The state lists the dead in a grim, and growing, table. Age, gender, county. A 28-year-old man in Sarasota County, a 101-year-old woman in Miami-Dade. But we don’t know all their names or how they lived.
The Tampa Bay Times is telling the stories of the Floridians we’ve lost. You’ll find a start below.
It’s not so much the future of humanity at risk, an infectious disease specialist in Tampa has said, but — as we lose many of our elders — our collective wisdom.
* * *
Gregory Aarons Sr., 58, St. Petersburg
Gregory Aarons Sr. was born in Pensacola, the second of six children. He served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and attended California State University, San Bernardino, where he pledged Phi Beta Sigma. He maintained an active membership throughout the remainder of his life.
He and his wife, Deborah, relocated several times before settling in Florida.
Mr. Aarons worked as a sales executive at a number of media companies, including the Tampa Tribune. He retired from AutoTrader in 2017. He was an active member of New Beginnings Community Church in St. Petersburg.
“He was an active and engaged father who coached and mentored many young and not-so-young people,” his obituary said. “He was an effective and caring counselor and helped to lead those he counseled in the right direction to find their life’s purpose.”
Antonio Aguilar, 79, Dade City
Born in Zacatecas, Mexico, Antonio Aguilar and his wife, Emerita, moved together to Dade City in search for more opportunity. Family members said he was a dedicated worker and family man who loved God.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Ever Loved]
William “Hank” Alexander, 77, Clearwater
Hank Alexander was born in Dallas, Texas, and spent most of his life in Atlanta, Ga., working in healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. He is survived by his wife, three children and two grandchildren.
Judy C. Allen, 70, St. Petersburg
Judy Allen, a nurse for 40 years, loved any reason to celebrate. For birthdays, she cooked her friends their favorite dishes and made them wear yellow hats while everyone sang Happy Birthday. Her Thanksgivings were legendary, and she always decorated her Christmas tree with a different theme.
“We know heaven just got a little louder,” her family wrote.
Margaret “Muggy” Allison, 95, St. Petersburg
A lifelong resident of St. Petersburg, Muggy Hennessy Allison worked as a nurse at St. Anthony’s Hospital before leaving to raise her children. She volunteered at schools, including her alma mater, St. Petersburg High School, where she organized class reunions. Allison and her husband were among the first residents of Bayfront Tower Condominiums, where she lived for 39 years and served on the board. In her downtime, Allison loved crosswords, bridge and golf — and lauding her two holes-in-one over her husband, who taught her the game but hadn’t achieved the same score.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Anderson McQueen]
Kenneth Alspach, 86, Hernando
Kenneth Alspach visited all 50 states and 10 countries during his life. His career was just as varied — Over the years, he served in the Navy, worked his way up to vice president of a bank, managed a campground, operated a drive-in restaurant and ran an excavating business, among other gigs. Hobbies kept his free time full, including camping, snowmobiling, buying and selling vehicles, and spending time with his children and grandchildren.
Mitchell Alvins, 73, Brooksville
During the Vietnam War, Mitchell Alvins enlisted in the Army and worked as a combat photographer. He stayed active with other veterans after coming home.
Mr. Alvins started a photography program at Baldwin High School and worked there while earning a master’s degree. He also worked as a wedding photographer for more than 30 years.
In Florida’s warm weather, Mr. Alvins became an avid softball player. He passed away at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital.
[Hillsborough County medical examiner, Veteran’s Funeral Care]
Natverlal Amin, 90, Clearwater
Born in Kenya in 1929, Natverlal Amin was still young when he moved to India to live with his grandmother. He returned to teach chemistry before setting out for England to study pharmacy. Eventually, he bought his own business. In 1985, he was lured to the sunny, year-round golf haven of West Palm Beach.
When his beloved wife died in 1997, he moved again, this time to live with family in Clearwater. Three times a week, he could be seen on the links at Belleair Country Club, weather permitting.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Abby Linn Andres, 62, Largo
A Florida native, Abby Andres was born in Merritt Island and pursued a nursing degree at Brevard Community College. She spent her career at Mease Countryside Hospital and BayCare Health System.
“Abby was outgoing, funny, generous and the most compassionate woman who always put her family and friends before herself,” her obituary said. “She will always be in our hearts and greatly missed.”
Eunice Angelone, 95, St. Petersburg
Eunice Angelone was born in England and met her husband, an American soldier, during World War II. She came over to the United States on a boat when she was 19 and raised a family in Lawrence, Mass., her daughter said.
After her husband died, she settled in St. Petersburg, where the family had wintered. She lived in Long Bayou for more than 30 years. “She had a lot of friends and had dances and dinners, and she was very, very active until last year,” her daughter said.
Ms. Angelone was a resident of Seminole Pavilion at Freedom Square.
[Tampa Bay Times, Eagle-Tribune]
Harry Ardes, 71, Trinity
Born in Pennsylvania, Harry Ardes took his love of Philadelphia sports with him down to Florida, with family joking he was a “wannabe Penn Stater.” As a young man, Ardes served as a radio operator in the U.S. Navy and then went on to work as a sheet metal assembler and union representative. After retiring in 2013, he enjoyed being “Pop Pop” full-time to his three grandsons.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Pinecrest Funeral Chapel]
Nguyen Dinh Ap, 75, Pinellas Park
Born in Vietnam, he served as a lieutenant commander in the Vietnamese Navy. Father of three and grandfather of seven, Mr. Ap was anything but selfish. His obituary reads: “His passion for boating, fishing, friends and most of all family will be carried with him forever.”
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Charles “C.I.” or “Charley” Babcock, III, 67, Clearwater
C.I. Babcock served as an elder and Bible study teacher at Harborside Christian Church. He worked in home building and, in 1981, founded Cornerstone Communities, Inc. He sat on boards of favorite causes, such as Family First, which advises people on parenting and marriage, and Vincent House, which helps those with mental illnesses find stable work.
“Charley had a heart to serve his community, and in particular, to help those who are frail and vulnerable,” his obituary says. His family asked that people donate to his favorite causes.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Valerie Baird, 62, Nokomis
Valerie Baird loved living off the water and everything that came with it — swimming, fishing, boating and surfing. She also enjoyed playing racquetball, pheasant hunting and had a passion for her sales job, where she was one of the top sellers. Family wrote that Baird was unapologetically herself and that “hopefully, wherever Val is now — she gets to be that version of herself.”
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
Helen Balchunas, 98, Inverness
As one of 13 children, born to a Polish immigrant family, Helen Balchunas learned the value of family at a young age. In Inverness, she loved to spend time with her grandchildren, taking them on flashlight-led walks at night or staying up watching Johnny Carson. She would sing her grandchildren a Polish lullaby, which they now sing to their children.
Jeanette Banks, 86, Tampa
Jeanette Banks was a devout Catholic who had a fierce and unwavering belief in doing the right thing. Her final act of generosity came at the end of her life, when she turned down the opportunity to be placed on a ventilator so it could help someone else. She was a dedicated volunteer at Tampa General Hospital for two decades before the pandemic stopped volunteers from coming in. Ms. Banks served in the U.S. Air Force, where she met her husband and started a family she held dearly to her heart. She was independent, witty and loved a good joke, according to her family.
Robert Banks, 52, Tampa
Since he was a teenager, Robert Banks had been under the care of Angels Unaware, a Tampa nonprofit that provides housing and services for people with developmental disabilities.
He was a frequent competitor at the Special Olympics and won many medals. He loved music, especially singing, and had a “brilliant memory,” his obituary said, which helped him keep track of various sports teams.
“He was the one you wished everyone could have known, because he was the warmth everyone’s heart needed,” his obituary said.
His mother, Jeanette Banks, also died of the virus in December.
Zvonko Barisic, 64, St. Petersburg
He survived the Yugoslavian War, “saving many people that were injured,” fled from his native Bosnia to Croatia and eventually sought refuge in the U.S. in 1998. Even in his short obituary, Zvonko Barisic’s life looms large.
Car mechanic, electrician, crane operator, truck driver, sound and light engineer — he could fix and build anything by hand, including the homes of family and friends. To watch him work was a joy. He liked to travel to the Balkans to see family and had a long list of hobbies and loves, from rescuing animals to fishing to festivals. Above all, he loved his wife, Rada, with whom he fell in love at age 17, and his big family. Children often ran to him, seeing their innocence and playfulness reflected back to them.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Bob Barnum, 64, St. Petersburg
Robert E. Barnum’s real estate website called him a “moving force” in business, but his influence extended well beyond his work. After his death March 27, friends described him as “a pioneer among LGBT Realtors” and “a pusher” for the causes in which he believed, including the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Community Action Stops Abuse.
“I bought the first home I owned by myself through Bob,” wrote Equality Florida’s Executive Director Nadine Smith. “He had all the dirt on The Golden Girls, and he introduced me to circus art.”
Ana Bautista, 86, Land O’ Lakes
Originally from New Jersey, Ana Bautista loved cooking and feeding her family, gardening and adult coloring books. She also loved celebrating birthdays and holidays with her large extended family.
Ms. Bautista was a member of Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church. She and her husband were married for 64 years.
Billy Cleveland Bell, 85, Lakeland
Billy Cleveland Bell, a U.S. Navy lieutenant commander, was a jet pilot, his lifelong dream, until his retirement in 1969. He served for 23 years. He also had a three-decade career in education, retiring as an assistant principal. He enjoyed performing in barbershop quartets and making oil and acrylic paintings.
Dennis Bello, 74, Brandon
Dennis Bello said goodbye to his wife of 30 years over the phone, as he languished in the hospital.
Mr. Bello used to run a flower shop, and for more than two decades, he ran the Dennis Et Al beauty salon. As a hairdresser, his clients loved him, his son said.
Sam Bellotte, 91, Tarpon Springs
Those words were all it took for Sam Bellotte’s wife, Mary, to know she’d spend her life with him — though she made him ask four times before she agreed to spend time with him.
By then, Mr. Bellotte had already proven he was “tough as they come,” as his obituary put it. He grew up in West Virginia during the Great Depression; after his father died, he and some of his seven siblings worked at a golf course for pennies, which they gave to their mother. He joined the Marines as a teenager and served from the end of World War II to the beginning of the Korean War. His job was guarding high-ranking Japanese war criminals.
A few years after he and Mary wed, they moved to Tarpon Springs, where he spent 33 years working for Coca-Cola and helped start the city’s first Little League. In his later years, he loved telling the story of his life, so long as he made it home in time to watch westerns in his favorite chair.
Patricia Ann Bendel, 85, St. Petersburg
Patricia Ann Bendel’s loved ones described her as a strong Irish lady and the life of the party — all without a drop of alcohol. Family members hardly had time to say goodbye. After a conversation at 2 p.m. where Bendel said she was fine, by 4 p.m., she was being taken to the hospital and put on a ventilator.
[Tampa Bay Times]
Charles Benton, 83, Apollo Beach
Charles Benton was a retired truck driver and an Army veteran. He was a proud member of the Loyal Order of the Moose, a fraternal organization, and took the highest honor the group gives, the Pilgrim Degree of Merit.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Zipperer’s Funeral Home]
Anne Bergeron, 91, St. Petersburg
Youngest of eight, mother of one son and one stepdaughter, Anne Bergeron called St. Petersburg home for the last two decades. She volunteered at St. Vincent de Paul and had her favorite haunts: the bingo hall, the Hard Rock Casino and Derby Lane.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Robert Betzold, 94, Palm Harbor
A Navy man, Robert Betzold served at the invasion of Iwo Jima during World War II. He was a member of the Highland Lakes community in Palm Harbor, where, in his younger years, he was active in the Men’s Golf League and Men’s Club.
Barry Bingham, 82, New Port Richey
Barry Bingham loved his work as a crossing guard at an elementary school, which he did for two years in retirement. Previously, Bingham had worked for the city of New Port Richey. He was devoted to his wife, Carol, and children, driving across the state for soccer tournaments or just down the street for a bingo game. Bingham and his wife liked to drive cross-country in their RV as well.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Obituary Manager]
Ronald Binns, 88, St. Petersburg
After graduating from the University of Georgia, in the state where he grew up, Ronald Binns enlisted in the Navy and joined Officer Candidate School. He worked as the state manager for Taylor Publishing and was married to his wife, Frances, for 67 years.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
John Birk, 89, Largo
John Birk was born in Indiana and moved to Florida in 1967. He worked as an advertising sales manager for the Tampa Bay Times from 1977 until his retirement in 1991, according to Times human resources records.
“We used to have lunch together until the COVID-19 virus came along,” said a tribute on his obituary, written by a woman who said she was a friend of Birk’s. “I am going to miss John very much.”
[Tampa Bay Times, obituary]
Norma Blanco, 99, Palm Harbor
Norma Blanco lived a life full of comfort and grief. At the end of World War II, her only brother was killed when his bomber plane was shot down over the Alps. After high school, she worked alongside her parents at their diner in Yonkers, N.Y., and on St. Patrick’s Day 1947, she got married. She and her husband, Anthony, moved through the Northeast for his work, while she raised two sons, cared for her parents — and later, cared for Anthony, who had a terminal illness and died in 1990, right after they moved to Florida.
Her family remembers her selflessness, her old-school Italian cooking, her independent streak and her generous heart.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Clara Blaser, 93, Seminole
As a teenager, Clara Blaser played basketball for St. Petersburg High School. She got a master’s degree in library science at the University of Florida, and with her and her husband of 60 years both working as teachers, they used summers to travel across the nation in a trailer. The two went to every state and made friends along the way. Blaser also loved international travel, with Australia and New Zealand being her favorite spots.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
Robert “Bob” Donald Bohen, 93, St. Petersburg
Playing stickball against a young Whitey Ford, who would go on to become one of the New York Yankees' greatest pitchers, Bob Bohen smacked a hit. He told that story the rest of his life.
A man of many abilities, he worked as an elevator inspector, a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman and English teacher in Greece. He served in the Army during World War II, arriving in Japan just after peace was declared.
For years, Bohen raised his daughter as a single father. He was forever quick to make friends.
Jerome Joseph Boies, 77, Largo
A former United States postal worker and Pinellas County park ranger, Jerome Boies loved family and his country. Most of all, he loved westerns and all things cowboy, especially John Wayne. He loved to have cookouts and pool parties with family, where he’d always have maple baked beans.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Tribute Archive]
Garlynn Boyd, 54, St. Petersburg
Garlynn Boyd — “Coach G” to many — inspired generations of athletes who came through the Lightning Bolt Track Club she founded in 1992.
Her former athletes still remember her loud cheers from the sidelines, her motivating pep talks and her confidence in herself and those she trained. Among her star athletes are Olympic sprinter Trayvon Bromell and TJ Holmes, a former champion in hurdles for the Florida Gators.
“My mother was a revered and controversial figure in the line of track and field in the Tampa Bay area,” said her son, 21-year-old Ashton Taylor. “She broke barriers that people didn’t think were there.”
Doris Branch, 87, Seminole
After a career as a registered nurse at some of New York City’s storied medical institutions — Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Columbia Presbyterian Hospital — Doris Branch settled into retired life in Seminole, but stayed true to her roots: At Oakhurst United Methodist Church, she was parish nurse.
Her family remembers her as being up for just about everything. “Doris was short in stature but a formidable presence, always game for another adventure with her grandchildren, Disney World, school graduations, weddings, college baseball doubleheaders, soccer games, and even Parris Island boot camp graduation ceremonies,” her obituary reads. She loved helping P.E.O. Sisterhood and the church thrift shop, as well as soaking in the sounds of the Florida Orchestra.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Norma Brashear, 82, St. Petersburg
She grew up in West Virginia, studied music education and art, and taught in Ohio, where she met her husband. After seven years of teaching, she switched to private lessons out of their home while she raised her boys. She loved to play the piano, solve puzzles and read.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Wayne Brown, 78, Safety Harbor
For years, Wayne Brown owned and operated Brown’s Marine Service at Port Tarpon in Tarpon Springs. As a young adult, Brown served in the U.S. Air Force. He loved boating, working outdoors, spending time with family and with his little dog, Lucky.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Dignity Memorial]
Robert Brumback, 88, Clearwater
Robert Brumback served in the U.S. Army for more than 27 years, including going to combat in Korea and Vietnam. After his service, he worked for the city of Clearwater and retired as director of solid waste. He enjoyed socializing at the Belleair Country Club.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
David Bunts, 73, Tampa
David Bunts served in the U.S. Army and later studied fine arts, leading to his career as a counselor for veterans.
His family called him a “jack of all trades.” He was a talented artist who loved comics and liked to restore project vehicles in his spare time. He also was a deacon at Mt. Carmel AME Church. He is survived by 10 children, 24 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Tommy Byrd, 65, Clearwater
Tommy Byrd loved football, cooking and being along the water. Born in Alabama, Byrd worked for Solar Gard for many years. Outside of work, he had a passion for a variety of music.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
Ronald Dale “Ronnie” Calub, 76, Brooksville
In between work, Ronnie Calub ran 26 marathons, in cities from Boston to San Francisco.
He joined the Marines after graduating from Plant High School in Tampa, serving during the Vietnam War, and later drove for Consolidated Freightways.
Mr. Calub liked to travel by train and took care of horses at the Artists’ Garden & Stable in Brooksville, which he co-owned.
