David M. Courtney, 71, Worked for Haverhill’s Highway, Water Departments

Following a long and valiant struggle with diabetes, David M. Courtney, 71, died surrounded by the love of his family, on Wednesday Nov. 28 in Haverhill.

Born and raised in the Acre neighborhood of Haverhill, Courtney continued to reside in the Acre and proudly raised his family on Primrose Street.

The son of the late Robert and Mary (Thompson) Courtney, he attended Haverhill High School and received his general equivalency diploma while in the service. He entered the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Virginia, serving on the USS Shenandoah during the Vietnam conflict, where he spent time in the Mediterranean, Naples, Italy. He received the National Defense Service Medal. After finishing his active duty he remained in the Naval Reserve until 1972 when he was honorably discharged.

Courtney married his beloved wife on Aug. 31, 1968 at St. James Church in Haverhill, while in the service. The couple recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Upon returning to Haverhill he worked for the City of Haverhill Highway and Water Departments. In 1985, he started working for Brockway-Smith Company in Andover and was with the company over 20 years.

Courtney was happiest being outdoors, enjoying duck and goose hunting during the fall with friends. He was an avid salt and freshwater fisherman, both onshore and in his kayak. Courtney earned bragging rights for a catch from his kayak where he caught a 49 ½” striper down at the Salisbury Beach Reservation, where he grew up. Once the snow fell, his love for the winter and snow brought him to Maine to snowmobile with his family and friend the late “Butch” Webster in the beautiful countryside. He also enjoyed ice fishing both locally and on his “annual ice fishing week” away with the guys.

Animals were special to Courtney and brought him much joy. He loved watching and feeding the birds and over the years had the dear companionship of his loving his cats, Snowball, Shadow and Cleo. His pride and joy was his grandson Gavin, who is a senior at Haverhill High School. From the time he could stand, Courtney would teach to Gavin a love and respect for nature. A favorite pastime for the pair was to throw a line after school anytime they could. Courtney will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of keeping his company.

Courtney leaves behind his wife of 50 years, Karen A. (Shurtleff) Courtney, his daughter, Carrie Courtney and her companion Matthew Woodman, and his “one and only” grandson and fishing partner Gavin Michael Flaherty. He also leaves behind his sister, Nancy Fontaine and her husband Randy, nephew Ryan Fontaine and wife Lauren, nephew Robert Clohecy and wife Paula, niece Kristen, sister-in-law Gail Powell and niece Stacey, brother-in law Brian Shurtleff and wife Donna, niece, Kayla, and extended family members.

Family and friends are invited to attend calling hours on Sunday, Dec. 2 from 2-5 p.m. at the Kevin B. Comeau Funeral Home, 486 Main St., Haverhill. Funeral services will begin on Monday morning in the funeral home at 10 a.m. with a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at 11 a.m. at St. James Church, Primrose Street, Haverhill. The Courtney family would like to thank Whittier Rehab, Hannah Duston Rehab and High Pointe Hospice for the excellent care Courtney received. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to COP Amputee Association, Inc., P.O. Box 304, Wenham, MA 01984 www.amputee-coalition.org/amputee-association or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 313 Washington St., Suite 310, Newton, NH 02456 www.stjude.org.