July 12, 2012 | by Michael K. Lavers
Hundreds expected at memorial for Nellie’s bartender

Hundreds of people are expected to attend a memorial service on Sunday for a long-time Nellie’s bartender who passed away on July 8.

Gay News, Washington Blade, David Chung

David Chung (Blade photo by Pete Exis)

The service for David Chung is scheduled to begin at noon at the Stead Park kickball fields in Dupont Circle. A second gathering will take place at Nellie’s on July 19 at 5 p.m. with proceeds going to the Wanda Alston House, a D.C. organization that provides housing and other services to homeless LGBT youth.

“He has this infectious, huge smile all the time,” Nellie’s co-owner Doug Schantz told the Blade. The bar has created a memorial on the bar’s first floor fireplace mantle that includes flowers and a picture of him wearing a Nellie’s t-shirt. Patrons have left notes in tribute of the popular bartender and assistant manager who began working at the bar four years ago.

“He was so much fun to be around in terms of just being a very happy person,” added Schantz.

Chung’s funeral took place at the Metropolitan Wesley A.M.E. Church in Northwest Washington earlier on Thursday.

A D.C. Medical Examiner’s Office spokesperson told the Blade that she was unable to comment on a potential cause of death. Those who knew and worked with the Paramus, N.J., native, however, said he leaves a lasting legacy.

“You were like a Fraggle Rock character. Always smiling, hopping up and down,” wrote JR’s manager Dave Perruzza on Chung’s Facebook page. “Your one of the best people I have ever met and I have never heard you mutter one bad word about anyone. You sir are a fine example of everything we should all be. I am so going to miss your smile but yet I know every time I do a shot of Jameson you will be smiling somewhere. Hopefully you’re at peace and you will be missed. Love you.”


Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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