David Walter Girardin, born July 9, 1951, fell asleep awaiting the second coming of our Lord, just before 6 a.m. on November 3, 2017. He was peaceful; his family was surrounding him and Talk to the Shepherd (Buddy Houghtaling) was playing in the background. This was after an eight-month courageous battle with cancer.

David was born in Detroit, Michigan to Anna Didyk Girardin and David Louis Girardin. He served 30 years in the United States military, primarily the Navy, under the mantra–“Lord, let me live by the side of the road so I may be a friend to all.” He is remembered for his chaplaincy ministry in the U. S. Navy (retired O-6), pastoring Seventh-day Adventist churches in Minnesota, hospital ministry across the nation, and pastoral care and counseling. His dedication, hard work, faithfulness, humility, leadership, and integrity are some of the characteristics that others will remember of him. He has impacted more people than he ever realized.

David was an adventurer who was passionate about scuba diving, traveling, hiking, shooting with Norfolk County Rifle Range, HAM radio club, leading out in AWANA youth group, and serving with the Virginia Defense Force. He loved providing for his family, taking care of the house, and cutting the grass at our home and at the church. His bucket list demonstrates his spirit of adventure. Some items include: hiking the Camino de Santiago with his best friend– Harvey Prather, going sky diving on an upcoming birthday, taking his wife on a trip to Niagara Falls and taking his family on a scuba diving trip to the South Pacific island of Niue. His family plans on fulfilling each of these bucket list dreams for him.

David’s faith in Jesus, despite the winds and the waves of the last eight months, was strong. He claimed the promise of Psalm 40:1-3. “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog , and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise for our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.” As an ordained pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, his last sermon spoke about the spiritual growth through adversity. His favorite song, “We Have This Hope,” speaks to the family during this new chapter.

David is survived by his beloved wife, Barbara White Girardin, married just over 41 years, with many cherished memories, adventures, and faithful ministry together. David is also survived by his two cherubs, David John Girardin and Emily Grace Girardin and her husband, David Snuffer. He was a faithful and loving husband, a devoted and adventurous father, and committed friend, pastor, and leader.

David’s extended family will also miss him greatly including his treasured sisters–Diane Joan Girardin McKeen, Jane Marie Girardin Costello and her husband Ray, Wendy “Pooh” Baker Orford and her husband David, and his brothers-in-law Douglas Howard White, Walter Hackett White and his wife Miriam.

In honor of David and in support of his family, in lieu of flowers and food, please consider donating in his name to Adventist World Radio (AWR) Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) or National Rifle Association–Institute of Legislative Action (NRA–ILA). Remembering his love for the great outdoors, consider planting a tree in his honor. If you have a special memory, a picture to share, or are doing something in his name, please share it with us via email ([email protected] or [email protected]) or tag him on Facebook.

You may view David’s legacy video at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArBiz51gkFI