David Mordecai Steinborn passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his loved ones, in Dallas, TX on Tuesday, November 10, 2015. David was born on March 29, 1936 to Leonard (Leo) Steinborn and Sadie (“Evelyn” Sarah Rebecca Kaback Steinborn) Brown in Detroit, Michigan. He was preceded in death by his parents. David is survived by his wife Vivian (Marie) Salopek Steinborn, his six children: Laura Beth Steinborn (husband Dan Cronin and daughter Arwen), Alan Steven Steinborn (wife Stephanie Lange), Mary Bella Steinborn, Daniel Steinborn, Jeffrey Steinborn, and Amanda Camille Steinborn; one grandchild: Arwen Eliana Cronin; and his siblings: Michael Hershel Steinborn (wife Phyllis), Jerome Leon Steinborn (wife Marilyn), Maxine (Paula) Steinborn Szmulewitz (husband Armend), and Mark (Phillip) Steinborn (wife Sharon) as well as many nieces and nephews.
David learned early on to adapt to big changes and thrive despite difficult life situations. At the age of six, David was in and out of the hospital with bronchitis, thus missing most of his first grade of school. To ensure her son continued with his education, David’s mother drilled him in mathematical equations throughout his illness; David always credited his ease of numbers to his mother’s diligence with his learning during that lengthy illness. At the age of seven, he moved with his mother and brother Michael from Detroit, MI to Tucson, AZ. During their first year in Tucson, David, his mother, and brother lived with his aunt, uncle, and their baby in a 900-square-foot converted World War II barracks building until his mother could find a house of their own. To make ends meet once they were settled in their home, David’s mother took in boarders; David slept on the living room couch until he was 16, making it possible for a bedroom to be available for rent.
David always felt an obligation to give back, generously volunteering his time, expertise, and financial support. The root of his desire to give back came from personally receiving help in his childhood. Through donations from others, David was able to attend YMCA summer camp. At age 13, David was able to make his bar mitzvah dressed respectfully and appropriately by borrowing one of his buddy’s suits since he didn’t own one himself.
From early on and at every age since, David worked to earn money to care for his loved ones and to support himself. In 1953, David moved back to Detroit to live with his father, stepmother, and three of his siblings. He began working at his father’s grocery store as soon as he arrived, which made it possible for him to send money to his mother in Tucson. While in high school in Detroit, David worked 35-45 hours a week. For the two years that David attended Wayne State University, he worked 60-70 hours a week as a manager at one of his father’s grocery stores, which allowed him to put himself through school as well as continue sending money to his mother in Tucson. During his sophomore year, David’s father passed away; and at the start of his junior year, he returned to Tucson where his mother, brother, and grandmother Bella (Kaback) Musiker still resided.
David had 56 years of experience in both Commercial and Residential Real Estate. In 1959, David began his career in real estate in Tucson, In 1961, he became the manager of a small real estate office specializing in Commercial Real Estate. In 1963, David moved to Las Cruces, NM after buying a 17-unit motel, the Del Prado Motel on West Picacho Street; he owned, operated, and lived at Del Prado for five years with his family. Concurrently, David also got back into real estate with an established company in Las Cruces called Yancy Clark. David started his own real estate office in 1967. During this time, he was able to carve out time to volunteer his time and leadership in several ways. David served as the President of Temple Beth El, started a Jewish Youth Group, served as President of Las Cruces Board of REALTORS, and helped start the Convention & Visitors Bureau, which was originally managed through the Chamber of Commerce. In 1968, David and Al Socolofsky formed a real estate company by merging their two companies; they were in business together for 10 years.
David was a graduate of the REALTORS Institute (GRI), a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), a Certified Real Estate Broker (CRB), and a Residential Marketing Master (RMM). David served as President for both the Las Cruces Association of REALTORS and the REALTORS Association of New Mexico. In 1995, he was the Charter President of the Multiple Listing and Information Service of Las Cruces. He served three terms on the International Board of Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate. Governor Bill Richardson appointed David to serve as President of the New Mexico Real Estate Commission.
Despite his busy career and family life, David volunteered his time and shared his knowledge and experience with numerous organizations. He chaired or served as a Director for the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce, the Las Cruces Chapter of the American Red Cross, and the Yucca Council of Boy Scouts. David was also a Charter Director of People Ole, a not-for-profit, community-based organization helping with Adult Education. He served as the President of the Dona Ana Work Action Council, a school-to-work collaborative. He was Charter President of the Sertoma Club and served seven terms as President of Temple Beth-El. As an avid stamp collector since the age of 8, David helped start the Melilla Valley Stamp Club and was the organizer and advisor to the Las Cruces Junior Stamp Club. He was the Organizing Director of Sunwest Bank of Las Cruces (later purchased by Bank of America) and served as Chairman of its Board. David served as Chair of the Mountain View Regional Medical Center. David was also a member of the Head of School Search Committee for the El Paso Jewish Academy.
