'Dan will live forever in our happy memories'
PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 July 2014 | UPDATED: 08:55 29 July 2014
Moving tributes from across Ottery St Mary to tar barreller, 28.
FAMILY of a ‘true Ottregian who was Tar Barrels through and through’ have led loving tributes to a cherished son, brother, uncle and friend to so many.
‘Kind’, ‘funny’, ‘polite’, ‘honest’ and ‘trustworthy’ are just some of the words used to describe the many qualities of Dan Rowland, 28, who died on July 18.
His cheeky smile and fun-loving nature will also be remembered fondly.
Dan’s mum and dad, Lesley and Graham, and sister, Leanne, have thanked the community for its ‘overwhelming’ support in the past few days.
The family home in St Budeaux Close has been filled with flowers and more than 200 cards from far and wide.
Dan’s funeral will take place at Ottery Parish Church at 3.30pm on Thursday (July 31), followed by a service for family and close friends at East Devon Crematorium.
Such was Dan’s popularity, people he knew will return from across the country and Europe to pay their respects.
Ottery’s carnival committee is to dedicate a tar barrel to him, and close friends will honour Dan by getting tattoos bearing his initials.
Countless others have turned to Facebook to thank Dan for his friendship, the memories he has left them with, and to say he will never be forgotten.
“He was fun-loving, his mates adored him,” said Lesley. “He was his mum’s boy.
“He lived for his barrels, that was his great pride.”
Graham said his son ‘would do anything for anybody’, adding: “I am so proud of him. He was a true Ottregian, Tar Barrels through and through.”
He issued a heartfelt thank-you to all those who have written cards, brought flowers or stopped at the house with kind words.
Graham said: “Daniel took his own life. We do not know why.
“The support we have received has been totally overwhelming. It’s been a great comfort to myself and Lesley.”
Leanne said that, like many, she would remember her brother’s smile. “He could get away with murder with his smile,” she added.
Dan, a former Ottery primary and King’s School pupil, found his ‘first passion’ at the age of seven when he began taking part in the tar barrels – something he did every year since without fail.
He even timed a spell travelling to Australia and Thailand in 2008 so that he would be able to return home for the tradition.
Dan also loved and spent much time fishing, was an ardent Chelsea supporter and keen golf player.
He was a plumber by trade and his customers have been among those to contact his family to express their sadness.
Dan was more like a brother to his cousin, Emma Snow, who said: “He was always the funny joker of the group that everyone could rely on to lighten any mood, even if it wasn’t the right time!
“He will live forever in everyone’s happy memories of the funny, kind, handsome man that he was.”