David Alan Calabrese age 40 of Toledo, OH formerly of Maumee passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 10, 2013, at The Toledo Hospital surrounded by his loving family. David was born in Toledo on June 2, 1972, to David Albert Calabrese and Dawn Marie Szymkowiak.
Dave greatly loved family and football. He played football for MHS, and continued on to play and coach another 18 years of semi-pro football on several different teams. Then he eventually became the Owner of the Northwest Ohio Knights. Football was his passion, the drive that helped him continue to fight his 4 year battle with ALS "Lou Gehrig" disease. Dave was diagnosed in 2008 and has been helping to raise awareness in Northwest Ohio ever since. The Dave Calabrese Football Blitz Benefit is held yearly to raise money to support ALS. This year's Benefit is scheduled for Saturday, May 18, 2013, at Springfield High School.
I knew this day would come, even though I did not want it to. Watching him through the last four years has been a challenge I never understood, but was faced with the reality that it was something I could not change. But what I could change was how I viewed life in a whole. Never let a moment pass you by, because that way you will never regret. We only live once, so live, love and laugh all that you can. That is what he did every day until his last breath. Therefore, the least I can do is carry forward his memory. He never quit even in the darkest days of his challenge, he has taught me that it is the quality of life that counts. He smiled and laughed everyday knowing that his fate was signed and sealed, yet it never stopped him. He had more courage than anyone that I know, more courage than anyone could have in his circumstances. He truly has been my hero, and now he is our angel.
Love, your sister Tammy
Surviving are his parents, Dawn M. "Mom Caly" Szymkowiak; father, David Albert Calabrese; children, Alexis "Lexii", Shawn, Hali, Lexi, Mikayla, and Sammy; brother, Mark Kachenmeister; sister, Tammy (Rob) Calabrese Groves; Fiancé, Rachel Ahrens and nephews, Scott and Bernie III. Also surviving are many aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Raymond and Marie Calabrese and Albin and Teddy Szymkowiak.
Family and friends will be received at the Maison-Dardenne-Walker Funeral Home, 501 Conant St., Maumee on Tuesday May 14, 2013, from 2:00-9:00 pm where funeral services will be held on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. Memorial contributions may be made to a memorial fund in David's name at Sun Federal Credit Union 1627 Holland Rd. Maumee, OH 43537. Online condolences may be shared at
Published in Toledo Blade on May 13, 2013