Dennis Alan Gitlin was born on June 6, 1931 to Ralph and Shirley Dorfman Gitlin in the Bronx borough of New York City.
When Dennis was four, the family moved to Miami. Dennis attended Coral Way Elementary School, Shenandoah Junior High, and graduated from Miami Senior High School in February of 1949. He subsequently attended the University of Florida at Gainesville for two years and then transferred to the University of Miami, graduating in 1953. While attending college, he enrolled in the ROTC and was elected to the National Society of the Scabbard and Blade, which is the National Honor Society for the ROTC.
Upon graduation from college, he entered the army and was appointed a Reserve Commissioned Officer grade of Second Lieutenant in May of 1953 in the Transportation
Corps. He was stationed briefly in South Korea, and then in Japan. In May 1955, Dennis was
advanced to the rank of Reserve Commissioned Officer grade of First Lieutenant.
When Dennis was discharged he returned to Miami and briefly attended law school, but soon left to join his father’s mattress manufacturing company. He spent several years in Cincinnati heading up a division of the National Mattress Company.
While living in Ohio, he took up racket ball and won many amateur tournaments. He once accepted a challenge from two office co-workers. He gave them 20 points and the first serve and still won! Later, when he returned to Miami, to work with his father and eventually start his own company, he took up tennis with the same enthusiasm, playing nearly every day and being just as successful at winning local tournaments.
Dennis was blessed with a wonderful, outgoing and friendly personality. He loved kibbitzing with people. He was interested in
every one he met, and often new their life story after the first conversation. He knew almost all the employees in our building at Grove Isle by name and their families. So many have offered me their condolences and said how much they enjoyed his sense of humor and jokes.
He was big guy with a big heart and a very sweet way about him. He often brought home flowers and cars. He never got angry, but was always ready to help solve a problem without criticism or judgment. Despite all he went through indentured, he never lost his sense of humor or joy at making someone laugh. When he did, his face would just light up with delight.
Dennis survived by his devoted wife Sandi; his son Mark of Miami; stepdaughter, Dorrine Moore, her husband, Larry of Dallas; stepson Steven Block, his wife, Lisa of Dallas; grandchildren: Matthew, Meghan and her husband Joey, Brittany and Daniel; and one great grandson, Oliver Dennis; step grandchildren Rebecca, Joey, Joshua, and Tierney of Dallas; his sister, Carol and her husband Bob Chereskin, and daughter Jackie, and grandchildren of Las Vegas; and his sister Fran Edelman of Las Vegas, and her son David of Florida. He was predeceased by his beloved son Wayne.
The funeral service will be held Sunday, November 19, at 11 AM at Stanfill Funeral Home, 10545 South Dixie Highway, Miami, Florida.
Livestream at oneroomstreaming.com
EVENT ID: Stanfill
Click here to view a webcast of the service on 12/19/2021 at 11:00 AM, Eastern Standard Time.