Mr. Leo M. Higgins
Leo M. Higgins, 88, passed away Jan. 14, 2013. He was a resident of Bradenton since 1985. Originally from New Jersey he moved here from St. Thomas, USVI. He was a graduate of St. Benedict’s Preparatory School and Rutgers University College of Agriculture.
After his first college year he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He flew as a Bombardier/Navigator on a B-17 Flying Fortress in the 336th Bomb Squadron of the 95th Bomb Group in the 8th Air Force based in Horham, England.
He participated in the Battle of Central Germany bombing railroad marshalling yards and food drops to the starving Hollanders. After V.E. Day his crew returned liberated French soldiers to Paris. They had been made slave laborers at the German extermination camp in Mauthausen, Austria.
After the war he returned to college. Upon graduation he and Rosemary were married and he joined Swift & CO. in the agricultural section of the research laboratory in Chicago. He also managed their poultry research farms in Spencer and Clinton, Iowa. Later he moved to Salisbury, Maryland selling millions of live baby chicks on the Delmarva Peninsula. He also advised poultry farmers on modern production techniques and disease control.
Later he went into agricultural business magazine space sales in eastern US from New York City. In 1981 he retired from Meredith Corporation’s New York office after representing their farm business magazine, Successful Farming. He was a founding Director of the National Agricultural Marketing Association in NYC.
Leo enjoyed many hobbies including hunting, trapping, fishing, sailing, swimming, snorkeling, jogging, bicycling, bowling, flying (private pilot), and vegetable gardening. He and Rosemary did extensive domestic and foreign travel during their retirement. He belonged to the Eight Air Force and 95th Bomb Group Associations, American Legion Kirby Stewart Post 24, Secular Franciscan Order, Knights of Columbus 3rd and 4th Degree, and the Ss. Peter and Paul the Apostles Catholic Church. He was a volunteer for 10 years at Our Daily Bread and 12 years for Meals on Wheels.
He was predeceased by his wife of 62 years Rosemary in February of 2011, and a sister Marguerite Heffernan. Leo is survived by his five children Maureen Joseph, of Kirkwood, MO, Leo III of Austin, TX, Rosemary McCabe and Kathleen Rouh both of Jacksonville, FL., and Barbara Micciulli of Freeport, NY. Two sisters; Mary Finnerty and Alice Lauber both of Bradenton, also surviving him are sixteen grandchildren one of whom is the only granddaughter, Olivia Garcia, and one great-grandson, Isaiah Higgins.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 in the Chapel at Ss. Peter and Paul the Apostles Catholic Church. Committal services will be held at Sarasota National Cemetery with final honors by the United States Air Force Honor Guard.
Mrs. Zelda Crocker Griffin
Zelda Crocker Griffin, long-time Bradenton resident, passed away on January 2, 2013 in Brentwood, TN. She was 89. She attended Miss Choate School for Girls in Boston, MA, graduated from Barnstable High School, where she played the Base Drum in the band, and Bradford College, Boston, MA. As a Drama and Speech major, she also was an actress and participated in Summer Stock. In 1939, she won the Gold Medal as the Massachusetts State Diving Champion and the New England Diving Champion. She was to compete in the Olympics in 1940; however, was unable to compete as the competition was canceled due to World War II. In 1942, she met and married the love of her life, Captain Linwood Griffin Jr. Colonel Griffin, who died in 1978, was a popular school teacher in Bradenton. Zelda is survived by two sons and a daughter: Brigadier General (Retired) Robert F. Griffin of Little Rock, Arkansas; Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) John Crocker Griffin of Anniston, AL; and Sherry Griffin Mielke Alborn of Carmel, IN and Brentwood, TN. Her oldest son, Linwood Griffin III, Schweinfurt, Germany, a sister, Carol Crocker Hawley of Chevy Chase, MD and her brother, Zenas Crocker, Oyster Harbors, MA preceded her in death. In addition to her children, she is survived by nine grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren (with three more on the way). Zelda was always known for her love of life, family and friends and for wearing her heart-shaped glasses. In addition, she was a published poet and studied ancient Chinese from the written characters of Confucius. Over the years, she was Woman's Club President, Den and Scout Mother, Protocol and Etiquette teacher and Grey Lady. Upon her husband's retirement in Bradenton in 1967, she was Volunteer Docent Chairman at the South Florida Museum, a champion with the Suncoast Masters Swim Team in Sarasota, gaining a national record with her group, and became a CTM in the Sarasota Toastmasters Club. She is survived by a community of wonderful friends, and will be missed by all who knew her. Visitation will be from 5-7pm on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at Shannon Funeral Home, 1015 14th Street W., Bradenton. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Friday, Jan.18, 2013 in the chapel of Christ Episcopal Church, Bradenton.
