Family & friends gather to celebrate life of Dave Hauser
EUGENE, Ore. - Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce and community leader Dave Hauser passed away earlier this month at the age of 58 following a battle with cancer.
Family, friends, and loved ones gathered Friday afternoon at the Hult Center in Eugene to celebrate Dave's life.
Hauser was President and CEO of the Eugene Chamber of Commerce for over 25 years.
During his life celebration, his presence in the community showed. Organizers said about a thousand people came to the Hult Center to share stories about Dave and honor his life.
"He had this huge, high-level of enthusiasm and compassion, and commitment for not only the Chamber, but also for our city," said the Chair of the Eugene Board of Directors, Mandy Jones. "I think that's an inspiration that will stick with us always."
The ceremony's large gathering showed just how much the community loved him back, but friends and loved ones said Dave was never one for the limelight.
"I think it's what everybody here needed in order to process the loss of Dave to this community," said Mandy.
Many who worked with Dave shared memories of his witty, dry sense of humor, and remembered his never-ending support.
Anne Marie Levis, President and Creative Director of Funk/Levis and Associates, said she worked with Dave when she first came to the Eugene area several years ago.
"I call him the perfect reflection, because he always made you feel like you were better, that you could do more, that you could reach greater heights," said Anne Marie. "He was really phenomenal."
One thing Dave wanted in particular he texted to one of the chamber members: "There's a girl band from South Eugene that sings at Cold Fire. They're incredible. Let's have them at a Chamber event."
That singing group never performed at a Chamber event, but they did sing for Dave. It was a recorded tribute song by the South Eugene Girls to him that played during his ceremony.
Anne Marie found the group at the South Eugene graduation. "I felt Dave's presence," Anne Marie said. "He wanted them."
He was a father, a husband to his high school sweetheart, and an avid golfer.
"It's good to come together as friends, as colleagues, as community members and say, 'thank you,' said Eugene City Manager, Jon Ruiz, "and share memories and say, ' you know, it was really nice to know Dave.' So we're changed because of that."
Changed by a man who made Eugene a better place.
Chamber members said that, in lieu of flowers, the family asks those interested to donate to the Dave Hauser Legacy Fund.
They say the fund "was established to honor Dave and his life's work as a civic leader."