Elizabeth Ann Campos, 83, Tampa
“Betty to some, Liz to others, she was happiest when family and friends gathered at her home,” her obituary reads. “There was always an occasion to celebrate, a reason to bake a pound cake, and room for one more at the table.” She shone as a host and was quick to laugh, retell old yarns and help a neighbor. She loved her Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Rays. She made people feel seen and loved.
Gary T. Cannon, 69, Apollo Beach
When the puck dropped at the first home game in Tampa Bay Lightning history, Gary Cannon was there. He had long loved the game, as both a goalie and coach.
Cannon worked as a physician and also played the drums. His family wrote that he was “on the front lines” of the pandemic.
Alfonso Cardenas, 55, Tampa
Alfonso Cardenas would do anything for his three children, especially after their mother died years earlier. He coached all three in soccer, which was his passion. He was always the loudest one on the field and could bring his positive attitude to anything, his daughter said. “We could always talk to him,” Jhoana Cardenas said. “He was kind of like our shoulder to lean on.”
Dolores Carreiro, 97, Seminole
After graduating high school and working for a bit as a bookkeeper, Dolores Carreiro volunteered for the U.S. Coast Guard Women’s Reserve and served in World War II, for which she received a Victory Medal. In Rhode Island, she brought up her six children and grandchildren while helping run Penny Sales and Christmas Bazaars at her parish. She was also active in her local Democratic committee. Her favorite saint was St. Jude.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Grasso Funeral]
Gloria Casbar, 88, St. Petersburg
Gloria Casbar was a resident at Apollo Health and Rehabilitation Center. According to family members, no one from the center called to discuss her coronavirus diagnosis. Family said Casbar was put in a bed with no rails, which she fell out of. Only after being taken to the hospital did family say they found out her full medical condition.
Casbar enjoyed playing bingo with friends and family and watching baseball.
Ruben Castillo, 60, Plant City
A lifelong Bucs fan, Ruben Castillo died of complications from the virus before he could see them play in Super Bowl 55 at home.
But football is a big part of his legacy. His grandsons, Adrian and Luis Olivo, switched from soccer to football at their grandfather’s urging. Now, they both play in college, Adrian at North Carolina Central and Luis at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.
Mr. Castillo spent 40 years working in the strawberry fields of Plant City and managing a farm. He loved his family deeply, family members said, so much that he was more worried about them than himself when he got sick.
That may have been what did in him. By the time he went to the hospital, it was too late. He collapsed in the parking lot.
Doris Cesta, 90, Clearwater
Never without a smile or giggle, Doris Cesta was often whipping up cakes, bread and homemade jam to give to her friends and neighbors. “Still a generous person at 90 years old, she got her greatest joy from doing for others,” her family wrote.
She moved to Clearwater in 1959. She worked for more than 20 years in the city of Clearwater Engineering Department and later at the Pinellas County Printing Services Department.
Barry Chaiken, 81, Zephyrhills
Barry Chaiken was a certified public accountant and one of Intuit Inc.’s oldest active employee.
A cousin remembered growing up in the Bronx with him, “watching Howdy Doody, going to Yankee Stadium with Uncle Gershon, sneaking out for Chinese food with Grandpa Max!”
He is survived by three children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Susan Chauvin, 80, St. Petersburg
As a young girl in Massachusetts, Susan Chauvin sang on the radio with her childhood sweetheart Robert. The two married, had four children and traveled the world for different military postings. Chauvin also enjoyed other arts, like poetry, ballet and acting. She was a faithful volunteer at the Massachusetts Hospice Association and a member of Suncoast Cathedral.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Brett Funeral Home]
Winston Chin, 66, St. Petersburg
Born in Jamaica, Winston Chin started a career as a chef cooking on cruise ships. After going to culinary school, he traveled to open various restaurants. He loved fishing, fixing cars and watching martial arts on television.
John Chitwood, 73, St. Petersburg
Educated as an electrical engineer, John Chitwood started as a work-study student at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in 1964. Nearly four decades later, he retired as head of the Microwave Systems Branch, having worked on communication systems for satellites and planetary probes.
His other love was ham radio. He had a license for 59 years, even serving as secretary and treasurer for the Foundation for Amateur Radio, where he also spent 46 years on the scholarship committee. He leaves behind his husband, Jake Eckardt.
[Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner, obituary]
Jennie Christian, 96, St. Petersburg
Growing up on a farm, Jennie Christian devoured books. Instead of doing her daily chores, she’d pick apples and hide in the hay loft, reading. She moved to St. Petersburg in 1952 and had been a resident of the city ever since. She loved football and baseball, gardening, dancing and shopping.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
Vera Clark, 95, Clearwater
Vera Clark was a beautiful flautist, selected to the Pennsylvania High School All-State Band in 1943. After a stint as a nurse, she raised seven children with her husband, Jim. Her life filled with their schooling, scouting, Little League and high school sports and music. In 1980, the family moved to Clearwater. A skilled knitter, she left her family with treasured Christmas stockings and other gifts. Her family remembers her as patient and a role model.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Virginia Cline, 89, Pinellas Park
After her years of teaching in Pinellas County schools, Cline used her retirement to travel and volunteer. She went to Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer and went to Japan, Mexico and parts of Europe to study. In retirement, she was a snowbird, who split her time between her grandchildren in New York and her Florida home. She loved to golf and square dance.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Dignity Memorial]
Vilma Cofer, 89, St. Petersburg
After Vilma Cofer left Trinidad for New York City as a young woman, she was hired as a domestic worker for a local surgeon. The surgeon grew so impressed with her administrative skill and organization that he hired her to manage the office’s practice. In Florida, Ms. Cofer also managed medical offices. She enjoyed studying the Bible in her later years.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
William “Bill” Coleman, 91, Tampa
Bill Coleman graduated from Hillsborough High School, then served in the Korean War. A merchant marine, he traveled the world in his youth.
Later, he worked at Schlitz brewery for 30 years and became a realtor in retirement. “Sociable to the end, Bill never met a stranger,” his family wrote. He was interred with military honors at Florida National Cemetery.
Diane Elaine Collier, 76, Tampa
Diane Collier was a retired teacher’s aide at Robinson Elementary who loved Christmas, Elvis, reading, singing and her family.
She also loved dominoes — a member of her dominoes group remembered that Ms. Collier was the life of the party and always “full of ‘it.’” She loved laughing and wasn’t above spontaneously bursting into song during an outing when the mood struck.
Rosemary Caldwell Collins, 51, Palm Harbor
As a music educator, Rosemary Caldwell Collins excelled with her operatic singing voice. But teachers and students at the Pinellas school district said she was more admired for her warmth and ease interacting with adults and children. She had been working in Pinellas public schools since 1995 and was once a finalist for Pinellas Teacher of the Year.
Larry Cottrill, 65, Brandon
When Larry Cottrill died, his loved ones broke bread and shared stories about him.
In his obituary and on his tribute wall, they also shared stories about the “Teddy Bear” who married his childhood sweetheart and had a knack for woodworking.
Even though he disliked strawberries, he’d go get strawberry milkshakes with a loved one who visited from Ohio. His daughters could always rely on him to attend their Girl Scout events, concerts and sporting events, and he inspired his youngest grandson to become a skilled hunter. The man of few words could be stern, but he always had something kind to say.
Jack Crittenden, 91, Seminole
Married for more than 65 years, Jack Crittenden “taught his family what love looked like as he walked with (his wife) Bonnie through her 11-year battle with dementia,” his obituary reads.
A man of integrity and kindness, plus remarkable ping-pong skills, he loved to study God’s word, pull weeds and serve his community. After a career in marine construction, with proud contributions to the 7-mile bridge in Marathon and the Interstate 40 bridge over Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana, he liked to unwind in the yard and at church. Thirtieth Avenue Baptist Church was his second home for nearly 62 years, where, as a deacon, he taught Sunday School and led the music and choir. Much of his work was quiet, kept humbly behind the scenes.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Ray Daniels, 73, Zephyrhills
For half a century, Ray Daniels ran a construction business that operated in Clearwater and Zephyrhills. He started his business after leaving the Navy in 1965. He liked fishing, NASCAR and football — his favorite teams were the Miami Dolphins and the Florida Gators.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Hodges Family Funeral Home]
Jeanette DeFrank, 102, Seminole
Jeanette DeFrank was born in 1918, the same year the Spanish Flu wreaked havoc on the world, said her grandson, Joseph DeFrank. So it’s particularly poignant that the next major pandemic is what killed her.
She was born in the Detroit area and did secretarial work, then became a stay-at-home mom when she married and had a son. The family bought a condo and moved to Seminole in 1973. A few years later, her husband died of Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Ms. DeFrank lived on her own from then on, playing cards and going out to dinner with a core group of friends, her grandson said. She stayed independent almost until the end, still shopping and carrying in her groceries at 98. She was “a very strong woman,” he said. “Very feisty.”
In 2016, as her health began to decline, she moved into Freedom Square of Seminole.
Erasmus Deliberti, 73, Port Richey
Erasmus Deliberti was a Brooklyn native and a devout Catholic. He worked for many years as a Publix produce manager. Affectionately known to some as “Uncle Sid,” Mr. Deliberti always offered an ear and solid advice.
“You always treated me like a son, and through you, I learned how to be the father I am today,” a loved one wrote on his memorial wall.
Renee Dermott, 51, New Port Richey
A sixth-grade teacher at Seven Springs Middle School, Renee Dermott kept her circle of friends small. But when she was hospitalized with pneumonia, worried she would miss moments with her kids, her community stepped up. Students she’d had when she taught at the elementary level said she had made a difference for them. Donations and kind words poured in, proving Dermott’s circle was bigger than she’d given herself credit for.
“She was the first teacher there and the last teacher to leave,” one of her daughters said.
Joseph “Joey” Dima, 65, Largo
In May, Joey Dima was diagnosed with brain cancer. While in a rehabilitation facility for cancer treatment, Mr. Dima caught the coronavirus. He loved the beach, the Orlando Magic and local Tampa Bay sports teams. He ran a local collection agency for more than 20 years and was a successful entrepreneur.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Dignity Memorial]
Genyte Dirse, 86, St. Pete Beach
Before her death, Genyte Dirse’s life was the focus of a contentious court battle.
After she sold part of her St. Pete Beach property to her grandnephew for $50,000, when the property value was near $500,000, a realtor arranged to have Ms. Dirse put in the state guardianship program, saying her relative was exploiting her.
The two court cases about Ms. Dirse and her property will continue even after her death. It had been more than a year since her grandnephew was last able to speak with her.
Mary DiSalvo, 93, Lakeland
Her fun-loving personality and infectious smile will be how family and friends remember Mary DiSalvo. When she told a story, she laughed all the way through it. DiSalvo, who was born in Italy, was a retired seamstress who had worked at the West Point Military Academy Tailor Shop. DiSalvo also loved to sing, cook and was a dedicated member of All Saints Catholic Church.
Gary Dorling, 59, Tampa
Gary Dorling was a machinist who liked golf and old cars.
He was married 34 years and had two daughters. His relatives recalled how he was “strong, healthy, active” before he got sick with the coronavirus. “He would want the world to know to take this terrible virus seriously and protect yourself and others,” they wrote.
William “Bill”Downs, 81, Gulfport
Bill Downs never met a tool he didn’t like, his family said. After serving in the Vietnam War, Mr. Downs worked on a number of industrial projects, including a Navy aircraft, the Space Shuttle and the Apollo Lunar Module. Mr. Downs liked the outdoors, especially the North Carolina mountains, and classic cars.
Russell Douton, 92, Seminole
Those who knew of Russell Douton may have known him by a different name: Windy, or perhaps the Balloonatic. Mr. Douton performed magic and balloon art for decades alongside his wife, Maryellen “Sunny” Douton. The two traveled up and down the east coast in an RV for more than 25 years and continued to perform after settling in Largo.
In 1975, the couple was featured in the Brevard County newspaper Florida Today — Sunny in a candy-striped jacket, presenting a young girl with a balloon swan; Windy wearing thick glasses and a handlebar mustache, blowing into a balloon with a mischievous look.
“It’s like the kids today say — we’re ‘doing our own thing,’ and we’re having a good time, and making a buck too,” Windy told the reporter.
Sunny died in 2015; the two had been married 65 years. Before his death, Windy was living at Seminole’s Freedom Square retirement community, which has become a COVID-19 hotspot.
Gary Joseph Eccher, 64, Citrus Springs
Gary Joseph Eccher was known as the owner of Dream Kitchens and Baths of Crystal River, as well as the Dunnellon branch of Crystal Paint and Decorating, his family’s business. He attended Gulf to Lake Baptist Church and loved to spend time with his family, who knew him as the Grill Master.
His sister, Pamela Davis, had a painting of him commissioned by St. Petersburg artist Margaret Bayalis.
Dayana Echeverry, 38, Brandon
Dayana Echeverry was born in Colombia and grew up in Queens. She loved unicorns and all things pink. She met her future husband — who she called “my Tony” — in law school. The two married in Las Vegas in 2018.
She was a passionate attorney. In her valedictory speech in law school, she told classmates “We are fighters; dare I say, scrappy... Remember what we’ve been through and who we are, and remember our story. We may not know what is ahead, but we will persevere.”
George Egolf, 89, Pinellas Park
George Egolf grew up in the Panama Canal zone and made his career there as a machinist, after serving in the Korean War.
He first caught site of his future wife on the first day of high school. People said she was snobby, but Egolf said, “I’m going to marry her,” his daughter said. The couple eloped when they were 19 and were married 69 years.
In retirement, they relocated to Pinellas County, where Egolf enjoyed meeting his brother for breakfast every day and working on furniture and house projects. “He was a mister fix-it,” his daughter said.
[Tampa Bay Times]
Concetta “Connie” Ennor, 101, St. Petersburg
Connie Ennor was loved by all, including her daughter, granddaughter and two great-grandchildren. In 1991, the Tampa Bay Times wrote about her and husband Al’s 50th anniversary, which they celebrated with a weekend trip to Naples. The couple had moved to Florida in 1977 from St. Louis and enjoyed activities at the Sunshine Center.
Anthony Fabrizio, 93, Seminole
“Even into his 10th decade of life," his obituary begins, "Anthony Fabrizio began each day by doing 100 sit-ups. That’s what he told his family, anyway, and nobody doubted him. Anthony’s obsession with staying strong and healthy was legendary.”
Mr. Fabrizio, a New York City native who moved to Florida in 1954, ran more than a dozen marathons, said his son, Daryle Fabrizio. He got into running and biking toward the end of his career and doubled down on the hobbies in retirement.
He kept running into his 70s, then biking into his 80s. When he moved into an apartment at Freedom Square, a retirement community, he kept fit on a stationary bike, his son said, until he had a heart attack late last year.
[Tampa Bay Times, Legacy]
Forest Farley, 73, Tampa
Forest Farley served as director of the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa and later worked at Bay Pines in St. Petersburg. Previously, he ran the VA hospital in Lexington, Ky.
A University of South Florida graduate, Farley served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and received three Purple Hearts. He is survived by his wife, three children, 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Barbara Farrell, 85, Seminole
Affectionately known as one of “The Badland Babes,” a group of four friends, Barbara Farrell was an avid fossil hunter. In addition to her search for pieces of creatures long gone, Ms. Farrell loved living animals, too, and volunteered for both the SPCA and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
She attended St. Paul’s High School in St. Petersburg and got degrees from both the University of Tampa and the University of South Florida. She taught at local elementary schools and was remembered for her sharp sense of humor, “mischievous green eyes” and her Uncle Marty cake recipe.
Joseph “Chuck” Fernandez, 53, Lakeland
A Plant City High School graduate and former Boy Scout, Chuck Fernandez rooted for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and enjoyed cruise vacations.
Sometimes, he delighted in a rum and coke. His mother was at his side when he died.
Elias Figueroa, 63, Tampa
From Panama to the Burger King on Dale Mabry Highway, Elias Figueroa made lifelong connections wherever he went.
Mr. Figueroa was born in Puerto Rico and joined the Army in his early 20s. While stationed in Panama, he married Ross Hubbard, his “souvenir” and wife of more than 30 years. He was known for his gentle manner and for being the family comedian who wanted to make sure everyone had fun.
After contracting COVID-19 during the summer, Mr. Figueroa’s lungs suffered irreparable damage, and for three months, he fought to stay alive.
“Elias was a fierce fighter until the very end, and his family is very proud of him,” his family wrote. “He will truly be missed and forever in our hearts.”
Colene Flannigan, 92, Palm Harbor
Born and raised in Charlotte, N.C., Colene Flannigan was a long-time member of the Durham Memorial Baptist Church. She worked as a payroll specialist and in her free time, she loved to travel with her husband of 56 years, Jack.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
Belle Wade Frame, 96, Pinellas Park
Valedictorian and homecoming queen of her Mississippi High School, Wade Frame graduated from Delta State University, got married and became a mother. She launched a kindergarten in her own home, then founded a kindergarten at two Episcopal churches. She kept going, becoming an elementary school teacher, then a junior high English teacher.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Obituary]
Rosemarie Gabriele, 71, Dade City
Rosemarie Gabriele was the only person her granddaughter knew who could get a discount at any store, sale or not. She loved opera, European travel and mashing the buttons of the Hard Rock’s mega machine. A stubborn Sicilian-American family woman, she was equally devoted and independent, making as many birthdays and recitals as she could.
