ASHLAND — Friends and family members of David Michael Grubbs said the 23-year-old was a funny, generous and talented musician who inspired others.
"He was wonderful," said his mother, Cherie Grubbs, a nurse who lives in Ashland and works in the office of Dr. John Sager. "He had no enemies. Everybody loved him. He had a great sense of humor."
David's father is Michael Grubbs, an Ashland resident and building official with the city's Community Development Department.
The young man, found murdered on the Central Ashland Bike Path near Hunter Park Saturday, had worked at Shop'n Kart in Ashland for several years. He lived with a roommate on California Street, which is near the bike path.
Previously, he had played in the Ashland High School orchestra and for the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon, according to the Ashland School District and family members.
The youth symphony is for accomplished high school and college-age musicians, according to the YSSO.
David played the upright bass and then took up the electric bass guitar, friends and family members said.
His sister, Sarah Grubbs of Portland, said he loved the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Johnny Cash.
"He was a witty kid. He was well-liked and a warm person — helpful, loving, thoughtful, kind," she said, speaking from Ashland, where she had gathered with family members.
Sarah said her brother loved to read, especially books about mythology and science fiction, and he also liked to write. He was remarkably generous, she said, recalling an incident several years ago when he was on a family vacation in England.
"There was a homeless family in London. It was around Christmas and they didn't have anything, and he gave them all his money," Sarah said.
In addition to his parents and sister, David is survived by another sister, Rachell Grubbs of Los Angeles.
"The love he had to give was unlimited," Sarah said. "He had that giving spirit. He had a playful way about him. He was a gentle soul."
Garrison Mau, the victim's best friend, said he was so close to David that he thought of him as a brother. They met at Ashland High School when Mau was a sophomore and Grubbs was a freshman.
"I played drums, but I started playing bass because he showed me how," Mau said. "He lived and breathed music. He was a big inspiration for me. He was a good teacher and a mentor, even though I'm older. He was a great person. He could make anyone laugh."
In addition to being friends, the two worked together at Shop'n Kart. Mau said employees there are having a hard time dealing with the murder of their friend and co-worker.
"Everybody's destroyed. Customers are wondering why everyone is crying. It's the whole store. There was nobody who didn't like David," Mau said. "I'm still so shocked and numb and at a loss for words. He was amazing. If anyone knows anything, I hope they come forward."
Inside Ashland's city government, Interim City Administrator Larry Patterson said employees are feeling grief for Michael Grubbs and other family members.
"This is a shock to this community as well as to this organization," Patterson said. "This is a senseless tragedy that you can't explain. Our thoughts are with the family."
Anyone with information on the murder is asked to call the Ashland Police Department at 541-482-5211 or to call the department's tip line at 541-552-2333.
Ashland police are urging people to be cautious if they use the Central Ashland Bike Path, which parallels railroad tracks that cut through town and is not part of the Bear Creek Greenway. Suspicious behavior should be reported immediately by calling 9-1-1.
Vickie Aldous is a reporter for the Ashland Daily Tidings. She can be reached at 541-479-8199 or firstname.lastname@example.org.