Patrick J. Byrne
Patrick J. Byrne of Newberry, an associate professor in the University of Florida's Food and Resource Economics department, died Saturday in Gainesville in an auto accident. He was 43.
His students knew Dr. Byrne as "Big Daddy."
"He just made his presence known. He was just larger than life, " said Melissa Diaz, a student in the master's of agribusiness program, which Dr. Byrne started. "He was a father figure to a lot of us. He was also a lot of fun."
Born in Houston, Dr. Byrne earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. He earned his doctorate in agricultural economics from Texas A&M; University in College Station, Texas.
He moved five years ago from College Station to Newberry.
Dr. Byrne received the Distinguished Teaching Award of the American Agricultural Economics Association in 1998. UF's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences named him undergraduate advisor of the year in 1997 and undergraduate teacher of the year in 1996.
Since 1994, he advised UF's student marketing team in the annual meetings of the National Agricultural Marketing Association. The team placed first in 1997 and third in 1998, and the association named Dr. Byrne NAMA advisor of the year in 1999.
He belonged to Queen of Peace Catholic Church.
Survivors include his mother, Victoria Cranford Byrne of Gainesville; a son, Matthew Goodwin of Gainesville; two brothers, J. Dennis Byrne of Nottingham, Pa., and Dr. John Byrne of Newark, Del.; and a sister, Shawn Handschuh of Rising Sun, Md.
Nancy Jean Gaynor
BELL -- Nancy Jean Gaynor of Bell died Sunday at her residence in Bell. She was 54.
Ms. Gaynor was born in Goshen, N.Y., and moved to Bell from Goshen two years ago. She was an Episcopalian.
Survivors include a son, Daniel Marsh of Phillips Port, N.Y.; a sister, Mary Jane Crossman of Vero Beach; longtime companion Fred Von Mach; and three grandchildren.
Jean R. Greer
Jean R. Greer died Saturday at her residence in Lake Butler. She was 70.
A native of Benhams, Va., Mrs. Greer moved to Lake Butler from Gainesville in 1997.
She was an LPN at Shands for 18 years. She retired from Gates Energy as an occupational health nurse in 1994.
She was a member of the Church of Christ.
Mrs. Greer was preceded in death by a son, James O. Greer Jr.
Survivors include four daughters, Teresa Stricklen and Laura Greer, both of Gainesville, Susan Koon of Bronson and Martha Hannah of Lake Butler; two sons, Patrick Greer of Salem, Va., and David Greer of Gainesville; two sisters, Ruth Wyatt of Gainesville and Carlene Lovell of Indianapolis, Ind.; a brother, Charles Roberts of Gainesville; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Expressions of sympathy may be made as donations to the Hospice of North Central Florida, the American Cancer Society or the Diabetes Association.
Helen Homza Grimes
Helen Homza Grimes of Columbia, Md., died Saturday at Lorien Nursing Center in Columbia following an extended illness. She was 88.
Mrs. Grimes was born in Minneapolis and she lived in Gainesville for 16 years before moving to Columbia in 1990.
She was a retired secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C.
She was an Episcopalian.
Mrs. Grimes was preceded in death by her husband, Henry S. Grimes.
Survivors include a stepdaughter, Ginny Whelan of Maryland; a sister, Ann Burke of San Francisco; and a brother, John Homza of Maryland.
Jasper William Jerrels
CHIEFLAND -- Jasper William Jerrels of Chiefland died Monday at Shands at AGH. He was 71.
Mr. Jerrels was a lifelong resident of Chiefland and was a Baptist.
Survivors include a brother, W.J. Jerrels of Tallahassee; three daughters, Janice Kidd of Chiefland, Kathy Thomas of Hawthorne and Faye Foster of Keystone; two sons, Jasper Jerrels Jr. of Spring Hill and Jerry Jerrels of Columbus, Ga., his ex-wife, Hazel Jerrels; 10 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Ida Marie Prebianca
Ida Marie Prebianca of Orlando died Thursday at her home following an extended illness. She was 86.
Mrs. Prebianca was born in Gonezza, Italy, and moved to America in 1914. She lived in New York and Coral Gables, where she owned and operated Riviera Tile and Marble Co. in Miami before retiring in 1971. She moved to Gainesville in 1979 and to Orlando in 1984.
