Monday, April 15, 2024

David Sheppard Schools, 77

David Sheppard Schools (Quinn McGowen Funeral Home)

ROCKY POINT — David Sheppard Schools, 77, of Rocky Point passed gently from his earthly life on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 with caring family at his side.

He was born June 12, 1946 in Anne Arundel, MD, the son of Straughn S. Schools and Florence Mae Sheppard Schools. David was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Edward Schools and Robert Schools; sisters, Olive Mae McHugh, Myrtle Briggerman, Betty Jane Phillips, and Brenda Lee Schools.

David is survived by his wife of fifty-seven years Margaret Ann Freeman Schools; daughters, Dawn-Michelle Schools Oliver (Shannon) and Elizabeth Ann Schools Leggett (Diarra); sons, Dallas Straughn Schools (Susan Lamy) and Rhett Sheppard Schools (Gai); grandson, Ivan Ulysses Leggett; and sister, Grace Virginia Jeffrey.

David led an adventurous and unconventional life on the sea that took him all over the world. He served in the US Coast Guard from 1963-1973, which included one tour in Vietnam on the USCG cutter Bering Strait, and tours to the Arctic and the Antarctic on the icebreaker Edisto. He worked out of Alaska on fishing vessels and tugs from 1973 to 1980. On January 11, 1975, he and five other crew members survived the wreck of the tug David Foss that flooded from the stern and sank near Cape Kasilof in Cook Inlet, AK. From 1980 to 1998, he captained supply ships and tugs tending oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, Venezuela, Chili, Nigeria, Egypt, Sicily, India, Indonesia, and Russia. On May 25, 1998, David and his crew were taken hostage and brought ashore on the coast of Nigeria. With a cool head and quick wit, David kept his crew together until they were rescued seven days later. From 1998 to 2003, David captained ocean-going tugs along the east coast from the Caribbean to New England.

In retirement, David proudly became a member of King Solomon Lodge 138 A.F. & A.M. in Burgaw, NC, the Pender County Shrine Club, and the Cape Fear Valley Scottish Rite, all of which provided him new sources of purpose and friendship. His life of travel and adventure supplied him with endless stories, which he told with flair and humor, to the delight of family and friends. He was an avid reader, and had a green thumb. He enjoyed music, dancing, movies, cooking, knotwork, jigsaw puzzles, bird watching, and the company of his devoted dog, Rita. Above all, David loved his family, and was dearly cherished by them in return.

The funeral services will take place 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, 2024 at Quinn McGowen Funeral Home in Burgaw.

A reception with light refreshments will follow at the Pender County Shrine Club.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made instead to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, or the charity of your choice.

Shared memories and condolences may be sent to the family here.

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