James D. Lavaty, 70, passed away March 14, of Parkinson's at his daughter's home in Sanford, FL. He was born in Port Chester, NY, to Barbara and Joe Lavaty. Jim graduated from University of Puget Sound, WA in 1965. In April of 1966 he enlisted in the Army
and was commissioned as a Lt. He served in Vietnam as a member of the Green Beret Special Forces from 1968 to 1969 and was awarded a Bronze Star
. In 1970 he married Ceni Wheatland from Sanford, FL. Jim was employed by Jordan Marsh Dept. Stores and in 1978 became the Manager of Jacobson's specialty store in Longwood, FL. In 1997 he moved to Anna Maria Island with his partner Marcia Brewer. Jim was a warm and personable man and made wonderful friends wherever he was. He was an avid sportsman and shared that love with his children and grandchildren. He was lovingly referred to by his grandchildren as "Papa Beach". He is survived by his son Jeff Lavaty (Hayley), his daughters Holly Garemore (Rich), Heather Stelzer (Tom), his beloved grandchildren by age Lucas, Mason, Max, Elise, Garrett, and Jack, his sister Barbara Olson (Gregg) and longtime partner Marcia Brewer. The family would like to thank Hospice of the Comforter for their loving care. And to his loving friends who helped and cared so much, we are forever grateful. Donations can be made to Hospice or to the Wounded Warriors Project.