Edwin Wiggins, a lifelong resident of Jacksonville, died July 22 following an extended illness. He was 77.
Mr. Wiggins was a retired business owner and a decorated World War II veteran.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Frances Burkhalter Wiggins of Jacksonville; three daughters, Karen W. Morente and Debra D. Howie, both of Jacksonville, and Brenda Rutgers of St. Augustine; a son, Howard E. Wiggins of Jacksonville; his stepmother, Rena Wiggins of High Springs; a half-sister, Melba O'Brien of High Springs; a half-brother, David Wiggins of Gainesville; four grandchildren; and a great-grandson.
Bill Rion, 1924-1999
William E. Rion, the longtime director of the University of Florida's student union who was known for his community involvement, died Wednesday morning at North Florida Regional Medical Center following a stroke. He was 75.
The namesake of the Reitz Union's ballroom, Mr. Rion worked for more than 50 years as the Gators football team official statistician. He served on the Alachua General Hospital board of directors and chaired the American Heart Association's Florida affiliate.
"Bill was, I think, one of the most able people we ever had work for the University of Florida, " former UF President Stephen C. O'Connell said. "We'll miss him."
Former county commissioner and insurance agent Perry McGriff knew Mr. Rion for more than 40 years, first as a UF student athlete and later through the Junior Chamber of Commerce. McGriff described Mr. Rion as someone involved "privately but very powerfully" in the community.
Born in Nashville, Tenn., Mr. Rion moved to Palatka at a young age and enrolled in 1941 at UF, earning both his bachelor's and master's degrees. He played French horn in the band, was student body president, served as the president of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity chapter, and was the national intercollegiate champion in three-cushion billiards.
In July 1948, he became director of UF's student union. In the late 1960s, the union moved from Dauer Hall to a new location on Museum Road.
"It was his design and his brainchild to locate it there, " Reitz Union director Dave Kratzer said. "He had the will and, I guess, the force to get this done."
At the time of its opening, many thought the union was built too far from the center of campus, Kratzer said. But Mr. Rion understood how the campus would grow, he added, and time proved Mr. Rion right.
"He was really a visionary, " Kratzer said.
Mr. Rion headed the Reitz Union until 1986. Upon his retirement, UF named the union's second-floor ballroom after him.
Mr. Rion kept the UF football team's official statistics for 53 years, working with his wife to provide the NCAA and SEC with the figures for their rankings, assistant athletic director Norm Carlson said.
"He was not an employee. It was a labor of love, " Carlson said. "He was a very important aspect of game day at the University of Florida - a loyal guy that loved the university, did a most valuable task and did it very well."
His love of statistics went well beyond the football team, said his son, David Cellon. For 16 years, Mr. Rion kept running score of a gin rummy game he and his wife played.
Going through the house Wednesday morning, Cellon said, he found a map. On it, Mr. Rion had tracked every hurricane of 1999.
"Anything he could keep little detailed notes about, he did, " he said.
Mr. Rion also worked as a track-meet official, served as president of the American Association of College Unions International, was the Florida Blue Key alumni secretary from 1958 until 1988, and had perfect attendance in more than 50 years with the Kiwanis Club of Gainesville.
He belonged to the University United Methodist Church, where he served as treasurer and as state financial committee chairman.
Survivors include his wife of 35 years, Carolyn Mills Rion of Gainesville; a brother, Fount Rion of Palatka; two sisters, Julia Ellars of Orlando and Nettie Elizabeth Unkel of Miami; two sons, David D. Cellon of Nashville and Larry S. Cellon of Boca Raton; and one granddaughter.
Brian Geller can be reached at 338-3102 or at email@example.com.
Lucille Lee Edenfield
LAKE CITY - Lucille Lee Edenfield of Lake City died Tuesday at North Florida Regional Medical Center following a brief illness. She was 72.
Mrs. Edenfield was born in Jacksonville and moved to Lake City from Brooksville in 1998.
She was a member of the Community Baptist Church of Brooksville.
Survivors include her husband, Jerial E. Edenfield of Lake City; a son, Lyndon Fortner of Live Oak; two stepdaughters, Oudra Thomas of Lake City and Patricia Hughes of Tampa; two sisters, Doris Rush of Glennville, Ga., and Dorothy Jones of Lake City; a brother, John D. Lee of Interlachen; five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Theresa MacArthur of Gainesville died Tuesday at Sunbridge Nursing Home. She was 85.
