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This Week's Obituaries
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Former Florida Governor Reubin Askew died March 13 in Tallahassee. He was 85. The former governor, who served from from 1971 to 1979, had been admitted Saturday with aspiration pneumonia. His condition deteriorated after he suffered a stroke.
The Democrat was the first Florida governor to be elected in two successive elections. He had previously served in the state legislature. Askew is famous for many progressive policies including efforts to create a corporate income tax, while reducing taxes on consumers. He is perhaps best known for leading the fight to create the Sunshine Laws, which today give Florida an important tool for open government.
Askew was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, one of the six children. In 1937, he moved with his mother to Pensacola. He graduated from Pensacola High School in 1946 and entered the Army as a paratrooper later that year, serving for two years. He was discharged at the rank of Sergeant. Later, during the Korean War, Askew served in the Air Force as a military intelligence officer.
He graduated from Florida State University in 1951 with a B.S. degree in Public Administration and later completed law school at FSU's Levin College of Law.
The governor is survived by his wife of 57 years, Donna Lou; his son Kevin; his daughter, Angela White; and several grandchildren. Details of memorial services have not yet been released.
Spiro W. Chaltis, 87, Bradenton, died March 14, 2014. Born in Bronx, New York, he moved to Bradenton in 1981 from Tallahassee, Florida, he was a Veteran of the US Navy during World War II and he was a member of St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church. Survived by son, William (Connie) of Bradenton, FL; daughter, Wendy (Bob) Davenport of AZ; grandchildren, Louis (Hannah) Davenport, Christine Davenport, Philip Chaltis, and Angela (Christopher) Babroski; great-grandchildren, Evie Davenport, Penelope Davenport and Michael Babroski.
Visitation 6-8PM with Trisagion Service at 7PM, Tuesday March 18, 2014 at Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel, 604 43rd Street West, Bradenton, FL 34209. Services 10AM Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, 7671 N Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota, FL 34243. Memorial donations to St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church. Condolences to www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.
Harold J. Bische, 90, Bradenton, died Mar 13, 2014. Visitation 6-8 PM Fri Mar 21, 2014 at Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 26th St Chapel. Mass 11 AM Sat Mar 22, 2014 at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Condolences to www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.
Steven Michael LaCroix, 50, of Bradenton, peacefully passed Wednesday, March 12, 2014. He proudly served our country and retired from the Air Force. In recent years his passion was his business, Southern Chemical and Equipment. Steve was preceded in death by his parents, Judy and Michael LaCroix Sr. and grandmother, Florence Smolarek. He is survived by three siblings; brother, Michael LaCroix Jr.; his wife, Sandy, of Lenoxville, PA; sister, Debra Ebbecke, her husband, Richard, of Maybrook , NY; brother, Keith LaCroix, his wife, Mary Beth, of Kansas City, MO; 2 nephews and 7 nieces that he loved so dearly.
Steve will be Honored and a Memorial Service will be conducted at the Sarasota National Cemetery, Tuesday March 18th. Please arrive by 12:35. Services will commence promptly at 1 PM. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 26th Street Chapel, 5624 26th Street West, Bradenton, FL 34207 in charge. In lieu of flowers the family is asking that Memorial contributions be made in Honor of Steven M LaCroix to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675 or the Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250. Condolences to www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.
George J. Whelpley, of Anna Maria Island, FL, passed away peacefully in his home on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. George was born in Brooklyn, NY, before moving to Virginia at the age of 7. A graduate of George Mason University, he went on to teach elementary school in Northern Virginia for 25 years before retiring to Anna Maria. He is missed deeply by his two younger brothers, Michael (Regina) of Round Rock, TX, and John (Ruth) of Reston, VA, as well as his seven nephews and nieces (and their 10 kids), all of whom George loved as if they were his own children and grandchildren.
The most vivid of characters, he enjoyed investing, reading detective novels, dollar beers, cards, horse racing, and rooting on his beloved Tampa Bay Rays. He was ultimately a man of simple pleasures who needed only the sun on his face and the warmth of companionship to be happy. George had many talents, the greatest of which was his gift for friendship. To meet him was to become his pal for life. He was irrepressible, irascible, and impossible to replace.
A Private Memorial will be held at a later date. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel, 604 43rd Street West, Bradenton, FL 34209 in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, Memorial contributions may be made to Friends of Island Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, FL 34217-1516.
Joanne Barry, 72, Sarasota, died Mar 11, 2014. Visitation 1:15-2 PM with Service following at 2 PM Sun, Mar 16, 2014 at Whitfield Christian Church. Committal 1 PM Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at Manasota Memorial Park. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 26th St Chapel in charge. www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.
Harold John Henry (Hal), 79, of Bradenton FL died on Tuesday March 11, 2014 of Lewy Body Disease. A seldom heard of neurological condition. He was born to the late Frederick and Honor Henry on July 28, 1934 in Utica NY. Hal graduated from Proctor High School, was enlisted in the United States Air Force and honorably discharged, and received his degree in Industrial Engineering from Syracuse University. Hal married his beloved wife, Linda in 1985. They lived together in Newton MA, Hopkinton RI, Portsmouth NH, and then eventually settling in Bradenton FL.
Hal had several careers over his lifetime first with Polaroid as a senior manager based out of Cambridge Massachusetts. After Polaroid he owned his own successful real estate development company, Lindh Enterprises in Rhode Island. Lastly he was a VP with Brand Partners out of Rochester NH. Hal retired in 2003 and was an active “snow bird” traveling back in forth from NH to Bradenton FL until moving there permanently in 2010. Hal was a runner completing 16 marathons including the Boston, Chicago and Montreal marathons. He enjoyed all types of outdoor activities including biking, hiking, and boating. Hal was an avid fan and supporter of his Alma Mater the Syracuse University Orangemen.
