Age 63 years, Dave died unexpectedly at home in Eagle, Wisconsin on October 25, 2018. Our hearts are heavy as this incredible man leaves his wife of 37 years, Joan (nee Campfield); sons Aaron and Adam; daughter Alysse (Jake) Thibodeau; and beloved grandson, Wyatt, to go forward without him. He also is survived by his brother, George (Connie) Zittnan, and many beloved cousins and in-laws in the Hipp, Campfield, and Zittnan families, as well as lifetime of friends.
Born in Chicago, IL, on July 29, 1955, and raised in the city, Dave spent his summers in Wisconsin working at Woodside Ranch in Mauston, WI, where he and Joan met 42 years ago. He was an excellent athlete at Taft High School and attended the University of Iowa on a track scholarship. After graduation from college, he worked for Proctor & Gamble and was the Cincinnati region Salesman of the Year for the first two years of his career. He spent the following 40 years of his career in the beverage industry, and his family moved with him on these adventures across the United States. He worked hard, achieved milestones through his innovative marketing and salesmanship, and loved the challenge of business.
A man whose priority in life was his family, he never stopped working to make things as special as he could for them. He lived his marital vows. He wanted his wife and children to have every opportunity in their lives; mostly, he wanted them to be happy. Each morning began with Dave crafting a neverending list of plans for the day. His days were always full. Becoming Aaron's father was one of the greatest joys of his life, followed two years later by the arrival of twins Adam and Alysse. His children were forever his priority. Dave's devotion to Adam, who has autism, was legendary; Adam will feel this loss most greatly. Never was there a more loving dad and champion of a child: Every weekend included swimming with Adam, riding the motorcycle, taking the horse and carriage into the Kettle Moraine, hiking in the woods, going for "pickles and pop, cheese popcorn" at the local bar, and any and every activity in between. Dave cut Adam's hair, he shaved Adam's beard, dressed him in stylish clothing. To Dave's delight, Adam, standing next to his dad, would announce to the world, "Best Friends!"
Dave lived life with gusto, and he was generous with love and spirit. He loved horses and realized his dream daily watching Bingo, Doc and Half Pint grazing the pasture on the property he always dreamed of owning. He developed the plans for this family ranch and worked with the builder to achieve its completion. He loved music and dancing, sports, travel, time with friends, and rarely missed an opportunity to celebrate life's offerings. Dave' great laugh and presence lit up the room! His spirit of adventure made him the ideal activity planner for the family recreational time - just one of his many gifts.
The last six months of Dave's life, he struggled with physical and mental health; yet, he fought tirelessly to stay positive and hopeful. Diagnosed with depression 25 years ago, he maintained the most optimistic outlook and fully participated in every opportunity that came his way.
If there was one word to describe Dave, it would be that he was infinitely kind. In honoring his memory, we ask you to emulate his model of kindness in your everyday life: Help the neighbor struggling with a handicapped child, an aging parent, or an adolescent. We need each other. As English poet John Donne reminds us, "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main..."
In lieu of flowers, if you desire to send a memorial, please consider the following:
Association for the Rights of Citizens with handicaps (ARCh Camp Pow Wow), 419 Frederick Street, Waukesha, Wisconsin 53216; phone: 262-542-9811;
racerplacers.com, Wisconsin website, donate, phone 262-593-8051.; dedicated to rehoming and retraining harness racing horses whose careers have ended.
A Memorial Service will be held for Dave on Thursday, November 1, 2018, at 2:00pm at the United Methodist Church, 420 Suszycki Drive, Mauston, Wisconsin 53948; phone 608-847-5964.
"Courage is being scared to death -- and saddling up anyway." - John Wayne