Mr. Bertrand E. Dennis, Sr.
Bertrand E. Dennis, Sr., 88 of Bradenton, Florida, passed away on January 9, 2013. He was born on August 16, 1924 in Alfred, Texas to the late James Audley & Annie Mathilda (Cole) Dennis. He served his country faithfully during World War II and the Korean Conflict by serving for over 20 years with the United States Air Force receiving numerous citations and commendations. Following his military career he worked in the air conditioning industry. He was predeceased by his loving wife Ollie in August of 2011, and son, Bertrand E. Dennis, Jr. in September of 2012. He is survived by his loving daughter, Myrtle Elizabeth Johnson of Bradenton, and a dear granddaughter, Anna Elizabeth Johnson. Private family committal services will be held at the Woodlawn Memorial Park in Gotha, Florida with final honors by the United States Air Force at a later date and time.
Mrs. Rebeca ''Bequi'' Micaela Baker
Rebeca “Bequi” Micaela Baker, 67 of Bradenton, Florida passed away on January 11, 2013 at the TideWell Hospice House in Bradenton. Bequi was born on January 11, 1946 in Lima, Peru to Gerardo & Elizabeth (Giron) Ochoa. She is survived by her loving husband Douglas A. Baker of Bradenton, son Stephen Baker and his wife Eve of Wichita, Kansas, daughter, Vanesa Stillman and her husband Nathaniel of Bradenton, Florida, one brother, Esteban Ochoa, five sisters; Ruthy, Elly, Irma, Nancy and Abby Ochoa, seven grandchildren and many extended family members. Private family services will be held at a later date time. Bequi will be laid to rest with a private committal service at later date at the Sarasota National Cemetery, Sarasota, Florida.
Mr. Robert M. ''Rob'' Russell
Robert M. "Rob" Russell, died Jan. 11, 2013 after succumbing to Alzheimer's at the age 60. Rob was born in Louisville, KY, Oct. 7, 1952 and also lived in Henderson, KY and Dayton, OH before graduating from Ohio University. He spent most of his working years in the restaurant business. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Bradenton. He was friend of Bill W. Rob is survived by his loving parents; Wm. F. 'Rusty' and Catherine G. 'Casey' Russell, of Bradenton, brother, William Tucker (Elaine) Russell of Orange City, FL, sister, Catherine R. (Joe) DeMartino of Carmel, IN and nieces; Rachel Polich of Chicago and Sarah Polich of Carmel and numerous cousins. A celebration of Rob's life will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Wed. Jan. 16, 2013 at Shannon Funeral Home Town Chapel, 1015 14th Street W., Bradenton. Rob requested that his ashes be scattered in Tampa Bay at a later date.
Mr. William Blake Bierbaum
William Blake Bierbaum, 49, Palmetto, passed away Jan. 8, 2013. Blake was born Oct. 9, 1963 in McComb, MS. He moved to Manatee County in 1986, and worked from 1986 until June 2012 Blake worked locally and throughout the Southeast United States in the produce industry, and was currently working for Publix Corporation.He is survived by his loving wife of 24 years, Renee (Ravencraft), son, Logan McCain Bierbaum both of Palmetto, parents; William L. Bierbaum of Holmes Beach, Maxine Bierbaum of McComb, MS, brother, Grant McCain Bierbaum of McComb, MS and close family friend Kent Williford of Holmes Beach, and many extended family members and friends. The family will receive friends from 10AM-12 Noon on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012 at Shannon Funeral Home Westview Chapel, 5610 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton. Further services will be held in McComb, MS next week. The family request in lieu of flowers that memorials be made to the Music Department at Louise Johnson Middle School of International Studies, 2121 26th Ave. E., Bradenton, Fl., 34208 in Blake’s memory.
