Dave Hubers, who lost an arm to a car accident as a teenager, didn't let that keep him from competing in sports, earning a graduate business degree and rising from intern to CEO of one of Minnesota's largest financial companies.

Hubers, 73, of North Oaks, died on March 16 in Naples, Fla., after battling health issues for several years.

The son of a produce salesman from Pease, Minn., Hubers started at the former Investors Diversified Services (IDS), now known as Ameriprise Financial, following his 1965 graduation from the University of Minnesota.

"I had always wanted to be the best I could be, but losing my arm made me even more competitive," Hubers said in a 2015 memoir. "It made me want to show everyone — especially myself — what I could accomplish despite my disability."

Hubers was a fine golfer, water skier, downhill skier and fisherman.

At IDS, Hubers moved from staff accountant to senior vice president and chief financial officer in 1982. He served as CEO from 1993 through 2001. He was considered a steady hand who led the financial planning, insurance and asset management complex to record performance in the 1990s. He rarely took credit for success.

"He was constitutionally incapable of being pretentious," said Jeff Moravec, a former employee who worked with Hubers on his memoirs in recent years. "He understood the sense of pride in IDS as a business and an employer, and made people who worked there feel not only that they were contributing to the financial success of the place, but that they were doing good.

"Dave valued the contributions of everyone," he added. "He knew names and was friends with people up and down the organization." Colleagues recalled Hubers working late and thanking cleaning staffers by name.

Hubers also held executives accountable for performance and reminded confident officers that it also was rising markets and increasing ranks of retirement savers that were contributing to their success.

When he thought a subordinate was out of line, Hubers would bestow "the look," a stare of disapproval.

Hubers was popular with the troops. A smoker, he forbade smoking in the offices amid health concerns. Hubers would grab an occasional cigarette and chat with others, regardless of weather, outside the IDS building.

Bill Dudley, the former head of investments, remembered that Hubers was an excellent securities analyst and recommended him for the job of vice president of finance.

"He worked for me for a long time and then I worked for him," Dudley recalled.

"He was a superb CEO. He was a good numbers man. Very fair and tender with people. He knew everybody by name. He was a gentleman.

"And he was a good one-armed golfer. He could hit the ball more than 100 yards straight down the fairway. He'd be to the green in no time, sometimes leaving one over par."

Hubers served on a number of boards, including the United Way and his alma mater, the business school at the University of Minnesota. Colleagues said Hubers, who enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle thanks to his success, talked about the responsibility to "give back." He and his wife, Shirley, gave to a variety of causes, including scholarships for Minnesota kids of modest means to attend the university.

Hubers considered himself fortunate to retire early and enjoy time with his wife, three daughters and their families at a lake home in northern Minnesota and a winter home in Florida.

A celebration of his life is planned for 3 p.m. on April 10 at the University of Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center.