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David Riordan

David Riordan, 72

David Nelson Riordan, 72, of Marblehead, MA, passed away on Tuesday, October 25, 2022 surrounded by his loved ones. He was the beloved husband of Susan Riordan with whom he shared 20 years of marriage.   


Born in Salem, MA, David was the son of the late Nelson and Ethel (Hartung) Riordan. 


He was the devoted father of Will and Megan Reiley and his dogs, Nellie and the late Maxie.  He was the dear brother of Mike Riordan (Karen) and the late Sandra Riordan and the cousin of Lisa Noble.  He also leaves behind his father and mother-in-law Bill and Malora Gundy, his brothers and sisters-in-law Scott and Mary Gundy, Jim and Sue Gundy, Melissa and Pieter Muntendam, Jon and Jen Paul,  and his many nieces and nephews. Dave is also survived by his former wife, Melissa Fisher.  


David grew up in Marblehead and Lexington, MA before moving to southern California in 1964. He graduated from Palisades High School in 1969. He studied Earth Science and Architecture at Santa Monica College and Cal State North Ridge. When he returned to Marblehead in 1973, he began working as a carpenter for Garry Martin and Greg Maitland. In 1975 he began business as David Riordan Carpentry. He expanded into Riordan Construction Inc. in 1984 and continued until present.


Dave was most passionate about his vocation. He took great pride in making each project unique.  He continually expanded his knowledge and creativity of his work over the years. 


Dave built his home in Marblehead and filled it with love.  It became a gathering place shared with family and friends, good food, music and laughter. 


He attended Grace Community Church where he served playing his guitar every Sunday with the worship team. He was a Freemason and past master at the Philanthropic Lodge F. & A.M in Marblehead.   He volunteered for many years for the Old and Historic Committee. He was involved with the Marblehead Chamber of Commerce, Marblehead Rotary Club and he was on the oversight committee for the restoration of historic Abbott Hall. He was one of the first contractors to sign up to build the original Marblehead Information Booth. Dave auctioned his service for many years to raise money for the Marblehead Festival of Arts.


Dave channeled the essence of his spirit into everything he did.  His energy was infectious to all those around him.  


His love of music and playing the guitar became less of a hobby and more of an extension of himself. He spent many hours jamming with his musician friends. His hobbies included tennis, skiing, golf, reading,  hiking and mountain biking, and creating with his hands. He enjoyed finding projects around the house, cooking and gardening with his wife Susan.


Dave’s courageous ten month battle with Cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer), was truly inspirational.  We watched as this unfair disease turned his carpenter’s body into bones, but in inverse proportions, his spirit and character grew into a larger and more concentrated version of himself.


Dave lived life to the fullest and instead of expressing sorrow for himself, he took the opportunity to embrace each precious moment with family and friends.  In the months following his diagnosis, he could often be found driving around in his ’56 red Chevy truck, puttering around on the golf course or enjoying an ice cream cone with family and friends. 


Visiting hours will be held on Friday, November 4th from 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Eustis & Cornell of Marblehead, 142 Elm Street. A Masonic service will be held at 7:30 p.m.  A funeral service will be held on Saturday, November 5th, 2022 at 11 a.m. at Grace Community Church, 17 Pleasant Street.  Additional parking is available at the Masonic Lodge, 62 Pleasant Street. 


Memorial contributions may be made to The RARE Initiative at  The RARE Initiative is a non profit organization focused on how rare cancers are treated by investing in solution driven cancer initiatives.


Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Riordan family.