Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

David Scully

January 28, 1942 - May 1, 2023
Grand Rapids, MI



Thursday, May 4, 2023
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Van Strien Creston Chapel
1833 Plainfield Ave., N.E
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
(616) 361-2613
Driving Directions


Friday, May 5, 2023
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Third Reformed Church
2060 Michigan Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 458-3089
Web Site


Friday, May 5, 2023
11:00 AM EDT
Third Reformed Church
2060 Michigan St NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 458-3089
Web Site


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Corewell Health Hospice
750 Fuller Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(866) 542-7945
Driving Directions
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 459-3409
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Humble, generous, and kind, David Scully lived a life rich in family and friends. With a welcoming smile and a heart filled with gratitude, David welcomed each day as a gift. He worked hard and understood the importance of connecting over a good ball game, meal, or campfire. Deeply proud of his family, David relished being a husband, father, grandfather, and brother. He devoted himself to his roles, ensuring the good care of those he loved and sharing many good times along the way. Cherished and revered by many, David will long be remembered and ever so missed.

The mobilization of war efforts in 1942 was quick and effective, with carmakers and other manufacturers changing to the production of weapons of war. Gas rationing, Scrap Days, and Victory Gardens became the norm. At the same time, The Declaration of the United Nations, the newly formed Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, and The Voice of America ensured every citizen had their eyes focused on a better future. Nowhere was there more hope for the future than in the hearts and home of Patrick and Josie (Leys) Scully as they welcomed their son David into their family on January 28, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The seventh of eight children, David grew up in a loving home with his older siblings Bobby (his half-brother who was born in 1920), Patty, Ed, Virginia, Helen, and Jimmy, and his younger sister Mary. The family lived in the 700 block of Clancy St. in the North End of Grand Rapids until David was three. At that time, they moved to Grandma Gertrude Ley's house at 226 Palmer N.E. to support her care as her health declined. While Grandma's bedroom was on the main floor, the home had three upstairs bedrooms. The front one was the largest, and that's where the four girls and David slept. While their mom and dad had the bedroom at the end of the hall, his two brothers had the little bedroom at the top of the steps. A very active kid, Grandma often said, "David, you're a little hellion."

David attended Palmer School from kindergarten through eighth grade and found the neighborhood a fantastic place to grow up. More than a dozen kids gathered every night to play Tag. One boundary was the alley that ran behind Grandma's house. And while the border allowed the kids to go down to the alley and around by Bethel Reformed Church at the corner of Travis and Coit and back onto Coit, they never crossed the alley.

David's mom decided nearby Bethel Reformed Church was a good fit for her family. When she and the kids returned home after services on Sunday night, Patrick always had the big yellow Pyrex bowl full of popcorn. The kids enjoyed half a bottle of pop and a dish of popcorn. Reverend Blauw lived just up the street and often stopped by for a handful of popcorn. His mother also made a fine tradition of fabulous home-cooked meals. She could cook anything, but David's favorites were scalloped potatoes and baked corn made with cans of cream-style corn, an egg, cracker crumbs, salt, and pepper.

Like most kids in his generation, David had several chores he was responsible for completing. Mowing the lawn was one of his jobs. As the yard was large, and he used an old push mower, the job took two days to finish. In the winter, he shoveled out the porch, steps, sidewalk, and street to ensure his dad and older brothers could get their cars out and go to work. He also had a Grand Rapids Press newspaper route. During the winter, his friend Ron Kiteman joined him while he delivered papers, and along the way, people asked them to shovel their driveways and walks. They earned a dollar a piece. About once a month, he cleaned his room, and it was also David's responsibility to help his mother with whatever she needed. Though she rarely required his assistance, he did help her can pickled peaches. This afforded him the opportunity to hide a few jars of them in the basement so he could have them to himself.

When David was not quite 13, his father and sister Patty died on the same day, March 4, 1955. A terrible, sad day, David was so traumatized that he missed the next 12 weeks of school, and he had to repeat the whole school year. As he faced the disappointment of graduating a year later, his mother said, "David, just do what they tell you. You'll get over it." As a high schooler, he tried out for basketball but was the fourth or fifth person cut. There was no surprise when he made the baseball team, as that was his sport. He developed a love of baseball and softball at an early age, first in Little League. It appeared he inherited his mother's softball skills; she played first base and used to say, "David was born with a bat in one hand and a glove in the other."

After graduating from Creston High School in 1962, David received a letter from the draft board to report to Fort Wayne, Indiana. During his physical examination, it was discovered for the first time that David had a heart murmur. The military turned him away, and he returned home. For ages, David's dream was to be a fireman. Unfortunately, though he was tall enough, he didn't weigh enough to be a firefighter, which was deeply disappointing.

