Persevering Spirit, Courageous Soul
David Daniel DeSantis of Milton, Massachusetts died on Monday, June 5, 2017 at home surrounded by his loved ones after a long and valiant battle with melanoma. He was the second son of Mary and Richard, Sr., the older brother of Daniel, the younger brother of Richard, Jr., husband to Kathy (Curran) Doyle, father to Mark, Godson to Margie, uncle to 12 nieces and nephews – Rachael, Richard, Michael, Jennifer, Brittani, Nicole, Daniel, Matthew, Justine, Jillian H., Jason, and Jillian M. He was great-uncle to David, Leah and Mathew.
David attended Bates College, and earned a BA in Economics, where he was captain of the ski team, many of whose members remain lifelong friends. In 1992 he was the National Barefoot Water Ski Champion. He was a passionate off-road triathlete and the 2015 XTERRA Warrior of the Year.
Dave was a person who had so much to offer this world. His caring, patient, and generous heart touched so many lives. Dave filled many roles in his full life. He was a son, a husband, a father, a brother, an uncle, a friend, a teammate, a boss, a mentor and a world-class off-road triathlete. In each and every one of these capacities, he was a superstar. Every single thing that Dave did, he did with his whole heart and with no holes barred. He was the guy that everyone wanted to be around because he had a way of making a person feel that, if you invested consistent time and effort into achieving your goals, you could accomplish absolutely anything. It was simple: Dave believed in people and lifted them up so they could believe in themselves.
Dave was a strong advocate for living a goal-oriented life. Many years ago, he started a tradition of beginning each New Year with a family gathering where each person – young and old – would write down their goals for the coming year and share them with the group. Dave taught countless people the invaluable, life-changing lesson that hard work and consistency really are the keys to success.
Dave was passionate about a lot of things in his life, and he was happiest when he was riding his bike. He rode that bike in so many different countries, in almost every state in the U.S.; he rode it in countless races, up hundreds of mountains, and down thousands of trails. He rode with passion in his heart and love in his soul. The sport brought immeasurable joy into his life, and his happiness was obvious when you heard him cheerfully whistling while pedaling away for another ride, another race, another challenge.
Even while facing his own mortality, Dave continued to think of how he could help the people around him. It is rare to find a person with such a giving, kind, and generous spirit. Three years into his battle with cancer, Dave set a goal of raising money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation by participating in sixteen XTERRA races in sixteen different countries in 2016. By the end of that year, he not only met his original goal of $16,000 raised, he more than doubled it. Throughout 2016, he visited 13 of those countries, and participated in 11 of those races on four continents, all while undergoing chemo. This tenacity and sheer grit were a true testament to how Dave lived his life. Physically, mentally, and morally, he truly was the ultimate triathlete.
The world has lost a genuine hero. Fortunately, there are legions of us he left behind who have been lucky enough to have, by chance, and great good fortune, moved into his orbit.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend the visiting hours and funeral. Services will be held at the Newton Cemetery Chapel 791 Walnut Street in Newton Centre, MA 02459 on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 from 2:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. Funeral mass will be held at Our Lady Help of Christians Church, 573 Washington Street Newton, MA 02458 on Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 10:30 A.M.
If desired, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Dave’s name to the Challenged Athletes Foundation at: