In Memory of




Obituary for David Harris Arey

David Harris Arey, 65, of Concord passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, October 24, 2023.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, November 3 at 11:00am at Central United Methodist Church where David was a lifelong member. The family will greet friends following the service.

David was born on September 27, 1958, the youngest son of the late Laurabel Drust Arey and Dr. John Vincent Arey. From an early age David was an avid lover of nature and the outdoors. This was reflected in the numerous drawings he did as he demonstrated his talent as a young artist. His talent and love of art continued throughout his life, during which time he received many accolades and awards.

David graduated from Concord High School in 1976 where he excelled in football (known as ‘Little Number 11’). He then attended North Carolina State University where he was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He later transferred to UNC Charlotte where he graduated from the school of architecture.

David then moved to Wilmington, NC to join Ballard, McKim and Sawyer architecture firm. It was there that he discovered his passion for movies and theater. As the movie industry flourished, David became an extra on many films shot in Wilmington. He had minor roles in Super Mario Brothers and the cult classic Weekend at Bernie’s. Through the movie network David collaborated with several independent filmmakers and had the lead role in the film The Setting Sun.

In the 1990’s David returned to Concord to assist his father on the family farm and act as caregiver as his father aged. He spent many hours learning to garden from his father, which he continued to do and shared the fruits of his labor with friends and family. David continued his love of the theater with productions at the Old Courthouse Theater. He also experimented using various mixed media to create landscapes, abstract art and sculpture. David’s most recent film and artwork was a collaboration with colleague and close friend Dennison Moore in The Sun Sets on Whipsaw.

David faced numerous adversities throughout his adult life with strength and dignity. Anyone who encountered David knew that he was a unique character who embraced his eccentricities. He had great passion as well as a wit for whatever he wanted to pursue. Through the years he was known by many nicknames or terms of endearment among which were Tot, Da and Crazy Dave. David will be not only remembered for his many artistic achievements but also for his gentle spirit, kindness to others and nonjudgmental nature.

David was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Elizabeth Ann Arey. He is survived by his siblings John Vincent Arey, Jr. (Sandy), Alice Arey Harling (T. Laine Harling), Timothy A. Arey (Jane) as well as nieces and nephews; Curtis Arey (Erica), Carter Natarajan (Raj), Jordan Arey (Sarah), Jackson Arey, Lallie Harling-Cummings (Russell), Carey Harling, Thomas Harling, Jr. (Arina), Vincent Arey II (Anne), Alexandra Shull (Wes) and eleven great nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the charity of one’s choice.