LAND O'LAKES — Over one career with the Navy and another with the U.S. Merchant Marine, Clifford Liferidge sailed into danger and long stretches of isolation from his family. His Navy ship had floated through unsettling ambiguity at the start of the first Persian Gulf War. Fifteen years later, one of his Merchant Marine ships, the USS Mount Whitney, supplied intelligence during the second Gulf War in Iraq....
Their honeymoon 26 years ago in Cayman Brac had seemed the best possible beginning to their marriage.
Bill and Allene Gower explored the caves on the 12-mile strip of land in the Caribbean and climbed the craggy bluff rising 140 feet from its blue waters.
A native everyone called Capt. Shelby took them snorkeling.
Mr. Gower was a solidly built man who loved the outdoors. He had taken multiple dive trips to Honduras, the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Australia....
SPRING HILL — His assertive personality and wartime experience as a translator had brought Sam Lembo face to face with well-known figures in Europe and the United States. He had conversed with the king of Hungary, Richard Nixon and Robert Kennedy, and produced a hit record at the dawn of rock 'n' roll.
Before and after those experiences, from boyhood until his late 80s, Mr. Lembo communed with homing pigeons. He bought elite birds from Europe and sold them to other fliers....
Kimberly Clark showed up at law school 20 years older than her classmates, and looked upward at most of them.
Friends and family can't quite say she stood 5 feet tall, and append a "maybe" before guessing her weight at 100 pounds. The second-career student at Stetson University College of Law talked about her children but not her grades, which placed her near the top of her class.
Last spring, she aced a final 48 hours before delivering her youngest son. ...
CLEARWATER — John Bosdal worshipped boxing, and treated major bouts like Hollywood weddings.
Even among the flamboyant types, "the wizard of Bos" — a bear-like man with bleached blond hair topping his 6-foot-4 frame — was hard to miss sitting ringside in a pink suit, faux fur coat and dripping gold.
For a while, Mr. Bosdal, known to everyone as Johnny Bos, had reason to celebrate. Peers saw him as a matchmaking whiz whose selection of opponents shaped the careers of Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, Gerry Cooney, Paul Malignaggi and Mike Tyson. ...
ST. PETERSBURG — As a wife and mother, Alvena Pryor embodied the traits of her generation.
She viewed the needs of her husband, well known physician Howard "Bud" Pryor, as synonymous with her own.
She dedicated herself to substitute teaching and civic organizations, including one she started for children with Down syndrome.
She played tennis at the country club, was active in a medical auxiliary, and served as PTA president for her children's elementary, middle and high schools....
ST. PETERSBURG — On the court, London Bradley was the ball handler, the playmaker. He loved the pace of the game, the way conditioning and practice had forced his passing and shooting to a higher level, all through his teenage years.
A 6-foot-2 point guard, he was always directing the flow of play.
Basketball had kept him grounded and focused, bonded with the father who raised him and friends who shared his values....
LARGO — Anne Densler learned midway through World War II that the man she had dated since middle school was missing.
She responded by joining the Marine Corps Women's Reserve.
Carl Hockman was eventually freed from a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. The longtime sweethearts married and raised a family, putting the past behind them.
Then Hockman died and his wife started over....
TAMPA — Parishioners often asked the Rev. Thomas Stokes how he slept through weekend nights in the heart of Ybor City. The humble rectory of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, where he lived for 26 years, stands a block and a half from Club Skye, Club Prana and the start of the Ybor strip, in which no one enters or leaves quietly.
In his lilting Irish brogue, the Rev. Stokes replied that he had tuned out the noise. But if the phone rang at any hour of the night, he was out of bed, dressed and out the door to help....
BELLEAIR — For Edward Moran, a retired shipping executive and local politician, life moved in orderly cycles.
He and his wife spent five months a year in Cape Cod, then came back to Belleair, his home for 54 years.
He played golf four times a week at the Belleair Country Club, as long as his legs could carry him.
He watched the sun set over the gulf.
Mr. Moran, who fought to keep this town pristine through eight years as a commissioner and two terms as mayor, died April 27, of congestive heart failure....
BROOKSVILLE — Questions about her husband, the country's top jockey for two years and a fixture in horse racing history, started many a conversation.
Had she been watching on May 6, 1933, when Don Meade won the Kentucky Derby aboard Brokers Tip — the culmination of a saddle-cloth-grabbing, riding-crop-slashing shoving match down the stretch with jockey Herb Fisher, who finished second aboard Head Play?...
Jimmy Pedigo did many things well as a musician, enough to find a niche in any genre.
He had played guitar and jazz piano, and wrote and sang songs. His gentle sense of humor entertained crowds, just as his peace-loving demeanor invited them onstage to dance.
Mr. Pedigo found his greatest success in ska music, a peppy mix of jazz, rhythm and blues rooted in Jamaica and called a precursor to reggae. He was an original member of Magadog, Tampa's best-known ska band in the 1990s....
ST. PETERSBURG — In April 1989, the St. Petersburg Times published a searing inside look at a Jordan Park neighborhood nearly ruined by crack cocaine.
"The Twilight Zone: Life in Crack's Grip," a three-day series, introduced readers to life-and-death struggles going on right under their noses, a world of cheap guns and cheaper sex most readers had not seen so starkly.
In the second installment, writer Elijah Gosier told readers what it was like to watch a young man fatally shot a few yards from the car Mr. Gosier was driving....
BRANDON — Woody Harris and Janet Taylor met more than 30 years ago, when both were in training as emergency workers for Hillsborough County.
She remembers the exact September day in 1981.
"The first time our eyes met, I just kind of knew that he was the one," said Janet Harris, 61. She liked his quiet confidence and his looks.
They worked as partners before anyone at Hillsborough Emergency Medical Services knew they were married: car wrecks, plane crashes, shootings and stabbings. An arsonist's attack on a Winn-Dixie that killed five and injured 13. Digging survivors from the rubble of a collapsed building....
Joe Mannion, who followed an award-winning career as a broadcaster by becoming Pasco County's first full-time lobbyist, died Sunday at his Clearwater home. He was 78.
Mr. Mannion suffered from kidney cancer that had metastasized, his family said.
Blessed with a deep, resonant voice and soothing demeanor, Mr. Mannion won others over with a concise command of issues. Tampa Bay residents in the 1980s will remember his 60-second editorials on spending, public health, accountability for politicians or environmental issues that ended with his trademark, "That's what we think. Write and tell us what you think." ...