After a courageous battle with brain cancer, David William Phelps, 55, of Coronado passed away peacefully at his home Friday, April 19.
Known affectionately as “Big Wave Dave” to his friends and family, Dave was born March 17, 1958 in San Marino to the late Robert and Shirley Phelps of Palm Springs.
Dave studied economics and journalism at the University of California San Diego and soon after began his career in finance as owner and president of Phelps, Dennison & Associates.
He fulfilled a childhood dream by becoming a stockbroker, first with PaineWebber and then with Prudential Securities, where he advanced from the job of broker to the manager of East Coast Training in New York.
Desiring to return with his family to San Diego, Dave worked with several investment firms, finally settling down as a Senior Vice President at Wedbush Securities.
Dave’s lifelong dedication to his community was evident in his numerous volunteer works. He used his effusive personality to serve his community in so many ways. Early on he volunteered with the Pasadena Police Department Explorer Program and followed that by leading the South Pasadena San Marino YMCA's fundraising efforts.
He served as a supporter, board member and leader of several organizations, including the San Diego City Planning Board, the San Diego Lions Club and the Kiwanis Club of Rancho Bernardo.
As one of the youngest presidents of the Kiwanis Club of University City, he championed the establishment of their very successful Christmas tree sale fundraiser.
At various times, Dave was also president of the San Diego Stock & Bond Club and the San Diego area Epilepsy Foundation, for which he was recently honored with the “Founding a New Era and Legacy of Hope Award.”
He had a remarkable ability to engage others and enable his community to accomplish “things greater than they ever thought possible,” said a family member.
Dave was a member of the San Diego University Club, the Coronado Cays Yacht Club, and his love of golf was evidenced by his long-time membership in the Coronado Golf Course Men’s Club.
Dave also volunteered as the Director of Shuttle Services for the San Diego Open annual golf tournament at Torrey Pines.
Additionally, in support of his children and community, Dave officiated for the San Diego County Baseball Umpires Association and for the San Diego County Football Officials Association.
He took great pride and pleasure in his work as an official. For many years Dave volunteered as head umpire for Coronado Little League.
With a cheerful spirit and engaging smile, Dave had the rare ability to walk into a room full of strangers and quickly engage everyone there. He was a proud, dedicated community member and the epitome of how volunteerism helps build a community.
Surviving are his loving wife Marion, daughter Kelly and son Robert Phelps of Coronado, CA; brother Tom Phelps and wife Phyllis of La Verne, CA; brother Steve Phelps and wife Christy of Scottsdale, AZ, and numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved dearly.
The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to Dave’s caregiver, Margie Hamel, and members of the San Diego Hospice. Their dedication and effort to providecompassionate care were a heartwarming blessing.
We thank God for the gift of his life and the precious time we spent with him.
A memorial service will be held honoring Dave Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 2 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church. The Rev. Edward Harrison will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County or the San Diego Brain Tumor Foundation. Condolences can be directed to www.davephelps.weebly.com/updates.
– From an obituary prepared by the family.