BOHANNON, David Alexander, died on May 24th, 2014 with his family at his side. He was in the home of his daughter and under Hospice care. Ex-tensive cancer had ravaged his lungs, brain, and bones and had only been diag-nosed 10 days earlier. His wish was to forgo any treat-ment and to spend quality time with his family, which in his last days he did. David was born December 9th, 1927 in Winston Salem, NC with close ties to family in Hainestown, Yadkinville and Farmington. His family moved to Tampa, FL when he was 5 years old. He had many stories of friendships and adventures in Tampa through the 30's and 40's as a young child and maturing young man that he shared with his family over the years. He was in the merchant marines for a short time then joined the Army, and as part of the 101st Infantry served his country in occupied Japan. Upon his return from the Army, David met a sweet neighbor girl, Sally Lou Baker. They married December 9th, 1949 and lived their married life for 51 years and 3 months. Sally preceded David in death in 2001. For 13 years and 3 months he "missed her loving and dear ways" and "thought about her every day." David was a mailman in Tampa, FL for 37 years. He started out riding a bike to deliver mail and over the years walked miles to deliver mail to his many patrons. He was accompanied by "Fred," a black lab, on his Hyde Park route for years. Both "Fred" and David gained a bit of notoriety, of sorts, when the Tampa Tribune ran a story about the friendship of the postman and the dog that delivers mail with him. Being a postman was a source of pride to him, as was being a proud member of NALC Union #599. David was a shop steward and helped improve conditions for Tampa postmen one of his greatest sources of pride and satisfaction. He is survived by two daughters, Kathy Lee Bohannon of Fayetteville and her husband Bradley Dishner; Cheryl Kelly Thomas of Sandestin, FL and her husband Walter "Chip" Thomas. Both sons-in-law were also dear friends to David. He is survived by one precious granddaughter, Dr. Carolyn M. Reilly, PhD, with Emory University, and her husband Jack Reilly, also an outstanding friend to David. Carolyn and Jack have provided David with two precious great-grandsons; John Patrick Reilly and Joshua Shea Reilly who provided many hours of enjoyment to their "Grandpa." David is also survived by four cherished nieces, Anne, Pam, Valerie and Terri that have looked to him for his humor and guidance. In addition, a cousin, John Bohannon of Long Island, NY survives him with many fond memories of their young years in Tampa and the years through the ages connected by their long- distance humor. One last surviving friend and "almost-family" is Bill "Billy" Payner of Ridge Manor FL. A young neighbor boy, whose father was deceased, who spent many hours maturing under the guidance and influence of a man that became a life-long friend. David Bohannon's life was one well lived, that left many people, places, gardens, children and many pets and animals a better life. He is a man that has truly led a successful life and one that his family will miss dearly. A memorial service will be held June 19th, Thursday at 10:00 a.m., at the Bushnell National Cemetery with military honors. In lieu of flowers and in his memory, David would ask you to plant a tree or rescue a cat or dog or make a child feel important....just by listening to them.
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Published in TBO.com on June 18, 2014