Revered San Diego philanthropist Conrad Prebys passed away Sunday after a courageous battle with cancer his family announced.

Born in South Bend, Indiana in 1933, an 8-year-old Prebys suffered a debilitating heart condition that doctors said would lead him to a sedentary life. Instead, a dedication to the arts and culture helped transform him into a brilliant entrepreneur. The first of five brothers to graduate college, Conrad established himself as the proud owner of Progress Construction Company as well as a number of real estate ventures around San Diego.

His success lead to an active pursuit of entrepreneurial activities. His medical experiences offered a venue to contribute assistance to the construction of a cardiovascular center for Scripps Health. He was also active in community engagement for the betterment of culture and the arts. According to his biography on the Scripps website, his capital and operating gifts for the San Diego area the Boys and Girls Clubs of East County, the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Opera, the Old Globe Theatre, UCSD Music Centre, the La Jolla Music Society, Scripps Mercy Hospital, Sanford/Burnham Medical Research Institute. In a statement releases to the press, his family recognized his loving spirit that touched everyone. “Born with a giving spirit, Conrad’s deep generosity has helped strengthen and enrich the community in many important ways”.

He is survived by his life partner Debbie Turner.