David Matthews remembered as a gentle, courteous and unassuming man

By Sue Read   |   Senior Reporter   |
Thursday 19th May 2022 10:45 am
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David Matthews.
David Matthews. (submitted )

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A MAN who loved being at the heart of his family, who took great care and pride in his work, David Matthews died on April 23, aged 71.  A Memorial Service was held on Friday, May 13 at the Church of the Holy Cross, Crediton.

The service was taken by the Rev Preb Anthony Geering who said they were honouring a gentle, courteous and unassuming man.

A beloved husband, never happier than at the heart of his family though his work ethic often clashed with that.

Mr Geering said that David had become a skilled mechanic and technician, the “good trio” of him with his wife, Gill, and son Mark making Crediton Auto Services the repair shop and chauffeur driven car hire business it became.

He said that David was born in St Thomas, Exeter.  His parents, John and Beryl Matthews, had the Rose and Crown at Sandford, his father also running a daytime taxi service.

David started school at Sandford but the family soon moved to The Oatsheaf, the pub on the corner of Searle Street and High Street at Crediton which was only a short step from Miss Boyce’s school off Searle Street.

David gained a place at Crediton Grammar School and learned mechanical work from his father at their garage at the back of The Oatsheaf.

David gained qualifications working at the Triumph dealership, Motomax, in Exeter which began his life long love affair with such classic cars as the TR6.

Mr Geering said: “David’s first project was to build one from scratch - a beauty in Saffron Yellow.  Dave’s life speeded up as he met and married Gill in 1977.  He had gone full time at Union Road, turning down the chance to run The Oatsheaf with Gill.”

His father acquired a taxi and funeral business in Union Road where A Borne and Son had been established since 1882.  John had bought Mr Borne’s hearse at Kiddicott and the Matthews formed a partnership with A White and Sons, funeral directors, which was to last for 42 years.

“Most of us knew David in work guise, working and developing the business with his oldest friend, the late Mike Wright, until his father died in 1999.

“The taxi business was sold in 2000 and Dave indulged in a Jaguar XJ6.”  Mr Geering added that David had loved the countryside and coast visits, enjoyed music, going to Twickenham for the rugby or motor sport and the British Grand Prix, holidays in Cornwall or through Europe.

Mr Geering said: “David enjoyed the simple rich things, the times he and Gill shared.  He loved his work and took immense pride and care with it but he enjoyed his life beyond Union Road with his family.

“He seems to have crammed a lot of love and colour and experience into his life,” said Mr Geering.

He added that no doubt David’s wry sense of humour would appreciate that his own cars and firm and his good friend and business partner, Andrew White, should be his on Friday, May 13.

Donations were for Hospiscare and Marie Curie and can be sent in David’s memory to A White and Sons, Albert Road, Crediton EX17 2BZ.

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