Eight Bells: David Freye

Published on April 1st, 2020

David Austin Freye, age 72, passed away March 23, 2020. Born in Muskegon, MI to Austin and June (Griffith) Freye, Dave served his country in the US Navy and had been employed as a Supervisor for Muskegon Heights Filtration Plant for over 30 years.

His passion for racing was immense, competing his whole life in scows, big boats, Melges 24s, and a Ranger 33. He was a lifetime and past Commodore of the Muskegon Yacht Club, a past Commodore of the Western Michigan Yachting Association, and a member of the West Michigan Ice Yacht Club.

“Dave was the quintessential yacht club guy,” noted Thomas Spoelman. “He was the club greeter if there was such a thing. He loved every member’s story, even if you didn’t have one. He was probably our most visible and most well-known member of the Muskegon Yacht Club in Michigan.”

He died while asleep of a probable heart attack, almost one week after Muskegon Yacht Club closed down due to the coronavirus. “His daily routine was so much wrapped around the dealings of our club that one cannot dismiss how this loss of routine could have somehow upset the cart,” said Spoelman

Along with sailing, Dave enjoyed skiing, reading and spending time with his beloved family.

He is survived by his wife Judy; 2 children, Christopher (Theresa) Freye & Suzanne (Kevin) Harris; 4 grandchildren, Angelica Freye, Maranda Robertson, Michael (Lisa) Freye & Violet Harris; 2 great grandchildren, Hayden Freye & Penelope Robertson; 3 brothers, Charles (Gail) Freye, Michael (Jean) Freye & Paul (Kelly) Freye; Brothers-in-law, David (Diane) Sibary & Richard (Denise) Sibary; sister-in-law, Mary Lou Allen.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

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