Dave Parcells passed away suddenly at the age of 49 while doing what he loved: swimming. But he did so much more in his short life. He was a loving and extremely involved father to his two children, an accomplished athlete, and a successful CFO of Garrity Industries located in Madison.
Dave touched so many of us and was a true inspiration to our athletic commitment and fund raising. A former triathlete who completed the Hawaii Ironman in 1989, Dave gave up running and biking after his sixth knee operation in 1995 and focused on swimming. Dave was the first non-professional swimmer to complete the Long Island Swim crossing (Swim Across the Sound) and became the oldest person, at age 44, to complete a double crossing of the English Channel, doing it in 21 hours, 30 minutes. He was also the race director for a number of triathlons and swims, including the Swim Across the Sound, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars through swimming and other athletic events to support local charities.
Not only did he give us tremendous leadership, but he was an inspiration to everyone. Dave worked relentlessly to raise awareness for people in need. He never backed away from a challenge; that actually intrigued him. What makes Dave even more of a champion is the fact that he accomplished all these things with a smile on his face. After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Dave continued to move forward without slowing down. He knew people depended on him. He led by example until the end. Dave touched and inspired the lives of everyone he knew.
Dave Parcells had a dream to set up a fund to support patients and families with expenses not covered by insurance as they undergo treatment for MS. Unfortunately he passed away before fulfilling this dream. This event will help achieve that dream and at the same time present a challenge to everyone that Dave would have enjoyed --to jam as much yardage as possible into one month. Those that knew Dave would agree he would love this challenge.