If you driven through Lahaina, you’ve probably seen the van with the huge banner, “We are Not!!! In The Last Days.” Or the bike with the same bulletin on the side of the Honoapi`ilani Hwy.
If you’ve lived on the Westside long enough, you’ve probably even met the man behind this uplifting message. To many he was Dangerous Dave (DD), a surfer in the 1970s and ’80s and part of the old school Honolua Bay crew. To others he was a spiritual leader and friend. For a few of the island’s homeless, Dave Warren was a guardian who took them in when they needed it the most.
DD died last Monday in his home under his prized mango trees after fighting stage-four liver cancer, his friends and family surrounding him.
Since his passing, Facebook epitaphs have gained hundreds of likes and comments sharing memories and wishing this Maui legend the best. “In dat neva ending barrel in da sky,” friend Mano Ka`eo put it.
Though DD had many friends, in his final days he kept his disease mostly to himself, never one to push his own grief on others.
“He was a big guy and could scare the shit out of you with his scowl, but once you got to know Dave he was a man with a gentle heart, that deep down loved people and of course Jesus,” said Jack Starr in a Facebook post.
Renae and Mark Anderson said they would never forget seeing his white van at surf stops, his tips on gardening, wonderful company and storytelling.
“When he turned religious he still had his good humor and funny chuckle,” the Andersons wrote. “One of the original Lahaina characters, he truly will be missed. May he rest in love, and surf the skies with angels.”
“His calling was to help guys that went through rough patches, disabled people, those that battled with alcoholism,” said family friend Sara Riley. “He gave them a safe place as long as they paid their rent and didn’t smoke or use drugs. He was like their spiritual leader, he tried to make them remember how awesome life was. He really believed in his religion, and he did what he could. [In the end] h was going to die and he was okay with it.”
Public services are planned for June of this year.