Local golf pro Dave Bierbrauer dies at 58

David Albers/Staff 
 - 'Disco' Dave Bierbrauer plays in the ACE Group Classic pro-am on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, at Twin Eagles in Naples.

Photo by DAVID ALBERS, Naples Daily News // Buy this photo

David Albers/Staff - "Disco" Dave Bierbrauer plays in the ACE Group Classic pro-am on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, at Twin Eagles in Naples.

Roger LaLonde/Staff 
 Many long-time fturned out for Disco Dave Bierbrauer's golf event at Lely Flamingo on Saturday. From left, all Lely graduates, Heidi Donato, Chris Fowler, Bierbrauer and Dave Ged.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE // Buy this photo

Roger LaLonde/Staff Many long-time fturned out for Disco Dave Bierbrauer's golf event at Lely Flamingo on Saturday. From left, all Lely graduates, Heidi Donato, Chris Fowler, Bierbrauer and Dave Ged.

“Disco” Dave Bierbrauer lived life like he played golf: always believing he would win. But as the game of golf became second nature to him, his fight against cancer proved to be his ultimate challenge.

On Wednesday, Bierbrauer lost the fight but not before statistically outliving Stage IV lung cancer. The five-year survival rate for his type of cancer is less than five percent. Bierbrauer proved he could best those odds.

Bierbrauer, 58, was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and began a very public fight against the disease. He shared his story with the community, receiving public support from friends and colleagues.

During a golf tournament in July where friends raised money to help Bierbrauer in his fight against cancer, the avid golfer said he continued to be positive, working to beat the disease.

“I stay positive,” Bierbrauer said. “I get myself motivated, knowing that when I wake up in the morning I have got to get going, knowing (each day) that I can beat it.”

On Wednesday, Steve Reynolds, close friend and executor for Bierbrauer, echoed those sentiments.

“His spirits were always high. He never gave up and fought the good fight, hoping for that miracle cure.”

Dick Shanahan, whose has known Bierbrauer for more than 25 years, said he was a warm and gracious friend, quick to smile and often joking.

“He put on a great show about his vanity, and he would talk about his hair. Not in a vain way but in a fun way,” Shanahan remembered. “Dave did a lot of things for the community and the Marco Police Foundation.”

Last year, Bierbrauer was recognized by Shanahan for providing 57 raffle prizes for the Police Foundation’s 10th annual golf tournament.

In 2012, Tom Metzger, named the South Florida PGA Section’s Southwest Chapter Golf Professional of the Year, said Bierbrauer dealt with ongoing cancer treatments with a positive outlook.

“(Bierbrauer) is an inspiration to me to get my butt out there and do things for people who are less fortunate than we are,” he said.

Originally from St. Louis, Mo., Bierbrauer earned his nickname “Disco” in his early years as a DJ.

“He loved music, particularly from the 1970s,” Reynolds said.

Bierbrauer moved to Marco Island in the mid 1980s and worked as the assistant golf pro at the Island Country Club. He also taught at the Hideaway Beach Club on Marco Island and Lely Resort in Naples.

“Although Dave had no children, he had a soft spot in his heart for children who were ill,” long-time friend Rick Hancom recalled. “He held the Disco Duck tournament every year at Eagle Lakes (formally Boyne South) in Naples, and the money would go to help a child he knew that was battling leukemia or cancer or needed a heart transplant.”

On Tuesday, at the urging of his doctor and a hospice nurse, Bierbrauer checked himself into the third floor hospice unit at Physicians Regional Collier. He died at 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday.

“He loved Marco Island and enjoyed every day that he was here,” Reynolds said. “He tried his best to be his best.”

Bierbrauer, born David Allen, survived his parents and has one living brother, Gary. For many years, Bierbrauer was a partner in “Disco” Dave’s Discount Golf on Collier Boulevard.

Visitation hours are from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3, at Hodges-Josberger Funeral Home, 577 Elkcam Circle, Marco Island. A funeral service will take place at 10 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 4, at the Marco Presbyterian Church. Internment will follow immediately at Marco Island Cemetery.

Friends and acquaintances are invited to a “Celebration of Life” for Bierbrauer at 1 p.m. on the day of the service at the Sunset Grille at the Apollo, 900 S. Collier Blvd., Marco Island.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Vitas Hospice Foundation, 997 N. Collier Blvd., Marco Island, FL 34145.

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Comments » 7

Hardleymarco writes:

Rest in peace Disco, gonna miss you.

Konfuzius writes:

The entire story is very very sad.
I feel sorry for Dave.
He was a nice guy.

manwhoknows writes:

R.I.P. Disco. You were one of a kind. As Ben Hogan would say " THE ANSWER IS IN THE DIRT" You were Loved and will be missed especially by ME.

liberator100 writes:

He was a unique and extremely nice individual.
It was my honor to know Dave.
May he rest in peace.

manwhoknows writes:

R.I.P.

OldMarcoMan writes:

Dave was a great guy, Play Through Disco

capt1black writes:

I will always appreciate Disco for his support of my son not just as his golf instructor but as his friend. He is a better golfer and person for knowing Disco. RIP Dave.

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