Mrs. Margaret (Pinkie) Wyatt Parent
Margaret (Pinkie) Wyatt Parent, 96, Bradenton, passed away Jan. 7, 2013. She was born on March 16, 1916 in Oneco, FL to the late Mark and Mildred (Roesch) Wyatt. She was a lifetime resident of Manatee County and was a descendent of a long time Manatee County Pioneer family. She retired as the Assistant Manatee County Property Appraiser with over 30 years of service. She also was a life member of the Oneco United Methodist Church where she served for over 30 years as Church Treasurer and was an active member of the Choir. She was predeceased by her loving husband, Burdette R. ‘’Buck’’ Parent, Sr. in 1973 and is survived by her two sons; Burdette R. ‘’Bud’’ (Gail) Parent, Jr., and William M. ‘’Bill’’ (LaQuita) Parent both of Bradenton, one brother, Robert E. (Shirley) Wyatt of Oneco, four grandchildren; Steve (Robin) Parent of Bradenton, Brian (Sarah) Parent of Jacksonville, FL, Lana (Chris) Owens of North Port, FL, Patricia (James) Dezso of Bradenton, and ten great-grandchildren. The family will receive friends from 10-11 A.M. on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 at Shannon Funeral Home Town Chapel, 1015 14th St. W., Bradenton, with services to follow. Interment will be private. The family request that in lieu of flowers that memorials be made to the Oneco United Methodist Church in her memory.
Ms. Linda Sue Simsa Senften
Linda Sue Simsa Senften, 57 of Bradenton, passed away on December 23, 2012 at her residence. Linda was born on November 20, 1955 in Canton, Ohio to Donald Leroy and Virginia Belle (Given) Senften. She was a member of the West Bradenton Baptist Church. Linda is survived by her parents; Donald and Virginia Senften of Bradenton, son, Scott Simsa of Gainesville, FL, one brother, Donald Lee Senften of Bradenton, two sisters; Kathy Fischer and her husband Richard of Bradenton, Jennifer Senften of Sarasota, and many extended family and friends. A celebration of Linda’s life will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at the West Bradenton Baptist Church in Bradenton.
Mr. Austin Ray Pickering
Austin Ray Pickering, 84, Bradenton, passed away Jan. 5, 2013. He was born March 21, 1928 in Joplin, MO to the late Walter Roscoe and Evelyn (Ebenstein) Pickering. Austin served with the U.S. Navy during WWII and the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. He was a graduate of the University of Kansas, Columbia University and Indiana University. Austin worked for 26 years with Quaker Oats in Chicago retiring as the Manager of Manufacturing. He moved to Manatee County in 1979 coming from Arlington Heights, IL. Austin was the former Administer of Asbury Towers now known as Westminster Towers, served as a Community Service Officer with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office for over 5 years and was past chairman of Manatee Glenns. His memberships include the Crescent Lodge # 25 of Free and Accepted Masons in Cedar Rapids, IA Scottish Rite-Valley of Freeport, IA, the Sahib Shrine Center in Sarasota, where he was a member also of the Greeters Unit, five time Padre of the DeSoto Celebration in Bradenton, Past Commodore and Chaplain of the Bradenton Yacht Club and the Westminster Presbyterian Church of Bradenton, where he served as an Elder and Deacon. He was also an avid sailor and amateur radio operator. Austin is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Mary Ellen (Stewart) Pickering of Bradenton, son, Kevin David (Elaine) Pickering of Dover, DE, brother, Dr. Alan Jan (Kay) Pickering of Duette, FL, two grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.. The family will receive friends from 9-10 A.M. on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 with a Celebration of Austin's life to follow at 10:00 A.M. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3011 19th Ave. W., Bradenton. Interment will follow at Mansion Memorial Park, Ellenton with final military honors. The family request that in lieu of flowers that memorials be made to either Westminster Presbyterian Church or the Shriner's Children Hospital in Tampa.
