David Russell Pelleman went to be with Jesus on February 21, 2023. He died at home in Berryville, Virginia; with family by his side.
Dave was born in Lincoln, Maine on November 29, 1970. He was the son of George H. Pelleman and Diane Lufkin (Thurlow). Dave was raised by his mother, and his grandparents, Othniel and Madeline Thurlow. He spent time in the woods and on the river, and enjoyed both fishing and hunting.
When Dave was nine, his mother Diane, was remarried to Carroll Lufkin. They moved to Mattawamkeag, Maine; where Dave and his sister Wendy grew up with the many loyal friends who still love them to this very day. His stepbrothers, Mike and Brent, along with stepsisters, Tammy and Stephanie; created a larger family, making for fun memories and a full house during the summers.
Dave loved spending time with his best friends at their parents’ home and their camp on the water. He also relished sweet memories of spending summers at Sebago Lake among some of his favorite people.
In high school, Dave attended Mattawamkeag Academy. His favorite sport was baseball. He was a natural ball player, and he loved the time spent on the field with his coach and teammates. He lettered in athletics; also playing on the golf and basketball teams with his best friends throughout the years.
After graduation, Dave began his service to his country when he joined the United States Army, where he served from 1989-1994.
He received his Advanced Individual Training in Fort Rucker, Alabama in September of 1989-1990.
He was deployed to Korea from 1990-1991. Dave was a helicopter crew chief. He serviced multiple missions. Some of the highlights of his Army career were doing mountain top resupplies, and commanding Generals and Distinguished Visitors; such as senators and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
He later served as a crew chief and EMT with his medevac helicopter unit. As a Specialist with technical knowledge, he was required to have a strong work ethic and outstanding leadership skills. He was in charge of keeping the inside and outside of the helicopter safe, well-maintained and productive at all times.
Dave was also in charge of instructing his Army crew on how to operate, repair and complete tasks on the aircraft. In addition; Dave performed rescue missions, which gave him the privilege of saving people’s lives.
He served in Korea, Texas, and Honduras. Dave received numerous awards including: helicopter crew chief, helicopter aircrew members wings, Army Commendation, and Army Achievement Medals for his exemplary service.
A proud veteran, Dave also received the Quilt of Valor Award during his last year of life. It was especially meaningful, because the quilt was made by his own mother; Diane Lufkin.
During his last year of service in the U.S. Army, Dave met his wife to be, Angela Pelleman. They fell in love, and were engaged three months later. Dave accepted Christ during premarital counseling from the pastor who baptized Angela as a child. The couple were married five months after their engagement, on July 23, 1994, in San Antonio, Texas.
Dave was a very self-motivated, hard working man. As a Corporal with leadership positions, and five years of active duty; Dave had acquired college education and a wide variety of skills to be used for future success.
After serving in the Army, he worked at a variety of companies, always with the goal of reaching the top. He quickly became manager, Director of sales, and Vice President of sales; rapidly achieving executive positions wherever he was hired.
In the late nineties, Dave moved to Centreville, Virginia with his wife; continuing to work his way to the top in software storage sales.
Dave loved children. Dave was largely motivated to work harder, so he could be the sole provider for his family. This allowed his wife to stop teaching, so she could be home full time to take care of their future children.
The couple’s dream became a reality, when they received the double exciting news that they were expecting twin boys! Their precious twins, Nicholas and Jacob, were born 2-1/2 months premature. Their proud father and mother were instantly in love with them. Dave desired to give them everything he’d missed out on as a boy, when he didn’t have a father in his life.
The twins needed special care, and would experience different health issues throughout the years; yet through the good and the bad, the family’s focus was the children, which bonded them all together. Though the family experienced a multitude of trials, they kept growing closer, and to this day; still remain a strong, tight, loving unit.
The young family moved to Berryville, Virginia to raise their babies, so their children could grow up in the country; in a safe, peaceful, friendly small town environment. The twins were the greatest gift Dave and his wife had ever received. So was their gift of another deeply desired miracle baby, who came ten years later. A sweet surprise; Dave’s daughter lit up the entire family’s life with her sunshine, love, and creativity. She was a delightful, beautiful baby girl named Abigail, who completed the family. Dave chose her name; it means Father’s Joy.
Over the years, Dave and his family became more involved in the church, further seeking to learn more about Jesus. Dave was first treasurer of the church, while his wife taught children’s Sunday school. A music lover, Dave taught himself to play guitar, and eventually became part of the worship band at Emmaus Church. To his absolute delight, as his two sons grew up, they also joined the worship band, playing acoustic and electric guitars and drums. Dave grinned from ear to ear as he watched them play! He was so proud of them, and so happy they shared his passion for music. The boys were also talented and self-taught, so music was always a part of the family’s life.
