David Wicker Freed, 74, of Salt Lake City, Utah passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2022. Family was paramount to the loving husband, father, son, brother and soon-to-be grandfather. Dave was married to Luella for 47 years and they traveled the world with fabulous friends. A businessman, mentor, and loyal friend, Dave was strong, determined, fair, and understanding. He was a passionate art collector, world traveler, avid cyclist, connoisseur of food and wine, and was always willing to share his recommendations. His favorite retreats were in Kauai, where he spent precious time with his family, and at the cabin up Weber Canyon. Dave spent his formative years as a cowboy working on the family property, expanding his passion for animals and the outdoors.
While at the University of Utah, Dave, being one semester shy from receiving his MBA, got a call from his Uncle Bob requesting help with the family business, Lagoon Amusement Park. Family was always a priority, so Dave answered that call and began his lifelong career at Lagoon. As an officer and director of America’s largest family-owned amusement park, Dave participated in and was well respected by organizations such as the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions and the American Society for Testing and Materials. In 1988, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Award given in recognition of the most outstanding service to the amusement and attraction industry by an individual. His contributions to Lagoon and its guests have not gone unnoticed. To Dave, the employees at Lagoon were family. His loyalty was reciprocated by the many long-time employees who have spent their entire careers at Lagoon; a family amusement park that truly feels like family.
Dave’s absence in the lives of those who knew him leaves a deep void. However, as he would expect, the path forward will be one step at a time in his honor. Dave, you are loved and you will be greatly missed.
Dave is survived by his wife, Luella, daughters Kirsten and Julie, brothers Howard and Michael, sisters Anne, Kristen and Jennifer, and grandson David Leo Freed. Preceded in death by his parents, Peter and Cristie Freed.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to ALS Research foundations.
Private family services will be held.
Dear Lue and Family, Words cannot express how sad we are to lose our dear friend, Dave. His friendship, generosity and kindness to our family through the years have been so appreciated. We send our love and condolences to all of you. Love, Tim and Colleen
To Freed family, I’m so sorry for your loss. Am deeply saddened to learn about Dave’s passing. Dave had a heart of gold and touched so many lives. He was genuinely a gem. May he rest in peace.
My sincere condolences to all the Freed family. Davey was a wonderful mentor, boss, friend and I am so grateful for him being a part of my life. I started at Lagoon when I was 15 years old. Work till my 20's. He taught me so much. His mentorship has made me who I am today. Thank you and may you rest in peace.
I'm so sorry for your loss. I worked at Lagoon for 10 seasons plus a few recently as an alumni. I was in management when I left and my interactions with Dave were always friendly. Prayers of peace and comfort to the family during this time
It was a joy to work with David on amusement industry issues over the last 40+ years. David was passionate about the industry and was instrumental in generating the first ASTM standards as well as many improvements and additions to the standard.
A high quality man that wanted the best for his friends and acquaintance. He will be missed.
Im so sorry for your loss. I enjoyed getting to know him and the whole familey while i worked at the park
Verna Palmer (my sister) always had love in her heart, for everyone in the Freed family. She knew all of their names and many birthdays. I’m sure that the two of them are sharing memories. I love the Freed family and I’m sending my love to all of you.
My condolences to the Freed family. I'm so sorry for your loss. Working at Lagoon, I have great respect for Dave and I will miss him.
I have such fond memories of Dave. My sincere condolences to the entire family. Like Peter and Christie, he was always kind and welcoming to those of us who were younger in the neighborhood growing up on the Aves.
David touched so many hearts in the very best way. I'm grateful I had the opportunity to know him as both a business colleague and friend for 40 plus years. He will be greatly missed.
I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Over the past few years I was able to have a couple of conversations with Dave and was very grateful for that. His smile and kindness was felt in those times and will be missed. My love goes out to all of you during this difficult time.
Becoming aware of Dave’s passing has left a feeling of great sadness.We spent many years working together on a several projects and he was always such a gentle soul.I am so grateful for having known him and wish his family a feeling of peace at this tender time.Warmest regards, Fred
It is a powerful emotion to see one of my mentors and friends pass away. Dave took a young man who knew how to work hard and turned me into a man who works with a purpose. He taught me how to get the most out of myself and our employees without killing the human spirit but effectively fueling them with direction. Dave, like his father (Peter) mentored me into the man I am today. Dave and Peter were vastly different, yet perfectly similar. They both taught me that no matter your position in life that you treat others with respect and dignity. I can say unequivocally that had Dave Freed not been in my life that I would not be the man that I am today. I know that there are thousands who would say the same thing. I will forever know Dave not as the man who owned and operated Lagoon, but as the man who changed the world by molding those of us who were willing to be taught by him. We all then did do our part in leading the world within each of our respective crafts. Dave was the captain of one of the best leadership factories in the country and though he has passed, he lives on inside of me and many like me. Those attributes will continue to be passed on to my children, my employees, and those who may look to me for what I looked for and found in Dave. Dave; in your own maverick way you gained the respect of intelligent men and women and the love of children; you lived well, laughed often and loved much; you clearly filled your niche and accomplished your task; you have certainly left this world better than you found it; you never lacked in appreciation for earth's beauty nor did you fail to express it; and last, but not least, you always looked for the best in others and always gave the best you had.