Belfast Telegraph

'Hugely popular' Tyrone man Denver Chambers dies aged 40

By Brett Campbell

Tributes have been paid to a popular and hard-working Co Tyrone father whose sudden death has "completely devastated" his family.

Denver 'Deni' Chambers (40) was at a party in a friend's house close to where he lived in Stewart Avenue in Cookstown when he collapsed on Saturday morning.

It is understood his aunt, who is a nurse, made her way to the property and attempted to save him before paramedics arrived, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination is expected to be carried out today in order to determine the cause of death.

Canon RJ Norman Porteus, who officiated Deni and his wife Michaela's "beautiful Christmas wedding ceremony" in 2012, said the entire family, including Mr Chambers' three-year-old daughter Rebecca, were in a profound state of shock.

"They are completely devastated, it's hard for everyone to take in what has happened," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"The neighbours have been very supportive, the whole community has rallied round them and they are very grateful."

Rev Porteus described how the family had to take down numerous sympathy cards yesterday morning.

"His daughter kept asking whose birthday it was, it's been very difficult for them to try and explain this to someone so young," he said.

"They were such a close family - he absolutely doted on Rebecca and my heart aches for her and Michaela."

The clergyman also expressed his deepest sympathies to Deni's mum Valerie, dad Eric and "special grandmother" Greta.

"Deni spoke to his mum on the phone on Friday night and everything was fine, the only thing he complained about was a toothache," he added.

It is thought Deni, a member of Tullyhogue Boyne Defenders LOL No 111, who marched in the Apprentice Boys parade in Londonderry last week, had been taking painkillers for relief.

Rev Porteus described the passionate Rangers fan - who wore a RFC kilt on his wedding day - as a hugely popular person.

"Deni was a very likeable and had a huge interest in the First and Second World War, but ultimately he was a family man," he said.

"Everyone is in a state of disbelief because he was a young man with a lovely home and family with so much to live for."

In an online tribute, The Tyrone Somme Memorial Association expressed their sympathy to the family "following the tragic and premature death of our friend Deni. May God bless and comfort you all at this sad time," it said.

Councillor Trevor Wilson expressed his "profound shock" and offered condolences to the family.

"This is a sad and untimely death which has left the entire community in a deep state of shock," he said.

"He was very well-liked in the area and I know his family are completely devastated. My thoughts and prayers are with them at this very sad time."

Details for the funeral service, which will be held at Derryloran Parish Hall, will be confirmed later today.

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