Don Waitt
Don Waitt

Donald (Don) Francis Waitt Jr., 67, of Tampa, Florida, passed peacefully at home on
March 28, 2024. He was born on June 30, 1956, in Fort Worth, Texas. Don is survived by his wife, Debbie, his son Tyler, his daughter Devyn, his daughter-in-law Olivia Megalis and grandchildren Winter and Sebastian. He was preceded in death by his father, Donald Francis Waitt, Sr., his mother, Mary Lou (Sartori) Waitt and his dog Boudreaux.

Don grew up in an Air Force family with his siblings Deborah, Deirdre, Damon and
Desireé. They lived all over the United States as well as in Japan and Panama before
settling in Bossier City, LA where he graduated from Jesuit High School and then
Louisiana State University in Shreveport. There he met the love of his life and worked as a reporter at The Shreveport Times; taking classes in journalism while already having bylines in the newspaper. His outlaw spirit led him to crime reporting in Louisiana and California where he profiled biker gangs and bank robbers and won awards from the Associated Press and the Gannett News Service.

Shortly after his son was born, following a love of rock n’ roll, they moved to Dallas, Texas where he became publisher of PERFORMANCE, the leading magazine for the touring concert industry. While there, he started what would become his legacy beginning with the Exotic Dancer Directory.

The Directory developed into ED Publications and a Gentleman’s Club EXPO that went from an event to an industry institution for over three decades. He helped to establish ACE, the Association of Club Executives, and was the acting president. Don not only founded a trade association for an entire industry, but was a beloved and respected figure within it.

Don moved his family to Florida and raised his children there, loving the water, the trees and the sun. Always searching for adventure and a new story to tell, he traveled the world and made friends everywhere he went. He wrote three books; Leaving Early, The Revelation of Chester Fortunberry and Sucks to be You.

Beyond his many accomplishments, his greatest role and joy was as a husband, father and grandfather. The best there ever was. A funeral service was held on Saturday, April 6th at Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park, 2853 Sunset Point Rd. in Clearwater, and was followed by a gathering at the Waitt home.

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