Mrs. MacArthur was born in Charleston, W.Va., and moved to Gainesville from Miami two years ago.
She was a homemaker and a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Miami Springs.
She is survived by a sister, Naomi Joffe of Miami Springs; and two nieces, Jean Burns and Nancy Burns, both of Gainesville.
Edward "Pat" Molyneux died Wednesday at his Gainesville residence following a brief illness. He was 78.
Mr. Molyneux was born in Clarks Grove, Minn., and moved to Gainesville from Lake Worth 22 years ago.
He was a retired electronics expert.
He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Survivors include his wife, Betty Molyneux of Gainesville; a daughter, Jeannine Soider of Chanhassen, Minn.; a son, Ron Molyneux of Newberry; two stepdaughters, Linda Gribbin of Lantana and Karen Janicki of Gainesville; and seven grandchildren.
Expressions of sympathy may be made as donations to the Hospice of North Central Florida.
John William Parker III
LAKE CITY - John William Parker III died Tuesday at his residence in Lake City. He was 22.
Mr. Parker was born in Baton Rouge, La., and moved to Lake City 10 years ago.
He was a graduate of Columbia High School, class of 1995. He graduated from the Lake City Community College Turf Equipment Management Program in 1996.
He was a manager at Southland Golf Cars in Lake City.
Survivors include his wife, Lynda Barrs Parker of Lake City; a son, John Charles Parker II; his parents, John William and Nancy Parker of Lake City; his grandparents, Thomas A. Larkin of Tampa, Nancy C. Larking of Raiford and Ruth Hardee Parker of Cumming, Ga.; and a sister, Teri Parker of Gainesville.
Tommy Ray Starling
Tommy Ray Starling of Gainesville died Wednesday at Shands at AGH. He was 68.
Mr. Starling was born in Starke and moved to Gainesville 15 years ago.
He was a Baptist.
Survivors include two sisters, Leatha Mae Nettles and Joan Richards, both of Starke; and three brothers, Robert J. Sterling and V.L. Starling, both of Starke, and Warren J. Starling of Lake City.
Matthew P. Brunson
ORANGE PARK -- Matthew P. Brunson of Orange Park died in an automobile accident Monday in Kansas. He was 21.
Mr. Brunson was a national merit scholar at the University of Florida. He had graduated with a business degree this year.
Survivors include his parents, Dr. Bruce H. and Jeanne V. Brunson of Orange Park; a sister, Jennifer L. Brunson of Orange Park; and his grandparents, Aubie Brunson and Mary Jan Horn of Springfield, Va.
The family has established a scholarship fund at the University of Florida in Matthew's name. Donations may be sent to the Warrington College of Business.
M. Dianne Davis
M. Dianne Davis of Gainesville died Wednesday in Gainesville. She was 59.
Mrs. Davis was born in Daytona Beach and moved to Gainesville from Ocala in 1971.
She taught business education at Buchholz High School for seven years and then at Eastside High School for 15 years.
She held a bachelor's degree from Coker College and a master's degree from New Orleans Baptist Theology Seminary.
She was a member of Westside Baptist Church.
Survivors include her husband, C. Wayne Davis of Gainesville; a son, Stephen Wayne Davis of Orlando; her parents, The Rev. B.F. and Mamie Lewis Kittrell of Holly Hill; and a brother, Marvin F. Kittrell of Greenville, S.C.
Oscar A. de Paz
Oscar A. de Paz of Gainesville died Wednesday at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Gainesville. He was 77.
A native of Puerto Rico, Mr. de Paz moved to Gainesville 23 years ago.
He was an agronomist, a poet and a member of St. Augustine Catholic Church.
He graduated from Louisiana State University, where he was a member of Phi Eta Mu.
Survivors include his wife, Aracelis de Paz of Gainesville; two daughters, Wanda de Paz Ibanez and Alida C. de Paz, both of Gainesville; six sons, Gilberto E. de Paz, Oscar B. de Paz, Rafael A. de Paz, Carlos I. de Paz, Efren A. de Paz and Gabriel E. de Paz, all of Gainesville; two sisters, Iris de Paz Otero and Angeles de Paz Hernandez, both of Puerto Rico; and 10 grandchildren.