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Friends and Family Remember David Epps

About 30 gathered at a Laguna Niguel church to share their memories of the late Epps, 49, including his girlfriend, Cindy.

Friends and loved ones gathered inside the comforting walls of the Faith Episcopal Church in Laguna Niguel on Wednesday evening to share their memories of David Epps, 49, who who hanged himself behind the local Sport Chalet on Aug. 1.  

Around 30 paid their respects, watched a special slide show, and told stories about the man h 

Here are some memories: 

"David loved his family and he was very protective of them. Whatever he did, he put his heart and soul into it. David was an excellent chef. When he prepared food, you would get hungry just looking at it. David was a very neat and fun loving person. He was always willing to help anyone and any way he could. I loved him dearly and will always remember him with love and respect ... Rest in peace my dear nephew."  -- Aunt Gladys

"To my dear nephew and my godson David. Time will not help me from not thinking about you. I will never forget your great smile, love and happiness, you gave to me. I will miss you." -- Your Aunt & Godmother Hattie

"My brother’s children and my children were very close in age - as a result of this, they spent a lot of time together; especially during summer vacations. David was a happy fun loving little boy, a bit mischievous, but always thoughtful and very generous. He loved his family and enjoyed being around them. He was an excellent and creative chef, both in preparation and presentation. He was most helpful to me as we celebrated our annual Christmas dinner parties in my home over the years. I will always remember my nephew for his kind, gentle spirit, for his love of family, and his willingness to offer a helping hand to all who were blessed to be in his presence. 'For everything there is a season' ... Rest in peace beloved nephew.” -Aunt Chris

"The David I knew was a very fun loving nephew. He loved laughing and talking with family. His Uncle Billy was very fond of him and it went both ways. They loved to talk about and going fishing. I remember his cooking us a luxurious meal after fishing one day, a meal that was fit for a king. David was a top chef in my book. I remember many calls from David checking on his Uncle Billy and I, it didn’t matter where he was. He was also very close to his cousin (my son) Brian. Whenever they would see each other, you couldn’t separate the two. I will always remember his wonderful smile and laugh." --  Aunt Elaine

"My son Lawrence Epps Jr. (Larry) is only six months older than my nephew David.  They grew up together. My brother Joe and I would take them on vacations to our native Virginia home. We fished, cooked, and just had a lot of fun together. We also held family gatherings at my home in Long Island, NY, and my brother’s home in Englewood, NJ.  David never gave me any problems; he always respected me. He would call me from California and tell me what was going on. I would say to him, 'remember you are never too old for me to pull down your britches and put you across my knee and give you a spanking.' I loved my nephew David and will miss him, his jokes, his cooking, his love of family." -- Uncle Larry

"Among others, some of my fondest memories of childhood and David involve climbing trees.  Seems we were always getting into some kind of 'trouble' for being high up in the branches.  One time in particular, David, Debbie, and I all climbed onto the same limb. We were holding on with our legs dangling below, that is until ... the branch broke and we came tumbling down! Thankfully it was a fairly low branch and no one was injured. From that time on, we were much more cautious in our tree climbing. I always smile when that story comes to mind. When all is said and done, I believe, the most important thing is that each person in their own way has tried their very best. I know this holds true for Dave. I'll miss him always. Love you Brother." -- Sis, Karen

"My brother loved me so much I cannot put it into words; I loved him just as much. He took his job of Big Brother very seriously. He was protective, loving and caring.  My father took us on a one year tour of Europe when we were 10 (me) and 12 (David).  David took me everywhere!  We played at the ruins of the Acropolis, hiked the mountains of Turkey and skated on the frozen canals of Amsterdam. When we lived in New York, he took me to the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Staten Island ... anywhere he could think of he took me.  He dared me to challenge myself with skateboarding, tree climbing and many other outdoor activities, which I loved. He showed me the best of life.  He developed my love for exotic places as well as exotic foods. We were best friends. I am forever grateful to him for being so GOOD to me and being the best brother and friend I have ever had. Love to a Great Brother." -- Debbie

"My Uncle David, one of the greatest things I remember about my Uncle David is how amazing a chef he was and how hard he tried to please his patrons, as well as his family members. I remember visiting him when I was young and he made me the most amazing chicken dish I have ever tasted. It was so wonderful that to this day, I have tried to find a similar dish but have found none. He was a super talented chef and the culinary world will miss his contributions ... I will miss his culinary genius as well. Rest in peace Uncle David. You will always be in my heart." --Jamie 

"When we had our first date, he cooked lamb for us. At that point I knew we would become soul mates and best friends forever. He enjoyed cooking on our grill. David loved the outdoors, he would take me fishing at Dana Point, where I had to climb over the rock formations. I will always cherish our trout fishing trips with 'Daddy' Joe up in Big Pine, California, located between the Sierra Nevada and the White Mountains. We also would have trout cookouts at 'Mom”' Geri’s Home. DAVID had a caring heart, he touched so many lives. Rest in peace, babe. Love always." --Cindy

"David was such an avid fisherman, he would sit all day even if he'd caught only one. His great grandfather also loved fishing as much as David. Every once in a while he and grampa would go to the local stream nearby and compare sizes, and stories when they got home. It was so much fun watching the two of them. For a while David was chef at the Bishop Paiute Casino. Grampa loved going there for the slots and David would slip him a little treat when he was able. As his mom, he will live forever. David, please rest easy now. I love you." -- Mom Geri

"There are far too many memories I have of my son, David, to state any at this time. I will say David and my mother, Mary Dodson Epps, were two of the most lovable people I've ever known. They both loved each other very, very much, as I love them.  Therefore, David’s final memorial and interment will be held in Virginia at his grandmother’s grave site, where I know more than any other place on this earth, David will rest in peace. To all the many good times we shared. I will love you forever." -- Daddy Joe

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