Hal is survived by his wife, Linda Henry of Bradenton FL, five children – Jon Henry of Dover NH, James Henry of Ashland MA, Joseph Henry of Ashland MA, Laurie Morrison of Tolland CT, and Karen Harrison of Richmond RI. Hal is also survived by seven grandchildren – Logan Arena, Matthew Henry, Amanda Morrison, Caroline Morrison, David Morrison, Benjamin Harrison and Jackson Harrison.
A Private Memorial Service will be held in June in Portsmouth NH. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel in charge of arrangements. Contributions in his name can be made to Tidewell Hospice, Philanthropy Department, 5955 Rand Blvd, Sarasota FL, 34238. Condolences to www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.
Linda Brewer Davis, 68, Palmetto, died March 11, 2014. Linda is survived by two sons: Bryan and Richard. Arrangements entrusted to Abundant Favor Mortuary, Bradenton. 941-747-2700. Visitation will be Friday, 6 - 8 pm March 14, 2014 at Abundant Favor Mortuary, 916 13th Street West, Bradenton. Service will be held at Happy Gospel Church, 1915 53rd Avenue East, (SR 70) Bradenton.
Wayne G. Mountford, 94, Bradenton, died March 5, 2014. Born in Endeavor, WI he moved to Bradenton in 2008 from Ruskin, FL. A Veteran of the US Army during World War II, he was a holder of a Bronze Star, a member of the American Legion and the V.F.W. Predeceased by his parents, George R. and Emma M. (Lueck) Mountford; survived by wife of 72 years, Ruth of Bradenton, FL; daughter, Marianne (James) Morrison of Myakka City, FL; sister, Viva Kotek of Endeavor, WI; grandchildren, Rhonda, Benwayne and Anthony; great-grandchildren, Miranda, Noah Wayne and Alexis.
Visitation 10:00-11:00AM with Services to follow at 11:00AM Thursday, March 13, 2014 at Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 26th Street Chapel, 5624 26th Street West, Bradenton, FL 34207. Burial will be in Sarasota National Cemetery. Memorial donations to the Salvation Army or the V.F.W. Condolences to www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.
Norma R. Baxley (Hicks), 90, of Sarasota Florida, formerly of Christopher IL. passed away peacefully at her home on March 7 ,2014. She was born Oct,7 1924 to Harry and Ona Hicks. She married John R. Baxley, Sr. in 1943, who preceded her in death after 71 years of marriage. A loving wife and mother she is survived by her 2 children, John R Baxley, Jr. and Julie Colbert, a sister, Gracie Venegoni, numerous grandchildren, nieces, nephews and loving caregiver, Louise Simmons.
There will be no visitation. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel in charge. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Tidewell Hospice, Inc., 5955 Rand Blvd. Sarasota, FL 34238. Condolences to www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.
William Robert Ross, 68, Bradenton, died March 6, 2014. Born in Passaic, NJ, he moved to Bradenton in 1989 from Newbury, Berkshire, England. He was a Catholic. A Veteran of the US Army Air Force during Vietnam, he was a member of the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the American Legion.
Predeceased by his parents, Roy & Mary Ross; survived by wife of 46 years, Dorothy of Bradenton, FL; son, Robert Charles (Laura) Ross of Bradenton, FL; daughter, Leigh (Mark) Rogers of Ellenton, FL; brothers, John of Eaton's Neck, NY and Richard of Huntington, NY; 3 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
Memorial Service 12:30 PM Saturday March 29, 2014 at Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel, 604 43rd Street West, Bradenton, FL 34209. Memorial Donations to the ALS Association 3242 Parkside Center Cir, Tampa, FL 33619 or St Jude's Children's Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept 142, Memphis, TN 38148-0142. Condolences to www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.
Selman A. Ledbetter of Bradenton died March 10, 2014. He was born November 1, 1916 in Jacksonville, FL and completed his schooling in Atlanta, GA. He attended Georgia Tech where he was an honors student and participated in many campus activities. He was president of Sigma Phi Epsilon and of the glee club. He graduated in 1940 with a degree in Industrial Management and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in Artillery. He was called to active duty in May 1940 and married Mary G. Smith in Washington D.C., October 18, 1941. After five years he was relieved of active duty, but stayed in the active reserves and was retired a Lieutenant Colonel.
Mr. Ledbetter and his wife moved to Washington, D.C. where he owned and operated American Store Fixture Company, which later moved to Baltimore, MD. Mr. Ledbetter was a founding director of the National Association of Store Fixture Manufacturers. He was a member of the Rotary in Maryland. Mr. Ledbetter and his wife moved to Manatee County in 1959 where he owned and operated Suburban Water Service until the county took it over in 1968. They attended Whitfield Presbyterian Church where he served as Treasurer for five years. They were members of SaraBay Country Club for thirty years. They moved to Daytona Beach area in 1990 and returned to Bradenton and Freedom Village in 2003. He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Mary Ledbetter, his son, Kenneth ''Kip'' T. Ledbetter and daughter-in-law, Bobbi Ledbetter of Bradenton, and two grandsons, Brett and Christopher.
Services will be held 1:00 PM Friday, March 14, 2014 at the Freedom Village Auditorium. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Freedom Village Scholarship Fund c/o Glenn Vergeson 6501 17th Avenue West, I-106, Bradenton, FL 34209. Online condolences may be made to www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.
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