Until the end, she resisted relatives’ worries. Then she said: “We never know when God is going to call us back."
Robert Gaines, 81, Tampa
Robert Gaines got his love of cooking from his mother. A member of the Local 1207 Union, he worked as a foreman in high-rise construction until retirement. Before making a life for himself in Tampa, and long before Citrus County schools were desegregated, he was a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School, class of 1957.
He was buried in Inverness, where he was born.
[Medical examiner, obituary]
Harold F. Gens, Jr., 86, Largo
After graduating from Florida State University with degrees in English and engineering, Harold F. Gens served in the U.S. Army and Marine Corps during the Korean War. He moved back to Florida in the late 1970s, where he worked as an engineer for 20 years. In his spare time, he was a dedicated writer and lover of poetry — his favorite was Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost. He also enjoyed sailing, golfing and playing guitar.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Moss Feaster Funeral Home and Cremation Services]
Costas Gianaros, 78, Tarpon Springs
For 20 years, Costas Gianaros served in the United States Air Force, retiring as a master sergeant. He worked as an electrical engineer for 25 years.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
John Giancola, 76, Tampa
John Giancola founded the communications department at the University of Tampa in 1984 and taught video there for more than 20 years. During his career, he wrote for network television and served as director of media arts for the New York State Council of the Arts, and some of his work was archived at the Smithsonian Institution. He was particularly fond of independent film.
Richard Goetze, 84, Pinellas Park
Before his retirement, Richard Goetze served in the Navy but also as a chief engineer in the Merchant Marines and as a lieutenant commander in the Coast Guard. He had seven great-grandchildren.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
Clifford Gooding, 58, Gulfport
Sgt. 1st Class Clifford R. Gooding, an Active Guard Reserve soldier, spent his days as the maintenance supervisor for the 301st Field Hospital in St. Petersburg. He spent 27 years in the Army, most of it in the reserve, and had a wife and children. His sister said he could make anyone laugh.
Donald V. Graham Sr., 93, Treasure Island
Donald V. Graham Sr. was big on numbers. He was a former Internal Revenue Service agent and Air Force reservist who had a knack for picking stocks.
Graham and his wife eventually settled in Florida, where they created a condo management, accounting and real estate firm. He worked until he was 82.
Harriet Granstrom, 92, Clearwater
Harriet Granstrom was born in Finland. After World War II, she worked as a nanny in England. She immigrated to the United States in the 1950s, sponsored by her sister. She worked in the Pinellas County Public Works Financial Services office.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
Vincent Greco, 80, Largo
Vincent Greco’s obituary is short, but the tributes alongside it tell his story: “He helped me through one of the worst times of my life.” “My memories often include his blue Harley.” “He had a hearty laugh and a crooked smile.” “Vinny had gentle, swift and skillful hands with his barber scissors and gave the best bear hug ever!” “I loved him very much since 1988 and I have many memories, both good and bad.” “By watching Vinny, I learned how to be a good bike rider because he was the best! Hard-headed, big-hearted, old-school Sicilian Vinny.”
[Medical examiner, obituary]
Stephanie Louise Hancock, 51, St. Petersburg
Stephanie Hancock moved to St. Petersburg from Key West, where she worked in graphic design, wrote organizational newsletters and volunteered for the American Lung Association.
She “never met a stranger” and loved to sing and dance, her family wrote. She had underlying health conditions but never let that hold her back. In her last week of life, her siblings called and told her how much they loved her and how proud they were of her.
Donald Lewis Hand, 78, Clearwater
Donald Hand was a pipe organ design engineer and an accomplished organist and carillonneur, leading choirs at many churches in Connecticut and Florida.
He was proud of his over 100 organ installations, particularly at the Inter-American University Chapel in Puerto Rico, The Shiroishi White Cube Concert Hall in Japan and his final project, First Baptist in Washington, D.C.
He loved music, reading and history and was a descendant of the Mayflower Pilgrims.
Robert “Bob” Harvard, 62, Largo
Bob Harvard liked to spend days at the beach flying kites, bowling and playing PlayStation with his son and granddaughter. Mr. Harvard worked as an engineer for 31 years and planned to retire in December to travel the United States with his wife. A Navy veteran, he often volunteered at veterans’ parades.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Veterans Funeral Care]
Catherine Haubenreich, 88, Palm Harbor
Catherine Haubenreich was a captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve Nurse Corps. For more than 40 years, she worked in the nursing field, often as a supervisory nurse and educator. In her retired life, she attended and volunteered at Catholic churches.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Dignity Memorial]
Willie Haywood Sr., 94, Brandon
Willie Haywood Sr. served in the U.S. Army during World War II, then worked as an industrial worker and truck driver in New Jersey.
He retired to Florida in 1994 and was a member of Beulah MB Church in Ft. Meade. He is survived by six children, 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Cynthia Hazzard-Hettinger, 76, Pine Ridge
Cynthia Hazzard-Hettinger spent decades of her life devoted to music and music education, especially for youth. She played in the Boston Women’s Symphony, led music education courses at Rhode Island College and later taught in New Hampshire, where she was given the title of Master Teacher and sat on the state’s music educator board of directors. She founded a symphony orchestra for young New Englanders and ran it for a decade until retiring to Florida.
Mary Ellen Hendrickson, 83, Sebring
Mary Ellen Hendrickson took pleasure in caring for her family, cooking meals and sewing clothes for her children. Before starting a family, Ms. Hendrickson worked as a secretary for Breyers Ice Cream. She enjoyed golfing and going to casinos to play bingo.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Banks/Page-Theus Funerals and Cremations]
Robert “Bob” Hepp, 83, Pinellas County
Bob Hepp hailed from Ohio but spent much of his adult life in Florida. He owned and was an architectural hardware consultant for Format Ten Inc. in Pinellas Park, then worked at Taylor Contract Hardware in Tampa for 25 years until his retirement.
Mr. Hepp kept busy in retirement: member and Stephen Minister at St. Paul United Methodist Church, president of the Clearwater chapter of the Kiwanis Club, district president of the Methodist Men of St. Petersburg, chairman of the Upper Pinellas County March of Dimes.
But he also had his hobbies, including wood working and maintaining saltwater fish tanks, and enjoyed spending time with his family. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sandy; three daughters; two brothers; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Adam Hergenreder, 32, Clearwater
Adam Hergenreder was a huge sports fan — especially for Tampa Bay teams. He watched them play on TV and had a collection of jerseys and hats to show his support.
His health prevented him from playing the sports he loved. He had diabetes, lifelong asthma and lung issues. Those issues contributed to Hergenreder’s early death, making him among Florida’s younger coronavirus victims.
He was loved by so many people, his family said, a testament to his kindness. Even while he was struggling with the virus, he was checking on friends and giving them words of encouragement.
“It’s really hard. Really, really hard, to deal with this virus,” his mother said. “It causes so much heartache.”
Raul Herrera, 63, Dade City
Raul Herrera was born in Tamazula de Gordiano, Jalisco, Mexico. When he was 20, he migrated to the United States with the hope of a better future for his family. He did construction labor and traveled across the country to work in orange, corn, blueberry and apple fields.
Mr. Herrera finally settled in Dade City, where he raised his family of eight children and later, 23 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He loved spending each weekend grilling for his family and playing dominoes with his brothers and sons. He savored his morning coffee and afternoon walks.
Hal Hevel, 86, Belleair
Married 66 years to his love, Betty, Hal Hevel was a father of five, grandfather of 11 and great-grandfather of 15. His family came first, and he worked to provide for them, first as a butcher, and then in Florida, as a meat manager at Publix.
He retired to North Carolina, where he liked to carve wood, hike and listen to jazz — as a dancer, he had a groove. His family loved his laugh.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Lillian Hives, 68, Dade City
A Christian, mother and homemaker, Lillian Hives liked to cook, fish and, as was her talent, find creative ways to fix things. She found Christ at an early age and considered herself totally devoted, preaching her love for the Lord and speaking in tongues. She often shared her conviction.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Freda Holmes, 87, Largo
Freda Holmes was born in Oklahoma City, Okla., and got a business degree before working as a pastoral secretary for over 30 years. According to her obituary, she loved her job immensely.
Ms. Holmes is survived by two daughters, four grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
[Pasco-Pinellas medical examiner, Dignity Memorial]
William “Bill” Honoski Jr., 89, Tarpon Springs
As a 19-year-old in Long Island, Bill Honoski Jr. led his band, “Bill Honoski and The Polka Time Band.” After leaving the Marines, Mr. Honoski worked as a carpenter, a craft he learned from his father after a day of schooling. He was a construction supervisor for a number of local projects, including the renovation of Pier 60 in Clearwater in the 1990s. A rabid sports fan, Mr. Honoski took up playing baseball as an adult and was an MVP. He loved Tampa Bay sports teams, especially the Lightning.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Dignity Memorial]
Terrence “Terry” Hooper, 76, Pinellas Park
Terry Hooper was part of the Teamsters Union as a truck delivery assistant. He was a huge fan of the Cleveland Browns and enjoyed horse racing. Whenever a family member or friend needed help, they could count on Hooper, according to his memorial page.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Tribute Archive]
Roy Hosey, 67, St. Petersburg
People knew Roy Hosey as Stick Man, the wood-carving artist who etched faces and words into tree branches, crafting one-of-a-kind canes.
As a kid in the steel-mill towns of Pennsylvania, Mr. Hosey roughhoused with older siblings, pretending to be The Little Rascals. In high school, he played defensive end, clocking in at 6′4″ and 275 pounds. He once knocked out a future NFL Hall-of-Famer.
As an adult, Mr. Hosey sketched faces for the FBI, then worked in fast-food management. He became a father. He lost his way for a while, but in recent years, found his way home to family in St. Petersburg. He cooked creative dinners, cared diligently for his ailing father and caught up on years of missed sunsets with his youngest brother.
Ernest Ihrig, 89, Seminole
After living in Massapequa Park, N.Y., Ernest Ihrig moved down to Seminole. Ihrig was a proud Air Force veteran and served in the Korean War. He leaves behind a daughter.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
Janet Israel, 66, Largo
Janet Israel loved to spend time around friends and family, and she had a number of birthday parties, family gatherings and other celebrations to bring people together. After graduating high school, she studied cosmetology and met the man she’d marry. The two liked to travel in their motor home together. She also enjoyed softball and cooking.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Brewer & Sons]
Donald Jack, 75, Seminole
Donald Jack was born and raised in Chicago but moved to Florida in 1976. He worked in construction and maintenance and rose to the top of his field, as the global construction and facilities manager for Jabil Circuits, said his son, Michael Jack.
Mr. Jack’s work took him all over the world: Malaysia, Hungary, his father’s birthplace in Scotland. Back home, he was a member of the Seminole Jaycees, a volunteer organization.
His two favorite things were golfing and the Chicago Cubs, his son said. He was such a Cubs fan that he wants his ashes spread at Wrigley Field.
“I don’t think it’s legal,” his son said, "but some of them are going on that field.”
Mr. Jack caught COVID-19 at Freedom Square of Seminole.
[Tampa Bay Times; Grasso Funeral, Memorial and Cremation Services]
Frank Jegen, 82, Treasure Island
Before he could drive a car, Frank Jegen owned an airplane. His passion for flying led him to work as a pilot at Delta Airlines, where he retired as a senior captain. Family said Jegen never stood still his entire life. Along with flying, he loved motorcycles, RVs and taking long sailing trips.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Dignity Memorial]
Tango Jessee, 92, Largo
Tango Jessee grew up in one-stoplight town in the Appalachian Mountains, her daughters said. At first a homemaker, Ms. Jessee became a widow at 37. She went to community college in her 40s and joined the workforce. She never remarried, instead filling her life with friends, civic clubs and crossword puzzles.
She came to the Sunshine State late in life to be closer to her daughters. She loved sand sculptures and fireworks on the beach. But soon, she was diagnosed with vascular dementia and moved into Freedom Square, a retirement community in Seminole that has become a hot spot for COVID-19.
She died about two weeks after testing positive for the virus.
Josias Jocelyn, 79, St. Petersburg
Josias Jocelyn was the pastor of Sanctification Haitian Baptist Church, which congregated inside the Christ United Methodist Church off 1st Avenue North. In 2016, he helped organize relief efforts after Hurricane Matthew decimated his home church in Haiti.
A parishioner remembered Mr. Jocelyn as having “a servant’s heart” and displaying “the epitome of strength, tenacity and intelligence.”
Wallace Johnson, 60, St. Petersburg
Known as “Wally-O,” Wallace Johnson was a longtime St. Petersburg resident who went to St. Petersburg High School and entertained people by playing the harmonica.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
Gaynell Jubrey, 85, Largo
Family and friends remember Gaynell Jubrey as a feisty personality. After years of declining health, she can return to that spirit in a new life, they said. Ms. Jubrey retired at 78 from the New York State Office for The Aging. She was charitable, quick-witted and liked bingo.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Ever Loved]
Diane K. Kade-Garza-Knouff, 65, Largo
Diane Kade-Garza-Knouff’s grandchildren remember her as a woman who drank pink Moscato and ordered Hawaiian pizzas. To her nieces and nephews, she was the aunt with all the answers; to her siblings, she was the sister always looking for a new adventure. According to her obituary, “she brightened the darkest of times.”
Theodore Kaduk, 71, New Port Richey
Born in West Virginia and a graduate of West Virginia University School of Dentistry, Theodore Kaduk worked as a dentist in New Port Richey for 41 years.
Outside of work, he enjoyed history, traveling and cats. His greatest joy was his three grandchildren.
Marion King, 62, Pinellas Park
She had a sprawling family, and to her 16 nieces and nephews, plus their spouses and children, Marion King was beloved, generous “Aunt Betty.”
On cruises and trips to Sanibel Island, Cape Cod and the Outer Banks, she relied on her favorite recipe for fun: Sun, water, family and friends. A property manager at the Castle Group, she was a lifelong learner, building business and management expertise through continuing education programs, including at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. She fought cancer three times, demonstrating over and over her courage and grace. At every appointment, she brought a smile, compliments and good spirits.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Alyce Kinsella, 94, St. Petersburg
As a devoted member of a Presbyterian church, Alyce Kinsella sang in the choir. She also volunteered with the Order of the Eastern Star for more than 60 years, often helping at the assisted living facility she would later call home.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Reese Funeral Home]
Thomas Kirmayer Jr., 84, Tampa
Thomas Kirmayer Jr. was a classic Madison Avenue ad man, with a quick wit and ready quips. He enjoyed hosting parties, like an annual Easter egg hunt, and made a famous Christmas punch. As an avid tennis player, he also enjoyed hosting tournaments and bringing people together for games. Mr. Kirmayer taught his daughter to sail, spent years working on a 1950s Ford pickup and started a ham radio station from his home. He had been suffering from advanced Parkinson’s disease at the time of his death.
Kathryn Koah, 81, New Port Richey
Kathryn Koah and her husband, Clyde, whom she was married to for 55 years, used to raise Shetland Sheepdogs together. Ms. Koah was also a pianist and organist at a variety of churches.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Dignity Memorial]
Mike Konrad, 64, Brooksville
A Tampa Bay Times editor for nearly 30 years, Mike Konrad was known for the little things: Birthday cards, airport rides and generous advice dispatched over long Friday lunches. Growing up, his family had started each day with the local newspaper and ended it with the evening dispatch, and by mid-high school, he had decided on a career in journalism. Several newspapers later, he arrived at the St. Petersburg Times. The Hernando bureau became his domain.
His pants and shirts were always pressed. His office, neat. His relationships with locals were, for a journalist who oversaw hard-hitting stories, remarkably rosy. His calm, fair sensibility earned him respect from both his Brooksville community and his Times team. With gentle writing guidance, in soft-spoken phone calls, he mentored a long line of reporters.
He toured baseball stadiums, still favoring his St. Louis Cardinals, and played clarinet for the Hernando Symphony Orchestra. He wanted to be remembered as a musician and baseball fan. He wrote, in advance of his own obituary: “He was a journalist who believed in the power of journalism to promote a fair democracy that works for everyone.”
Jose Huertas La Rosa, 71, Tampa
Born in Lima, Peru in 1948, Jose Huertas La Rosa worked as an accountant for years before moving to Tampa with his family. In Florida, he found his new path: Christianity, and a degree in theology. He went on to become pastor of the Jesus Amigo Fiel church, his obituary says, and served his Hispanic community through charity work.
He was a father, a husband and a huge fan of the Peruvian national soccer team — which he finally got to watch in the 2018 World Cup, breaking a 35-year drought.
[Hillsborough medical examiner, obituary]
Jean Lasner, 90, Largo
Originally from New Jersey, Jean Lasner moved to Florida with her family in 1976, one of her sons, Robert Lasner, told the Tampa Bay Times. She worked at a doctor’s office in downtown St. Petersburg for years until she retired.
As she got older, she moved into Cabot Cove, an assisted living facility in Largo. Robert took her to get her nails done or hair cut. They went out to eat once a week. She loved Cracker Barrel, where she usually ordered the daily special, except on fried fish Fridays. She didn’t care for fish.