Survivors include a brother, Donald Canale of Palm Beach; three sons, Robert Prebianca of Oviedo, Henry Prebianca of Ocala and Thomas Prebianca of Gainesville; 11 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
Roy Edwards Tew
Dr. Roy Edwards Tew of Gainesville, a University of Florida professor emeritus, died Monday at North Florida Special Care. He was 86.
Dr. Tew was born in Carroleen, N.C.
He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Florida, a master's degree from Columbia University and a doctorate from Ohio State University. He held teaching positions at Ohio State University, Boston University, the University of Alabama and Auburn University.
He taught in the department of speech and audiology at the University of Florida for 44 years. He retired as professor emeritus at UF in 1981.
Dr. Tew was a World War II Navy veteran. He was a past president of the Southern Speech Association and a member of the American Speech Association.
He was a member of the Robert Shaw Chorale in New York City and participated in many choirs in Gainesville, including the First Baptist Church, First United Methodist Church and First Presbyterian Church, where he was also a member and former elder.
Survivors include his wife, Kathleen Long Tew of Gainesville; four daughters, Judith Lawrence of Anniston, Ala., Brenda Vaughn of Polk City, Elaine Cox of Ocala and Virginia Quackenbush of Lee; two brothers, Cornelius Tate Tew of Miami and Paul Tew of Asheville, N.C.; nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Opal Ellison-Tomberlin of Baxley, Ga., died Saturday at St. Joseph's Hospital in Savannah, Ga. She was 49.
Mrs. Ellison-Tomberlin was born in Steinhatchee and moved to Baxley 11 years ago.
She worked in animal husbandry. She loved gardening, fishing and hunting.
She was a member of the Pentecostal Holiness Church in Steinhatchee.
Survivors include her companion, James "Pee Wee" Ellison of Steinhatchee; three daughters, Angela Fulgham of Alma, Ga., Lynette Ellison of Baxley and Leah McClain of Cross City; five sons, James David Ellison Jr. of Steinhatchee and Steve Tomberlin, Mitchell Tomberlin, Michael Woodard and Joey Woodard, all of Baxley; two sisters, Bonnie McLarney of Steinhatchee and Jean Johnson of Cross City; and five brothers, W.A. Turner, Foye Turner, Alton Turner and Winfred Turner, all of Steinhatchee, and Alfred Turner of Chapin, S.C.
Ruth Ross Allen
KENNER, La. -- Ruth Ross Allen, a longtime resident of Palatka, died Monday at her residence in Kenner, La., following a brief illness. She was 89.
A native of Asbburn, Ga., Mrs. Allen lived in Palatka for 77 years before moving to Kenner three years ago.
She was a homemaker and a charter member of First Church of God in Palatka.
She was preceded in death by her husband, James Harry Allen.
Survivors include three daughters, Nancy Baldwin of Kenner, Mary Martin of Palatka and Jeanette Odom of Interlachen; a sister, Josephine Ross Blount of Hollister; a brother, Thomas Ross of Portland, Ore.; 12 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
Expressions of sympathy may be made as donations to First Church of God.
Euretta M. Cook
Euretta M. Cook, a lifelong resident of New York, died Jan. 14 at Columbia Greene Long Term Care Facility in Catskill, N.Y. She was 94.
Mrs. Cook was a homemaker and a Protestant.
She was preceded in death by her husband, George V. Cook Sr.
Survivors include a daughter; three sons, including Howard R. Cook of Williston; 13 grandchildren; and 26 great-grandchildren.
June Price Groover
June Price Groover of Gainesville died Monday at Shands at AGH following a brief illness. She was 75.
Mrs. Groover was born in Quitman, Ga., and moved to Gainesville from Starke in 1963.
She was a legal secretary and executive assistant at the State Attorney's Office, retiring after 36 years of service.
She a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church.
Survivors include her husband of 57 years, James E. Groover of Gainesville; two daughters, Susan G. Hall of Cochran, Ga., and Kim Groover Schwartz of Gainesville; a son, Drew Price Groover of Houston; a sister, Patricia Pedrick of Quitman, Ga.; a brother, Ward Price of Quitman, Ga.; and five grandchildren.