BELL, IRIS V., 73, of Tampa, died Friday (Nov. 15, 2002). Born in Cairo, Ga., she moved to the area in 1949. Survivors include six daughters, Smokie McDonnell, Betty Jo Stanley, Darlene Copeland, Frances Rutcha, Rita Breheney and Teddie Mendoza; brothers James Monroe Thomas, Cairo, Ga., Otis Thomas, Calvary, Ga., and Bobby Thomas, Havana, Fla.; 16 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Gonzalez Funeral Home, Tampa.
BENJAMIN, WILLIE MAY (POTTER), 84, of Tampa, died Wednesday (Nov. 13, 2002). Survivors include three sons, Philip C. Benjamin, Ft. Myers, Earl H. Benjamin, Tampa, and Fred C. Benjamin, Inglis; two daughters, Doris Ruth Benjamin Rowden, Land O' Lakes, and Ruby Manning, Tampa; a brother, Earl Potter, Floral City; 15 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. Swilley Funeral Home, Tampa.
FLOWERS, JAMES WALTER, 82, of Dade City, died Thursday (Nov. 14, 2002) at Hernando-Pasco Hospice Care Center. Born in Atlanta, Ga., he moved to the area 27 years ago from Miami, Florida. He was a retired Mail Carrier for the US Postal Service and a member of the Zephyrhills Church of Christ. Survivors include his wife, Jennie, Dade City; three daughters, Patricia Flowers Gates, Dade City, Betty Flowers Wells, Brandon, and Mary Flowers Dann, Athens, Ga.; 11 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. Oakley Funeral Home, Dade City.
GULITZ, NORMAN C., 63, of Tampa, died Wednesday (Nov. 13, 2002). Born in Terre Haute, Ind., he has resided in the area since 1983 after coming from Fort Wayne, Ind. He was a U.S. Army veteran, Hartline bus driver, a member of Toastmaster International, Bachelors and Belles Dance Club, Tampa Bay Beach Boppers and was of the Methodist faith. Survivors include his son, James J. Gulitz, Rossville, Ind.; a daughter, Carla Gulitz White, Dayton, Ind.; his mother, Irma Gulitz, Lakeland; a brother, Gordon Gulitz, Tampa; five grandchildren; and a companion, Bettye DiMario of Tampa. Stowers Funeral Home, Brandon.
HELFFRICH, DONALD L., 77, of Tampa, died Monday (Nov. 11, 2002). Born in Huntington, N.Y., he lived in the area since 1970 coming from Chesapeake, Va. He was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, serving in the Pacific theater in World War II and also in the Korean conflict. He worked as a postal clerk with the U.S. Post Office for 21 years. Survivors include three sons, John, Virginia Beach, Va. Daniel, Las Vegas, Nev., and Robbie Helffrich, Milton; five daughters, Anita Joyner, Chesapeake, Va., Donna Helffirich, Milton, Denise Walker, Salt Lake City, Utah, Janice Sue McCullough, Utah, and Robin Garcia, Tampa; one sister, Jean Melrose, South China, Maine; 15 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and his companion, Betty Neal of Tampa; Marsicano-B. Marion-Reed Stowers Funeral Home, Tampa.
SALEK, HEDWIG J., 81, of Lutz, died Thursday (Nov. 14, 2002). Born in Vienna, Austria, she later moved to the area, coming here from Sarasota. She was a circus performer. Survivors include her son, Roland, Tampa. Glass Funeral Home, Tampa.
SUAREZ, MICHAEL "WAGON WHEEL" SR., 58, of Tampa, died Wednesday (Nov. 13, 2002). He was a native of the area, and a route salesman for Wonder Bread. He was also a member of the Teamster Union Local 79. Survivors include his wife, Linda Suarez, Tampa; two sons, Steven Dyers and Michael Suarez, Jr.; two daughters, Lori Bauters and Michelle Suarez; seven brothers, Ernest Alvarez, Augustine Alvarez, Ray Alvarez, Tony Suarez, Mario Suarez, Ceferino Suarez and Hugh Suarez; and eight grandchildren. Swilley Funeral Home, Tampa.
VANDERMUELEN, LYNN, 58, of Tampa, died Tuesday (Nov. 12, 2002). She was a lifelong resident of the area. She was a private duty nurse and worked at UCH. Survivors include three daughters, Sherry Cook, Terry Bruder and Dana Cook; two sisters, Marsha Fox and Donna McMullen; and nine grandchildren. Florida Mortuary Funeral & Cremation Services, Tampa.