Over the last few months, she needed a higher level of care than assisted living, her son said. She moved into Freedom Square at the end of March, just as the coronavirus was starting to spread across the state.
Daniel Lewis, 66, St. Petersburg
“No one was safe from becoming Dan’s new friend,” said Daniel Lewis’ son, Jonathan Lewis. The former ambulance driver was kind to everyone he met and a rock for his family, even offering them advice and words of support as his health declined from the virus.
Mr. Lewis had been at Freedom Square of Seminole, a retirement community, for a two-week rehabilitation program ordered by his doctors. He was starting to turn a corner, his family said, until the virus hit.
Rose-Marie Lewis, 89, Clearwater
Rose-Marie Lewis was an avid volunteer at her church, a passionate supporter of environmental preservation groups and a World War II movie buff. She loved to read and often took her dogs for long walks. Shortly after her family moved to Clearwater in 1952, she met the love of her life, David Lewis, and they were married for 50 years until his death.
Melissa Lindsay, 65, Pinellas Park
A free spirit, a flower child and a beauty queen is how Melissa Lindsay’s family remembers her. The oldest of seven, she embraced the Summer of Love, yet was still tradition-bound, entering beauty pageants: “She was such a raven-haired beauty like her mother that she earned the title of Miss Watervliet, even though her talent was starting a campfire with only a flint rock, leaves and sticks in order to burn all her bras on stage,” her obituary reads. “This is not actually the talent Missy performed, simply the one she wanted to perform.”
She had a near-encyclopedic recall of books and trivia and had read seemingly every author. After becoming a mother, she graduated as a registered nurse at age 35, focusing on geriatrics, as she was drawn to the vulnerable and lonely. She liked to put people at ease and listen to their stories. If she loved you, she was an unabashed fan, screaming to cheer you on from the stands — or creatively berating your opponent.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Richard Lisiewski, 69, Palm Harbor
A lifelong fan of the Patriots, Celtics and Red Sox, Richard Lisiewski loved watching sports and passed that passion onto his kids. A doting dad and grandfather, he bought collectible teddy bears for his daughters and collectible Hess trucks for his grandchildren.
Mr. Lisiewski served in the Marine Corps for two years and worked for General Dynamics, Newport News Shipyard and CDI Marine after attending an apprentice engineering program at the University of Connecticut.
Gary Lloyd, 76, New Port Richey
In New Port Richey, Gary Lloyd worked as a police officer until his retirement as a detective sergeant after nearly 20 years on the job. During his work, he attended Pasco Hernando Community College and got an associate’s degree in criminal justice. Before his police work, Lloyd served in the Marine Corps.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
Sandra Longoria, 54, Plant City
Sandra Longoria was born in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. The Plant City resident liked to spend time with her family, and she left behind her mother, four children, two grandchildren and several siblings. She attended Mana del Cielo Church in Riverview.
John Love, 86, South Pasadena
As a longtime resident of upstate New York, John Love was a dedicated public servant. For 45 years, he served as a volunteer firefighter. He also was elected to the Clarence Town Council, where he served four terms, focusing on a trails program, veterans' organizations, youth centers, conservation and more. He also taught arts and coached golf at the area schools.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Tribute Archive]
Sterling Magee, 84, Gulfport
As a blues musician, he was known as Satan.
Sterling Magee played with the likes of Marvin Gaye, Etta James and James Brown. He took the stage at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, part of the duo Satan and Adam. In between, he busked in Harlem, honing his own distinctive style.
Mr. Magee did not see despair in the blues, once saying: “Blue is one of the most beautiful colors in the world. The sky is blue, you got a clear day, people go out to the beach, the water’s blue. How do you associate blue with such a sad, slumped down state of unhappiness? That’s not the blues. Those are the clouds.”
John Marko, 82, St. Petersburg
John Marko did three tours in Vietnam during his 20-year service in the United States Air Force. He was a family man and known for funny remarks his loved ones called “Pop-Popisms.” He liked to help his family with renovation projects.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
Antonio Marroquin III, 41, Myakka City
Antonio Marroquin III was the first jail inmate to die of the coronavirus in Tampa Bay. Marroquin was booked on federal drug charges. His lawyer said he had two teenage children and a loving wife. “This whole thing is unfortunate,” his lawyer said. “We don’t impose the death penalty for a drug charge.”
John Alfred Marsh Jr., 90, Palm Harbor
John Marsh, known as “Doc” to his family for his concern for their health and safety, grew up in the Ocala National Forest. He served in the U.S. Army, then became a trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol, mostly in the Tampa Bay region.
He loved nature and the outdoors and making others laugh with his stories. For many years, he had a hunting camp in the Ocala National Forest.
Cheryl Massey, 56, St. Petersburg
Every year, Cheryl Massey started counting down to Christmas, at 364 days to go. She was the glue of the family, and every birthday party, vacation and sleepover with her grandkids was owed to her planning. Her faith in Jesus Christ was her most abiding passion, and she played an active role at St. Petersburg Presbyterian Church.
She was such a good listener that she made it her career, as a family counselor. Last year, she studied online at Liberty University, earning a master’s degree in human services, counseling, marriage and family. In September, the college will honor her by presenting her diploma to her husband, David, two children and six grandchildren.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Robert “Bob” Maxwell, 85, Land O' Lakes
Bob Maxwell loved to tinker. First as a radio communications repairman in Germany with the U.S. Army, later as a computer repair technician with IBM. He was always curious about how things worked. Writing and poetry were lifelong passions. He loved people and people-watching. In his spare time, he volunteered for a suicide awareness hotline.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Tribute Archive]
George Mayor Sr., 87, Tampa
Born in Ybor City, George Mayor Sr. married his high school sweetheart, Norma, and built a life with her in town during 67 years of marriage. He worked for TECO for more than 30 years and was a sergeant in the U.S. Army for two years, but in his spare time, he was passionate about coaching baseball. In 1978, the big league team he coached placed first in the nation and second in the world. He loved his grand-dog, Porky, and was devoted to family and God.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Dignity Memorial]
Helen Jeaneve Fite McClendon, 90, St. Petersburg
Helen McClendon loved cultivating beauty. She tended carefully to her garden. Her true passion, though, was for antiques. She restored antique furniture and founded a chapter of The Questers, which helps to preserve historical buildings. Her pride was a 200-year-old log cabin that she restored with her husband until moving to Florida in 2017.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
Vester Eugene “Gene” McCaslin, 63, Gulfport
For more than three decades, Gene McCaslin worked at St. Petersburg College. He also volunteered as a scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts for 17 years, keeping in touch with his Scouts for years after they left the program. Mr. McCalsin was a jack of all trades, family said, and loved teaching his sons all he could. He enjoyed campfires and spending time in the woods.
Geraldine “Gerry” McCloskey, 86, Pinellas Park
Gerry McCloskey excelled at bowling, played softball and then took up golf. She moved to Tampa Bay in 1962, where she eventually became an assistant financial manager for Graybar Electric and met her life partner. Together, they raised two children.
She survived colon cancer 30 years ago and esophageal cancer five years ago. “Through it all, she kept her sense of humor and kept Sally in line,” her family writes.
Patricia Elizabeth McCracken, 85, Temple Terrace
A former state social worker, Patricia McCracken lived by a “pay it forward” credo. A longtime member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa, she held a psychology degree from Barnard College and had come to Florida from New York.
McCracken enjoyed traveling and reading. She listened to jazz and liked fine art.
“She was always available to anyone in need,” her family recalled. “All she asked in return was to do something for someone else who needed help.”
Anthony McGlone, 73, Tampa
In the later part of Anthony McGlone’s life, he grew interested in playing the ukelele. Mr. McGlone, known to be outgoing and charismatic, also loved baseball. He coached his children in the sport and was a big fan of the Rays. For more than 20 years, Mr. McGlone ran his own business. In his spare time, he volunteered with LifePath Hospice.
Edna Pearl McKinney, 76, Largo
Edna McKinney was a Largo native who grew up to become a nursing assistant and a military wife.
Her job took her from classrooms to hospitals, and she won many awards for her work ethic. Ms. McKinney also served as a deaconess of the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church and participated in the church’s Senior Women Ministry and Mass Choir.
Rhonda McNeiece, 68, Largo
Rhonda McNeiece moved to Florida when she was around 20 and spent nearly three decades working for Hunter Douglas. She was a dedicated member of the Elks, the Moose Lodge and the American Legion. She lived to see the birth of two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Joseph Means, 60, Wesley Chapel
Joseph Means was intense in his work ethic but comfortable around people. A decorated, retired colonel of the U.S. Air Force, where he served for nearly three decades, he moved to Wesley Chapel with his family in 2007 and was a vice president at the government services company Perspecta. He could make anyone laugh. His friends called him Maine.
Thomas Minichillo, 74, Clearwater Beach
Terri Terzini-Minichillo was married to Thomas Minichillo for more than 50 years. She said he was the kindest person she’d ever known.
Their evening routine for many years involved visiting the beach and watching the sunset. He had longed to leave rehab and get back home. He’d tell his wife: "I just want to go for a walk with you.”
Lucinda Mondragon, 36, Palmetto
Lucinda Mondragon was a mother of six and the wife of Ramiero, the love of her life. She had been attending Galen College to fulfill her dream of becoming a registered nurse.
According to her obituary, Ms. Mondragon was the life of the party but always made sure everyone was having a great time. She loved margaritas.
[Pasco-Pinellas medical examiner, Dignity Memorial]
Dorothy Hanson Moore, 70, Dade City
Dorothy Moore knew the name of almost every butterfly and flower found in Florida. She was a mother, teacher and eventually a volunteer Pasco Master Gardener, trained by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Friends remembered her as passionate about sharing her love for gardening and always excited to show kids caterpillars and chrysalis at the butterfly exhibit at the annual fair. The University of Florida Foundation launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a scholarship in her name, to support Pasco Master Gardener continuing education opportunities.
Sharon Jo “Mort” Morten, 75, Largo
Originally from Illinois, Sharon Morten was a teacher who considered students and clients part of her extended family. She began her career teaching at Largo High School and eventually served as a counselor and a child advocacy coordinator with the guardian ad litem program.
“Love describes my philosophy,” she wrote. “The most beautiful experience for us is the acceptance that we extend to each other.”
Donna Mortensen, 98, St. Petersburg
In Washington, Donna Mortensen ran the kitchen at the Wesley Foundation and was considered a mother to the student residents. In Florida, she volunteered at a number of hospitals. St. Petersburg General Hospital gave her the Frist Humanitarian award.
She also raised money for Southeastern Guide Dogs through the hospital gift shop. Each holiday, she’d make a tray of favors for the patients in the hospital.
Georgia “Rita” Mosely, 73, Dade City
Rita Mosely was a cook and housekeeper at a Dade City nursing home and later studied to be a registered nurse. Her family wrote in her obituary that she marched with Martin Luther King Jr. She loved her big family, all the way down to her great-grandchildren.
She was a straight shooter, her relatives said, who told it like it was. They wrote: “Georgia’s favorite color was blue and favorite foods were field peas and cornbread.”
Hildegarde “Mae” Mutimer, 81, Dunedin
Mae Mutimer married Bob, her high school sweetheart, in 1958. She was an animal lover, a bookkeeper for her husband’s family business and a mother of three. She liked to be part of the community, as a member of many groups, and was an outgoing face behind the concession stand at Dunedin Little League baseball games. She liked to walk the local beaches, paint watercolor landscapes and escape to the Smoky Mountains in the fall.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Craig Nakashian, 75, Gulfport
In Massachusetts, Craig Nakashian taught middle-schoolers math for more than three decades. In his spare time, he loved to water ski, garden and root on the New York Giants. He and his wife retired to Gulfport in 2018.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
Vincent Narcisi, 91, Seminole
Once an Army medic in the Korean War, Vincent Narcisi went on to run an electronics business in St. Pete Beach for decades. TV & Music Center sold Sony products, with Mr. Narcisi and one of his sons, Bruce, at the healm.
Another son, Todd Brusko, described a gentle but firm father, one who never spanked or yelled but instilled the importance of school and work ethic.
After testing positive for COVID-19, Mr. Narcisi hung on for weeks in the hospital, a testament to his grit, Brusko said. After his death, Brusko took to Twitter.
“If you think you are being tough for not wearing a mask and continue to go out into large crowds, I can assure you that you are not. If you keep it up, chances are good that you will survive, but someone like my father will not.
“When that happens, I can assure you that if there is an afterlife, some day you will have to meet my father, and when you do, I can see him punching you square in the face.”
[Tampa Bay Times]
Harry Nash, 75, Madeira Beach
Harry Nash owned DoraLynn Books in Madeira Beach, where he sold used paperbacks to tourists and locals looking for a beach read. Before that, he was a fixture at book fairs for years and kept two storage units full of books.
As a child, he spent most of his time outdoors and loved to hunt for snakes, his sister said. Mr. Nash’s father was a hotel manager, and the family split the year between St. Pete Beach and Massachusetts — which meant an endless summer.
“They called him Happy Harry,” his sister said.
Mr. Nash was discharged from a hospital to Seminole Pavilion at Freedom Square in late March. Weeks later, the facility was hit with a major coronavirus outbreak.
[Tampa Bay Times]
George “Moose” Near, 72, Zephyrhills
George Near, “Moose” as he was known to friends, died on June 28. His friends and family plan to have a “drive-thru” memorial. Near leaves behind his wife, Poppy, and two sons.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Hodges Funeral Home]
Pamela Nickell, 78, St. Petersburg
Pamela Nickell “bled University of Kentucky blue,” family said. Throughout her life, she was active in Sarasota County and served as the chief legislative aide to a number of state representatives.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
Dorothy “Dotty” Norkus, 83, Clearwater
Dotty Norkus was a lifelong baseball fan, rooting at first for the New York Mets and later in her life for the Tampa Bay Rays. She volunteered at SPCA Tampa Bay to get more animals into loving homes.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
Donald Noyes, 90, St. Petersburg
Donald Noyes joined the Merchant Marines at 17, at least until his mother found out and put a stop to it. After high school, he served in the Army for two years. He spent 30 years at Hallmark Cards, traveled abroad and married three times, always to an independent woman. He had a salesman’s knack for gab and was a renowned storyteller, poker player and bookworm who often loaned out his books.
After a massive stroke affected his ability to speak in 1998, he figured out other ways to communicate. He was a founding member of the Treasure Island Curling Team and never stopped bragging about the fact that Bette Davis babysat him when she was in high school.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Frances “Francey” Margaret Oliva, 73, Madeira Beach
Francey Oliva was a woman of many talents. She moved to Tampa in 1964 and over the years, she worked as a dental assistant, bookkeeper, secretary and hairdresser — and finally opened her own salon, Francey Hair Design.
“As a wife she possessed all the qualities a man could have ever fantasized or hoped for,” her husband wrote. She also made sure the couple never went to bed angry.
Marion “Red” Ostdiek, 88, Sun City Center
The fourth of 13 children from a tiny town in Nebraska, Red Ostdiek served 29 years as a U.S. Air Force officer, earning a Bronze Star. According to his obituary, his work touched three aircraft used by a former president, the cruise missile program — even the space shuttle Columbia. In retirement, he became president of the local chapter of the Military Officers Association of America. He loved to dig deep into his family’s genealogy and relaxed by playing golf and bridge. He and his wife were married 64 years.
Lester Osteen, 88, Lutz
Lester Osteen lived many years in Lutz. He was a proud veteran, involved in the Marine Corps League Post #1440, and a member of the Lutz Church of Christ.
[Loyless Funeral Homes, Tampa Bay Times]
Robert “Rob” Frank Pacchiarotti, 54, Spring Hill
Rob Pacchiarotti is the first law enforcement officer believed to have died from the coronavirus in the Tampa Bay area. He enjoyed a 27-year career with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, working in a variety of positions, including patrol, training, warrants and the Teen Driver Challenge. He eventually earned the title of master deputy.
Mr. Pacchiarotti volunteered as a scoutmaster to help boys like his son Anthony advance through the Boy Scouts program. As senior adviser for Explorer Post 409, he helped guide many teens into law enforcement careers.
In retirement, he spent time camping, boating, planning family vacations and riding his bike all around town. He was “busier than ever,” according to his obituary. He started a business called Red Shirt Training to provide security guard training and concealed weapons classes. Mr. Pacchiarotti also earned a master’s degree in public administration and had started to work in financial planning with the hope of helping other law enforcement officers prepare for retirement.
Two months before he died, he was sworn in as a reserve deputy for the Port Richey Police Department.
Paul Page, 86, Clearwater
Paul Page loved living in the Rocky Mountains and as a longtime Colorado resident, his favorite song was Rocky Mountain High by John Denver. For years, Page worked as a copy editor for different area newspapers, including The Denver Post for more than two decades. Born on a farm, Page put himself through college in Detroit by working at an automobile plant. Family said he’d help anyone who needed it, whether it was a ride somewhere, some money or a home-cooked meal. He was a Jeopardy wiz and loved the Broncos.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
Franca Panettone, 46, Spring Hill
One day, Franca Panettone would have her own home. It would be painted purple, her favorite, and filled with furniture she picked herself. She liked going to church and coffee and Gilligan’s Island. She loved her family.
They were never apart, not until she went into the hospital. Before she died, her family video chatted with her. “She looked like an angel, she really did,” her sister said.
