Deacon David Emory England, a professor and Catholic deacon devoted to social justice and faith, passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, Aug. 10 after a long battle with lung cancer.
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David spent his life in service to others. He earned a Purple Heart during two tours of duty in Vietnam with the Marines and then joined the Georgia Department of Corrections. As a warden, he gained the respect of both the staff and inmates for being fair and honest. After eight years, he went back to college, obtained his PhD in Philosophy of Political Science, and devoted almost 20 years to teaching at Arkansas State University.
David had a life-long love for learning, and helping others. In the last 45 years, he focused his studies on the Bible and served the Catholic Church and his community as a deacon in both Arkansas and Florida. He championed the expansion of the St. Vincent de Paul society's work into the prison system and helped provide relief to those in need throughout the South.
David loved his family dearly and is survived by his loving wife, Sheila; his daughter, Frances England of San Francisco, Calif.; his son, David England of St. Charles and his son Paul England, of St. Louis, Mo. David also leaves behind five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
A Prayer Vigil will be held Wednesday, Aug. 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, 1200 Valparaiso Blvd, Niceville, FL. A funeral mass will be held Thursday morning at 10 at Holy Name Catholic Church, followed by a luncheon. Interment with full military honors will follow in Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola on Friday, Aug. 15 at 9:30 a.m. Memorial donations may be made to St. Vincent Du Paul, Holy Name of Jesus.
David's family has created a website to collect all of his homilies and share his teachings of the Bible. It can be found at www.catholicbibleinsights.org.
You may go online to offer condolences to the family and sign the guestbook at www.heritagegardensfuneralhome.com. Heritage Gardens Funeral Home of Niceville is entrusted with the arrangements.
Heritage Gardens Funeral Home & Cemetery
2201 N Partin Dr Niceville, FL 32578
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on Aug. 13, 2014