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302-478-7100 Wilmington & Hockessin, DE

David Bristow

David C. Bristow, 70, of Wilmington, died peacefully at Christiana Hospital surrounded by his children on Tuesday, May 2, 2023.

David (Dave) was born in March of 1953 in Wilmington, DE to Conway and Gertrude Bristow. Wilmington was Dave’s home for most of his life, with a brief two years spent in California as a child. He graduated from Wilmington High School in 1971 and went on to earn his BS in Accounting from the University of Delaware in 1977. Dave married his high school and college sweetheart, Cynthia (Cindy), on September 10, 1977. Dave spent his professional career working in banking at MBNA, Bank of America, and as a consultant. He retired in 2019.

Dave loved playing and watching sports. He participated in recreation softball and volleyball leagues and enjoyed golfing. He coached many of his children’s youth sport teams. He was also an avid fan of the Philadelphia professional sports teams. Dave most enjoyed his time with family and friends. He was the life of the party. His favorite place to spend time was in Lewes, DE. He spent many days seeking sandbars, building sandcastles, and playing horseshoes with friends and family. Dave and Cindy loved hosting family and friends in their Lewes home, generously letting anyone who could find a couch or air mattress visit for the weekend. Dave could often be found making bacon and eggs in the mornings for his many guests.

Dave, the most loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and brother, is survived by his children and their spouses, Melissa Parsons (Elliot), Sara Palen (Andrew), Kelsey Bristow (Tristan Hoffmann), and Matthew Bristow (Rebecca); his grandchildren, Owen and Lila Parsons, Wyatt and Dylan Palen, and Hayden, Hadley, and Beau Bristow; and his brothers and their spouses, Robert Bristow (Patricia), Thomas Bristow, and Conway Bristow II (Annette); along with many nieces and nephews.

He is predeceased by his wife, Cindy (Zawisza) Bristow; his mother, Gertrude (Krajnik) Bristow; his father, Conway Bristow I; and his brother, William Bristow.

Funeral Services

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, May 10, 2023 at 11 am at St. Mary Magdalen Church, 7 Sharpely Road Wilmington, DE 19803. A visitation will be held prior to the service beginning at 10 am. Burial will follow at All Saint’s Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Dave’s name to Gilpin Hall, 1101 Gilpin Avenue Wilmington, DE 19806, or to the Lewy Body Dementia Association (