Sandra Panopoulos, 92, Palm Harbor
Family reminisced about Sandra Panopoulous’ hosted Christmases, how she was the life of the party and how glamorous she was. Her son wrote that she was the best mother he could ask for and stood up for him no matter what. She also loved to craft and read, friends said.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, MossFeaster Funeral Home]
Nicholas Pape III, 52, St. Petersburg
Nicholas Pape grew up moving from place to place, bounced by his dad’s military job. He went to the University of Connecticut, fell in love with the Huskies men’s basketball team, pledged Sigma Phi Epsilon. He fell in love, married Charisse and, a few cities later, found St. Petersburg. He was “loved by everybody,” his obituary says, kind and gentle.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Dioscora Parido, 90, Pinellas Park
In her native Philippines, Dioscora Parido’s education halted after sixth grade, cut short by World War II. She had an ear for languages, though, and when her husband, Julio, died early, she took over his grocery with ease. At “Parido’s Store,” she employed her family, sent her daughters to college and supplied college-age employees with tuition, uniforms, room and board.
Her taste in fashion and jewelry was elegant, but she didn’t forget where she had come from. She poured money into Calbayog City, sponsoring the hometown fiesta and, as a faithful Catholic, building a rural community chapel. She kept running the grocery even as she moved to the United States to help raise her grandchildren. They often heard her singing — a recent favorite was You Are My Sunshine — and anticipated her requests for a ride to Taco Bell for Nachos Supreme. She loved karate thrillers and gardened fruits and vegetables, orchids and roses.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Ronald Partin, 81, Tampa
For most of Ronald Partin’s life, he was a devout Christian, even working as a pastor. He spent more than 30 years leading the choir at the Faith Independent Missionary Baptist Church and teaching adult Sunday school classes. He and his wife would travel to different churches and sing in groups, including one where they sang with their daughter and granddaughter.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Dignity Memorial]
Darla Perry, 56, Tampa
She poured her creativity into scrapbooks, sewing projects and her famous pumpkin oatmeal raisin cookies. She was a generous friend and mother, up for early-morning phone calls. On beach trips and Disney cruises to Castaway Cay, she loved most of all to see the water.
[Hillsborough medical examiner, obituary and virtual visitation]
Deo Persaud, 80, St. Petersburg
Deo Persaud was a well-known businessman and member of the Lions Club in his native Guyana. He later brought his family to New Jersey, where he became a real estate investor before moving down to Florida.
His family remembers him as a role model for many in his community and “a caring and devoted family man.”
Ruby Weaver Pitt, 99, St. Petersburg
Ruby Weaver Pitt traveled across the United States for her work in the hospitality industry, and once she settled in Florida, she trained a number of young waitresses at St. Petersburg’s Chatterbox restaurant. She helped found the Tampa Bay Carnival Glass Club and was an avid collector. She loved to play bridge with friends at the Snell Isle Women’s Club and was always dressed up, often in her favorite color, pink.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
Betty Mauvoureen Boggess Placke, 93, St. Petersburg
In her attempt to help America’s World War II effort, Betty Placke inspected bullets at an ammunition plant after she graduated high school. She farmed in her home state, MIssouri, for many years. There, she also volunteered with the Boy and Girl Scouts and served as den mother for a chapter of the Cub Scouts.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Bittiker Funeral Homes]
Sister Mary Patricia Plumb, 83, Tampa
“One of Bayshore Boulevard’s most beloved nuns,” as a Times reporter wrote, Sister Mary Patricia Plumb was always in motion, even when it came down to relying on “that confounded walker.” New restaurants, bookstores, a competitive game of dominoes — everything called to Patsy. Getting worn out was not a concept she understood.
She was the 23rd person born at Mease Hospital in Clearwater. In 1955, she graduated from South Tampa’s Academy of the Holy Names, then spent four decades serving the school, which runs from Pre-K through 12th grade (the high school being all-girls). She did it all: Teacher, vice principal, campus minister, even softball assistant. She was a diehard fan of the school’s athletics. Off the job, she liked a cop novel paired with Jack Daniel’s and water on the rocks.
Carlos Policarpio, 80, Tampa
In the Philippines, Carlos Policarpio found God when he was young. He became deeply involved in the Catholic Church, joining groups like the Brotherhood of Christian Businessman and Oasis of Love Community. He studied banking and finance, and when he moved to the U.S. in 1998, he kept up both his career and his faith, becoming a fixture of St. Paul Catholic Church. His greatest love was his family, whose members know that Mr. Policarpio spent most of his time praying for others. They believe his prayers surround them still.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Obituary]
Kevin Poorman, 63, Palm Harbor
Kevin Poorman was an avid fan of ham radio and was part of the Upper Pinellas Amateur Radio Club. Using the call sign KV4CT, Mr. Poorman never missed a chance to volunteer. “We will miss his calming voice, kindness and his passion for ham radio,” the club’s vice president said.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Upper Pinellas Amateur Radio Club]
Tonita Booher Preston, 95, St. Petersburg
Tonita Booher Preston was a longtime teacher, after earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the field. Later, she worked as a realtor associate in Jacksonville until moving to St. Petersburg in the 1990s. She enjoyed painting and drawing, and was a devoted Methodist.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Anderson McQueen]
Charles Richard “Dick” Preston, 68, Brandon
Each night, Dick Preston prayed for his children — three that he fathered, three he adopted, two others he loved as his own and dozens of foster children that he took in over the years.
Mr. Preston was born in Columbus, Ohio, and graduated from Franklin University with a bachelor’s degree in business and computer science. He worked as an IT manager before his recent retirement to Florida, the place where he met and married his wife of 42 years, Dena.
According to his obituary, he was his wife’s “most dedicated supporter, always by her side and involved in whatever job or cause she engaged in.” They attended Beit Tehila Congregation in Brandon, with two grandchildren, worshiping Jesus while learning the Hebrew roots of Christianity.
Among Mr. Preston’s survivors are 16 grandchildren. The final words he said to his family were: “I want to see you again. You can see me again, too, if you follow Jesus!”
Christopher Pugh, 84, Seminole
Christopher Pugh was a longtime member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church. He also loved golf, maps and singing and dancing.
Mr. Pugh was a resident at the Seminole nursing home with an outbreak of the coronavirus. His family asked that donations, in lieu of flowers, be made to Parkinson’s research.
Alice JoAnn Hooper Reck and Sam Reck, 86 and 90, Lakeland
The “Romeo and Juliet” of Lakeland, JoAnn and Sam Reck couldn’t be kept apart. When JoAnn, a former nurse, got sick with COVID-19, her husband of nearly 30 years insisted on a deathbed goodbye. Family members believe Sam contracted the virus then. They asked if he regretted his visit. He replied immediately: “Not one second.” Three weeks later, he died, too.
The couple traveled the country in a Winnebago to attend bluegrass festivals, where Sam played banjo or guitar and JoAnn showcased her voice and autoharp. When she developed dementia and moved into a skilled nursing unit, Sam would see her from his second-floor balcony while she sat below in the shade — hence “Romeo and Juliet,” as they came to be known.
Evelyn Reed, 93, Palm Harbor
Evelyn Reed graduated from nursing school in 1948 and, two years later, married the man who would become her partner in business, too. At first, she helped Thomas with his dental practice, store and family farm in Tennessee. After moving to Florida in 1970, they launched a dental practice in Tarpon Springs, then Dunedin.
At home with family, she was revered for her Southern cooking. Her life was full of activity, from the Lions Club to the George Young United Methodist Church to the Tarpon Springs Yacht Club. She loved dancing and playing the piano and organ. She volunteered at St. Mark Village, where she eventually moved.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Blanche Reedy, 69, St. Petersburg
Blanche Lee Jordan Reedy was a minister and 1968 graduate of Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg. She is survived by a son and daughter, three brothers, five sisters, two grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
“Blanche will forever be remembered and missed by the many lives she touched and changed with her testimony and spiritual walk,” a woman who said she was a friend wrote in a comment on Ms. Reedy’s obituary. “She was real.”
“She loved the Lord so much,” wrote another. “Thank God she never gave up on me.”
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Obituary]
Dorothy Reichert, 81, Plant City
Dorothy Reichert was a down to-earth homemaker, originally from Mount Kisko, N.Y. With a large family in the Plant City area, she was constantly at a relative’s house or playing cards and bingo with her friends. “Her whole gist was just being around family and friends,” her daughter-in-law said.
One granddaughter said she’ll miss Ms. Reichert’s natural humor and sarcasm. “Going on our day trips, long phone calls, playing rummy all day together while you made me ramen...and of course...playing bingo together,” she wrote.
After suffering a fall in February, Ms. Reichert was placed in Community Convalescent Center in Plant City to recover. Instead, she contracted COVID-19 during a major outbreak at the facility.
[The Tampa Bay Times, Obituary]
Justine Reish, 102, Largo
Born in 1918 in Ohio, she became an executive secretary for 40 years. It was at the M. O’Neil Co. that she met the love of her life, Don. They were married in 1944. She loved God and her family, her obituary reads: “She was a model for us of how to live with kindness, respect, and dignity.”
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Sheila Remley, 83, and Jim Ayotte, 85, Largo
Sheila Remley died at Morton Plant Hospital with a nurse holding her hand. She was popular at her mobile home park community, hosting parties and dinners. According to her daughter, she had just started dating a fellow resident, Jim Ayotte. He, too, died after contracting the virus.
Ms. Remley loved to travel. In May, she had planned a cruise to Amsterdam.
Lois Renz, 73, Tampa
Lois Renz moved to Tampa in the late 1960s after serving in the U.S. Air Force, and quickly made it her home. Her kids called her “Mez,” and her grandkids called her Grammy. She stayed close with her friends, better known as “The Group.” Every month, all 14 of them got together, knowing they could look forward to Ms. Renz’s funny stories and her laugh.
She was a Girl Scout leader, a Straz Performing Arts Center volunteer and a breast cancer survivor. She loved books, goats, The Beatles, English soccer and English TV shows — Poldark, especially.
Her family noted in her obituary: “We would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff on the COVID unit at Advent Health Tampa on Fletcher Ave. for their loving care of Lois in her final days.”
Astrid Reyes, 6, Tampa
Astrid Reyes died days before her seventh birthday.
Less than a year earlier, she had finished a long and perilous trip from Honduras to America, seeking asylum.
Astrid liked to draw and to paint. She was picking up a new language.
“We wanted to send her to school, for her to start first grade,” her mother said.
Robert Robinson, 73, Pinellas Park
When Bob Robinson’s daughter Teri Sue died, he became an ordained minister. He wanted to be a source of comfort, performing wedding ceremonies, counseling people and being a generous presence at a loved one’s end-of-life celebration.
An Ohio native, he and his wife of 55 years, Susan, moved to Florida in 2017. He took to playing euchre with friends and loved doing a crossword while roasting in the sun. “He was funny, and his straightforward candor drew people to him,” his obituary said. He had a lot of loves, including the Yankees and Ohio State football, but most of all spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Pierre Roche, 74, Riverview
If he heard a song that moved him, Pierre Roche was known to get up and dance. He loved music, singing and playing the drums. He also liked soccer and wrestling.
His family said what they remember most fondly about Mr. Roche was his devotion to Christ.
[Hillsborough County medical examiner, Serenity Meadows]
Henry Rodriguez, 53, Indian Rocks Beach
Henry Rodriguez grew up in Tampa, eventually graduating from the University of Tampa. He went on to work as an event planner for Disney in both Florida and California, as well as Sandals Resorts. He suffered from health issues much of his life but was comforted by lots of family, his partner, Robert, and his faithful dog, Beau. Mr. Rodriguez loved to cook for them and often experimented with recipes and cuisines.
Juan Rojas, 66, Dade City
As a pastor, Juan Rojas shared his testimony and love of God with others in Dade City. His children said he was an excellent father and a role model to them. Even while he was in the hospital, Mr. Rojas was taking calls and making sure things ran smoothly. “He helped so many people without hesitation and was so forgiving,” his family wrote in his obituary.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Tribute Archive]
Suzanne Ruley, 53, Clearwater
When Suzanne Ruley got good news, she often burst into song. And when someone cracked a joke, Ms. Ruley’s laugh could light up a room.
“She had one of those laughs that if you hear it across the room, you know exactly who it belongs to,” her friend Jared O’Roark told the Tampa Bay Times. “Even if she was telling a joke and her joke wasn’t funny, her laughing at the joke was what would make you chuckle.”
The Pinellas Community Foundation’s director of development worked as a fundraiser and secured grants for the arts. She also was an artist and loved to sing and act.
Ms. Ruley met her husband, Matthew, during the first rehearsal for a production of Sweeney Todd at the St. Petersburg Little Theatre. He visited her in the hospital while she was sick with the coronavirus to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.
“She just had this warmth and joy, and laughter was just part of her nature,” Matthew Ruley told the Times. “When you met her, you’d see how vibrant she was. And it wasn’t an act. It was absolutely her.”
William Schell, 103, Pinellas County
William Schell was born in New York and died June 25 at C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center.
Commenters on his obituary call him “Bud” and describe a man who was always smiling and loved to host cookouts.
“The world has lost a great man,” wrote a man who said he worked for Schell. “Bud was a wonderful person. He would help anyone who needed it.”
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Georjean Schubert Schueler, 96, Tierra Verde
With a degree in dietetics, Georjean Schubert Schueler spent her career running a preschool in Illinois with her husband, Bob, preparing nutritious meals for students. The couple enjoyed sailing together — one of her biggest passions. That’s how the pair got to Florida, taking a treacherous trip down the Mississippi River to Tierra Verde. Later, they explored Florida and the Bahamas in a 37-foot sailboat. Ms. Schueler liked to navigate and cook delicious meals below deck. “Ahoy!” she would often say. She was fearless, even in the roughest of seas.
Eleanor June Schueneman, 94, Seminole
In her 60s, she was riding a motorcycle to work. In her 90s, she was crocheting lap robes and shawls for Veterans Affairs hospitals.
Eleanor June Schueneman was “quiet and strong,” said daughter Sandra McKinley. She was a member of the VFW Auxiliary and the MOC Auxiliary.
Just before she got really sick, doctors helped her FaceTime with her family. “She was thrilled that she could see us,” McKinley said.
Dr. Sam Scolaro, 75, Tampa
Sam Scolaro was born in Ybor City and spent his life in the Tampa Bay medical community. Aside from running a busy medical practice in the Valrico-Brandon area for 48 years, he was one of the longest continuing staff members at Tampa General Hospital, the chief of staff of Tampa Osteopathic Hospital and a founding member of Brandon Hospital.
He also took great pride in teaching future physicians and advocating for aspiring nursing and medical students. He helped establish post-graduate intern and resident training and always had a student shadowing him to learn the ropes.
Dr. Scolaro enjoyed sports, especially the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tampa Bay Rays — he loved baseball so much he sponsored his local Little League team and could hear them play from his back porch.
Vilma Joyce Toledo Seber, 84, Tampa
Vilma Toledo Seber loved old western romance stories, evenings with friends at the original Seminole Bingo Hall and savoring a good meal. “No Golden Corral was safe when Vilma drove there with grandchildren in tow,” her family wrote..
The family matriarch spent her life in Tampa, graduating from Jefferson High School, working at the Ybor City Kress department store and volunteering at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church. She enjoyed weekends at the beach or pool and could be known to bust out a few dance moves after a margarita. “She was a pistol!” her family wrote.
Ed F. Serra, 91, Lithia
Born Eduardo Francisco Serra in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Mr. Serra came to the U.S. in 1947 to study mechanical engineering at New York University. Working in the pharmaceutical industry, he and his wife lived in New Jersey, Mexico and Puerto Rico and visited at least 70 countries before moving to Florida.
Mr. Serra’s family remembers him as a great storyteller who loved to play chess, collect coins and stamps, and create family albums in his free time.
Robert “Bob” Sempert, 90, Tampa
Bob Sempert spent four years in the U.S. Air Force, then worked for Tampa Electric Co. for more than 30 years.
“Bob was one of the guys who always seemed to have a great attitude toward life as well as work,” a co-worker wrote. He retired in 1988 and loved traveling and tinkering in his workshop. He contracted COVID-19 in his nursing home.
Lynann Seymour, 68, Tampa
Lyn Seymour got her start at WEDU in Tampa. She never stopped working in public media, her career taking her from Gainesville to Dallas. At PBS, she worked on shows like Zoboomafoo and Calliou.
At work, she was a mentor to other women, many of whom say they owe her a debt. She and her husband loved to travel. Seymour fell sick after the two returned from a trip to Egypt.
Sarah Sherman, 84, Wesley Chapel
As a military wife, Sarah Sherman lived all around the world. She returned to her home of London, Ky., after her husband’s military retirement, and she was an active member of the Corinth Baptist Church. After the couple relocated to Florida to be closer to family, she became a member of First Baptist Church of New Tampa.
Mrs. Sherman was known as a fantastic cook, whipping up chicken and dumplings and fried chicken alongside “Baptist Pound Cake” and sweet tea. According to her obituary, her desserts “were legendary and will live on through her daughters-in-law, who will continue their efforts to replicate her talents.”
