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David Michael Pierce

August 27, 1941 March 30, 2017
David Michael Pierce
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Obituary for David Michael Pierce

David M. Pierce of Wolverine Lake, Michigan was born August 27, 1941 in Detroit, Michigan to Roy Sr. and Lois (nee: Bartlett) Pierce. He passed peacefully March 30th 2017 at the age of 75 at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Dave was the beloved husband of almost 55 years to Judy (nee: Siekas). Loving father of Jeffrey (Gaye), Kevin (Martha), and Corey (Casey). Loving Papa of Kylee, Kelsi, Morgan, and Sydney, “Papa’s shining thing in his heart is his granddaughters”. Proceeded in death by sisters Hazel Collison, Judy Tatum and brother Roy Jr. Survived by sisters Margaret Brown and Leah (Stanley) Couture, loving brother-in-law of Rick Siekas (Joann) and Kathy Stringer (Roger Schiftar) and numerous nieces and nephews.

Dave was a retired journeyman tool grinder machinist from Pontiac Motors after 30 years of service. He also served as a volunteer firefighter and ambulance driver for Commerce Township and an auxiliary officer with the Walled Lake police department. Dave also coached Little League baseball and being an avid dog lover, helped the dog rescue community with transport overnights, rehabilitating and telling the back stories of his own rescue dog family.
The most profound decision of Dave’s life came in late May of 2004, when congestive heart failure had set in and it was determined at that time that a heart transplant was needed. Dr. Francis Pagani at the University of Michigan Medical Center recommended a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) as a bridge to a heart transplant, which turned into destination therapy. Dave was the 2nd recipient in the United States, 7th in the world to receive the Heartmate II LVAD and was the main focus in the FDA trials of the Heartmate II. Because of his positive experience, he mentored and offered support to others that were LVAD patients and their families. His and Judy’s picture hangs proudly in the U of M Cardiovascular Center as a wonderful example. Although he lost a couple fingers making a dog dish stand on a table saw and lost a leg after fall, as said by Dr. Pagani, “He was out living his life the way he wanted” and that was the whole goal. Dave was also the longest living patient with an LVAD at almost 13 years.

A memorial luncheon will be held within the next few months to celebrate Dave’s life. In lieu of flowers, donations would be greatly appreciated and will support the Pagani Heart Gift Fund. Checks may be made out to the “University of Michigan” and sent to Medical Development, 1000 Oakbrook, Suite 100, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Please note on the check “Pagani Heart Gift Fund – David Pierce”. You may also call (734) 764-6777 or visit the website victors.us/1davidpierce

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