Colleagues offer tributes to “dear friend” David Theis

Seen here at this past fall's Greenwich Republican Clambake, Mr. Theis was remembered for his decades of service. — Ken Borsuk photo

Seen here at this past fall’s Greenwich Republican Clambake, Mr. Theis was remembered for his decades of service. — Ken Borsuk photo

News of the death of Selectman David Theis sent shockwaves through Greenwich Tuesday night as the beloved resident was mourned.

Mr. Theis, a town native and graduate of Greenwich High School, was in his fifth year on the Board of Selectmen. Tuesday night, First Selectman Peter Tesei and Selectman Drew Marzullo put out a joint statement saying they had lost a “dear friend.”

“His contributions touched the lives of so many of our fellow residents each and every day,” Mr. Tesei and Mr. Marzullo said. “Over the past five years we have been honored to serve on the Board of Selectmen with Dave who brought integrity, wisdom, leadership and humor to every aspect of town government. There was no better partner to serve with and to call your friend.”

Mr. Tesei has ordered the flags at all town buildings to be lowered to half mast until Mr. Theis’ funeral. Mr. Tesei and Mr. Marzullo asked that prayers be sent to Mr. Theis’ longtime partner Kerrin Coyle as well as to his sisters Ginny and Nancy.

Mr. Theis was remembered for his decades of service to the town both as an elected official and as a volunteer with some saying that losing him in Greenwich was a void that could not be filled and that it was like losing a member of their family. Mr. Theis was a former official with the Republican Town Committee and was the longtime president of the Cos Cob Republican Club, hosting the RTC’s annual Clambake every fall. RTC Chairman Jim Campbell said Tuesday night that Mr. Theis left a legacy of caring and service.

“We are devastated at the news that we have lost our beloved Dave Theis,” Mr. Campbell said in a statement to the Post. “He was one of the great Selectmen because he connected with the people of Greenwich. No one cared more about this community, or found a way to touch more lives than Dave. As a Republican leader, Dave stood up for the values he believed in, and he loved this town and our country and all that it stands for more than anyone I know. He leaves behind a legacy of caring, and honor, and heart-felt patriotism. There is an enormous void in Greenwich tonight with his passing.”

Mr. Theis was heavily praised for the partnerships he was able to form on the Board of Selectmen, both with Mr. Tesei but moreso with Mr. Marzullo, the board’s lone Democrat. Though they disagreed politically, they became quick friends and Mr. Theis was remembered fondly by all on Tuesday, regardless of political party.

Frank Farricker, chairman of the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee, told the Post Tuesday night that, “ Dave was an easy guy to like. He was loyal to his family and friends and he adored serving a community full of both. He will be most clearly missed by each and every person of the town he was so completely of. It’s such a shame. There was no way that Dave would let anybody not like him, nor would be let himself not like anyone.”

Under town charter, Mr. Tesei and Mr. Marzullo will have to pick a Republican replacement for Mr. Theis within the next 30 days to serve the remaining 11 months of his term on the Board of Selectmen. Mr. Theis had been expected to run for reelection in the fall.

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