David Franklin Giles, beloved son, brother, uncle, cousin, nephew, friend, jazz fiend, volunteer fireman, mountain man, computer master, and forester passed away May 18, at Athens Regional Hospital. He is survived by his mother, Jane Gilliland Giles, sisters, Sally Giles and Susan (Francisco) Cruz, and nephew David (Christina Sheridan) Cruz. He was preceded in death by his father, Frank McCord Giles in 1999 along with Aunt Alma Jean Gilliland, Ann Clifford, and Frank Clifford. David is also survived by Uncles John Gilliland and Robert (Joan) Gilliland, and Aunt Sally (Eddie) Cole.
David grew up in Tallulah Falls and Athens GA, and graduated from Cedar Shoals High School in 1973 where he played trumpet and tuba in band, achieving ALL STATE status in both instruments. It was at Cedar Shoals High School that he was mentored by his band instructor Larry McClure, in a lifelong love of music, in particular a crazy love of jazz. David had a long career in retail record sales where he ran stores in six states.
David played in and promoted many bands. He could discourse deeply and with great knowledge about all genres of music for hours with any and all that had the desire, and stamina to take the plunge.
In his early 30’s, David extended his love of the great outdoors into a college career graduating from the Warnell School of Forestry in 1992 with a minor in computer science. He took both of these obsessions to Satohla in the northeast Georgia mountains where he worked with the UGA Cowetta research station and then began a business in computer technology.
David became a member of the Satohla Volunteer Fire Department and discovered a new love of emergency medical assistance when he studied for and became a first responder. He was first on the scene to help others, something he’d always been very good at. David returned to the Athens area in 2011 where he lived with his mother Jane, caring for her during an extended convalescence following a hip replacement.
He continued his love of helping others in his volunteer work in the Athens area. He had a newfound passion for the use of Unmanned Ariel Vehicles (UAV) in forestry applications. As anyone who knows David can tell you, he brought enthusiasm and great passion to everything he endeavored, this new passion was no exception.
David will be deeply missed by all the people whose lives he touched with his generous spirit and fierce intellect. Funeral service for David will be held Saturday, May 23, at Lord and Stephens West Chapel at 2:00 P.M. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service and a reception will be held at 3:00 at The Sanctuary, 13 Barnett Shoals Road in Watkinsville.
David had long suffered from Lyme disease and in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a Lyme Disease Research Center, or charity of your choosing.
Note: David died from a snake bite. We have included here him because he was a member of our Lyme community and because his the newspaper article said this,
“Giles had been living with his mother, Jane, for about four years since he had contracted Lyme disease. She believes that his system might have been compromised already by his illness, compounding the effects of the venom.”
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