David Kennedy Stites


Despite being born on Friday the 13th on the eve of the Great Depression, David Kennedy Stites was a lucky man who was never greatly depressed.
The son of master stonemason, William Michael Stites and his resourceful wife, Amanda, David was born in Clarkston. He grew up in a house in Acme, where neither running water nor electricity flowed until David was 14 years old.
He graduated from Traverse City High School in 1946, already a journeyman mason and junior real estate wheeler-dealer. That same year on July 22, he married spunky, blonde Phyllis Merchant from a neighboring farm.
On May 1, 1954 David and cousin, Phillip Stites, founded Genesee Cut Stone and Marble Co. in Flint, where David joyfully and relentlessly labored until Nov. 6, 2018. Helmed by David, GCSM grew to become one of the premier stone fabrication shops in the United States.
Though David was a lucky man from the start - genetically gifted with intelligence, thick hair, gleaming, white teeth and a slim physique, all of which he retained until the end - much of his good fortune was his own creation. His ready smile and outgoing ways ensured a life well stocked with devoted friends and family. Unwaveringly faithful to wife, Phyllis, he built a marriage spanning 68 years. His gentle, benevolent approach to fatherhood ensured that his three gorgeous daughters (the most gorgeous of whom is writing this tribute) would forever idolize him.
During his long lifetime, David worked hard and relished every minute of it. He was, in all ways, a rich man, a lucky man, one who enriched the lives of all those lucky enough to know him.
David is survived by his three daughters, Jeanie (Wayne) Mortensen, of Ludington, Patricia (Rick) Bouck, of Grand Blanc, and Jan (Raymond) Pezzi, of Suttons Bay; his two granddaughters, Amy (Daniel Schvartsman) Mortensen, of Ludington, and Abby Mortensen, of Ludington; his sister, Kathleen Lamb, of Suttons Bay; as well as many fond relatives and dedicated employees, especially his head accountant and GCSM partner of four decades, Eva Hempel.
On Friday, Dec. 28, an Irish wake honoring David's remarkable life will be held at Genesee Cut Stone and Marble Co., 5276 S. Saginaw, Flint, from 1 until 5 p.m., with a memorial at 2 p.m.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Great Lakes Humane Society, of Traverse City, Ducks Unlimited or the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.
Your condolences may be shared with the family at swartzfuneralhomeinc.com.
Published on December 16, 2018
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