Dave was a good provider and hard worker. When his children were sick, he was there. When his wife was sick, he worked his job and took care of the house and ran errands, as well. He was a great role model for the children on how to care for each other when times are tough. He went above and beyond for his family during his wife’s three year chronic illness.
While living in Berryville, Dave had become partner owner of his own software storage business; Ironbrick. Later, he sold his business, and in the last couple years of life, he landed a dream job with a company called Proofpoint. It was a gift from God, because the company’s people took great care of Dave and his family when he suddenly became gravely ill.
In 2022, the family received traumatic news. Dave was diagnosed with a rare, stage 4, fast moving, aggressive colon cancer. It was terminal; difficult surgeries and chemotherapy could possibly slow it down, but there was no cure. Now it was time for the family to rely on God, Jesus, each other, and beloved family and friends; to help Dave at a time when he could no longer physically care for them, or himself, the way he had done before. Yet, while sick, Dave still managed to set things in place to secure his family’s future.
Dave chose to face his cancer by relying on Strength through Jesus, which became his motto for the entire year of his immense pain and suffering. From the beginning, he knew God was calling him home soon. He and his wife chose to share Dave’s Testimony in real time through Angela’s blog: The Silver Lining. Dave said that if his story could help others, and reach people for Jesus, he wanted it told. “Tell it…” he told his writer wife, “… Tell it all.”
At the beginning of his diagnosis, Dave talked to God in the hospital for three days in s row. He told his wife, “I’m excited for once for God showing me the path in my life. There’s gonna be a miracle regardless. Just be looking for it. Be ready for it!”
“If I don’t get healed, and I die, it’s a miracle regardless. I’m ok with it.”
“There are going to be miracles…lots of miracles.”
There have definitely been miracles, with more to come. Relationships have been restored. For the entire time that Dave was ill; family, friends, and community pulled together to visit, pray, feed, and help the family when it was needed most. Dave felt the love coming in, and he was incredibly grateful for so many compassionate people looking out for his family. Dave endured long-suffering; bringing him even closer to God. He was ready to see Jesus a year before his death, but he asked God for more time, so he could help his family get things in order. This was a sacrifice on his behalf, especially when he knew it was going to be a long and very rough road ahead. Still; he took care of things when able, always with his family in mind. Throughout treatments; Dave and his family, with his sister Wendy, helped him to build his t-shirt business. It was a dream he’d had for a long time. Strength Through Jesus Apparel was a way to share what Dave believed in most: Jesus Christ. It was also a way to share some of the proceeds with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where families receive free healthcare for their children who are battling cancer.
Dave’s Testimony continues to uplift and encourage, not only those with cancer, but others who are needing encouragement and struggling with their faith. Dave received thousands of prayers from across the world, and he and his wife received an overwhelmingly positive response for telling their story. Dave and his wife also had the privilege of hearing that many people were being blessed by Dave’s strength and courage through Christ.
After a healing service, Dave received a miracle healing, where his tumors began to shrink. However, the cancer soon returned with a vengeance. Dave said that the miracle was being able to spend Christmas with his beautiful, loving family. He was also able to enjoy Thanksgiving with favorite extended family members who came to visit. These special celebrations were truly a wonderful gift from God.
Dave knew God was still calling him home, and he was ready to go. Dave led three loved ones to Christ, in three consecutive days before he died. He prepared his family for his journey to Heaven; by praying with them and for them, telling them he loved them, and that he was happy and fulfilled. He knew that Heaven is a place of eternal joy, and he knew he’d see his beloved family and friends again. He understood the truth; that all who have received Jesus into their hearts, will be reunited with Dave again, eternally with Jesus in Heaven.
Dave had run his race, and he ran it well. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever” (1 Cor. 9: 24-25).
Dave enjoyed movies, all kind of music, hiking, Jiu-Jitsu, his dogs, and the outdoors. Before his illness, he was proud to have completed the Murph Challenge; a challenge to be done in a day, once a year on Memorial Day, to honor American veterans. The challenge consists of a one mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, and another mile run… all while wearing a 20 pound vest. Dave was so happy that day! Though he enjoyed many things, Dave was happiest spending time with family and friends.
Dave was loud, hilarious, fun, brave, handsome, musical, generous, wise, hard-working, responsible, strong, and so much more. He was blessed with the spiritual gifts of prophecy, wisdom, discernment, patience, and many more good and godly gifts.
Over the years, Dave learned the solid biblical truth; knowing a man can only change for the best, through Jesus Christ. He was a true example of a man who lived and died, knowing “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Phil 4:13).
Out of all of his accomplishments, being a father was his favorite. But Dave would also tell you that no one’s accomplishments matter, unless we live our lives with Jesus. He knew that Jesus is the reason for our being, and the one and only way to our eternal salvation.
