Catherine Robert Sonnier
Catherine Robert Sonnier, 52, of Destin and formerly of Lake Charles, La., died Sunday, July 23, 2000, in a Lake Charles hospital.
A native of Lake Charles, Sonnier was a 1966 graduate of LaGrange High School and attended McNeese and the University of Southwestern Louisiana.
She was the co-owner of Sonnier Electric Co. and a founding member and past president of the Krewe De Ja Vu. She was a member of Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church.
Sonnier is survived by her husband, Gary Sonnier of Destin; three sons, Sam Sonnier II of Destin, Timothy Joseph Sonnier of Pensacola and Jason Sonnier of Lake Charles; one daughter, Christa Sonnier Parent of Pensacola; one brother, Bill Roberts of Moss Bluff, La.; and a sister, Iris Bell of Worland, Wyo.
Services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 26, at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, with the Rev. Monsignor Ronnie Groth officiating. Burial will be in Consolata Cemetery under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, friends may make donations to the American Lung Association.
Bobby Ray Nelson
Bobby Ray Nelson, 65, died Wednesday, July 19, 2000, at his residence in DeFuniak Springs.
Nelson was born on June 1, 1935, the son of Otis and Jewel McCall Nelson, in Geneva, Ala. He worked for more than 30 years as a forklift operator in Orlando before retiring and moving to DeFuniak Springs two years ago.
Nelson was preceded in death by his father, Otis Nelson; brother, Gatchet Nelson; and sister, Robbie Nell Nelson.
Survivors includes his mother, Jewel M. Nelson of DeFuniak Springs; son, Robby O. Nelson and wife, Jasmine, of Bent, Ore.; daughter, Randie Lynn Bowers of DeFuniak Springs; brother, Royce Nelson and wife, Brenda, of Nunnelly, Tenn.; sister, Jimmie Commander of DeFuniak Springs; and four grandchildren, Seth Nelson, Noah Nelson, Robby Bowers and Brittany Bowers.
Funeral services were scheduled for Friday, July 21, at the funeral home with the Rev. Chester Whisnand officiating. Burial was to follow in Alaqua Methodist Church Cemetery.
Comander Funeral Home in DeFuniak Springs was in charge of arrangements.
Charlie Monroe McMillan
Charlie Monroe McMillan, 105, died Wednesday, July 19, 2000, at a local hospital.
Mr. McMillan was born on Feb. 12, 1895, in Walton County where he remained a life-long resident. He was the son of the late John and Melissa Flower McMillan. He was a veteran of World War I.
Mr. McMillan was preceded in death by his wife, Loula Jane McMillan; son Charlie Edwin Green; daughter Ina Lou McMillan; and eight brothers and sisters.
Mr. McMillan is survived by his son Charles M. McMillan Jr. and wife Betty of Glendale; daughters Mae Urban and husband Marvis of Glendale, Ima Jean Williams of Pensacola, Gerlene Greve of Glendale and Doris Lufay Smith of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; 21 grandchildren; 48 great-grandchildren; and 14 great-great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were conducted Friday, July 21, at Comander Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Phil McMillan officiating. Burial followed in Gum Creek Cemetery.
Comander Funeral Home, DeFuniak Springs, was in charge of arrangements.
Joan Davis Matheny
Joan Davis Matheny, 63, of Destin and Atlanta, died July 18, 2000, in Atlanta.
Survivors are her husband of 40 years, Cal Matheny; daughters and sons-in-law, Margaret and Larry Ray and Betsy and Logan Driskell; son and daughter-in-law, Tripp and Angie Matheny; grandchildren Brian and Terri Ray and Sydney Matheny; and a brother, Dr. Jerry Davis.
A memorial service is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 22, at H.M. Patterson & Son Oglethorpe Hill Chapel. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Matheny's name to the American Red Cross, 1955 Monroe Drive N.E., Atlanta, Ga. 30324.
Pauline Rose Jones
Pauline Rose Jones, 74, of Martinez, Ga., died Saturday, June 24, 2000, at her home.
A memorial service was conducted Tuesday, June 27, in Martinez with the Rev. Todd Teller officiating.
