Memorial for 24-year-old 'true Murietan'
A memorial will be held Sunday at Lake Clementia Park for David Sutherland, who died Wednesday in an accident at the Villas pool. The celebration of life will begin at 4:30 p.m.
David Sutherland lived with his parents, Mark and Janet Sutherland, in Murieta North. "He's a true Murietan," Mark Sutherland said of his son."We've lived here 25 years, and he's 24. My wife was pregnant with David when we moved in here, so his whole life's here. He always said it was a storybook place to live."
For the celebration of life, "we'll bring his truck in with all the things that meant something to him. His drums, his fishing pole, his bow and arrows, just things that he liked to do. We're bringing his Xbox 360," his father said as friends and family gathered at the house and worked outside, washing David's white pickup and preparing tables and chairs for the memorial. "We're hoping that people come and just say something. ... He was a good kid. He wasn't a kid that ever got in serious trouble. Just had fun and enjoyed other people and was helpful. He's just part of the community. More so than the rest of the family combined. He was our community liaison. I don't know how many people knew him, but it was one heck of a lot. ... Some of the kids in this community are just heartbroken. David was their best friend."
He said David worked at the Plaza Foods for several years, and some of his best friends are from those days.
For the last three years, he worked for Lowe's, and he was attending Folsom Lake College.
"He was a straight-A student there. He was a really good student," Sutherland said. He added that his son had recently decided he wanted to be medical lab technician. After David's death, Sutherland canceled two high-level science classes he was signed up for, knowing his son would want the spots to be available to other students.
His son loved the holidays and family traditions like Easter egg hunts, Halloween parties and St. Patrick's Day hunts for pots of gold, but Christmas was his favorite time, Sutherland said.
The Sutherland Christmas lights display on Puerto Drive has been a prize-winning community favorite for years. This year, "if I end up doing my Christmas lights, I will have a little thing, not a big thing, just this one year, that will be a little memorial for David," Sutherland said. "It'll be the first Christmas without him, and that was his favorite holiday. So that just kind of makes sense."
His son "really cared about family," Sutherland said, and he demonstrated that when his older brother, Michael, and his wife, Jen, had their first child two months ago. "David actually never takes a day off work, and he took a day off so he could see and hold his little nephew, Tyler. That was really special to David. It was like the biggest thing in the world to him."
David is also survived by his younger brother, Travis.
The accident that claimed David Sutherland's life occurred while he was visiting friends at the Villas complex. He was alone when he tripped and fell into the pool, striking his head, Mark Sutherland said authorities told the family. "There seems to be no foul play here. Just a horrible accident. They ruled out anything to the contrary," he said.
Mark and Janet Sutherland are both teachers, and Mark said they are "very dedicated" to their children. "Something like this makes you step it up, fill in the void for David and give to others," he said. "I'm not going to be angry or resentful. I hurt a lot, but if anything, I'm going to be just the opposite of that. More loving, more giving...."
"It's nice that when the chips are down, the best of Rancho Murieta always comes out. I've seen it in other instances ... people bending over backwards and helping out. It's just really a great thing. It makes you feel happy to be here. My son was born here and died here, but I don't feel I have to get away from here because of the bad memories. Just the opposite. I feel like I always need to stay here and have him here."
What a beautiful eulogy. I did not know David, but I lost a grandson at an unacceptable young age. May your memories be filled with his precious smile, his joy in living, and your dream for his future now held sweetly in the Lord's hands. Bless you and your family.
We've known David and the Sutherland family for at least 20 years.
David was a wonderful friend to one of my sons, and vice versa. They have spent many years doing fun stuff together - whether is was selling lemonade, sodas and brownies to the golfers at a stand set up on Guadalupe to racing around on their gopeds, bought in part with the funds from these sales -to the most recent homemade drum videos put on YouTube. The "wheels were always turning" for these two.
David was a good, kind, off-the-charts intelligent person and he will be missed forever by us. From Rancho Murieta to Ft. Riley, Kansas, this family grieves with the Sutherlands.
We still can't believe this tragedy is true ~