HUBER, Donald L.
90, prominent Dayton-area builder and real estate developer, passed away peacefully on Nov. 5, 2022. He was a pilot with a love of aviation, a community-oriented philanthropist, an accomplished entrepreneur, and a loving husband and deeply devoted father. He was a lifelong Daytonian who dedicated his tireless work ethic to building homes and developing neighborhoods for tens of thousands of residents and families largely throughout Montgomery and Greene Counties. He was a graduate of Oakwood High School as well as Northwestern University, where he was a member of the Naval ROTC.
Donald (who went by "Don") represented the third generation of Huber family builders. He was preceded by grandfather Jacob Huber, a German immigrant who started the family business in 1889, and father Herbert C. Huber, whose innovative home construction methods influenced the American construction industry at large and played an instrumental role in middle-class expansion in the mid-20th century. Both Jacob and Herbert C. and now, Don became the fulfillment of the American dream. Don was raised under the tutelage of Herbert C.'s remarkable feats. Alongside his siblings, he began working for Herbert C. Construction Company as a teenager. He designed and built his first house in Kettering when he was 14 years old, and continued to build while still in high school.
Upon his father's death in 1954, Don stepped in to run the home building business with his siblings. One of their largest projects was assembling over 5,000 acres to create the City of Huber Heights (then called Wayne Twp.). Middle-class families found security, access, and promise in this new community. Eventually, Don formed Donald L. Huber Enterprises, and developed communities in Kettering, Centerville, Miamisburg, Beavercreek, Lima, Sidney, Cincinnati, Columbus, and communities outside of Ohio, including Chicago and Indianapolis. Collectively, he built over 14,000 homes. He was driven by a belief shared by his father that safe, affordable homes enabled middle-class families to thrive and communities to prosper.
Philanthropy and community support were among the most important facets of Don's life. During many development efforts, both he and his family's company donated millions of dollars worth of land to schools, parks, churches, and playgrounds. In 1957, Don was asked by the National Association of Home Builders to travel to Poland and advise the government on rebuilding homes in the wake of World War II. Shortly after, he was asked by the U.S. State Department to consult on Russia's reconstruction in Moscow. He worked with Congress in the late 1960s to enact HUD's New Communities program which served to reduce the environmental impact and inefficiency of sprawl development, as well as the segregated living environments it then created. He was asked to be nominated as Ambassador to Switzerland, and later Costa Rica, both of which he declined. He was a member of the "Young Turks", a small group of influential home builders in the 1960's that included Eli Broad. He was instrumental in organizing Crime-Stoppers, an initiative that assisted law enforcement in crime prevention. He assembled 1,250 acres of land for Miami Valley Research Park, a non-profit university-related park affiliated with local academic institutions to bring industry and advanced technology companies to the region.
For over 20 years, he worked closely on community relations and research with the Air Force, which earned him two prestigious awards, and participated in JCOC. He served as Executive Vice President of the National Association of Home Builders and President of the Dayton Home Builders Association. He was appointed to the Ohio Board of Regents where he worked to make community colleges accessible and affordable. He also served on the Board of Trustees of Bowling Green University, Wright State University, Kettering College of Nursing, and The Miami Valley School. He was a longtime member of St. Paul Lutheran Church on Wayne Ave.
Don was a caring and sentimental husband to Veronica (née Bolin), who goes by "Roni." They married in 1964, and he adopted her two children, Shirley and James. Later, Don and Roni welcomed daughters Kimberly and then Julia. They raised their children in Centerville and Oakwood. As a family, they loved to travel the world, and Don worked hard to instill the same values of diligence, respect and community involvement that his father had instilled in him. Julia followed in her father's footsteps and is now the fourth generation of Hubers in the real estate business.
Don is survived by wife, Roni; his daughters Shirley (John Berry Jr.) of Florida and Dayton, Kimberly Byrd of Minneapolis, and Julia Huber Mayeux (Greg Mayeux) of Cincinnati; sister Corinne Huber of Dayton; three granddaughters and five grandsons, and three great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his son, James Michael Huber (d. 1974); sisters Marilyn Holland (d. 2022) of Kettering and twin Dorothea Bowers (d. 2022) of Durham, N.C., and brother, Charles H. Huber (d. 2003) of Dayton.
Services will be held at Routsong Funeral Home at 2100 E. Stroop Rd., in Kettering, on Friday, Nov. 11. Visitation will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Service will be held at 2 p.m. Burial will take place at David's Cemetery at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Wright State University Medical School's research department. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be made at www.routsong.com.