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HILLSBOROUGH OBITUARIES

BARBER, HOWARD M., 88, of Lake Wales, formerly of Tampa, died Sunday (Nov. 2, 1997) in Tampa. A Tampa native, he moved to Lake Wales in 1973. He was a mechanic. He was a member of Hillsborough United Methodist Church, and a member of the A.W. Windhorst 185 Lodge F&AM. Survivors include two sons, H. Wesley, Beech Island, S.C., and Ronald E., Tampa; three brothers, Edward, Seffner, Robert, Thonotosassa, and Elbert, Plant City; five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Blount, Curry & Roel Funeral Homes & Cemeteries, Nebraska Avenue Chapel, Tampa.

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COX, BARRY JAY, 39, of Valrico, died Sunday (Nov. 2, 1997) at Tampa General Hospital. He was born in Bellaire, Ohio, and came here in 1985 from Bethesda, Ohio. He was a waiter. Survivors include his father, Roy J., Valrico; a brother, Terry Lee, Clearwater; a sister, Kelly Cole, Valrico; his companion, Rick R. Binni, Valrico; two nephews; and a niece. Stowers Funeral Home, Brandon.

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GROFF, ALVIN A., 87, of Tampa, died Sunday (Nov. 2, 1997) in Tampa. He was born in Reading, Pa., and came to the area in 1926. He was the owner and operator of Groff Restaurant, a family-owned restaurant in Wildwood, N.J. He was a Navy veteran of World War II and was a member of the First Church of God. Survivors include his wife, Martha, Tampa; two daughters, Dottie Ann Groff, Tampa, and Betty Barthle, Lithia; a son, Earl A., Wildwood; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Blount, Curry & Roel Funeral Homes & Cemeteries, Carrollwood Chapel, Tampa.

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JONES, GERTRUDE, 91, of Tampa, died Sunday (Nov. 2, 1997) in Tampa. A Tampa native, she was a cigarmaker. She attended Calvary Methodist Church and was a life member of American Legion Post 111. Survivors include a brother, Leon W. Stevenson, and two sisters, Thelma O'Neal and Evelyn Seth, all of Tampa. Blount, Curry & Roel Funeral Homes & Cemeteries, Nebraska Avenue Chapel, Tampa.

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KINARD, NANCY ALMA, 99, of Antioch, died Monday (Nov. 3, 1997) at home. A lifelong area resident, she was a secretary for General Telephone and was a grove owner. She was a member of Antioch Church of Christ. Survivors include her sister, Effie Mae Kinard, Plant City; two nieces; and three nephews. Wells Memorial Funeral Home, Plant City.

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LOCKLER, JAMES, 67, of Tampa, died Saturday (Nov. 1, 1997) in Tampa, under the care of Hospice of Hillsborough County. A lifelong Tampa resident, he was a self-employed plasterer. He attended the Church of the Nazarene and was a member of the Moose Lodge 1741 and the American Legion Post 125. Survivors include his wife, Virginia "Ginnie"; four sons, James L. Jr., Homestead, Jeffrey, Jay and James E., all of Tampa; four daughters, Jeanee Sylvester, Blaine, Tenn., Brenda Roberts, Perry, and Lynn Lavalle and Joan Sandlin, both of Bradenton; his stepfather, Jack Tallent, Ruskin; a stepson, Bradley D. Lansing, Tampa; a stepdaughter, Brenda L. Alexander, Cumming, Ga.; a brother, Harold "Bubba," Tampa; and a sister, Patricia Harris, Tampa. Mark III Family Funeral Home, Town 'N Country Chapel, Tampa.

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MACIAS, HENRY, 92, of Tampa, died Monday (Nov. 3, 1997) in Tampa. A Florida native, he was born in Key West and came to the area in 1920. He retired from United Paper Co. in 1964 and designed one of the first automatic paper machines. Survivors include his wife, Maria; a daughter, Diana Breijo; a sister, Amparo Delgado; and a granddaughter, Tina Breijo, all of Tampa. Blount, Curry & Roel Funeral Homes & Cemeteries, Garden of Memories Chapel, Tampa.

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MARTINEZ, FERMINA, 86, of Tampa, died Monday (Nov. 3, 1997) in Tampa. Born in Matanzas, Cuba, she came here in 1977 from Havana. She was a homemaker and a parishioner of St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Survivors include a daughter, Maria Menendez de Rodriguez, and son-in-law, Renaldo Rodriguez; a sister, Faustina Martinez, Miami; two grandsons, Ralph and Carlos Menendez; and two great-grandchildren. Gonzalez Funeral Home, Tampa.

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SASNETT, CHARLES FRANK, 13 months, of Plant City, died Saturday (Nov. 1, 1997) in Plant City from accidental causes. He was born in Brandon and was Pentecostal. Survivors include his parents, Angela Cunningham and Raymond W. Sasnett, Plant City; two brothers, Raymond John Sasnett, Plant City, and Ronald Eugene Florand, Fort White; two sisters, Jessica and Audrey A. Sasnett, both of Plant City; maternal grandmother, Gloria Jean Cunningham, Fort White; maternal grandfather, Ellis Dean Cunningham, Mississippi; and paternal grandmother, Deloris Sasnett, Westville. Wells Memorial Funeral Home, Plant City.

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STORY, MERRI ELIZABETH, 67, of Odessa, formerly of Clearwater, died Thursday (Oct. 23, 1997) at Harborside Healthcare, New Port Richey, under the care of Hospice of the Florida Suncoast. She was born in Dallas and came to Clearwater in 1954. She moved to Odessa in 1974. She graduated from Stephens College, Columbia, Mo., and studied with opera singers Homer Samules, Galli-Curci and Madame Florence Holtzman. Prior to moving here, she sang in Southern California opera and orchestra companies and in 1951 received the Atwater Kent award. She toured nationally with the Harpo and Chico Marx musical comedy team and performed at the opening of the NBC ALL-Star Review television show. Locally, she was a member of the St. Petersburg Civic Opera, the Clearwater Symphony and the St. Petersburg Symphony where one of her most notable roles was as the witch in Humperdink's Hansel and Gretel. She was active in the Tampa Lyric Theater, Footlight Theater, St. Petersburg Little Theater, the Town 'n Gown Theater and won the Tampa Community Theater's Gaspar award for her role in Little Mary Sunshine. She was a member and soloist of First Church of Christ Scientist, Clearwater, and a performing member of the Thursday Musicale in New Port Richey. Survivors include her husband, William Mitchell, Odessa; two daughters, Dr. Victoria S. Hagedorn, Clearwater, and Mary Elaine Story, Boulder, Colo.; and two grandsons, Alexander Hagedorn and Stephen Hagedorn, both of Clearwater. American Burial & Cremation Service, Palm Harbor.

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