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Douglas Philip Tannenbaum

May 29, 2022

Obituary

Douglas Philip Tannenbaum, who led a life of compassion, generosity and kindness, died May 29th, 2022 of a massive coronary occlusion, just a few days after his 50th wedding anniversary marking his marriage to the love of his life, Donita (Alford).

Doug was born on April 29,1950, the son of Melvin and Betty Hoffman Tannenbaum, the oldest of their three children.  He was a life-long resident of Lake City, and from a young age had a strong commitment to civic responsibility.

He was a proud, second-generation Eagle Scout and a member of the Order of the Arrow.  He attended the Gettysburg National Boy Scout Jamboree where he shared vials of Suwannee River water with other scouts from around the country, so they could see the lyrical water of North Florida.  The Suwannee held a special place in his heart for all the long-distance scout raft races in which he participated as a child when his father was scout master of Troop 87 and later as a member of the troop.

Doug initially served as a page in the US Congress for the Honorable Billy Matthews (D-Fla) for a summer in Washington, DC, when ultimately he was selected to be the page for Gerald Ford, then a Republican Congressman from Michigan.  Doug had the honor of raising the American Flag on top of the US Capitol dome many times, and his experience in Washington nurtured a lifelong love of current events, politics and debating social issues.

Doug had a passion for the sciences, earning him special recognition at the State of Florida Science Fair as a sophomore at Columbia High School.  His studies and hard work led to an invitation to visit with astronauts at Cape Canaveral.

Growing up with a backyard on Alligator Lake, Doug turned the family home into a mini-farm, cultivating everything from a garden to beehives to chicken coops to stacks of hay with bullseyes for archery or shooting.  He had a love of all things agricultural that was passed on to his children.

Doug, along with his life-long friend, Tim Kirby, was selected to represent Columbia County at the highly competitive Boys State government education program in Tallahassee.  He was a member of the CHS State Champion Football Team of 1967 and a proud member of the CHS class of 1968.

At the University of Florida, Doug was a dual major in chemistry and history, and was a member of student government and of the Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity.  He had been accepted into medical school, but decided instead to return to Lake City to take on the responsibility of the family business, The Lovely Shop.  Doug’s father had died when he was fifteen, and he felt a keen duty to assist his mother (“Mrs. T”) with the enterprise.

As an adult, his sense of civic responsibility expanded.  He was an integral part of the revitalization of downtown Lake City, and he led aspects of the Columbia County Bi-Centennial Celebration.  He was a member of the Kiwanis Club (as his father before him), and of the Jaycees and Elks, and he was a Scottish Rite 32nd Degree Mason.

Doug had an encyclopedic knowledge of US and world history and of geography, and there wasn’t an arcane bit of Columbia County and Florida history that he didn’t know.  His grasp over a wide range of subjects, from political science to the classics to astronomy led to affectionate teasing by friends and family that he was a walking news magazine.

Doug had a deeply ingrained philosophy of social justice that carried him throughout his life.  In the footsteps of his parents, he stood tall in support of the rights of all peoples to live and worship freely.  He believed that indeed we are all created equal no matter our skin color, religious affiliation or whom we love.  He walked humbly with his Jewish faith and led the family’s annual Passover seder with humor and grace.

Doug always felt that his role as husband to Donita, father to David (Linda Dowling) and Deborah and grandfather to Aliyah, Zachary and Alexander were his most important responsibilities.  He is survived by them; his sisters, Susan and Barbara; niece, Lola Epstein, and brother-in-law, Wick Rowland.

A memorial reception will be held at the Elks Lodge on Tuesday, June 7th from 5 to 7pm.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Douglas Philip Tannenbaum, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Douglas

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Services

Memorial Gathering
Tuesday
June 7, 2022

5:00 PM
Elks Lodge

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