Born in Gunison, Colo., Mrs. Jones was a member of First Baptist Church in Fort Walton Beach and attended First Presbyterian Church of Augusta, Ga.
Survivors include two sons, Wes Jones of Leesburg and Robert Jones of Santa Rosa Beach; five daughters, Kathryn Jones of Martinez, Ga., Linda Lee of Destin, Elizabeth Allen of Crestview, Dianna Hilton of Crestview and Debbi Sharon of Crestview; 23 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to the Childrens Ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Augusta, 642 Telfair St., Augusta, Ga. 30901.
Caroljean Gearheart, a resident of Milford, Kan., died at the home of her daughter in Santa Rosa Beach Friday, July 7, 2000, at the age of 65.
Mrs. Gearheart was born Aug. 26, 1934, in New Jersey. She attended grade school in New Jersey and Pittsburgh, Penn., and graduated from Harrisburg High School in Pennsylvania. She married Bryson H. Gearheart May 7, 1962, in Niceville. He was in the U.S. Army and they lived in many different cities, moving to Milford in 1972. They were the owners and operators of the Gearheart Rental and Services in Milford and Chapman Mobile Home Estates in Chapman, Kan. She was the bookkeeper for their business. She lived part-time in Destin and Santa Rosa Beach for the past 12 years.
She is survived by two daughters, Carolann Davis of Mary Esther and Yvonne Gearheart of Santa Rosa Beach. She is also survived by nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her husband, Bryson, June 8, 1996.
Funeral services were conducted at the Londeen Funeral Chapel in Chapman, Thursday, July 13, with the Rev. Kenneth Trickle Jr. officiating. Burial was at the Milford Cemetery in Milford.
Memorials may be given to the Caroljean Gearheart Memorial Fund for the Milford City Park and may be sent in care of the Londeen Funeral Chapel, Box 429, Chapman, KS 67431.
Bill Clinton Dowdle
Bill Clinton Dowdle, 80, of Sandestin, died June 22, 2000, at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center.
Dowdle was raised in Greenwood, Miss., and attended Rhodes College in Memphis (formerly Southwestern College at Memphis). He served as an officer in the Marine Corps during World War II.
He and his brother-in-law, Charles Jetton of Memphis, founded Dowdle & Jetton Sporting Goods in the late 1940s, which is Dowdle Sports today.
Dowdle was on the Chickasaw Council of the Boy Scouts; vice president and board member of Memphis Downtown Kiwanis; chairman of Man For Boy; served for Goodfellows; was president of West Tennessee Sportsmans Association; was selected Outstanding Sportsman of Tennessee; served on First Shelby County (Tenn.) Conservation Board; and was a deacon at Second Presbyterian Church. He also served as president of the Sandestin Owners Association.
Dowdle is survived by his wife, Jeanne Carey Dowdle of Sandestin; sons, William A. Dowdle of Collierville, Tenn., and Wayne C. Dowdle of Cordova, Tenn.; daughter, E. Carey Dowdle of Sandestin; five grandchildren, Robert F. Wallace, William A. Dowdle Jr., and Clinton, Brooks and Blair Dowdle of the Memphis area; two daughters-in-law, Jeanie Palmer Dowdle and Demetra Quinn Dowdle; and two great-grandchildren, Alexandra Dowdle and Ethan Wallace of Rhodes, Minn.
Memorial serves will be conducted at a later date. Memorial Funeral Home in Memphis was entrusted with arrangements. Any memorial contributions may be sent to the Building Fund of Community Church of Santa Rosa Beach or Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis.
Parker Waller, 78, insurance executive and musician, died at a Greenville, Ala., hospital on Thursday, June 15, 2000, following an extended illness.
Visitation was Saturday, June 17, with funeral services following at Dunklin-Herndon Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Lane Simmons directing. Burial followed at Magnolia Cemetery.
Waller created the Parker Waller Insurance and Real Estate Company, which had business dealings in the Destin area.
Waller served in the armed forces during World War II and formed his own dance band, Parker Waller and the Five Clouds of Joy in 1946, and later formed the Sweetgum Bottom Band. He remained an active member of the University of Alabama Million Dollar Band Alumni Association and as a member of the Auburn Knights Alumni group, though he did not attend Auburn University.
