Noted inventor, Destin resident, dead at 86
Alfred Moen, 86, who invented the single-handled faucet, died Tuesday after a long illness. He had lived in Destin for the past 26 years.
While Moen is remembered for the company that bears his name, his family recalls a man of many talents and interests, with a sharp mind and a quiet demeanor.
Moen grew up in Seattle and as a young man was already thinking on the cutting edge.
"In 1932 he built a radio into his Ford and that was unheard of at the time," said his son, Eric Moen.
Moen also placed second in the Washington Men's Roller Skating Championship as a young man, a competition in which roller skaters perform spinning stunts similar to those of ice figure skaters.
When World War II broke out Moen worked with Boeing and the Seattle Shipyards, working as a draftsman at each. He also served in the Navy for a short time.
Moen's mind was always working, and he had more than 200 patents.
"I couldn't even name them all," his son said. "...A potato peeler, a salad fork ... a good majority of his inventions were in the plumbing industry."
Moen's idea for a singled handled faucet came after he burned himself washing his hands with a conventional two-handled faucet. His invention went on the market in 1947.
Though creating new things was a huge part of Moen's life, his true love was flying.
"His flying was something he really enjoyed," daughter Christine said. "I sat with him in the co-pilot seat until he quit flying at 79."
"As a boy, when Lindbergh flew around the world, my dad saw him fly over Seattle," Eric Moen said. "From then on my dad always wanted to learn how to fly."
If it weren't for flying, Moen would've never settled in Destin, Christine Moen said.
"That's how he found Destin, by flying," she said.
"He really loved it here in Destin," Eric Moen said. "The beach is really what drew him to Destin. He said he had flown to many places all over the country and had never seen a nicer beach."
Their father was a down-to-earth man, his children said.
"He was relatively reserved, even after his success. When he died he was driving a 1988 Mercury Marquis. He was a simple man, he would rather get his car painted than buy another one," Eric Moen said. "He was a very caring, loving father."
"He was really an amazing man," Christine Moen said, "very humble, very quiet. He was a shy man really."
Moen is survived by his daughter, Christine Moen of Destin; son, Eric Moen of North Ridgeville, Ohio; daughter-in-law Edie Moen of Gibsonia, Pa.; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Moen's wife, Barbe, died in Florida in December 1988. A son, David, also preceded him in death.
Funeral services will be at noon today at McLaughlin Mortuary, 17 Chestnut Ave., in Fort Walton Beach.
Alan Walker is a staff writer for The Log and can be contacted at 654-8446.
Merrill V. Alders Jr.
Merrill V. Alders Jr., 83, of Destin, died Sunday, April 15, 2001, in a local nursing home.
Alders was born in Tampa on Nov. 11, 1917. He was a veteran of World War II and served as an aviator in the U.S. Navy. He was a member of the Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club.
Survivors include his wife, Carolyn Lee Alders of Destin; son and daughter-in-law, David and Diane Alders of Rocklin, Calif.; daughter and son-in-law, Barbara and Boyd Rice of Scottsdale, Ariz.; brother and sister-in-law, Russell and Laverne Alders of Pomona, Calif.; sister and brother-in-law, Doris and Richard Thomas of Fort Walton Beach; and four grandchildren.
Graveside funeral services with military honors will be at 1:15 p.m. Friday at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola. Burial will follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association or to the Santa Rosa Beach Community Church building fund.
McLaughlin Mortuary in Fort Walton Beach is handling the arrangements.
William Stokes Walker
William Stokes Walker, captain of the charter boat Breakaway for 23 years, died Tuesday, April 3, 2001, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola. He was 50 years old.
He was an active member of the Destin charter boat community for more than 30 years. He was treasurer of the Destin Charter Boat Association, a member of the board of directors of the National Charter Boat Association, and also served as a director on the board of the annual Destin Fishing Rodeo.
He is survived by his daughter, Ann Elizabeth Walker, and his son, Neel Brodie Walker of Fort Walton Beach; his parents Elizabeth (Lib) McDowell Walker and Clarence Neel Walker of Destin; his brothers, Thomas Neel Walker of Destin and John McDowell Walker of Atlanta; and his sisters, Ann Elizabeth Walker of Princeton, N.J., and Susan Walker Wilson of Tallahassee.
A celebration of life service was conducted at Destin United Methodist Church April 6 with pastor John Friedman officiating.
At a later date, his ashes will be released over the Gulf of Mexico in a private service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his name to the Destin United Methodist Church-Christian Life Center, P.O. Box 39, Destin, FL 32540 or the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, 505 Mountain Drive, Suite Q, Destin, FL 32541.
Laverne E. Yanna
Laverne E. "Shank" Yanna, 69, of Destin, formerly of Highland, died Sunday, April 1, 2001, in a Zion, Ill., hospital following a brief illness.
Yanna was born on Sept. 12, 1931, in Highland to Edward and Clara (Grimm) Yanna.
Following graduation from Highland High School in 1949, he served in the U.S. Army in Treiste, Italy, until 1954.
On June 18, 1955, he married the former Diane Dorota of Highland at St. Anthony's Catholic Church.
Yanna was co-owner of Highland Milling Co. for 32 years. He was a member of St. Anthony's Catholic Church, the Robert Kail American Legion Post 4424 and the McGuire-Longmeier VFW Post 9440 of Highland.
He also served many years on the Highland Fire Department and Highland Rescue Squad. The couple retired to Destin in 1988 where Yanna worked with his son, Mark, in the cable TV business for five years.
He also served 2 1/2 years as first mate on a charter boat and then worked part-time as a condominium security guard before retiring in June 2000.
He was an active member of the American Legion Post 296 of Destin and served as an executive officer of the post.
