David Ray Brewster

1. New Hanover, North Carolina

Jul 11, 1951 – Dec 30, 2019 (Age 68)


July 11, 1951
December 30, 2019
1. New Hanover, North Carolina


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DAVID RAY BREWSTER David Ray Brewster, 68, of Wilmington, NC passed away on Monday, December 30, 2019, surrounded by his loving family after a valiant 2 year battle against pancreatic cancer. David was born July 11, 1951 to Fred Lee Brewster and Wilma Charlotte Phelps Brewster at Great Lakes Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, IL. He was raised in Chicago, IL and was an All City standout in baseball, basketball and football at Tuley High School. Among numerous other awards & accolades he was nominated for the Knute Rockne Award for football in 1969. He was coached by Illinois Hall of Fame baseball coach Rich Tomoleoni, who became a lifelong mentor and friend. David was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds organization but decided instead to further his education at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, IL while also playing semi-pro baseball for the Chicago Stars from 1969-1972. At NIU, David played baseball and every intramural sport possible as a proud member of his Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. His sophomore year he ran across campus to ask a pretty blonde named Lisa White - who would become the love of his life - out on a date. The summer after graduation in 1973, David and Lisa drove to visit Lisa's parents who had recently relocated from Illinois to Wilmington, N.C. They enjoyed the beach and warm weather so much they decided to stay and find jobs teaching rather than moving back to the Chicago winters. In 1974 David was hired by Leon Brogden to teach and coach three sports at D.C. Virgo Middle School. He and Lisa married on April 13, 1974. In 1976 David became a US History teacher and an assistant football and baseball coach at New Hanover High School, where he would remain until he retired. Upon Coach Buck Hardee's retirement in 1988, David turned a historically successful baseball program into a national powerhouse. Under his leadership, New Hanover would go on to win 6 Conference Championships and 2 State Championships. Between 1993-1996, they would be consistently ranked #1 in the nation, finishing in the top 10 each year. He earned 4 Conference Coach of the Year and Regional Coach of the Year awards and was North Carolina Coach of the Year in 1993 & 1994, the same years he was nominated for National Coach of the Year. David also helmed the American Legion Post 10 team during this time period and led the team to State Championships in 1994 & 1995 and the Southeastern Regional Championship Runner up in 1994 & 1995. He was inducted into the NC American Legion Hall of Fame in 2013. David could remember specifics about every player and student he ever coached or taught. He took great pride in their successes on the field and in the classroom but was always most proud of their accomplishments off the field as good spouses, parents, and members of their communities. David loved hunting, going out on the boat, spending time with his family and his dog "Coach." He could be an intimidating presence but was loving and warm with a generous heart and a great sense of humor. He was competitive and had a fighting spirit that enabled him to defy every prediction and statistic that said he would only survive a few weeks. He was a devoted life partner and a beloved father who will be missed beyond measure. His small grandchildren adored their "Big Brew" and he delighted in every minute with them. David is predeceased by his parents, father-in-law Richard White & step father-in-law Terrance Finch. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Lisa; children Ashley Brewster Goodell & husband Gavin, Eric Brewster & partner, Ashley Batten, and Anna Brewster Miller & husband Russell; grandchildren Saylor Grace & Holton Banks Batten, Charlotte Rose &Preston Brewster Miller, all of Wilmington. He is additionally survived by his mother-in-law Tyke Finch of Wilmington; sister-in-law Lori White and husband Larry Edmondson; brothers-in-law Eric White and wife Elsa, and John White and wife Stacey; sisters Karen Hatfield and husband Ron and Freddie Brewster; loved by numerous nieces and nephews as well as beloved extended family in New Zealand. The family would like to thank Dr. Gerard Blobe at Duke, Dr. Andrew Schrieber, and Dr. Scott Visser as well as the many nurses and medical staff at Duke and NHRMC. They would especially like to thank Dr. William P. Nixon for his invaluable time, counsel, and advice throughout the last 2 years. Visitation will be on Sunday, January 5, from 4-7 pm at Andrews Mortuary Valley Chapel. A Memorial Service will be held Monday, January 6, at 2 pm at Wrightsville United Methodist Church, with a reception immediately following in the fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to David Brewster's personal fundraising page for Pancreatic Cancer Network at http://support.pancan.org Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.andrewsmortuary.com

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I'll always remember the potential Coach Brewster saw in me as an athlete and a student. Even now, just the thought gives me a boost of confidence and a little more gas in my tank to go farther, to push more, to focus, or to try again. Like many of my NHHS coaches, his encouragement and guidance played an instrumental role in how I live to this day, as a father and a professional. Thank you Coach Brewster for all the positive that you instilled in me and in many of your players. Love and...

As his frosh /Soph basketball coach/teacher, I had the silly distinction to tape his knee once because he said it hurt . He was a tall spindlly growing boy who was so respectful and easy to coach. We still kept in touch through Rich Tomoleoni all the way up to now.He made me feel so good to see his accomplishments as a teacher/coach. His husbanding and parenting are among his highest ones. He will always be loved.

Dear Brewster Family, I am so sorry to hear about Dave's passing. My heart breaks knowing his struggle was long and hard, but I am sure he found great comfort in the love you shared with him as a family. Words are never right at a time like this, I only wish I could have been there with a hug.
My sympathies to all of you at this sad time. With love, Dee O'Brien

Lisa, Scott and I are sorry we could not be with you to celebrate Davids life. We have such fond memories from back in the day at softball tournaments. We pray that your many happy memories will bring comfort to you and your family in the days and years ahead.
Love to all of you,
Scott and Val Anderson

A Salute to an amazing person who I will forever remain close with in spirit.
Coach Tom

First our coach/player relationship, and our common birthdate that we shared, and later, through the years our lifelong friendship, sharing our common coaching habits, styles, and beliefs as well as family raising habits, styles and beliefs; all these very precious memories will always be treasured.
Dave Brewster, you made a difference, A BIG DIFFERENCE, in the many, many lives that you touched in your time here, and in the most dignified and honorable way imaginable.

I met David and Lisa in the mid 70s shortly after they were married. I was always impressed with his very successful baseball coaching career. I also enjoyed catching up with David when I would run into him at Sams Club or other local locations. I also liked hearing about Davids P I business. David always seemed to be friendly, well grounded, and a just all around nice guy. Lisa, I pray that your many fond memories of David will help to alleviate your pain.

Lisa and family, I worked with Dave at NHHS for many many years. We were a family, who work together and took care of one another. Just know that he will be missed but not forgotten take care Sandra McIntyre

Dave you are surely going to be missed by all, but your family will always have you in their heart always and forever RIP

Dear Brewster Family,
David will be greatly missed by all of us whom he touched during his life. I know he was a great husband, father, and grandfather. He was also a great friend who was always there to listen whenever I reached out to him. Whenever I walk the fields hunting in the future, know that I will be thinking of him and that he made the world a better place having walked on it.
Love you all!