    Peg Linn lit a candle and writes,
    Dave was a wonderful man and devoted to everyone he loves. He was also the life of the party! I always love when he would bring out the beatle wig! My thoughts and prayers are with the entire family. Love Peg
    05/04/2023 01:43 pm
    Denise and Vincent Deskiewicz writes,
    As a cousin my prayers go out to all your family at such a great loss. Born the same year my mother was sister to his mom and we were kids always for fun and making trouble. He was a magnificent person. I am so sorry. Denise
    05/04/2023 02:03 pm
    John Green writes,
    I worked with Dave at MBNA many years ago....I will never forget his dry humor and his contagious smile. He was an inspiration to me very early in my work career and I could always count on Dave to give me good sound advice when faced with a difficult decision. Rest in peace Dave
    05/04/2023 02:34 pm
    Christina Nacchia lit a candle and writes,
    Dave and Cindy raised an amazing family to be proud of. While I am so fortunate to befriend, and work with your amazing daughter Kelsey, I feel as if I know them all. I believe you can rest easy with your bride at your side and watch the magnificence of their lives unfold from a place free from pain and grief. May you rest in peace.
    05/04/2023 02:56 pm
    Jim Barr writes,
    I had the pleasure of working with Dave for many years and always admired his love for his wife, children, and grandchildren. Working together for as long as we did, you get to know a person's true character through good times and in challenging situations, and Dave was a person I trusted and respected very much. As a mentor, Dave provided business and life lessons that I still reflect on today and that I am very thankful for. I'll miss your friendship, Dave. I am praying for your family as they grieve the loss of a great Father, Brother and Grandfather.
    05/04/2023 05:42 pm
    Katherine Pendzuk lit a candle and writes,
    Our prayers and those of my friends and Church families are with you and your family during this time loss. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
    05/04/2023 10:16 pm
    Yolanda Grassano writes,
    Thoughts and prayers are with the entire Bristow Family. He is at peace and with the love of of his life Cindy. Hugs n love to all of you 👼❤️🙏
    05/05/2023 08:09 am
    Deb Warder lit a candle and writes,
    Eternal rest grant unto him oh Lord, let the perpetual light shine upon him, May he rest in peace. Thoughts and prayers to the Bristow family during this time.
    05/05/2023 11:08 am
    Kelley Quinn writes,
    I’m so very sorry to see Dave’s passing. I worked with him for many years. He was a true example of leadership. Jim Barr couldn’t have shared a more truthful message. He was one of a kind. Cindy was a great person also. I’m so very sorry for his family and send prayers for all of you.
    05/05/2023 11:46 am
    Deb Boland writes,
    I’m so very sorry for your loss. I loved working with Dave for many years. Such a great guy who was fun to be with and work beside. Always with a big smile and who was a great example of someone who worked hard but it was clear how much he loved and did all he could for his family.
    05/05/2023 09:39 pm
    Pat Bristow writes,
    Dave was my husband Bob’s big brother, and best friend. I have so many wonderful memories of Dave. In our younger years Bob and I spent a lot of time double dating with Dave and Cindy, movies, Spring Lake Par 3 golf, canoeing on the Brandywine, camping at Cape Henlopen, vacations at Breakwater Apts, and partying on Swede Street in Dewey. When we married, Dave and Bob were best man for each other. Bob naturally choose Dave as our daughter Susan’s godfather and a few years later, Bob became Melissa’s godfather. I have the privilege of being Matt’s godmother. We shared milestones from birthdays, Christenings, First Communions, graduations, and weddings. From the beginning, we celebrated holidays together, Christmas Eve started with Mass at St Hedwig with their Mom, Easter Egg Hunts for the kids, Dave and Cindy’s epic Memorial Day party, circles in the sand on Father’s Day & Labor Day. Thanksgiving always ended with the yearly viewing of Christmas Vacation with Sparky, aka Dave. Dave had a great appreciation of music and we loved attending concerts with him. He was also an amateur composer. We will never forget two of his greatest hits, “Chicken’s in the basement” and “We are the Bristow’s we never leave”. Dave loved spending time with the family and hated to see the celebrations end. When we left, Dave would often wrestle Bob on the front lawn to prevent him from leaving. He occasionally resorted to jumping on the hood of our car. When we became empty nesters we enjoyed our time in Lewes, the drive on beach at Cape Henlopen, trips to Key West, Clearwater Spring Training and the Bahamas. Dave was wonderful loving father to Melissa, Sara, Kelsey and Matt. We delighted in the birth of each grandchild. Dave treasured his grandchildren and loved spending time with them. Dave’s passing has left a huge whole in our hearts and lives but we are consoled knowing Dave is reunited with the love of his life, Cindy. We love you Melissa, Sara, Kelsey and Matt. Your Mom and Dad are very proud of the wonderful people you have become. We are always here for you and your families. Love, Aunt Pat
    05/05/2023 10:41 pm
    Mark Staudt lit a candle and writes,
    I worked for Dave for several years on the systems side of Portfolio Acquisitions which was a bit outside my comfort zone, but he was always supportive and always provided terrific advice. It was during those years that I decided I needed to return to the University of Delaware to complete my degree. I went to him to discuss the logistics, not quite sure how he’d react. Not only was he encouraging but he almost demanded I wait no longer to make this happen. I’ll never forget how accommodating he was at every turn. Not only did I finish my nine credits, I got A’s in each one. I’ll be forever grateful that his help allowed my very young kids the ability to watch me graduate. Rest in peace Dave and may all your family and friends have comfort knowing you are home.
    05/06/2023 08:18 am
    Terri Brejwa Lueck lit a candle and writes,
    To Dave's Children and Siblings I am so very sorry for your loss. I knew Dave from the old neighborhood. He was a great guy! Take Care
    05/06/2023 08:05 pm
    Madelynn Burns lit a candle and writes,
    My deepest sympathy to Dave’s family and friends at this very sad time. Rest In Peace Dave.
    05/06/2023 09:18 pm
    Sam Reeves lit a candle and writes,
    I worked for Dave for several years at Delaware Trust Co and followed him to MBNA in 1987 where I worked for or with him for most of my career up to 2005. Dave was a terrific boss who was able to always get his people to perform at their best while having fun along the way. He was a key mentor and was integral in my professional development. He and Cindy were good friends to my wife and I. He will be greatly missed and never forgotten. May he rest in peace, united with Cindy, the love of his life.
    05/07/2023 01:39 am
    Becky Emptage lit a candle and writes,
    Melissa, Sara, Kelsey and Matt, Our family was saddened to learn that your dear father, Dave, has now passed away. We hope it gives you, the children, some solace that your mom and dad are now reunited. I am sharing here one of my favorite prayers from a Notre Dame priest, Fr. Herb Yost, CSC: "Loving Father, we know that death will claim us at our appointed times. But even now, your divine life and sustaining power grow within us, to be claimed in the fullness when we are born into eternal life. We trust your Son's promise that he will not let us be among the lost. We look forward to our reunion with family and friends, knowing that there will never again be goodbyes and farewells. Grant us your hope that we might live with courage and faithfulness until that day. Amen." Becky Emptage & family
    05/08/2023 09:55 am
    Tommy Abel lit a candle and writes,
    I had the privilege of working with Dave for many years at MBNA, He was a terrific human and a great professional. He was dedicated and passionate, incredibly kind, and had a wonderful sense of humor. We all worked crazy hours and built amazing things together. It was a highlight of my career to have worked side by side with him. Good bless you and your family.
    05/08/2023 03:56 pm
    Jack Witzenfeld lit a candle and writes,
    I was saddened to learn of Dave's passing. Though Dave and I have not been in touch for many years, Dave and I were best friends growing up. In looking back, it seems that we were together every day from about the age of 9 or 10 through High School. Had I not left Wilmington after enlisting in the Navy, I have no doubt that we would have remained best of friends all these years. Dave was a great guy. RIP my friend.
    05/09/2023 05:39 pm
    Cathy Deluke Stamegna writes,
    Annette and Conway, I know you haven't heard from me in awhile, and I've never forgotten you both since our days at Rodney, so I had to reach out to say sorry to read about Conway's brother. I was SMM Mass this morning, so you were both in my thoughts. Cathy Deluke Stamegna
    05/10/2023 12:45 pm

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