On September 6, 1962, David began working at Dickinson Press. Little did he know at the time that it would become the only job he ever had. For 45 years, he worked for the book printer and made many great friends along the way. Starting as a helper, loading feeders and stock and moving stock, he then became a first helper. In this role, David set up the press and kept it full of ink. By the time he retired from Dickinson in 2007, he'd advanced to the position of senior pressman.

In June of 1964, David's life was forever changed when he met Delores "Dee" Steil while camping at Silver Lake in Hart with his friends, Jimmy and Denny McCall. Though he was going out with another gal at the time, he got rid of her in a hurry when he saw Dee wearing a two-piece yellow bathing suit. David learned that Dee had just graduated from Wyoming Park High School. Instantly clicking, the pair got along fine and had a good time at Silver Lake. Unfortunately, David forgot to get her address or her phone number before the weekend ended. Happily, she figured out where his friends lived and wrote him a letter. About six months later, David told Dee, "We got to go look at furniture."

"Why would we look at furniture?" Dee asked.

"Because we're getting married," David declared.

Dee said, "You didn't ask me."

A cocky 23-year-old, David replied, "I don't ask you. I'm telling you: we're getting married."

Engaged in June, David and Dee happily married on January 23, 1965.

The newlyweds first rented the upstairs of a house at 11 Burr Oak N.E., just north of Ann St., for $50 a month, plus David had to do the yard work. When Dee's parents' friends moved out of a large apartment at 1225 Davis N.W., the couple was able to secure it as their own. Though the apartment was very roomy, the garage was small, and difficult to get their new burgundy 1964 Chevy Impala Super Sport in and out of safely. David loved that car and washed it nearly every night.

In time, David and Dee adopted two children. Rick was born November 30, 1969, and Jenny was born November 4, 1974. Their children were the centers of their world, and their lives quickly revolved around working together to create a loving and supportive home. A few years after becoming parents, they started looking for a home to buy, eventually buying one at 1139 Oaklawn N.E. on a land contract at 1.75% interest. They moved in on May 10, 1969, and made it their home for 57 years, until moving to 11651 Bellcrest N.E. in Rockford in 2019.

The Scully family enjoyed rich traditions, including celebrating the holidays with both sides of the family at two different parties and many years of camping. Their camping adventures began when David and two friends went looking at campers together. The only one to buy one, David purchased a 13' "double dinette" with a tiny little stove and bathroom and slept eight. The camper afforded them a lot of good years and many treasured memories. They mostly went to the State Park at Cadillac because it was pretty close. Staying there at least two to three weeks a year, it seemed like it always rained at least one of those weeks. After the kids were grown, David and Dee continued to camp for many more years.

Probably because he wanted to be a fireman earlier in life, David started a collection of fire trucks. He enjoyed the adventure of looking as much as acquiring new finds. Whether going to garage sales or flea markets, like Shipshewana, he always had a good time seeing what sellers had and finding vehicles to buy. There was also a gift shop in Traverse City on Main St., where he acquired several good ones. The guys at work laughed at his collection, but David deflected their jests, saying, "You waste your money on other stuff. I'm wasting my money on something I truly enjoy." Over the years, he collected about a hundred steel and plastic firetrucks.

As we grieve the loss of our steadfast companion, may we find comfort in David's recent reflection. With deep contentment, he proudly shared, "I could not have asked for a better life. I had the best parents, great in-laws, and a wonderful wife. I wouldn't trade Dee for anything. She's the cream of the crop. I've been lucky in life. I've had a great, great life." May we also find comfort in our many treasured memories and how his legacy will live on in our lives. Whenever we confidently face life's challenges, work hard to meet goals, spend time with our loved ones, or adventure with our beloved, we celebrate the many ways, David touched, moved, and inspired us. In this way, we keep his spirit alive and inspiring others as he so inspired each of us.

David Paul Scully, age 81, of Grand Rapids and Rockford, MI, passed away in the comfort of his home and in the company of his family on Monday, May 1, 2023. Along with his parents, David is preceded in death by his sisters Virginia Visser, Mary Marguerite Schultz, and Patty Price, and his brothers Ed and Jim Scully, and Robert Miller. David is survived by his wife of 59 years, Delores Rae [Steil], and their children Richard (Jodi) Scully and Jennifer (Dave) Arnold; grandchildren Jessica Lynn and Levi Arnold; sister Helen Houtman as well as by many nieces and nephews.

David was a member of Third Reformed Church. The service to remember and celebrate David's life will be held on Friday, May 5, 2023, at 11 AM at Third Reformed Church (2060 Michigan Street NE Grand Rapids, MI 49503), officiated by Rev. Jeffrey Peterson. Friends are invited to visit with his family on Thursday, May 4, 2023, from 5-7 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Van Strien Creston Chapel (1833 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505) and at church on Friday beginning at 10 AM. David will be laid to rest in Fairplains Cemetery, Grand Rapids, MI. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Spectrum Health Hospice (750 Fuller Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503) are appreciated. To read more about David, share a memory or photo, or sign his guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com