Eight Bells: David Wilber

Published on January 12th, 2020

David M. Wilber, age 66, passed away January 5 in Cleveland, OH. He fought a long battle with cancer for over six years, outliving the original prognosis of 6-9 months.

David was a proud graduate of St. Edward High School, class of 1971, and attended John Carroll University and Baldwin Wallace College. He was a sailmaker for nearly three decades with Thomas Sails and North Sails, after which he worked in custom home building.

Growing up on the south coast of Lake Erie, he had a passion for being on the water, predominantly in competitive sailing. He spent decades at the Cleveland Yachting Club and Edgewater Yacht Club. Later in his life, David loved being a Principal Race Officer and a US Sailing Judge.

One of his favorite mottos was was to “Never let sailing ruin a regatta”. It was his way of reminding everyone not to let bad races or mistakes keep them from enjoying the whole event, mainly the party.

Beloved husband of Cynthia (nee Wolff); dear father of Lindsey Grdina (Edward), Elizabeth “Liz” Wilber (Erick Vignal); grandfather of Julia and Oliver; dear brother of Betty Ryan (Dick), Patricia Marquard (Jerry, dec.), Richard, Robert (Regina) and the late John “Jay”; uncle and great-uncle to many.

David and Cyndi met through sailing and were married over 40 years. David imparted his love of sailing and his competitive edge to daughter, Liz. He loved his family and most recently cherished his time with grandbabies, Julia and Oliver.

David’s survival allowed him to see his beautiful daughters wed, and being able to walk them down the aisle brought him one of his greatest joys. A fiercely loyal friend to many, his smile and sense of humor will be sorely missed. He leaves a legacy of love of family, sailing, kindness, and service.

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