Mrs. Peggy I. House
Peggy I. House, 79, Bradenton, passed away Dec. 21, 2012. She was born on Sept. 7, 1933 in Sarasota to the late Fred A. and Ione (Jones) House. She was a lifelong resident, and active in many different organizations, and was lifelong member of the First Baptist Church of Sarasota. She worked for and owned many different businesses during her lifetime. She was predeceased by her son, William, sister Betty Hawthorne and is survived by her son, Charles Cucknell and wife Denise of Sarasota and their three children, Leila, Devin, Cory and his granddaughter, Lyssie, Daughter, Victoria Spencer of Bradenton and her three children Leeanna, Deeanna, Breanna, and her two grandchildren; Kingston and Lauren. Also by her sister, Joyce Dalzell and two brothers; David Ned House and Ronnie House all of Sarasota. For the celebration of Peggy’s life information please contact the family at 727-1912.
Mr. Ronaldo Antonio Martinez Olvera
Ronaldo Antonio Martinez Olvera, 35, Bradenton, passed away March 25, 2013. Born February 1, 1978 in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. He is survived by a daughter, Ashley M. Martinez, mother, Rosa Maria Olvera, siblings; Rosa Angelica Martinez, Ramses Alejandro Martinez, Salvador Martinez, Jorge Aubrey Lucas, Miquel Jose Lucas, grandparents; Antonio Martinez and Angelica Garza. Visitation 10-11am Thurs., March 28, 2013 at Shannon Funeral Home Town Chapel, 1015 14th St. W., Bradenton, with services to follow at 11am.
Ms. Clarissa Sportelli
Clarissa Sportelli, 22, Bradenton, died March 7, 2013. Survived by brother, Joseph, two sisters; Alicia & Virginia, one nephew.
Private family services at a later date.
Mrs. Nancy Christine Atkinson
Nancy Christine Atkinson, 90, Holmes Beach, passed away March 9, 2013. Nancy was born on August 4, 1922 in Collinsville, Illinois to the late George and Christine (Edwards) Kalbfleisch. She moved to Manatee County in the late 1940’s coming from St. Louis, MO. Nancy was an accomplished golfer where she won several tournaments at the Bradenton Country Club and their summer home Highland Falls Country Club in Highland, N.C. Nancy is survived by her loving husband John Atkinson of Holmes Beach, and her daughter and her husband; Christine and Steven Nelson of Bradenton. Private family services will be held at a later date.
Mrs. Myra Faye Solis
Myra Faye Solis, 66, Bradenton, passed away March 8, 2013. She was born on March 27, 1946 in Richard City, TN to the late Benjamin F. and Myra Helen (Sutton) Smallwood. Faye was retired from Lawry’s Restaurant in Las Vegas where she worked as a waitress for 22 years. She moved to Bradenton in 2010 coming from there. Locally she was a member of The Bridge Church at Palma Sola Bay and loved her cats and doing crafts. She is survived by her three sons; Carl (Leanna) Carter, Gene Rossi both of Bradenton, Brian Carter of Salt Lake City, UT, daughter; Lori (Jeff) Gabbard of Bradenton, three brothers; Edward (Jean) Smallwood of San Antonio, TX, Michael (Irene) D’Andrea of Thousand Oaks, CA, Frank D’Andrea of Los Angeles, CA, sister Minnie (Paul) Kristina of Lowell, IN, four grandchildren; Jeffrey, Taylor & Katie Gabbard, Aleesa Carter, and one great-grandson; Colton Gabbard. The family will receive friends from 1-3 P.M. on Wed. March 13, 2013 at Shannon Funeral Home Westview Chapel, 5610 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton with services to follow at 3:00 P.M.