He was preceded in death by his father, Edward, on Sept. 12, 1969; his mother, Clara, on Feb. 21, 1975; a brother, Floyd Yanna; and a sister, Inie Smelzer.
Yanna is survived by his wife, Diane, of Destin; son Mark Yanna of Panama City Beach; daughter Lori Yanna of Destin; two grandchildren, Shanna and Chad; brother Paul "Pat" Yanna of Highland; three brothers-in-law, Lauren Smelzer of Highland, Dan "Bernie" Dorota of Highland, and Dave "Rita" Dorota of Highland; sister-in-law Lois Yanna of Rockford; and many nieces and nephews.
A mass of Christian burial will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Highland with Father Kenneth Frisch officiating. Burial will be in St. Anthony's Cemetery with military honors accorded by the Highland American Legion and VFW Posts.
Friends may call at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Highland today from 4-8 p.m. and after 9 a.m. Thursday. The McGuire-Peterson-Houck Funeral Home in Highland is serving the family.
Opal Marie Kyte
A memorial service will be conducted at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 7, in the sanctuary of Rolling Hills Community Church in Lago Vista, Texas, for Opal Marie Kyte, a resident of Travis County, Texas, for the last nine years.
She died at her home in Leander, Texas, on March 30, 2001, from complications due to Alzheimer's and ovarian cancer. She was preceded in death by her parents and her younger sister, Joanne Cain.
She was born Oct. 25, 1925, to John C. and Minnie L. Cain in Fairfield, Ala. As a young woman she worked her way through nursing school and graduated as the valedictorian of her nursing school class in 1945 from St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C. In 1946 she cared for polio victims while attending the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She returned to nursing after her children left home and served as head nurse for the intensive care oncology unit of the Stehlin Foundation for Cancer Research at St. Joseph's Hospital in Houston, Texas. In the late 1970s she cared for burn victims at the Arabian American Hospital in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
In 1948, she met John R. Kyte at the University of Minnesota. They were married in 1949. They lived in Destin; Bordeaux, France; Houston, Texas; Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; and Leander, Texas. After retiring to Florida in 1984, she served as the head of the South Walton Red Cross Blood Drive and was secretary for the Coastal Heritage Foundation.
Mrs. Kyte's family survivors include her husband; daughter Mary Pearle of Studio City, Calif.; sons John Jr. of Albuquerque, N.M., and Paul and his wife Jean of Lago Vista, Texas; four grandsons Dan and Brian Pearle and Kevin and Casey Kyte; and four brothers John of Memphis, Tenn., William of New York City, Henry of Tallahassee and Darryl of Arlington, Va.
In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions in her name to either Lone Star Hospice at 1212 Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock, TX 78664, or Rolling Hills Community Church at 20103 Dawn Drive, Lago Vista, TX 78645.
Arrangements by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, Austin, Texas.
Vara Woodward, 103, Fort Walton Beach, died March 28, 2001, at a local nursing home.
She was born in Ellisville, Miss., Feb. 27, 1898, to John Carlyle and Mary Pamelia Gage Woodward. She was the youngest of four Woodward sisters whose association with Fort Walton Beach began in the early 1920s when her eldest sister Margaret (Peg), came here to manage the Miramar Hotel.
She attended Mississippi State College for Women, Columbus, Miss., for two years and then transferred to Florida State University, Tallahassee, where she graduated in 1920 with a BS degree. She began her teaching career at Thomas Industrial Institute, DeFuniak Springs, followed by Florala Grammar School. In 1926 she moved to Daytona Beach where she taught for 19 years, spending her summers in Fort Walton Beach. In 1945 she moved to Fort Walton Beach and began teaching in Okaloosa County schools, first on Eglin Air Force Base and then at the Annette P. Edwins Elementary School. She retired in 1964 after 44 years of teaching.
She was a charter member of St. Simon's On-the-Sound Episcopal Church, Gulf Area Garden Club and the Fort Walton Public Library. She was a member of the American Association of University Women and Delta Kappa Gamma Association for Teachers.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters Margaret, Mary and Lucille Woodward; and brothers Gage and Paul Woodward Sr. She is survived by nephew John G. Woodward and wife, Marie, of Niceville, and their children Patricia and Paul Woodward; niece Ollie Fay Woodward Flint of Shalimar and her daughter Diana Lieber; great nephews George Gage Woodward of Pensacola and Paul Martin Woodward or Greenville, S.C. and their wives and families.
Memorials may be made to the charity of choice; to St. Simon's On-the-Sound Building Fund, 28 Miracle Strip Parkway, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548; or to Hospice of Northwest Florida, 101 Hart St., Niceville, FL 32578.
Funeral services will be conducted at noon Saturday, March 31, at the Chapel of McLaughlin's Mortuary, Fort Walton Beach, with the Rev. James S. Spencer and the Rev. Martha C. Harris officiating. Burial will follow in the Greenwood Cemetery, Florala, Ala., at 3 p.m.
Visitation will be from 11 a.m.-noon Saturday before services.
William 'Eddie' Watts
This poem was written by Lyndia Watts of Boonville, Mo., upon the first anniversary of the death of her husband, the late William "Eddie" Watts.
Watts was born in Pensacola and grew up and worked in the Destin/Fort Walton Beach area. He was born on Oct. 15, 1949, and died March 28, 2000.
His widow planned this week to spread his ashes in the Gulf of Mexico.
Some may have forgotten you
For others, you are part of the past
But we speak your name often and weep in solitude
For our memories are overflowing and will forever last.
As we take you to your resting place
And lovingly place flowers there,
Only God can ease the sorrow we face
As we leave you in his care.
There is work still waiting for us
But when our work is through
Oh! the joy we will embrace, we trust,
When again we are joined with you.
He was born on Oct. 15, 1949, and died March 28, 2000.