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‘There’s gonna be a hole in our hearts:’ Funeral held for NHCSO captain who died from COVID-19

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 6:54 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - It was a somber day for hundreds across our region as they attended the funeral of New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Captain David MacAlpine.

MacAlpine died earlier this month after a battle with COVID-19.

His death was the first line of duty death the sheriff’s office has had in decades, and the funeral featured special honors, including a long processions of officers and a flag line.

Wilmington’s Wilson Center was packed with family members and law enforcement officers across several agencies paying their respects at the funeral. The crowd spanned multiple floors in the venue.

His presence will be dearly missed by his mother, his wife, his three children, and their grandchildren.

During the service, his widow described him as a model husband who provided for his family and never allowed her to worry about anything.

His daughters and son shared scripture, memories, and cried together on the stage as they reflected on his loss. The captain’s young granddaughter even took to the mic to speak about MacAlpine.

“Captain Mac was just a dear, close friend to me and to all of us and there’s just gonna be a hole in our hearts for a long time — missing him,” said New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon. “He was the glue that held a lot of our relationships together and you could just always count on Captain Mac to be there and to do anything we needed him to do.”

His memory will not be forgotten by those who knew him. Leaders at Cape Fear Community College (CFCC), where MacAlpine worked with a force of college resource officers, set up a fund so that young law enforcement officers in the future will know of him too.

Tuesday they announced a scholarship for students of color pursing their Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET). The scholarship has gathered enough support already that it became an endowment, and will be available for students forever.

“I’ve always thought of him as such a very extremely friendly guy and willing to reach out and help people whenever and however he could,” said CFCC president Jim Morton. “So to me, I would hope that we’re helping him pay it forward.”

There’s already $25,000 pledged to that scholarship fund and anyone in the community who would like to donate can do so as well by going through CFCC.

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