David Mark Wahlstad
David Mark Wahlstad, loving son, husband, father, grandfather, and friend died July 30, 2021, of complications from COPD.
Equal parts comedian, curmudgeon, raconteur, Bible scholar, and trivia master, David was beloved by those who crossed his path. Born in Plainfield, NJ, he loved ice hockey and pranking neighbors and friends. When he attended the Peddie School in Hightstown, NJ, he played varsity hockey and won the State Championship in pole vaulting, a record that still stands. His father bought a cattle ranch in Ormand Beach, where David learned to rustle cattle and race horses before attending Stetson University. There he joined the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity where he forged lifelong friendships. David was fond of saying, "Lots of people have fun in college, but no one ever had more fun than I did!". After graduation he became a 1st Lieutenant in the US Army and later worked in retail, sales, insurance, antiques, and erstwhile preaching.
David married Carolinda Burnette of Coral Gables in June of 1960. They eventually settled there with daughters, Elizabeth (‘Bebe”) and Katherine Caroline (“KC”). They later moved to Barnesville, GA and threw their energies into renovating a pre-civil war home. David became skilled in antique furniture restoration while managing a historic hardware store that was listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. The Wahlstads were a popular duo at weekend antique fairs throughout GA and FLA. Often, David was recruited to conduct Sunday worship services at the shows. Sadly, however, Carolinda died in 2003 after a long illness, and eventually David found his way back to Florida.
He never thought lightning would strike in the same place twice, but it did when David reconnected with his dear friend Katherine Warthen Ezell. They married in 2006 in a garden ceremony surrounded by family and friends. Together they were members of board of The Two Hundred Club, an organization dedicated to providing survivors’ benefits to families of first responders injured in the line of duty. They also became involved in Plymouth Congregational Church of Coconut Grove where David served on the Diaconate and volunteered in the Church’s This ‘n That Shop. In addition, he loved entertaining friends and family, travelling with Kathy, and sharing his irrepressible humor and kind concern with those around him.
David is survived by his wife Kathy, his two daughters Bebe Wahlstad and K.C. Russo (Charles) and his sister Elaine Littlehales (George), two stepsons, Beau Ezell and Will Ezell (Jenny), and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and step-grandchildren.
A Celebration of the Life of David Wahlstad will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, August 10th at Plymouth Congregational Church, 3400 Devon Road, Coconut Grove. The link for live streaming the service will be available after Sunday, August 8th on Plymouth’s YouTube channel. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Plymouth Church Foundation or The Two Hundred Club of Greater Miami may be made in David’s memory.
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