David Jediah Drafton, 18, of Swansboro, peacefully departed this life Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, surrounded by his family.
A celebration of life service is at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, at Jones Funeral Home, 407 Hammocks Road, Swansboro, NC 28584. Interment at Coastal Carolina State Veterans Cemetery will follow.
David was the eldest child born to Deirdre and David J. Drafton on November 7, 2002 in Jacksonville, NC.
He was a gentle, humble giant of a young man whose inner strength and ironclad resolve was remarkable. As a military child he moved around the world; calling places like Okinawa, Japan, Barstow, Calif. and Beaufort, SC home. Never did he flinch at a challenge or sway from responsibility – he was a natural leader and protector. As a big brother, David took pride, joy and great care in being a good example to his younger siblings, Daviyah and Davin. His love and dedication to them was exceptional.
As a future architect, David had the unique opportunity to tour London’s countryside accompanied by his grandmother and classmates. He ingested many great monuments and buildings giving him inspiration for his sketches and artwork as well as motivation to acquire an architecture degree.
David was unwavering in his belief in God. Even as his condition progressed, impacting his speech – He still worshipped and sang God’s Praises. Every ministry his family was in covenant with David was a pillar…and not just because of his height.
This faith coupled with a Warrior spirit set him apart no matter the environment or task – for David had quite a task set before him this last 18 months.
Amid the 2020 Global Pandemic, David spent much of his Senior year of high school, which was also his sophomore year of college, deployed with his father to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN and Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, N.C. undergoing chemotherapy, radiation treatments in addition to a myriad of tests and therapies all while masterfully maintaining a 4.39 GPA.
In May 2021, David graduated with Honors from Onslow Early College High School and earned his Associates in Science degree from Coastal Carolina Community College. He was accepted and ready to attend the University of North Carolina Charlotte, where he was prepared to pursue a degree in Architecture this Fall.
He is survived by his parents, Deirdre and David Jamel Drafton; sister, Daviyah; brother, Davin; grandparents, Vanderbilt, Sr. and Sandra Evans of Charleston, SC and Dora Lynn Drafton of Columbus, OH; great-grandparents, Theola and James Thomas Mann of Columbus, OH. His loving aunts, uncles, a host of cousins, extended family, and friends.
Special Note: The family would like to thank the dynamic duo of St. Jude and Vidant for the excellent care they received by their caring staff.
In lieu of flowers, David’s family is asking for donations to be sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help end childhood cancer.