Frances “Fran” Shivers, 86, Trinity
Fran Shivers was a nurse and a U.S. Air Force lieutenant. She loved canoeing and listening to jazz and classical music with her husband, who died in 2002. A devout Catholic, she lent her soprano to her parish’s choir.
Carole Jean Shortz, 86, Seminole
Carole Shortz loved to dance and was an avid bowler. Her favorite pastime was traveling the country by RV.
“Carole was a dedicated mother who was always there for her family,” her family wrote.
Richard Slazas, 77, Clearwater
“His red Corvette was his pride and joy, a lifelong dream achieved,” Rich Slazas’ obituary reads. An Army veteran who served in Vietnam, who moved on to a career in pharmaceuticals, he loved any and all Chicago sports, betting the horses — and of course, that car. Money came and went thanks to those horses and the casinos, but every now and then, he’d win big.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Obituary]
Larry Smith, 80, Clearwater
Larry Smith grew up in Henry County, Ind., just east of Indianapolis. He met and married his high school sweetheart there, then moved to the northwest part of the state, where he founded a heating and ventilation company. Sixty years later, it’s still open and in the family.
He was a Freemason and a Shriner, and with his church, he traveled widely to build churches and schools. “He never met a stranger,” his obituary said.
Clayton Snare, 95, Palm Harbor
A meteorologist in the Navy during World War II. President of two banks. An avid golfer and churchgoer. A family man who once held his great-granddaughter with a smile so bright it was as if he’d won the lottery.
Clayton Snare “led a very good life, very successful life," said one of his sons, Clayton Snare Jr. “For him to go not of natural causes but because of what’s going on — it just doesn’t seem fair. It really doesn’t.”
Stefan Solohub Jr., 73, North Port
Stefan Solohub wanted to be a country musician. He wrote songs and entertained with his guitar, going by “Stevie J.R.” when he made music.
Solohub was a proud Ukrainian American and was actively involved with cultural organizations. He worked most of his life as an electronics engineer and moved to Florida when he retired to live closer to his parents. Family remembers his favorite prayer: “God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can and Wisdom to know the difference.”
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, A Life Tribute Funeral Care]
Corene Southard, 87, Largo
Corene Southard raised her three children as a single parent, providing for them as the deputy superintendent of schools in Pittsburg County, Okla. She loved to travel, even if it was “just around the corner,” family said. Her cruise around Alaska was a fond memory for her, and once she moved to Florida to be closer to her daughter, the two would take trips around the state’s coast.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Dignity Memorial]
Richard “Dick” Spires, 82, Largo
He grew up building models, so it was perhaps no surprise that Dick Spires became a successful electrical engineer. In three decades with Bell Labs, he even led key developments in long-haul telephone systems.
He had plenty of other loves, too, from photography to rock climbing to the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity (of which he was president in his final year at Ohio University). In his obituary, his family writes that he loved playing Bridge and Euchre. After retiring, he found joy in traveling the American West and France, serving as usher at his Largo parish, and spending time with family.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Dennis Spoto, 77, Tarpon Springs
After moving to Florida, Dennis Spoto fell in love with fishing. He participated in the Suncoast Tarpon Roundup and took third place on his first try. He built custom fishing rods for himself and friends, and eventually started building his own fishing boats. He also was a lifelong baseball fan, and as a kid, he collected candy wrappers to trade for tickets to Brooklyn Dodgers games.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, MossFeaster]
Michael Stephanofsky, 61, St. Petersburg
His mother helped him enlist in the Marines at age 17. Once honorably discharged, he tried on jobs until landing a career as an industrial plumber. He was brilliant with his hands, quick to help, “rough around the edges” but pure-hearted. To his wife of 32 years, Kristen, he was a rock.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Sue Stephenson, 80, Seminole
Sue Stephenson was a stay-at-home mother who loved to make her family smile with treats like apple pie, her daughter said. She grew up in Charleston, W.Va., and moved down to Seminole after she got married.
Ms. Stephenson enjoyed camping and visiting islands to hunt for seashells. At 50, she suffered an aneurysm and went through two brain surgeries but recovered and traveled to national parks all around the country with her husband. “Mom was always a smiling, happy person,” her daughter said. “I think cooking and taking care of us made her happy.”
Ms. Stephenson was a resident of Seminole Pavilion at Freedom Square.
[Tampa Bay Times]
Wayne Sternberg, 71, Lakeland
Wayne Sternberg spent his career in banking but was a woodworker at heart. At 9, he built his first rabbit hutch and a dog house. Later, he progressed to model sailboats. When his two grandsons came along, he shared his passion for building with LEGO boat model projects.
In retirement, he loved to golf, visit car and plane shows with his wife, or spend time riding bikes and hanging out by the pool with his grandsons. A Disney enthusiast since the 1980s, Disney World was the go-to vacation spot for celebrations over the years. He and his wife took the entire family on a three-day trip there earlier this year.
“Wayne had a beautiful and loving smile, twinkling eyes, and one of the kindest souls,” his family wrote.
Verne Strible, 99, Seminole
In recent years, if you asked Verne Strible how he was, he always responded the same way: “hanging in there and hoping the ropes don’t break.”
Baltimore-born, Mr. Strible served in the U.S Army in France during World War II, then studied engineering at Johns Hopkins University on the G.I. Bill. Afterward, he spent his career at Union Carbide in Buffalo, N.Y., and continued his engineer’s habit of wearing a pocket protector with a pen and pencil throughout his life, his daughter said.
Retired in Florida, he and his wife lived at Freedom Square in Seminole for many years, where they had a large social circle and loved to go out to eat. Mr. Strible was always after a good crab cake — but never could find any that rivaled Maryland’s.
He was most proud of his large family — four children, five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren — and was particularly looking forward to celebrating his 100th birthday next year with all of them. On the day of his death, a nurse helped organize a video call. Each family member told him they loved him.
[The Tampa Bay Times, Obituary]
Emil Sudol, 91, St. Petersburg
Emil Sudol, a Korean War veteran, loved nothing more than spending time with friends at his favorite St. Petersburg haunts, like the Casual Clam.
Mr. Sudol was born in New Jersey and moved to Florida in 1971, where he worked over the years for Val-Pak and as a cook. He was an avid reader, piling up magazines and newspapers at his house, and especially enjoyed military history, his nephew said. “He was kind of free and independent,” he said. “He liked being himself, being with friends, and going out at night.”
Mr. Sudol was discharged to rehab at Seminole Pavilion at Freedom Square in early April after a fall sent him to the hospital. The facility has had a major coronavirus outbreak.
[Tampa Bay Times]
Ingrid Lübkemann Swartz, 91, Sun City Center
Ingrid Lübkemann Swartz liked music, silly jokes and tennis. She was born in Germany, a child when World War II began.
Later, she became a translator and typist for a bank, able to speak five languages.
She strummed guitar for her children and played with them in tidal pools.
Theresa Szubartowski, 99, Seminole
Theresa Szubartwoski came from a big Polish family that had settled in Marinette, Wis., but farm life wasn’t for her. She and her three stylish sisters moved to Chicago and started working as soon as they could. During World War II, she got a job selling war bonds at Western Electric and stayed there for the rest of her career.
She and her husband retired to Florida about 40 years ago. They traveled the world and filled their house with souvenirs: brass plates from Egypt and golden statuettes from India. Relatives loved to come visit, to catch up on her stories, play card games or swim in her pool.
” If you came over to her house, she was bound and determined to make you eat something,” her son said. “She was a generous, good person.”
She moved into Freedom Square, a retirement community in Seminole, earlier this year to recover from a surgery and caught COVID-19 when the facility had an outbreak.
[Tampa Bay Times, Obituary]
Wayne Tiggett, 69, Palm Harbor
Wayne Tiggett was involved with a variety of churches and worship centers, and he served as the pastor for the United Christian Center in New Port Richey. Tiggett was formerly a firefighter with Clearwater Fire & Rescue, where he was a district chief. After his career as a firefighter, he headed a program at Abe Brown Ministries that helped reacclimate people who had recently been released from prison.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Smith-Youngs Funeral Home]
Master Sgt. Brian K. Tolliver, 46, Pinellas Park
Master Sgt. Brian K. Tolliver, 46, served with the Army Reserve Medical Command in Pinellas Park, most recently as the command’s paralegal. Of 25 years in the Army, 13 were spent in the reserve. Tolliver, from Memphis, had been awarded for honorable service, including taking home the Meritorious Service Medal. His supervisor called him a “tremendous mentor, leader, soldier and one of the finest human beings I have ever met.”
Matthew Traskos, 91, Hudson
After serving in the Army, Matthew Traskos went to work as a meat cutter. He enjoyed camping with his wife and traveling across the country, taking a camper to Alaska and stopping in the national parks along the way.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Betz, Rossi & Bellinger Family Funeral Homes]
Gus Trizis, 88, Clearwater
In 1951, Gus Trizis came from Greece to America with $50 in his pocket, limited education and no English. But over the course of his life, Mr. Trizis worked to open restaurant after restaurant, ending with a dozen between Chicago and Florida. He made sure his children knew their Greek heritage and would send the family to visit summer after summer.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Dignity Memorial]
Alice Tweedy, 94, New Port Richey
If Alice Tweedy heard music, she was prone to start dancing.
She loved to swim in the Gulf of Mexico and to read. She was born in Boston and later moved to Florida. Her family remembers her as a caring mother.
Birdie Eileen Williams Underwood, 71, Tampa
Birdie Eileen Williams Underwood, a Tampa native, spent 40 years teaching children at J.R. Booker Elementary School. She was a proud graduate of Bethune-Cookman University and an active member in the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
Even after retiring from the Hillsborough County school district, Ms. Underwood still wanted to help children and worked as a part-time reading tutor.
[Hillsborough County medical examiner, Aikens Funeral Home]
Michael “Mickey” Villano, 83, St. Petersburg
Mickey Villano was born and raised in Fort Lee, N.J. He met his wife of 57 years, Barbara, in high school there. He started a plumbing business in his home state, then moved it to St. Petersburg in 1979.
“This world was much better with him in it,” reads his obituary. “Never was there a stranger known to him. He was a kind, giving soul to anyone who was in need. A great provider to his family, a loving husband and father, son and brother.”
Since his wife, a child care worker, died in 2016, Villano had lived in a nursing home, where he was known as “an independent, resilient person, one of their favorites.”
“That was Mickey!”
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Nicholas Virgilio, 80, Largo
In retirement, Nicholas Virgilio worked as a security guard for the Home Shopping Network. But before, he owned businesses across Florida — in Key West, Miami, Tampa, Madeira Beach and more. He was an usher at St. Jude’s Catholic Church and was a member of different fraternal organizations, like the Elks Lodge and Loyal Order of Moose.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Forever Missed]
Joseph Patrick Wall Sr., 74, Land O’Lakes
Joseph Patrick Wall Sr. was born and raised in Queens, N.Y., where he worked for Verizon as a splicer. He moved to Florida in 2005 and enjoyed traveling, golfing, bowling and surfing YouTube. An avid reader, Mr. Wall also savored his daily crossword puzzles. And “there was not a pet in the world that did not return his affection,” his obituary said.
Mr. Wall was proud of his Irish heritage, his strong faith and deep love for his wife of 32 years, Denise. He is also survived by five children and 13 grandchildren.
“In his last days, he was more worried about his family than himself,” his obituary said. “He was even concerned that his buddy Stefan the cat was getting his treats.”
Michael Wanner, 61, Plant City
Michael Wanner was the first Hillsborough teacher known to have died of COVID-19, though the school district said his death was not work-related.
The Plant City High School teacher taught marine science, earth space science and forensics. Fellow science teacher Richard Dorton described Mr. Wanner as “one of the most knowledgeable people,” who could set up complex, table-top crime scenes.
The Boy Scout leader could be found selling the troop’s strawberry jam at school and enjoyed telling stories around the campfire. One parent recalled how his son became an Eagle Scout at Wanner’s encouragement. Fellow scouting parent and co-worker Jennifer Hamilton described him as kind-hearted and thoughtful.
“He was a gentleman,” Hamilton said. “I like to think he aligned with old-fashioned values.”
Douglas Werth, 73, St. Petersburg
Douglas Werth worked as a Pinellas County schoolteacher for 35 years, including as a social studies teacher at Northeast High School in St. Petersburg, according to the Pinellas school district. He retired in 2004.
Tributes from former students poured in on a post in a Northeast High alumni Facebook group: “Love Mr. Werth. He was a wonderful and challenging teacher.”
“I remember when he dressed up like Abe Lincoln. His humor kept my attention in class, and he was responsible for my love of world history.”
“We used to play basketball together. He let me drive his ’64 ‘vette convertible for prom my senior year. What was he thinking? He was a good man.”
[Facebook, Pinellas County Schools, Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner]
Ruby Whiddon, 84, Brandon
Ruby Whiddon’s obituary defines her foremost by her family: “Ruby was a loving and faithful wife, daughter, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, mee-maw, grandma and friend.” She also was a softball coach, a camper, a boater and a woman who loved to fish alongside friends whenever she could.
Her family held a service over Facebook Live. Her casket was piled with yellow roses.
[Hillsborough County medical examiner, obituary, Facebook]
Douglas Wolfe, 81, Port Richey
As a Poughkeepsie police officer, Douglas Wolfe was known for handing out speeding tickets and for serving as the safety director of a bus company. In Florida, he was a school bus driver for Pasco and Pinellas counties. He also served in the United States Army.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy]
Sherman Andre Wright Sr., 48, St. Petersburg
Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Sherman Wright was a high school football player for the Dixie Hollins Rebels. Even after not playing, Wright loved football and rooted for his favorite team, the Seattle Seahawks. He also worked as a chef for Dan Marino. His love of cooking tied into his love of family, and he loved to host family cookouts.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Tribute Archive]
Charles Xiques, 87, Lutz
During his time in the U.S. Air Force, Charles Xiques gained a passion for playing baseball that he carried throughout the rest of his life. He loved Jesus Christ and his church family. A devoted dad, Xiques' daughter recalled how he was always happy when she called, no matter how late it was.
Don Yontz, 80, Palm Harbor
Don Yontz could’ve gone pro.
He was an All-American football star at his high school in Saltville, Va., then crossed the West Virginia line to star at what was then Concord College, where he also lettered in three other sports. In 1962, he was one of the best collegiate players in the state on both sides of the ball and led the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in yards-per-punt, and he graduated as the school’s all-time interceptions leader.
NFL teams approached Mr. Yontz, but he turned them down in favor of raising a family, finishing school and focusing on a business career. He worked for companies including DuPont before starting his own human resources and management consulting firm.
He’s been inducted into the athletic halls of fame in Smyth County, Va., and at what’s now Concord University.
Doris Yost, 97, Seminole
Doris Yost had turned 97 just a few weeks before she died on July 3. After growing up in Lebanon, Penn., Ms. Yost became a longtime resident of Cocoa Beach and moved to Seminole in 2011.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Legacy.com]
Nikolaos Zaharopoulos, 66, Holiday
Nikolaos Zaharopoulos was born in Greece in the mid-1950s. His family said he always made sure the family stuck together and knew their bond could get them through anything. They said he also was strong enough to brush things off, and he always provided for his family. “It was the world to us,” they wrote.
He leaves behind his wife, three daughters, two sons, three brothers and a sister.
Sheila Aaronson, 93, Delray Beach
Sheila Aaronson held a lot of power in Palm Beach County politics but was unelected.
She was, according to one political operative, the “compass” for her husband, Burt, a county commissioner. The Aaronsons had met on the Jersey Shore. Sheila outlived Burt by a couple of years, but at his funeral, her grandson recalled for the Palm Beach Post how she talked about their next life: “I know what I want to come back as,” she said, “Burt Aaronson’s wife.”
Steven Donald Alander, 69, Naples
Steven Alander grew up in Naples at a time when “a kid could fish all night at the pier and parents didn’t have to worry,” his family wrote. He loved mechanics and “would race anything that had a motor, from dirt bikes to cars at tracks...always pushing the rules just as far as he could.”
He repeated one quote often: “Life is not measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take your breath away.” His family said he had many of those moments.
Adalberto Alfonso Jr., 76, Jupiter
Born in Cuba, Adalberto Alfonso Jr.‘s life became an example of the American Dream, his family wrote.
He was an accomplished engineer over his 40-year career at Florida Power and Light and NextEra Energy Resources. He also was an avid reader and tried to keep learning throughout his life.
But his family and friends will remember him most for his sense of humor, love of travel and good food, especially Spanish food.
Luis Alpiste, 79, Miami
Luis Alpiste, a father of four, used to wake up his kids at midnight with a cake to celebrate their birthdays.
Born in Peru as one of 18 children, Mr. Alpiste settled in Miami with his wife, Jenny, and worked as a construction worker.
“I just remember driving around with him and he’d say, ‘See that building? I helped build it’,” said his daughter, Erika Alpiste. “He was so proud.”
German Amaya, 55, Miami
German Amaya, a native of El Salvador, worked as a banquet manager at the luxury hotel Fontainebleau to support his wife and two children, until he lost his job and health insurance in the pandemic. He was an advocate for fellow workers in his union, often lending time to others' causes.
“German was a man of integrity,” a co-worker said.
