David C. McMurray of Shrewsbury passed away Tuesday, September 1, after a brief illness. He was 57.
David was born on December 7, 1962 at Burbank Hospital in Fitchburg. He was the son of the late John P. and Ann (Coffey) McMurray of Fitchburg. David is survived by his brother, Shawn and Shawn’s partner Sheila McDonald Gibbons of Webster, as well as by his niece, Erin K. McMurray, his grandnephew Samuel, and his grandniece Libby, all of Southborough.
David is fondly remembered for his warm smile and his gentle manner. He was well-regarded by everyone who was lucky to know him. Despite his disabilities and being born in an era in which society held few expectations for people with his condition, David lived a rich and fulfilling life into his elder years.
David was an early member of ARC, an organization that advocated for the civil and human rights of individuals with developmental disabilities. He also participated in the Special Olympics. David lived at home in Fitchburg with his loving parents until 1976, when he moved to the Irving A. Glavin Regional Center in Shrewsbury, which allowed him autonomy and facilitated greater independence as he grew into adulthood. He particularly enjoyed musical activities and loved to attend dances at Holy Cross. He was an active community member at Glavin until shortly before its closure in 2008. After moving into a group home, David continued to enjoy close relationships with his housemates and staff. He enjoyed vacations with friends to Cape Cod and Maine throughout his life. In his later years, David channeled his life-long love of animals (particularly dogs) into volunteer work with local animal shelters.
The family wishes to express gratitude for the caring and attentive staff of the former Glavin Center and at the Lake Street group homes in Shrewsbury for the daily care and companionship they provided David at his home and for helping him participate in community activities throughout a great portion of his life. The family also wishes to thank the medical staff at St. Vincent Medical Center CCU for the attentive and compassionate medical care in the last weeks of his life.
David’s funeral will be held on Saturday, September 5, from the Smith-Mallahy-Masciarelli and Fitchburg Chapel of the Sawyer-Miller-Masciarelli Funeral Home, 243 Water St., Fitchburg, with a Mass at 11 a.m. in St. Bernard’s Parish @ St. Camillus Church, 333 Mechanic St., Fitchburg, MA. A calling hour will be held at the funeral home from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. prior to the mass. Social Distancing and the use of a mask will be required.
Burial will follow in St. Bernard’s Cemetery, Fitchburg.
For those who wish to honor the memory of David, in lieu of flowers, the family requests that individuals commit an act of kindness for a person who could use a little help.
See www.masciarellifamilyfunealhomes.net for further information.
John F. Masciarelli and Walter C. Taylor, Funeral Directors
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