James David Girtman, 71, of Carrabelle, Florida, passed away on July 10, 2019 and is now at peace from the holds of dementia. Cremation has occurred. He was born January 18, 1948, in Miami, Florida.
He is preceded in death by parents, Ralph and Ova Josephine ‘Jay’ Girtman; grandparents J.D. Girtman and Kate Horne Girtman, early pioneers of Coral Gables, Florida.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years Mildred ‘Sissy’ Girtman, Carrabelle, Florida; sister Debbie Schiller (Laren), Austin Texas and her family; son Scott (Jaynia) and his children Emma and Wyatt; daughter Kelly Greenheart and husband Jeff; son Wilder, sister Georgina Taddia (Ed), Dripping Springs, Texas and her family; son Ryan (Brooke) and children Josephine, Maelyn, Reid; son Evan (Wendy); son Ben, daughter Rebecca Krohn (Marcus), son Elliot, and cousin Charlie Girtman, Coral Gables, Florida.
Dave was very proud of the Girtman heritage in South Florida dating to 1896 when his grandfather, J.D. Girtman, opened a mercantile and trading post. Dave’s love of the nursery and foliage industry and real estate development was honestly inherited from his father and grandfather. He was a successful entrepreneur and real estate developer – creating businesses from scratch following in the footsteps of his father and Big Pop so many years ago – from Miami to Honduras, Florida to Montana, Orlando to Costa Rica.
After selling his successful nursery and tree farm, Concepts in Greenery, in Orlando, Dave and Sissy packed up everything they owned in a U-Haul truck including four bird dogs and headed to Montana. Over the course of 30 years in Montana, they built the Columbia Mountain Cabins resort near Glacier National Park and Uncle Fester’s Pheasant Farm on the Milk River in Glasgow. The Great Falls area was home for almost 15 years. He loved attending auctions of any type and collecting knives, Indian beadwork, and western art.
Dave chose the Carrabelle area for its “Old Florida” living and, of course, the fishing.
Special friends, Enos Kerr, Ralph Johnson, Tracy Marquis, Joe Bergtoll, Nadine and Jerry Pickthorn and Montana godson Ryan Bergtoll. Dave was blessed with many memories of bird hunting, fishing, field dog trialing and big game hunting and developing close friendships.
A special thank you for the compassionate care received at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital — Dr. Hubbell, Dr. Nava, and the nursing staff of 3N, CICU, and the 7th Floor Palliative Care.
A Celebration of Life was Wednesday, July 17 at Carrabelle Christian Center, Carrabelle, Florida.
David Conn of Bevis Funeral Home, Harvey Young Chapel in Crawfordville is assisting the family with arrangements. (850-926-3333 or www.bevisfh.com.