.
“The family well-remember him in Colchester Square tackling all the pot holes with his best mate Dave Smith. Making their own mixture, they set out to concrete the square, showing early interest in what he was to do later with the ground repairs and so on.
“He went to Lache infants and junior schools and then to Queen’s Park, which, and I’m going to quote his family, he ‘hated with a passion’.
“He was good at skiving off and had a particular hate for PE and there may be many of you that remember that. Certainly Dolly remembers his constant requests for notes to get him off PE. Practical things were what he enjoyed the most, like going off fishing with his dad.”
Rev Steadman added: “He was a happy sort of person who would have a go at everything, never mind the consequences, they could take care of themselves. Everybody I have spoken to, not just the family, but people have kept saying to me ‘he was a good lad’, willing to do anything for anybody.”
Following a service at Blacon Crematorium, the family asked mourners to join them at the Home Guard club. All donations were to Cancer Research UK.
An inquest into Mr Lavender’s death was opened and adjourned last Thursday.