COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – David Elliott Lubs, “remembered as a legend in the world of boxing”.
David Lubs, 78, passed away on April 5, 2023, in Colorado Springs, with his wife, son, and daughter-in-law by his side.
David is survived by his wife, Madonna Freysinger; son, Solomon Lubs; daughter-in-law, Jessica (Borst) Lubs; grandchildren, Palmer and Manhattan (Hattie); and sister, Andrea (Lubs) Brooks.
He is predeceased by his brothers: Kenneth Lubs and Harold Lubs.
David was born July 29th, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan to Ervin B. Lubs and Carrie E. Letson. He graduated in 1963 from Melvindale High School in Allen Park, Michigan, and served in the US Army from 1966 to 1969. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Northern Michigan University. In August 1984, David married, Madonna Freysinger, in Harrison, Michigan. Their son, Solomon was born in Petoskey, Michigan in 1986.
In the early 1970s, David moved to Harrison, Michigan with his retired parents. In this small mid-Michigan town, he owned an antique shop while also volunteering at the local Community and Civic Centers. He started the Hayes Township Boxing Club in 1978, to give teenage boys a positive activity. This was the beginning of his career in the sport of amateur boxing. Although never a boxer himself, he coached and mentored boxers for Michigan’s Golden Gloves and Silver Gloves competitions as well as competitions with many other clubs in the state. David became well known in the Michigan boxing domain and cultivated amateur boxing events regionally and nationally.
David’s passion, organization, and strategic skills gave every amateur boxing program that he worked with a structure for success. This ability caught the attention of the new US Olympic Education Center at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan. He was invited in 1986 to help create the boxing program at the US Olympic Education Center, one of only three Olympic Training programs in the country and the only scholarship program. He had served as the head coach of the boxing program for over a year, when he accepted the role of Administrator and hired Al Mitchell to take over the coaching position. Dave was named Coordinator of Boxing at USOEC in 1990. He became known as “Super Dave” among his boxer trainees and founded the “Bad Boys Boxing” club there. David and Al worked very well together and as a team, they were unbeatable.
In 1994, Dave was named USA Boxing’s Director of Support Services at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. He became USA Boxing’s Acting Executive Director in 1996-1997, giving him the opportunity to accompany the USA Boxing Team to the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta, GA. David’s national and international work allowed him to make friends in the boxing community worldwide.
After his work with the USOC in 2001, David joined Ringside Boxing as Creative Director of Public Relations in Lenexa, Kansas. As a talented promoter and event planner, David led Ringside to host the annual Amateur Boxing Championships in Kansas City beginning in 2006, while also founding the Missouri Valley Association of Boxing.
In 2008, boxing at the US Olympic Education Center in Marquette, MI, experienced a financial crisis and closed for 8 months. Dave chaired a task force charged with finding a way to resolve the financial issues and bring boxing back. He brokered a partnership between USA Boxing, Northern Michigan University, and the US Olympic Committee to allow USOEC’s boxing program to reopen (with Al Mitchell still head coach).
Al Mitchell remained his best friend throughout his adventures in boxing and through the final days of his life. Al, who is an inductee at five Halls of Fame for boxing, said that none of his success would have ever been possible if it wasn’t for his partner, David Lubs. For the talent, passion and innovation he brought to the people involved, he will be remembered as a legend in boxing and the father of USOEC boxing.
Considering the important administrative work Dave did to elevate the sport of amateur and Olympic boxing, his intention was always focused on improving the lives of the people involved in the programs. In a 1997, article in Education Week, Dave explained why he thought boxing was so important and worth supporting: “Many of the [boxing] programs in the US are being funded not just as an alternative for kids on the streets, but as positive alternatives.” In his opinion, the discipline and opportunities that boxing gave many young people were the best reason to be in boxing.
Dave and his wife moved back to Michigan to be near her family after he retired. He spent time enjoying life, gardening, fishing with his brother-in-law, singing and laughing with his mother-in-law, and reestablishing close family ties. His son, Solomon graduated from Kansas State University and married Jessica Borst, his high school sweetheart. Solomon and Jessica moved to Austin, Texas for Jessica’s graduate studies. Eventually Dave and Madonna moved to Austin with them. Soon after their grandson, Palmer was born. This gave them the opportunity to be fully involved with grandparents, spending each day with Palmer, teaching him and watching him grow. The family returned to Colorado Springs three years ago, and their granddaughter, Manhattan was born last year. Dave enjoyed being an integral part of his family’s life.
He spent the past several years battling the advances of Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy Body Dementia, focusing on therapy and intervention, while striving to remain an active part in the lives of the people who love him. They take comfort in knowing that he helped so many people while here. David lived a life that was rich and full.
Those wishing to send condolences are asked to consider a memorial donation to the Lewy Body Dementia Association (LBDA) at lbda.org/donate.