FRANKFORT — David M. Reitan, of Frankfort, died Dec. 31, 2013, after a long, hard-fought battle with cancer. He was born in Onawa, Iowa, the middle of three sons born to Lars and Bess (Sargeant) Reitan. When Dave was two the family moved to South St. Paul, Minn., where he was raised on the family farm.
Dave’s quick mind and mechanical aptitude eventually led him to the plastics industry. He started his own company, Shape, and did some of the early development of CDs. As he moved on he eventually met and worked for Al Sears who had started up a new company, Incoe, that produced and installed injection molding systems; Dave became an expert in the development and installing of these systems.
He traveled the world for the company, going to installations in Europe, the Far East and Australia to install these systems or to troubleshoot. During the 25 years he worked at Incoe Dave received seven patents for his work with injections molding systems.
Eventually he moved his family east to Keene, N.H., and then Maine. While living there Dave became a master diver and was involved in river diving rescues. He loved diving and made several trips to the Caribbean.
He was a Boy Scout Master and took the Scouts on many camping trips, including teaching survival camping.
Dave loved to hunt and fish. He made trips over the years to hunt in Canada and out west, usually successfully returning with deer, moose or elk. Dave made many trips to Frankfort to fish on Lake Michigan with his boss and friend, Al. He also went on fishing trips to Canada. Dave was a planner and spent weeks making sure everything was in order before actually making the trips. He always felt the planning, preparation and anticipation were as important as the trip itself.
Dave moved to Troy to be near his work at Incoe. On one of his trips to Frankfort he met his future wife, Sonja. They were married in 1995.
Dave semi-retired and moved to Frankfort in 1998, where he and Sonja built their dream home near Upper Herring Lake. Dave was able to hunt and fish in his own back yard.
They enjoyed traveling, visiting family on both coasts. They made the trip of a lifetime when they went on an Alaskan cruise in 2003.
After retiring from Incoe, Dave started a new career in real estate working with Coldwell Banker-Schmidt Realty, Stapleton Realty, Exit Realty and ReMax for a short time before he became sick. He earned his broker’s license and was a million dollar salesperson for several years.
Dave always enjoyed working with people and making new friends. Throughout his life he continued to learn new things and enjoyed passing on his knowledge to others.
Dave was very involved in Blaine Christian Church, where he served in several capacities, including as elder, singing in the choir, on the praise team and he served on the building committee for the new sanctuary. He was pleased to have initiated the annual Wild Game Dinner at the church. He was also involved in Northern Michigan DeColores Ministries.
In addition to his wife, Sonja, Dave leaves behind his children, Shannon (Ann) Reitan, of Bend, Ore., Kristi (Steve) Pysher, of Tucson, Ariz., Michele Reitan, of Portland, Maine, Michael (Tricia) Reitan, of Springdale, Maine, Lisa (Joe Farda) Reitan, of Dayton, Maine, Brent (Julie) Crossman, of Charlotte, Don Crossman and Todd (Catina) Crossman, both of Honor; and grandchildren, Amber and Ashley Reitan, Alicia, Allison and Abby Burnett, Michael, Matthew and Christian Reitan and Joshua Weber. He is also Kyle Harris, Allison and Joe Crossman, McKenna, Marc and Donny Crossman and Lauren and Elsie Crossman. He also leaves behind his constant companion, Molly, his chocolate lab.
Dave was preceded in death by his eldest son, David; stepdaughter, Kenna Crossman; and brothers, Larry and Paul.
Cremation has taken place. Services will be held Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, at 11 a.m., at Blaine Christian Church, with Pastor Bob Larimer officiating. There will be a visitation one hour prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Munson Hospice, 1105 Sixth St., Traverse City, MI 49684; Blaine Christian Church, 7018 Putney Road, Arcadia, MI 49613; or the American Cancer Society — Relay for Life, through Brent Crossman, 1860 Carlisle, Charlotte, MI 48813.
A gift of Dave’s corneas was given to Michigan Eye Bank.
Arrangements are by Jowett Family Funeral Homes & Cremation Service, Frankfort and Benzonia.