Over the years, David has generously donated to many worthy causes and has encouraged others to do the same. David was President of the Dona Ana County United Way, and he served four years as Chairman of the local United Jewish Appeal. He was Chair of the Mesilla Valley Hospice Capital Campaign when it built the only free-standing New Mexico Hospice facility; it was also the first hospice facility west of the Mississippi that was unaffiliated with any hospital. During the successful capital campaign to build a new Temple for Las Cruces, David served in two capacities—as Temple Beth-El President and as Campaign Chair.
David’s desire to help others extended to the City of Las Cruces and the State of New Mexico. David served three terms as Mayor of Las Cruces until November 1987. He was also on the U.S. Conference of Mayors Standing Energy Committee, the National League of Cities Standing Committee on Transportation, and the Teen Pregnancy Task Force. David served as Chairperson of the Las Cruces Energy Task Force Committee and as President of the Las Cruces City Housing Corporation. For 11 years, he was Chairperson of the Las Cruces Codes Enforcement Board of Appeals.
For the State of New Mexico, numerous governors from both political parties looked to David for his expertise and leadership qualities on various committees and task forces. Governor Tony Anaya appointed David to serve on the Rapid Rail Task Force; he was the only member from Southern New Mexico. Governor Bruce King appointed David to serve as Chair of the New Mexico Environment Board. Governor Gary Johnson appointed David to New Mexico’s First Think Tank to discuss major issues affecting New Mexico; after serving, he was named Board Member Emeritus. Following the success of that appointment, Governor Gary Johnson also appointed David to the New Mexico Board of Education; and he served on the New Mexico Board of Education and the New Mexico Legislative Education Committee.
David has been recognized and honored for his contributions in his career as well as for his charitable and civic work. In 1970, he was chosen REALTOR of the Year for the Las Cruces Association of REALTORS; and in 1981, he was chosen as REALTOR of the Year for the REALTORS Association of New Mexico. In 1989, the Las Cruces Association of REALTORS named him Commercial Agent of the Year. In 1992, he was the 11th REALTOR to be inaugurated into the Prestigious Hall of Fame of the International Organization of Better Homes & Gardens (now GMAC Real Estate). David was honored as the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year as well as the Las Cruces Sertoma Club Citizen of the Year. He was honored by the Las Cruces Rotary Club—as a non-member—with the Paul Harris Fellow.
In 2008, David, his wife Vivian, and youngest daughter Amanda moved to Dallas so that their daughter could further her Jewish education. Meanwhile, David commuted between Dallas and Las Cruces for his business endeavors in Las Cruces. As was his way, David made time to become involved in his community in Dallas. He served on the Akiba Academy School Board and Executive committee. He was also on the Search Committee for the Yavneh High School Head of School. For his congregation, David served on the Board of Congregation Shaare Tefilla and Dallas Vaad in addition to serving on several state steering committees.
Of all his accomplishments, David was proudest of his marriage to his wife Vivian, his six children, and grandchild. David and Vivian were happily married for 36 years. His five oldest children—Laura, Alan, Mary, Daniel, and Jeffrey—are all college graduates and are productive, socially conscious adults, doing good work in their chosen careers. His youngest child Amanda is a thriving high school junior with plans of college in her sight. His granddaughter Arwen is a clever, curious first grader.
David was a man who believed in the importance of doing good and being honest. He was always curious about others and wanted to learn their story, whether it was a family member, a business associate, a political official, a young child, or the cab driver taking him and his family from the airport to the hotel—and people opened up to him while they also enjoyed his stories and silly humor, his business acumen and wisdom. He knew that it was possible to participate in creating a better society while being personally successful in his career. With his tireless energy, vast knowledge and experience, and charismatic personality, he was frequently called upon to take a leadership role because others knew that David would get the job done well with efficiency and with a great deal of satisfaction felt by the recipients and for those involved in any project or business he led. The list is long of those who will deeply miss David, most of all his wife, his family, his friends, and his colleagues.
Services will be held at Sparkman-Hillcrest Cemetery in Dallas, TX on Thursday, November 12, 2015, with burial after at Mount Zion Section. The time of services can be confirmed with Sparkman Hillcrest Cemetery at www.dignitymemorial.com or at 214-363-5401.
Pallbearers for the services will be his three sons—Alan Steinborn, Daniel Steinborn, and Jeffrey Steinborn; his son-in-law Dan Cronin; his brothers—Michael Steinborn, Jerry Steinborn, and Mark Steinborn; and his brothers-in-law— Armend Szmulewitz and Dave Salopek. Honorary pallbearers are Murray Bruder, George Rawson, Dale Schueller, Bruno Zaldo, John Hummer, Harry Bass, Bob Milstein, Jeff Fine, Steve Rosenberg, Cyrille Sulski, David Radunsky, David Abramson, Stuart Wernick, Jorge Cheiriff, and Bill Finkelstein.
Donations can be made to Shaare Tefilla Capital Campaign and Mesilla Valley Hospice. David also wanted to encourage each of you to be active in your community—to serve and give and volunteer.
This BBSNews article originally appeared on NMPolitics.net.