Cancer claims local business owner, football booster
Brighton Standard Blade (CO)
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Author: The Staff
BRIGHTON – As the tributes rolled in for Brighton native Dave Lucero over the weekend, his 18-year-old son, Jeromy, painted one of the more poignant pictures of his father.
Dave lost a four-year fight with colon cancer Dec. 1 at age 48. He made the decision to stop chemotherapy just before Thanksgiving.
“I remember a few years ago after work, my dad was driving by a house in town that was starting on fire. He got out of his truck and started to help put the fire out with a water hose,” Jeromy said. “Later the woman thanked him. Stories like this prove the kind character my dad had and shows an example of the guy he was.”
Lucero’s funeral was Wednesday in Brighton, followed by burial at Elmwood Cemetery.
“Family has always been first for him,” said his friend, Angela Chavez, in a post on a Facebook page. “Other than my own dad, I have never known a man to work as hard as him. We always talked about family and work. He was a proud man and had every reason to be. He was a very good friend to me.”
“I was so, so happy one day because when daddy was in the hospital, he said to me, ‘I love you so, so much,’” said Brianna Lucero, one of Dave Lucero’s twin 9-year-old daughters. “Then one day, he said it was time to go. He was the best person in the world I ever have known. Every single day, I look up there and I think about him. I love my dad.”
Lucero was born April 6, 1963, in Brighton, the youngest child of Guadalupe and Rosita Lucero. Lucero graduated from the Brighton schools that his children attend. He played football for the Brighton Bulldogs and grew up to coach his sons.
”Dave was a good friend,” said BHS football coach Pat Sandoval. “We grew up together, we played football together at Vikan Jr. High and BHS. When I got the head coaching job at BHS, he supported me, first and foremost as a friend. He supported the program in numerous ways. His son, Jeromy, is one of our senior captains this last year – hard-working like his dad.
Lucero worked for the city of Brighton for almost 10 years before opening his own business, Lucero Concrete, which has been in business for 14 years. Lucero and his wife, Debbie, who had been married since 1988, owned the business.
“My dad was an exceptionally hard working man,” said Lucero’s oldest son, Michael. “He would do anything or work anywhere to support his family and to give his children all of the things he never had. He was always accepting of me no matter what. He accepted my partner as his own son and loved him just as much. No one will be able to match his spirit and personality. And for that, I will always miss him.”
Dave Lucero’s hard work was matched by a gentle, caring heart. His family said he particularly enjoyed the role of mentor and friend.
“Some of my fondest memories of Dave are from when I had my home daycare,” his wife, Debbie said. “Dave taught so many of those kids to ride their bikes or how to fish. Those daycare kids are all grown now, and many still keep in touch with us. Two very special ones were with us when he passed on.”
“The best memory I have about him is the way he always talks about Debbie (Dave’s wife). He would say, ‘She is the reason I’m a good guy.’ He always had a sparkle in his eyes when he would talk about her,” added Chavez, who cut Dave Lucero’s hair the past 15 years. “We always talked about family and work. He was a proud man, and had every reason to be. I’m really going to miss our talks.”
Dave Lucero enjoyed camping, fishing and spending time with his family. He was vice president of Brighton High School football booster club the last four years. The team made him an honorary coach this season, the first he was forced to miss because of his illness.
“I will always remember his wonderful smile and how much he loved his wife and kids,” said family friend Vivian Maul. “He was a good man with a good heart for everyone. We will always remember Dave’s smile and laugh.”
“Dave always had a smile on his face and would tell corny jokes,” added Lucero’s uncle, Rudy Vasquez. “He would also talk a lot about his kids. I am older than Dave so I had the chance to watch him grow up into a wonderful man.”
His nephew, Justin Daigle, remembered family stories “full of humor” but ones that “definitely showed their love and devotion to one another.”
Daigle also recalled how supportive his uncle was.
“I remember a conversation we had while trying to pick colleges,” Daigle said. “He really wanted me to go to a big state university like CSU rather than some of my other choices. He said I worked so hard in high school that I should be one of the first in the family to go to a university. “
Lucero died at home surrounded by his family and close friends. He is survived by his wife; his four children, his mother; three brothers, Bob, Mark and Lupe; a sister Julie; and many nieces and nephews. Contributions may be made in his memory to the Dave Lucero Fund, c/o Wells Fargo Bank, 15 S. Main St., Brighton, CO 80601.
Money raised during a benefit this fall will be donated to two area families and to start a memorial scholarship in Lucero’s name at Brighton High School .
“My dad was a well-known man in Brighton for good reasons,” Jeromy said. “He was involved in as much as anyone could be, and his loss is a tragedy. He will be missed. I love him, and he will always be my hero.”
Tabor-Rice Funeral Home was in care of arrangements.