Wednesday, May 30, 2012

In Memoriam – A Class Act and Good Friend!

Dave Gorman was a class act, a gentleman, he was honest as the day is long, he was dedicated to being the best…and he has left us all too soon…  Dave was only 65 years old.  As a member of the Marine Corps, Dave had served his country during the Vietnam War. (1966 – 1969) He was wounded in action. 
After the war, Dave met his bride to be during the Christmas Season while working at Sears between college semesters.  Patty and he were married on May 25th, 1974.   Their daughter Kelly was born in 1979.  Cancer took Dave’s life on May 15, 2012…. 

Dave joined Venture Stores as an Internal Auditor in 1973.  Don’t you just love that classy corduroy suit!  He loved this suit…

It wasn’t long before I had the good fortune of Dave joining my team… He had my back on many occasions and, believe me, I needed the support!  While at Venture, he grew fast into a management role and then he proved his leadership skills by ensuring the integrity of his operation, by selling management on our capabilities and then delivering the results.  Much of this success was the result of the fact that he assembled a terrific, hard working and loyal group of associates. 

This photo of Dave and his ‘twin’, Bruce Kozozenski, was taken at a party at our home in Bridgeton Missouri… Dave and Bruce were very close, both Vietnam Veterans, and they remained friends over the years.  Dave handled the shortage control audit and inventory functions at Venture Stores and Bruce assisted with the administration of the security/loss prevention function and he was responsible for associate and customer safety.  Bruce was with Dave near the end…

One day while at work in his office at Venture in St. Louis Missouri, Dave received a phone call from another start-up retailer.  This individual was trying to recruit him for his new and growing company.  Showing better than average smarts, Dave flew down and met with the caller.  Sam Walton liked Dave a lot…hiring him as Wal-Mart’s Director of Internal Audit…and the rest is history.

Here is Dave with his wife Patty and their daughter Kelly.  This was taken not too long after their big move from Alton Illinois to Bentonville Arkansas…and near the beginning of Dave’s outstanding career with Wal-Mart.

I recall a phone call from Dave.  At the time I was living in Chicago working for Household Merchandising.  Dave was a little nervous… He’d been offered a new opportunity at Wal-Mart.  They wanted him to become their new Vice President of Loss Prevention! 
Since Loss Prevention/Retail Security wasn’t something he’d been directly involved in, he was a little hesitant to make the move.  I knew that loss prevention mostly involved the willingness to make a quick decision and to use common sense…and Dave was loaded with those abilities.  He moved on to become one of the prime movers/key players in retail loss prevention…now frequently called asset protection.

This photo of Dave and Patty’s daughter Kelly is the one that I carried in my wallet from the day it was given to me until she got married… I felt that it brought me good luck!  I do know that she was Daddy’s little girl…

Dave is the gentleman of leisure who is ensconced in that nice chair… I’m the older fellow standing beside him at a trade conference.  I believe that this was taken at a Retail Industry Leaders Association Loss Prevention conference.  Note Dave’s cowboy boots!  He really got into that country feeling down in Arkansas…

This photo of Dave and I was taken last summer at Bald River Falls, near Tellico Plains Tennessee in the Cherokee National Forest.  We had a great time just reminiscing about the early days, both professional and personal.  Dave’s dry wit was as sharp as ever… This was about 7 months before he learned that he had pancreatic cancer.

We were really happy that Dave and Patty came to stay with us for a few days last year.  It had been quite a while since we’d both seen them.  We broke bread together, told tall stories about the past, talked about the future and partied with some of our friends.

It’s hard to accept the fact that Dave is no longer with us… Our sympathy and prayers go out to Patty, Kelly and Kelly's husband Josh in this time of sorrow.  We will see them soon...and together we’ll be able to celebrate Dave’s life…
To view the professional and personal respect, as well as the love that so many felt for Dave, (13 pages and counting), just click on the following link:
Thanks for stopping by and paying your respects…
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave and Laurie


  1. Another fine tribute and thanks for posting the recent pictures because I now remember them both well and our dinner to Smoky Mountain Brewery. Have a safe trip to Arkansas

  2. Very nice and definitely from the heart...

  3. I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend.

  4. I am sorry Dave is not here on earth anymore. what a beautiful tribute your post is to your friend. you are a good friend.

  5. I just came across the information that Dave passed away. I thought of him this morning and decided to look him up online. He and I worked together (I was a work-study student, and he probably was, too) at University Graphics and Publications at Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville for almost a year in 1971, so I easily recognized Dave in your earlier photos. I remember him being kind and so easy to work with. And, always that smile! Thanks for your memories of him.