Domenic “Nick” Joseph Amore, 68, Miami
Nick Amore’s life was all business and all family. He and his brothers started Action Carpet & Tile, which was in business for 25 years. Then, he started Pride Flooring & Home Décor and ran it with his two sons.
Away from work, Amore enjoyed poker, road trips to the Florida Keys and simply being near water.
“He was a great man with a kind soul,” his obituary said. “He was truly a family man who will be deeply missed by all.”
His sons will continue to run the family business in his honor.
Bruce Elder Anderson, 84, Bradenton
He grew up in the cold, but after moving to Bradenton nearly half a century ago, Bruce Elder Anderson didn’t look back. Mr. Anderson had just celebrated his birthday on a video chat with family.
Come summer, his sister will bury him alongside the rest of his family in Minnesota.
Felicia Ann Ruscitti Rizzo Andres, 98, Naples
Felicia Andres, known as Flicka to those that loved her, met her husband at the hospital, where she was a nurse and he was an orthopedic surgeon. Together, they raised three children and traveled, collecting curiosities from around the world.
She had many hobbies: music and the arts, gardening, cooking, entertaining. And she designed all sorts of clothing, from silk dresses to ultra suede suits and camel hair coats. Ms. Andres sang in the choir at church, where she also served as a bereavement counselor, helping others through loss.
“We love you mom, bunches and bunches, forever,” her children wrote in her obituary.
Alexander and Glorivi Andujar, 41 and 39, West Palm Beach
Among the tight-knit Andujar family — parents, five siblings, in-laws — brother and sister Alex and Glorivi were best friends. They planned backyard barbecues and holiday parties, Alex’s quiet seriousness balanced with Glorivi’s high energy and passion for arts and crafts.
After Alex got sick in March, six other family members, including both parents, followed. The others recovered, but Alex died on April 4. Glorivi died 10 days later.
Not long before he died, Alex had a bad fall in the hospital when he weakly stood, trying to get the attention of his sister, who was unconscious in the room across from his. He’d needed to see her one last time.
Joseph Antone, 81, Jacksonville
After his time in the Marines, Joseph Antone joined the Air Force, a career that ended 12 years later with a Purple Heart. After leaving service, he taught and coached in his hometown, Jacksonville. In retirement, he was a devoted volunteer for the Ronald McDonald House.
Donald Ellsworth Applegate, 92, Pensacola
Donald Applegate was the “embodiment of traditional Midwestern values,” his family wrote.
He served as a dentist in the U.S. Navy for much of his career, including during the Vietnam War. In retirement, he immersed himself in hobbies: photography, jazz music, horticulture and local history. His family said he favored romantic ballads like Cole Porter’s Every Time We Say Goodbye and could readily be coaxed into singing for a group. He also liked to film family events with 16 mm film, “including backyard, Midwestern summer badminton games, as well as staged antics like incongruous multitudes emerging from his 1959 VW Beetle.”
After his wife’s death, he spent his last years in a long-term care center where the nurses taught him how to use an e-reader to enlarge the text. Thanks to that innovation, he enjoyed reading until the last week of his life.
Sandra Aprilah, 64, West Palm Beach
Not long after they met on a dating app three or four years ago, Sandra Aprilah asked John Cole Jr. to move in with her. Both were looking for companionship, and they developed a quick bond. They fished off a bridge — Cole doing the baiting, Ms. Aprilah the reeling — and took their catch home to clean and cook. They went to church and the movies together, and he brought her bagels and sausage sandwiches.
Earlier this year, Ms. Aprilah told an old friend to look after Cole if anything happened to her, and in March, she came down with a fever. She died April 5, with Cole caring for her until the end.
Jane K. Araguel, 69, Destin
Jane Araguel was an award-winning realtor in the Destin area for over 30 years, someone who “radiated a passion for exploration and discovery of new adventures,” her family wrote.
She loved being active and cultivated many outdoor hobbies, including deep-sea fishing, scuba diving and snow skiing. She also was a licensed pilot.
Ramfis Bayardo Arias, 49, Miami
At random, Ramfis Bayardo Arias would take one of his five children for a day out, bonding while they went to the movies or the beach. He loved basketball and spontaneous celebrations. Born in Nicaragua, Mr. Arias moved as a teenager to the United States, where he started working as a taxi driver. Later, he went to work for American Airlines.
Joanne Ebbitt Armenia, 73, Melbourne
Not long after marrying in 1973, Joanne Armenia was off to Italy. Her husband Richard’s Navy fleet had orders and soon, she was speaking Italian and helping other military families navigate life abroad.
The couple, now with a young daughter, moved back to the United States in the 1980s, and Ms. Armenia resumed her teaching career, which was focused on special education. In recent years, she had found companionship at church, where she sat on a social action committee fighting for stronger legislation related to human rights, homelessness, domestic violence and gun laws.
Christine Armour, 88, West Palm Beach
Even after retiring from the post office, Christine Armour kept busy. She started her own business sewing African clothes, volunteered at a food pantry, spent time at church and ushered at movie nights in a senior living community.
Her granddaughter said Ms. Armour helped to raise her while her mother worked. She said Ms. Armour had a heart of gold.
Jeannette Beatty Asbed, 88, Naples
When Jeannette Beatty Asbed attended Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Mass., undergraduate women were not allowed to study at Harvard’s Lamont Library. Fifty years later, she planned her class reunion and made a point to stage the big group photo there.
Her family remembers Ms. Asbed building a life around “tolerance, active volunteering, lifelong learning and a love of travel.” A pharmacist and frequent mentor, she hosted foreign exchange students and occasionally wrote letters, even to strangers, celebrating when she saw they had succeeded at work.
David Lee Ashton, 89, Arlington
Family always came first for David Lee Ashton, who worked to make sure they were always provided for. He also was devoted to his wife, who died in 2005 after being ill for years. Mr. Ashton was a retired pipe fabricator.
Ronald Dominic Audi, 83, Ocala
Ron Audi and his wife, Margaret, were known for holding hands. With Mr. Audi, holding on was required.
His family remembers how he lived briskly. A golfer, he hit at least seven hole-in-ones, by their count. He grew up in Illinois, worked as a mechanical engineer and eventually settled in Florida, where he snacked on tuna spread over crackers, with pickles and chocolate milk.
Mr. Audi kept to traditions, like Italian dinners where children got some wine, too. “Spending time with him meant fun,” his loved ones wrote after his death, “and more than likely, a little mischief.”
Jose Diaz Ayala, 38, West Palm Beach
Sgt. Jose Diaz Ayala worked with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and had been battling health issues before contracting COVID-19. He was a corrections deputy before being promoted in 2016.
He had three children, who his ex-wife said were his everything.
Yansi Ayala, 11, Fort Lauderdale
Yansi Ayala became the second 11-year-old to die from coronavirus in the state. She had cerebral palsy, epilepsy, asthma and heart disease.
George Sewell Bacon, 69, Crystal River
George Bacon taught science for 35 years at Crystal River High School. He was known to motivate, mentor and inspire his students — among his alumni base is Duane Redding, a chief engineer at NASA who told the Citrus County Chronicle that Bacon was “one of the most influential teachers I ever had.”
Mr. Bacon also was willing to help fellow teachers, once serving as president and on the bargaining team of the Citrus County Education Association, a teachers’ union. In 2014, when the school was in need of a science teacher, he came out of retirement and taught without pay.
Outside of school, he sang with the praise team at Crystal River United Methodist Church and spent time outdoors, kayaking, snorkeling and diving. He loved animals, especially reptiles, especially his reptiles, a bearded dragon and lizards Bonnie and Clyde.
Earl Bailey, 56, Sunrise
Earl Bailey was a nurse who used to play worship songs and bring co-workers to the gym. He visited multiple hospitals in South Florida and had five children and five grandchildren.
His daughter, Sashia, said Mr. Bailey was sure he’d recover from COVID-19. But his breathing faltered quickly. “He loved to take care of people,” she said.
Doris Baker, 94, Fort Lauderdale
For years, Doris Baker traveled around the country in her RV. She had been planning to go to Costa Rica and see the rainforest.
For the last seven years, Ms. Baker lived at Atria Willow Wood, an assisted living facility in Broward County. There, she helped with a number of activities, but was most famous for calling bingo. She was the seventh resident of the facility to die from COVID-19.
Stuart and Adrian Baker, 74 and 72, Boynton Beach
Their son said they died six minutes apart. They had been married 51 years.
After their deaths, relatives set up an online fundraiser in their honor, to support a scholarship for students from a public housing project in Queens where Stuart Baker had lived as a child.
Peter and Eleanor Baker, 85 and 84, Webster
Peter and Eleanor Baker, married 62 years, died a day apart. The couple loved golf parades, holiday celebrations, bake sales and country drives. They raised five children in New Jersey, then bought a motor home in retirement and split their time between Pennsylvania and Florida.
Peter was a former police captain famous for his blueberry pancakes, and Eleanor was a legendary hostess who loved gardening. Their children believe the two might have contracted COVID-19 at the annual reunion of retired New Jersey State Police in Melbourne, Fla., in early March.
At the hospital, Peter was put on a ventilator. The children gathered outside Eleanor’s window, waving and telling her they loved her on the phone. A nurse helped the couple have a last reunion in the ICU, where Eleanor held Peter’s hand.
Bennett Bakst, 88, Boynton Beach
For many years, if you were in Manhattan and needed a drugstore at an odd hour, Bennett Bakst was your guy. His Kaufman Pharmacy — one of many New York City drugstores he owned — was for a time the only 24-hour drugstore in Manhattan, open around the clock even during the city’s 1977 blackout.
Mr. Bakst retired to Florida, where he served as a Citizen On Patrol on Palm Isles every week for two decades and cared for his wife of nearly 50 years, Shari, through a long illness.
Irwin and Theodora Balaban, 87 and 88, Boynton Beach
The Balabans were so in sync, they seemed like “one person” to their kids.
Irwin Balaban was a big-thinking entrepreneur from Brooklyn who had tremendous Jewish pride, his family said. He was an engineer for defense contracts for years, then founded a company in 1982 that uses robots and computers to help streamline warehouses for clients like Boeing and NASA.
Theodora Balaban, originally from Queens, was a scarf and accessory buyer at Macy’s when she met Irwin at a party. She loved cooking meals for family gatherings and was famous for a matzoh-ball soup recipe once published in the New York Daily News, family said.
The Balabans died a week apart. The family had to conduct a funeral on Zoom. With limited people at graveside, “it felt like we gave eulogies to the wind,” their daughter said.
Angel Cabo Balcarcel, 98, The Villages
Angel Balcarcel grew up in Ohio, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and worked as a tool and dye operator at Ford for 30 years.
He loved spending time with his children, grandchildren and pets. He also loved to visit Hard Rock Cafe, his family wrote.
Nancy Stauber Ballas, 59, Jacksonville
Nancy Ballas worked for State Farm Insurance for more than 30 years, then devoted her time to working at the Beaches Historical Museum and Gardens and tending her herb garden. She also loved beading, Bunko and spending time with friends and family.
“It will be hard to imagine we will only have her smile and laughter in our memories and our hearts,” her family wrote.
Miriam Rose Ballesteros, 45, DeLand
As a participant in the Special Olympics, Miriam Ballesteros took home numerous medals for basketball and track. She also enjoyed attending music shows, as a member of a chorus or volunteering as an usher. Her family said she had the “Magical Miriam Effect,” allowing people to marvel at the pure beauty and joy of life. She loved to dance in her room to boy bands and rock ‘n’ roll, also often exclaiming during worship at church.
Mark David Barndollar, 56, Lake Worth
For Mark David Barndollar, a day was best spent on a long bicycle trek with his fiancée, traveling or doing other outdoor activities. Long-distance bicycling was a hobby of his, only a few years old. After graduating from Florida Atlantic University, Mr. Barndollar began working as a retail store manager. Later, he worked for an auto shop. Family described him as happy and caring.
Bettye Withers Barnes, 100, Jacksonville
Bettye Barnes faced tragedy young, when her first husband died in World War II, leaving her with two young daughters. But she found happiness again and remarried in 1948. Eventually, she had two more daughters, 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Ms. Barnes and her husband were married over 67 years and became deeply involved in community service in their hometown, Savannah, Ga. A shelter for homeless women is named after them, in recognition of their long-term service.
Carol “Gabby” Barrett, 73, Pensacola
Gabby Barrett crisscrossed the skies as a flight attendant for Delta for more than 40 years. Whether working transport flights to shuttle troops to the Middle East or finding new friends in a foreign country, she was comfortable in any situation.
“She flew some of the most grueling international trips, and it barely affected her,” said a friend. “She’d get home from a trip and want to know, right away, what was planned for that evening.”
Passionate about exploring other cultures, her condo became more of a museum than an apartment, filled with treasures she collected from around the world.
Shortly before she came down with COVID-19, Ms. Barrett had spent two weeks in Egypt, texting friends photos of her camel ride and hot air balloon trip over the Valley of the Kings.
Edward F. Barrett Jr. and Evelyn Barrett, 90 and 87, Port Orange
Edward and Evelyn Barrett died less than a month apart from the virus that also took their son and daughter-in-law.
The couple was married for 68 happy years, taking many road trips and going camping each summer with their kids.
On countless early mornings for nearly four decades, Edward was called into work to examine parts of downed planes and help determine the cause of a crash. A senior master sergeant in the 104th Tactical Fighter Group at a Massachusetts Air National Guard base, he also spent time overseas during his service.
After her youngest child turned 8, Evelyn began working at Champion Packaging, later known as Waldorf Corp., in Chicopee, Mass. In her more than two decades there, she gradually worked her way up.
Both Barretts were musically minded. Edward liked to play classical music for his family, and Evelyn joined the Sweet Adelines, Song of the Coast chorus in Florida, helping organize practices and recitals.
In place of flowers, the Barretts’ family asked loved ones to get a coronavirus vaccine and stay safe.
[Daytona Beach News-Journal]
Pablo Maximino Barrientos, 82, South Florida
After his dying father pled for Pablo Maximino Barrientos to flee Cuba, the man left with his wife and 3-year-old daughter in the early 1970s. When he arrived in the United States, he became emotional, his wife said, saying that along with the Cuban flag, he’d embrace the American flag of liberty.
Mr. Barrientos made elaborate wood carvings to give as gifts and seemed incapable of having a bad day. He was the kind of person who had to help others, his wife said, pulling over to broken-down cars on the highway to assist.
Nancy Bryant Barry, 82, West Palm Beach
A third-generation Floridian, Nancy Barry “was as unconventional as they come,” her family said. A nudist, a poet, an activist and a letter-writer extraordinaire, she always saw the best in people and made them feel welcome at her table, sending guests home “with baked goods, seeds and smiles.”
For years, she hosted a talk show on a local radio station, WPBR. With her soulmate, she later traveled across the Southwest in an RV nicknamed “Sluggo,” with a small zoo of animals: Cats, dogs and a flock of quails.
Judy Marie Barton, 72, Baker
She loved her career as a school crossing guard, and in her free time, she loved listening to Conway Twitty, playing bingo and coloring pictures to give to her family. Judy Barton was quick to make people laugh and was known for both her kindness and feistiness. She was a mother of five, a grandmother of 15 and a great-grandmother of 17.
[District 8 medical examiner, obituary]
Douglas Batten, 91, Orlando
Douglas Batten closed on a home three days before he died from the coronavirus. Mr. Batten didn’t begin his career in real estate but changed course midway through his life after growing tired of working in the insurance industry. He and his wife, a high school sweetheart, worked together until she died from breast cancer in 1992. He later remarried. In his spare time, Mr. Batten enjoyed a good trip and a good meal.
John J. Bauer, 84, North Port
Lake Michigan was the site of many sailing trips for Chicago native John Bauer, who cut across the water in a Catalina 36.
Mr. Bauer was in the Air Force during the Korean War. He followed the Cubs and Bears and was part of the Local 73 Sheet Metal Workers Union.
Herb Baum, 83, Jupiter
Furry Friends Adoption, Clinic & Ranch was set to open April 15. Herb Baum, who stewarded the construction, delayed it because of the coronavirus. Baum felt passionate about protecting animals and also built a 28-acre property as a sanctuary for unadoptable dogs.
In business, Mr. Baum headed several large corporations like Campbell Soup North and South America, Hasboro Inc., the Dial Corp. and others.
He died on April 20.
Cynthia “Cindy” Bean, 65, Palm Beach Gardens
Originally from Michigan, Cindy Bean moved to Florida to work for IBM and never left.
Her love for nature began young, her family remembers, when she “adopted” a raccoon family as a child (her father had to convince her they were not pets and helped her release them back into the wild.) “She always looked for the good,” her family wrote.
Ruth Elizabeth Beich, 105, Naples
Ruth Beich loved long walks on the beach, swimming, bridge and her family’s company — including numerous great-grandchildren.
Beich worked for 20 years at State Farm Insurance. Her husband ran a candy factory in Illinois. The couple shared a love of golf and lived in Naples since 1975.
Gail E. Bell, 87, Sarasota
Gail Bell worked as a certified nursing assistant and home healthcare nurse across more than three decades. She brought up a family in Pennsylvania, and Bell’s children remember her devotion to them. She died on New Year’s Eve.
Jon Warren Bell, 83, Jacksonville
A New Jersey native, Jon Bell served in the Navy and eventually became an intelligence officer. Following his military career, Mr. Bell worked as an FBI special agent for more than two decades.
