david luse (1955-2006)
Passionate, entrepreneur, visionary, philanthropist – these are just some of the adjectives we have heard over the years to describe our father. His life and the impact he made in his short 50 years was nothing short of inspirational. If you were to ask anyone who knew him, even for a short period of time, then you would know that first and foremost he was a family man. Family came first, period. Not only did he teach us the importance being there for those you love and giving back to those who need it most, he demonstrated it in his daily life. To this day we hear stories about our dad and they always start with the words, “do you know how much your dad loved you?” or “your dad would be so proud of you.” Those words continue to give us strength each and every day. He always thought of his children first, no matter what was going on life, yet still found time to help out others along the way.
Our father learned the value of life at a very young age. Forced to make it on his own as a teenager, he started his own company as a senior in high school. He successfully built it to a level where he filed for an Initial Public Offering on the NYSE. After experiencing success like this, most people may see it as a time to retire or slow down. Not our dad. He always told us the sky is the limit and that we should strive to accomplish our dreams and goals. His drive and passion to create something from the beginning was a gift, and a quality that we admired and continue to admire to this day. He went on to build a successful commercial real estate company, always learning from those that paved the way before him. He even found a way to purchase back his first business and it still operates throughout the Twin Cities today. We can only hope to find attributes like this in ourselves and instill in those with whom we interact.
More importantly, and he would agree with us, that during all of his business success, he true passion came from helping others. In 1999, City Business magazine named him to the List of 100 Unsung Heroes. His love for helping others and community participation led him to serve as President of Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce and President of the Board for Ronald McDonald House Charities – Upper Midwest. He was also appointed as a member of the city council for both the city of Victoria and the city of Eden Prairie.
His pursuit to combine his passion for business and philanthropy led him to explore opportunities in other areas of the world, such as Nicaragua and Guatemala. While traveling he discovered there was a material need for simple cooking tools to promote better health and lifestyle. Being the visionary he was, our father found a way to incorporate the use of solar energy in a cost-effective way that would benefit families in need. In 2001, he flew down to these countries and distributed solar powered ovens to families that were desperately in need of a simple solution. These gifts directly improved the quality of life and nutrition for many families.
These life endeavors and the principles his demonstrated reverberate with us each and every day. We are forever grateful and proud to call David Luse our father. We look forward to continuing his work and legacy as we make our trek up Mount Kilimanjaro. We know he will be climbing alongside of us and continually looking out for all of the children that need our love and support.