Pam and Jerry Brabant have been visiting Florida for over fifteen years and five years ago, they purchased their home in the Bayou section of Bay Isles. Using Pam's ideas and Jerry's contracting and architectural skills, they completed a total renovation of their circa 1990 home.
With high ceilings and open spaces, it provides a beautiful setting for their active, Florida lifestyle, which includes a passion for cooking. Pam has inherited her interest in preparing wonderful meals and baking auction worthy cakes from her Grandfather, Charles Laurent Teyber, who was brought from France to Chicago to work as a chef at one of the large hotels.
Jerry's family also is of French heritage and the name Brabant can be traced back to a State of the Holy Roman Empire established in 1183. Although Jerry didn't tell me about this, a little research brought me to a coat of arms, a flag and the fact that Brabant is a Province of Belgium.
Even Flora, their 13-year-old "best friend" is a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, or PBGV, a French breed. They were bred to trail rabbit in the bramble-filled terrain of the Vendee district of Western France. Flora is 13 years old and claims an impressive lineage from her mother, who participated in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
With such a strong French heritage, travel to France to discover Pam's roots in the Alsace Lorraine region was on their bucket list. From there they visited Provence and explored many vineyards and traveled the countryside by automobile. Along the way, they collected various wines to bring back home.
This drive, dine, wine route travel itinerary has been carried over to Italy, as well.
The opportunity to explore new cultures, languages and cuisines makes the travel an enriching vacation.
Prior to having some leisure time, Jerry was a military engineer and architect for the US Air Force and worked with the Department of Defense at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. He managed the design and construction military program for the Air Force working with the Corps of Engineers. Then, Jerry founded RDA Group, which provides creative design solutions for residential and commercial projects across the USA. They specialize in exterior projects such as waterproofing and roofing for schools, hospitals and medical complexes.
Pam’s career was in Information Technology project management specializing in Logistics systems development for the Department of Defense. Pam’s projects focused on contracting, acquisition, supply management, etc. After leaving the DoD, Pam worked for several large defense contractors as a consultant supporting government IT projects.
Jerry is a decorated US Army Vietnam Veteran, attending Ohio State University on the GI Bill along with an academic scholarship from a technical college after returning from Vietnam.
What a pleasure to visit with Pam, Jerry and Flora. Thank you for sharing your story.