Mrs. Helen Cooper Day
Helen Cooper Day died March 18, 2013 in Bradenton, Florida, at the age of 98, after a long illness. Helen Annette Cooper was born December 26, 1914 in Perry, Florida to William and Mattie Lula (Watson) Cooper. She moved with her family to Bradenton in 1926 from Brooksville, Florida. Helen attended Ballard Elementary School and graduated in 1931 from Bradenton High School (‘’the youngest in the class’’). She was selected Miss Bradenton in 1931 and went on to the Miss Florida bathing beauty contest in Clearwater, where she won the “Pajama Revue.” In 1933, she was Miss Manatee County. From 1934 to 1944, Helen ran the Auto Tag Agency for Manatee County under “Gib” Johnson. On December 24, 1939, Helen married high school classmate, Edward C. “Pete” Day and later assisted in the family business, Day’s Mens Furnishings (1951-1978). She was a life-long member of the First United Methodist Church of Bradenton, where she taught Sunday school for many years. She was also a member of the Manatee River Garden Club. She was preceded in death by her husband, Edward C. “Pete” Day; brother, Charles Cooper; sisters, Irma (Cass) Peurifoy and Charlotte E. Cooper. She is survived by her son, Dr. Michael (Ann) Day, and daughter, Patricia (Jack) Knowlton; grandchildren, Charlotte Jane Knowlton, Elizabeth Day, and John Knowlton; and niece, Janna Chambers. Visitation will be 10:00 am Saturday, March 23, 2013, at Shannon Funeral Home Town Chapel, 1015 14th St. W., Bradenton, FL. Services will follow at 11:00 am. Interment will be in Fogartyville Cemetery.
Mrs. Robbie F. Prosser
Robbie F. Prosser, 70, Bradenton, passed away March 13, 2013.
Survived by son; Bryan (Melissa) of Bradenton, sister, Marsha (Ronald) Lamb of Jacksonville, FL, and four grandchildren; Kaileigh, Kelseigh, Fin and Quin.
Services at a later date in Jacksonville. FL.
Mr. William James Tyrrell
William James (Jim) Tyrrell, 89, Bradenton, passed away March 16, 2013. He was born on December 6, 1923 in Detroit, MI to the late William and Loretta (Wise) Tyrrell. He was a 1942 graduate of the Catholic Central High School in Detroit. Following graduation he served with the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1943-1945 in the Troop Carrier Division serving in the U.S., England and France. After his military service he went on to attend and graduate from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN in 1949 and the Memphis State University in 1954 with a LLB degree. Jim started his banking career in 1950 working at the First National Bank in Memphis, TN as the Vice-President and Senior Loan Officer until 1969. In 1969 he moved to Bradenton, and worked for Ellis First National Bank until 1985 where he was Chairman of the Board and Director of Ellis Bank Corporation. He left Ellis in 1985 and was one of the original founders of the First National Bank of Manatee where he served as the C.E.O. and Board Chairman until his retirement in 1995. Jim was also a member of the Ss. Peter & Paul the Apostles Catholic Church and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Bradenton. He was also a very passionate and AVID alumnus and fan of the University of Notre Dame, and liked to play golf, read, listen to music and play bridge. He was predeceased by his wife Mary Regina Tyrrell in 1998 , and a daughter Marianne in 1987 and is survived by his four daughters; Eileen of Santa Fe, NM, Susan of Stamford, CT, Patricia (Mark) Short of Bloomfield Hills, MI and Anna Maria, Fl, Nancy Haller of Bradenton, seven granddaughters; Regina, Kelly, Katie, Jennifer, Megan, Michelle and Maddy, cousin, Jim Hillman of Tampa, FL and son-in-law, Kerry Brouk of NY, NY. The family will receive friends from 5-7 P.M. on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at Shannon Funeral Home Westview Chapel, 5610 Manatee Avenue W., Bradenton. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 A.M. on Friday, March 22, 2013 at Ss. Peter & Paul the Apostles Catholic Church, 2850 75th Street W., Bradenton. Interment will follow at Mansion Memorial Park, Ellenton with final military honors. The family request that in lieu of flowers that memorials be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Manatee County.