Dave was a true soldier in every way. Though Dave will be greatly missed here on earth, he has shared his testimony of strength through Jesus with his family, friends, and strangers all over the world. Thank you, God, for giving everyone the joy of loving Dave, in Jesus’ name.
Dave is lovingly survived by his wife Angela Pelleman, twin sons Nicholas Pelleman and Jacob Pelleman, daughter Abigail Pelleman, sister Wendy Holladay, (spouse) brother-in-law Rick Spurbeck, nephew Nathan Holladay, niece Presley Holladay, mother Diane Lufkin, stepfather Carroll Lufkin, stepbrother Michael Lufkin, (spouse) Paula Lufkin, stepbrother Brent Lufkin, stepsister Tammy DeSalle, (spouse) Mike DeSalle, step-nephews Maximus DeSalle and Samson DeSalle, stepsister Stephanie Langford, (spouse) Jerry Langford, sister-in-law Lisa Mulroy, (spouse) Mark Mulroy, nephew Logan Mulroy, niece Layla Mulroy, half-sisters Dana Horn, Lesley Kendrick, Lori Pelleman, and half-nieces Sydney Brooks and Bailey Bockting.
Dave was predeceased by his grandparents Othniel and Madeline Thurlow, aunt Viola Thurlow, and grandparents George Pelleman Sr. and Mildred Pelleman.
Dave’s Testimony can be found on The Silver Lining at angelaslittleattic.com Search: “Dave’s Testimony” or “cancer.”
Dave’s Testimony 2022: Our Entire Year of Terminal Cancer, Strength Through Jesus, and Trusting in God’s Healing Miracles… A Mini Book (all links in order):
Dave’s Testimony 2023 most recent posts, and to be continued:
Dave’s Strength Through Jesus Apparel store: t-shirts, hoodies, and more: Family receives a small portion of print on demand proceeds, with 10% proceeds given to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which allows children with cancer to receive free treatments. Dave was able to send $500 to St. Jude from Strength Through Jesus, after opening the store in the second half of the year 2022.
Dave will live on in the hearts of all who loved him. “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord” (Mt. 25:23).
Service and Reception:
Memorial Service for David Pelleman will be held on April 1, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. located at:
Christ Church Millwood
843 Bishop Meade Rd
Millwood, VA 22620
Please gather outside before entering the church, for the Final Gun Salute by the Clarke County Color Guard, and the playing of “Taps” to honor our brave veteran.
Flag presentation will follow inside of the church to begin the ceremony. Bring umbrellas in case of rain. Thank you for attending.
Attire for Memorial Service: We are inviting you to wear “Strength Through Jesus” t-shirts and hoodies; military t-shirts if you’ve served, or (tasteful) rock music, or movie tees. Come casual or dressy; or as Dave said, Come as you are!
Note: Parking is sparse. Carpooling is suggested, along with looking for parking at Carter Hall across the road. Parking along the road is normal for large services. Please make sure to not block driveways, or double park. Thank you for your consideration.
Reception will follow service on April 1, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. located at:
Millwood Country Club
340 Country Club Ln.
Boyce, VA 22620
Please meet on the porch or in front of the country club for a prayer to bless the food. We will play Dave’s requested song, which also allows allow a few moments for our wonderful servers and helpers to prepare the meal. Feel free to help yourself to drinks on the porch. Do please come inside anyway if it’s raining. We look forward to having an enjoyable party to celebrate Dave’s life! Thank you for joining us!
Note: There is sparse parking behind the country club. Handicap access is to the left of the club with ramp. Additional parking beyond sheds to the left of the club. Parking also allowed to the side of the road, but please do not block any driveways or double park. Please allow for traffic to continue along the road. Please do not park near the field by the pool. It looks inviting, but is sinking land which could cause an issue for your vehicle. For those who don’t mind walking, parking is also available at Powhatan School, which is to your left right before Country Club Lane. Thank you for your patience and consideration.
The silver lining is that Dave is in Heaven with Jesus for all eternity!
The following link will take you to Dave Pelleman’s memorial page; where you can view more photos, read the obituary, find service and reception info towards the end of obituary, and share your own memories and photos of Dave. Thank you for sharing your favorites with us!
Dave lives eternally in peace. STRENGTH THROUGH JESUS!
One thought on “2/21/2023 Dave’s Testimony: Obituary… Dave is in Heaven with Jesus!”
Dear Angela and family, I am both saddened at your loss and joyful that Dave is home. You and Dave and your family have been at the top of my prayer list, ever since I heard of Dave’s illness, right up to yesterday and I shall continue to ask God’s blessing for you and your family. I’ve obviously never met you folks but the witness Dave has left, and the encouragement your whole family brings, is a gift from God. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this journey. Praise God for His grace and loving kindness. Love in Christ – Bruce