Survivors includes his son and daughter-in-law, Robert M. (Nancy) Waller, 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was pre-deceased by his wife, Landon Bryson Waller, and two sons, Christopher and Parker Waller Jr.
Active pallbearers were Warren and McGowin Williamson, David Hartman, Jim Ryan, Joe Stringer, Don Boynton, Jimmy Hobbie and Al Sweeney. Honorary pallbearers were members of the Sweetgum Bottom Band.
Marshall Edward Decker
Marshall Edward Decker, 41, of Crestview, died Monday, June 5, 2000. He was preceded in death by a brother, Kelly D. Decker.
Mr. Decker was born in Swenden, England, Sept. 16, 1958, and was a 1977 graduate of Niceville High School. He was employed with Honda of Fort Walton Beach.
Survivors include his wife, Aliene Decker, and stepson, Anthony R. Rihanek, of Crestview; father and mother, Charles G. Decker and Ren'ee Decker, of Niceville; brothers Wayne G. Decker of Orlando, Darrell Decker of Destin, and Keith E. Decker of Niceville; sister Lanya R. Lester of Ramstein, Germany.
Funeral services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 10, at the First United Methodist Church in Niceville, with the Rev. Rurel Ausley officiating. Following the services his remains will be cremated and burial will be in the Heritage Gardens Cemetery in Niceville at a later date.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorials be made to the American Cancer Society, 4 NE Jackson St., Fort Walton Beach, 32548.
McLaughlin Twin Cities Funeral Home, Niceville, has been entrusted with the arrangements.
Van E. Belcher Sr.
Van E. Belcher Sr., 62, of Santa Rosa Beach, died Sunday, June 4, 2000, at Twin Cities Hospital, Niceville.
Born in Birmingham, Ala., on Aug. 6, 1937, to William A. and Nell Vandergrift Belcher, Mr. Belcher was preceded in death by his father, a brother, Bill, and a sister, Mary Abernathy.
A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Mr. Belcher was most recently self-employed as a general contractor.
Mr. Belcher is survived by his wife, Lilli Davis Belcher; one son, Van E. Belcher Jr. and his two children, Grant and Chad; a sister, Julie Loveless, and her husband, Vic, and their children, Chase and Tori; a sister, Anne Wilson, and her husband, Bob.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 7, at Christ the King Episcopal Church, 480 N. County Highway 393, Santa Rosa Beach.
Family and friends may visit at the church parish, one hour prior to the memorial.
Friends may make donations to their favorite charity, in Mr. Belcher's memory.
J.C. Belin, chairman and CEO of St. Joe Company during much of the 1980s, died Wednesday, May 31, 2000.
Mr. Belin joined The St. Joe Company in 1938. He served as president of the company from 1968-1984 and chairman of the board and CEO from 1982-1991. He had served as a member of the board of directors since 1953 and was re-elected to the board at the company's annual meeting May 9.
Mr. Belin was also a board member of FEC Railway since 1971 and in 1984, when the holding company was created, he became a director of Florida East Coast Industries Inc. In 1967 he began his service to The Nemours Foundation and was trustee to the Alfred I. duPont Testamentary Trust, which funds the Nemours Foundation. He was chairman of the board of Nemours until his resignation in late May.
Services for Mr. Belin were Saturday, June 3, at Long Avenue Baptist Church in Port St. Joe.
Marianne 'Peggy' Kay
Marianne "Peggy" Kay, 65, of Destin, died May 18, 2000, in her home.
Born in Weisbaden, Germany, Mrs. Kay married and moved to the United States, where she became an American citizen. She was a resident of Destin for 20 years.
Mrs. Kay was preceded in death by her husband, John S. Kay. She is survived by her sons, Roy Abbott, Kenai, Alaska; Tommy Abbott, Mark Abbott and Randy Abbott of Conway, Ark.; daughter Charlene Renee Kilpatrick of Destin; stepchildren, Steve Kay, Gadsden, Ala., and Susan Kay of Mississippi; and seven grandchildren.
A graveside service was conducted Saturday, May 20, in Albertville, Ala. A memorial service was conducted Monday, May 22, at Destin United Methodist Church in Destin.