Intending to retire in 1987, Mr. Bell moved to Florida. But it wasn’t long before he became an insurance fraud investigator for the state, working in the field until 2004.
Mr. Bell wed his wife, Ilse, in the late 1960s, and they were married until his death March 31, 2020. A World War II fanatic and sports fan, Mr. Bell also enjoyed playing tennis. He spent many years involved in the German-American club of St. Augustine and also participated in the Sons of the American Revolution.
Richard Eugene Bell, 70, Daytona Beach
Richard Bell — known as B.B. — grew up in Volusia County and played football, basketball and baseball at Campbell Senior High School, then studied at Lane College in Tennessee.
For many years, he worked for the Daytona Beach and Orlando airports, and he was the primary caregiver for his mother before her passing in 2013.
Richard Beltram, 75, West Palm Beach
Before sleeping and after he woke up, Richard Beltram kissed his wife, Mona. He had two children and used to work as an accountant.
The couple bought a place in Florida earlier this year, excited to be snowbirds before he fell ill.
Shannon Bennett, 39, South Florida
Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Shannon Bennett was Florida’s first law enforcement officer to die from COVID-19. He worked as a school resource deputy at Deerfield Beach Elementary, just south of Boca Raton.
The 12-year officer contracted the virus in the line of duty, Sheriff Gregory Tony said.
Mr. Bennett was planning a wedding for December with his fiancé, Jonathan Frey. The two got engaged last year at Disney World.
“He just wanted to be remembered as a fun-loving guy and somebody that was always here for people,” Frey told People magazine.
Evelyn M. Beozubiak, 88, Wellington
Evelyn Beozubiak graduated from college “at a time when having an immigrant parent and being a woman made that difficult,” her family wrote. She taught generations of fourth-graders in Aliquippa, Pa., the town where she grew up, and moved to Florida in 1997.
She loved the Pittsburgh Pirates and her dogs, Peeki, Peppy and Sparky.
Jean Friedlander Berezin, 84, Homestead
Throughout her life, Jean Friedlander Berezin made friendships she cherished so dearly that the friends’ names were included in her obituary. Ms. Berezin was a gifted student who returned to school to earn an accounting degree, easily passing the CPA exam. Over her three-decade-long accounting career, she was made partner at a firm and later established her own. She pushed through prejudiced attitudes about what women could do in the workplace and established herself as a professional. She often gave free lectures to other women about managing finances.
Julian “Dick” Bernstein, 88, Boca Raton
Dick Bernstein traveled a lot for work, and in retirement, he kept moving, touching six continents. An Army veteran who worked on disposal of explosive ordinances, then later an exporter, he enjoyed food, wine and golf.
On their latest trip, shortly before his death, he and his wife traveled to New Zealand and Australia.
Amy Joyce Berger, 55, Bradenton
An independent spirit surrounded by a big family, Amy Joyce Berger tried to make her own way. She had Down’s syndrome, and when her health issues became too pressing in recent years, she moved into a nursing home. Her family remembers her as crafty, opinionated and giggly, with joy that spread. She loved puzzles, music and sports, and on Christmas, couldn’t wait to put on a stocking cap and light-up sweater to hand out presents.
Donald J. Beuttenmuller Jr., 73, Palm Beach
Donald Beuttenmuller once responded to a dare. With a friend, he swam along the coast for 16 miles from the Boynton inlet to the Palm Beach inlet.
Mr. Beuttenmuller loved swimming and had won junior records. He attended college at Georgetown University and went on to work as both a prosecutor and in private practice.
“Don was described by many as the North Star that pointed people in the right direction if they got off course,” his family recalled.
Gail O. “Bill” Biggert, 80, Jacksonville
Bill Biggert started young: In high school, he began working in television broadcasting. At the same time, he also was learning how to drive a tank retrieval vehicle as a member of the Florida National Guard.
Both paths guided his life. During a 46-year career, he worked his way up to become a chief TV broadcast engineer. He also served in the Air Force National Guard and continued flying airplanes throughout his life. Working on live broadcasts of space launches at Cape Canaveral, he got to meet the original seven astronauts.
Thomas Edward Blackburn, 86, Palm Beach
Thomas Blackburn was a long-time Palm Beach Post editorial writer, beloved by his colleagues for his wide-ranging knowledge and kind support. “He was an old-school guy with a new-school mind,” said one.
His specialty was state politics and economic issues, but he had deep interests in everything from philosophy to bluegrass music to bird watching and could write about almost anything.
A devout Catholic, he revisited the writings of a Jesuit priest imprisoned by the Nazis on his deathbed.
“Because of the utter indescribable incompetence of certain political leaders, an 86-year-old who only ever left the house (masked) to grocery shop during senior hours, visit doctors and to get books from the library (because there was no room left in the house to store more books) — somehow nevertheless contracted COVID-19,” his family wrote.
Donna Blatch, 54, Opa-locka
A Miami-Dade County Public Schools bus driver, Donna Blatch died four days after testing positive for the virus, according to ABC affiliate WPLG in Miami.
Her death sparked fears for other bus drivers’ health and safety, and colleagues told the news station they wanted more protections. Her daughter, Kanika Bradshaw, said she would miss her mother’s phone calls.
“She was a good friend, she was a good mother, she was outspoken,” Bradshaw said.
Robert E. Blenheim, 73, Daytona Beach
In the theater and on the page, Robert Blenheim dedicated much of his life to his passions. He was a performer and poet, founding the Live Poets Society of Daytona Beach and serving as a leader in the Florida State Poets Association.
Blenheim worked for the local Pennysaver and newspaper as a typesetter and editor. Friends remembered how kind and encouraging he was to fellow poets.
Claretha Boatman, 86, Carver Shores
Claretha Boatman was like a grandmother to all the kids at her in-home after-school program and to those she helped at the Boys & Girls Club.
Along with her volunteer work, Ms. Boatman coached sports teams, was a scout leader and taught Sunday school. She also was an appointed “church mother” who mentored other women in her congregation.
Herman Boehm, 86, Mount Dora
Herman Boehm’s travels marked the seasons of his life — the chance meeting at an airline ticket office 50 years ago with the woman who’d become his wife, their regular trips to Europe, a year spent sailing around the Bahamas.
In January, a few months after the 86-year-old with the clear blue eyes declined to have heart surgery, he told his wife he had a “last wish”: a cruise to Venice, Italy, followed by a stay at their condo near the Germany-Austria-Switzerland border. But the March cruise was cut short as the coronavirus spread aboard. Mr. Boehm fell sick and died in his bed several days after the couple returned home.
“I miss him very much,” Katica Susec-Boehm said. “I loved him very much. He was everything to me."
Reno Boffice, 61, West Palm Beach
Reno Boffice got a plasma transfusion from a COVID-19 survivor, but it didn’t come soon enough.
The principal of the Palm Beach Maritime Academy died 12 hours after getting the treatment. His sister said she felt bureaucratic hold ups delayed the potentially life-saving effort. The plasma donor saw a call for help on Facebook and decided to do what she could for Mr. Boffice.
“He has a nice face,” she said.
Mary Frances Bond, 82, Panama City
Originally from Mississippi, Mary Frances Bond “was the epitome of a great southern lady,” her family wrote.
She was involved in her Baptist church and co-chaired Children of the American Revolution for many years. “She loved her family fiercely and made everything she did beautiful and special,” her family wrote.
Jose Bonilla, 52, Miami
In his early 20s and while still new to America, Jose Bonilla started his own upholstery shop. He owned and operated the business for nearly three decades, up until his death. He tried to find ways to bring joy, like buying all the flowers off a street vendor so they didn’t have to stand in the sun and then delivering the flowers to loved ones. He also would deliver pizza and snacks to his nieces and nephews.
Akua Boatemaa Bosempom, 44, Jacksonville
Akua Bosempom received her nursing license in May. She had been a lifelong carer in her church, leading “Gorgeous Empowering Mature Sister” or GEMS. She had lost jobs at Bank of America and British Airways, and with nothing left, decided to pursue her calling of nursing, while raising her 9-year-old daughter. Ever resilient, she took up work caring for COVID-19 patients at Memorial Hospital mid-pandemic, which is where she was later admitted.
Ben Bova, 88, Naples
A prolific science fiction writer and editor at the forefront of the genre, Ben Bova wrote even on vacations and published more than 100 books. With his grounding in science — he worked to launch satellites into space — many of his plot points preceded later realities, such as the race to the moon and human cloning. He led groups such as the Science Fiction Writers of America and took home the genre’s top prize, the Hugo Award.
Funny, sharp and wise, he also was a father of five adopted children.
Melissa Boyce, 87, Boca Raton
Loving but firm, after raising her own children, Melissa Boyce became a teacher at a Christian academy in Massachusetts.
A native and longtime resident of Rhode Island, she doted on family members with letters, apple pies and chocolate chip cookies. She traveled to keep close to them, even after she moved to Florida.
In an obituary, they remembered the way she delighted in little joys, like a steaming cup of clam chowder or the sound of a child laughing.
Kathryn Louise Bozeman, 78, Hawthorne
A Pentacostal believer and homemaker, Kathryn Bozeman loved cooking, church and her grandchildren, who affectionately dubbed her “Tea Pee.”
[District 8 medical examiner, obituary]
Karen Bradwell, 53, Tallahassee
Students knew her as Ms. Karen, mentor and provider of popcorn, pancakes, movies and a safe place to go after school. She managed the “Pioneers After-school Mentoring Program” at Fort Braden Elementary School outside of Tallahassee. She had worked there more than 25 years, a “solid rock.”
Sue Braley, 66, Kissimmee
Over two decades, Sue Braley and her husband, Dennis, fostered more than 300 children. They adopted seven: Layla, Angel, Ryan, Kassidy, Christina, Jasmine and Alondra. Ms. Braley also had four grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They all called her Nina.
Her biological daughter Carianne told the Orlando Sentinel that “her parents never cared for fewer than five children at a time.”
Ms. Braley is remembered for bringing stability to her foster children’s lives, the Sentinel wrote. The children always took baths after dinner, and the family regularly attended church.
After Ms. Braley died and her husband contracted the coronavirus, the family created a GoFundMe to help support the foster children. The description reads, “After all the family has been through, there is no greater way to honor the life and legacy of our beloved Susan, than to make sure the children she cared so deeply about, are able to stay together as a family.”
Zara Arthur “Moe” Brannen, 89, Perry
A Korean War veteran and master mechanic, a welder who helped build nuclear power plants, Moe Brannen spent his free time in quieter ways. He liked to fish and garden and found pleasure in mowing the lawn and trimming trees. “He loved to help other folks, within his means; he would see that they were taken care of,” his obituary says.
[District 8 medical examiner, obituary]
Alfred Brennan, III, 79, St. Augustine
Alfred Brennan was a well-known voice on radio stations WFOY, WAOC and WSOS, a big personality on air who was also a common sight (and sound, as DJ or announcer) at community events.
Historic City News puts it this way: “Jetting around St. Augustine and St. Johns County, rolling up to the scene of a story in his compact car marked with magnetic signs and occasionally an emergency light, was how Al Brennan will be remembered by the scores of people who were the subjects of his often brief, impromptu interviews.” He sought stories with local flair and wrapped his newscasts the same way every time. “This is . . . Al Brennan, reporting.”
[District 8 medical examiner, obituary, Historic City News]
Jennifer Lee Brignoni, 34, Miami
When Jennifer Lee Brignoni was born and diagnosed with a type of Down Syndrome, doctors said she would have, at most, 13 years to live.
Instead, she lived long enough to become an active member of her community, participating in Special Olympics, graduating from high school and helping at a coffee shop. She liked to cook, talk to friends on the phone and practice her French. She was loving and warm, and her family called her “Panda.”
Beatrice Briklod, 92, Lakeland
Beatrice Briklod, a longtime resident of Hialeah, had an important role in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties: cookie sales director for the Girl Scouts. She devoted four decades of volunteer work to the organization, which rewarded her with its “Thanks Badge.”
She also volunteered at a hospital and traveled abroad with her husband, a wine consultant. She leaves two daughters and a grandson.
Carole Brookins, 76, Palm Beach
A pioneering woman in finance, Carole Brookins was one of few in the field in the 1970s. She carved out a career of expertise in the global political economy, especially as it related to agriculture and food, despite having started out making half the salary of male co-workers. She was executive director of the World Bank from 2001 to 2005. Her golden rule was to treat all countries fairly in the realm of food.
She spent half of her time in Paris, and half in Palm Beach, when she wasn’t trekking through World War II battle sites.
Gwendolyn Brown, 69, Palmetto
She was the first African-American commissioner of Manatee County. It was at an emergency meeting that commissioners announced her death.
Gwendolyn Brown was elected in 1994 and held office until 2010. A high point came when she shared a walk with Lawton Chiles, Florida’s 41st governor. As son Ed Chiles remembered the scene: “It was a walk we were doing north of the river, and we were in some of the neighborhoods where she had done a lot of work. I just remember her side-by-side with Dad, and the way that people reacted to that and seeing the two of them be together and big smiles on their face.”
Harold Willis Brown, 81, Pensacola
Harold Willis Brown took pride in his Army service. His insurance industry career took him from firm to firm, and finally to Nationwide, where he was an agent. He believed in public service and was a member of the Lions Club International. He married his wife, Peggy, 54 years ago, and together, they raised three daughters.
Johnnie Brown III, 47, Jacksonville
Officer Johnnie Brown, a 15-year employee of the Florida Department of Corrections, worked at the Reception and Medical Center in Lake Butler. A co-worker, writing on an online obituary page, said he counseled her through a tough time. “He spoke to me about God and his love for his family. Other things were to come after the first two.”
Raymond Kay Brown, 81, Fort Walton Beach
Ray Brown was a performer. He taught himself piano and was a member of The Four Freshmen, touring internationally. He had served in the Army and the Air Force and later became a radio host.
His relatives remember “he was all about pleasing the crowd,” including his nurses.
William “Bill” Harrison Bryan, 81, Port Charlotte
Bill Bryan worked on submarines in the U.S. Navy, then worked in pharmacy until 2012. He loved to attend reunions and stayed in touch with many friends from childhood in West Virginia, his days in the Navy and classmates in pharmacy school. He was fascinated by aviation and enjoyed watching jets take off and land from airports.
Perry Buchalter, 64, Jupiter
Perry Buchalter retired in mid-March, only about a week before he got sick. He had been a veteran healthcare executive at Quest Diagnostics.
A son called him a “quiet hero” who cherished time with family.
Conrad Buchanan, 39, Fort Myers
Conrad Buchanan was working right up until he got sick, stage name DJ Griff Gotti, performing at clubs in Miami and Fort Myers. It was spring break season. His wife, Nicole, called him a “social butterfly.”
He used to sing Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds to his 12-year-old daughter, Skye. When he was sick, she sang to him. “He brightened up anyone’s tough day,” she said.
Conrad Buckley, 52, Clermont
One of his first gigs was as a newspaper delivery boy. It instilled a love of community, one that he sought to carry on in a career of police work.
A patrol officer for a dozen years in Boston, Conrad Buckley moved to Clermont two years ago with his family. They described him in his obituary as a humble man who reflected often on the time a woman asked him if she could pray for him and for the safety of his fellow officers.
“He took tremendous pride in being a police officer and carried himself with confidence and integrity,” the Clermont police chief said.
Walter Maurice Harold Budde, 95, Sarasota
Walter Budde was world-renowned in peroxygen chemistry. “Chances are you use something in your daily life that can be traced back to a patent that Walter held,” his family wrote, including IV bags, food wrap, synthetic sandalwood oil and functional fluid stabilizers.
Improving his mathematical skills was a lifetime pursuit, and he liked to revisit old textbooks while his children were pursuing engineering degrees. In retirement, he went deeper into classical music — he played the violin and viola in orchestras and collected stringed instruments.
James “Jim” Charles Bullock Jr., 81, Naples
Jim Bullock always had a reputation for hard work and frugality — going back to the time he bought a house when he was only 14 years old. He started out working side-by-side with his father in the family oil business, formed a successful Burger King franchise and later, got into real estate development in the Marco Island area.
He always made time for family. His three daughters have fond memories of going hunting, camping, making homemade pizza and taking saunas together.
Willard T. “Bud” Bullock, 84, Bonita Springs
Bud Bullock loved being a father so much, he tried to hold onto every minute of it. Report cards, football programs and playbills were all saved. For years, he recorded every family event, camping trip and activity with a Betamax camera strapped to his shoulder.
“He was trying to put it in a capsule,” his son said.
His focus on family was deep-seated — he lost his own father when he was 7. Through the years, he coached Little League teams and supported his four children’s dreams, then regularly flew across the country to spend time with grandchildren. “He became the man he was because of the father he never had,” his wife said.
Romeo Bungubung, 66, Jacksonville
Eight years ago, Romeo Bungubung and his wife brought their family to the U.S. from the Philippines. Working the night shift as a security guard at an assisted living facility in Jacksonville, Bungubung studied for his citizenship test — his dream. Last December, he passed.
His family remembers him as selfless and hopelessly devoted. He could fix anything, build anything. They knew him to be welcoming. Meeting his daughter’s nervous future fiancé, for instance, he opened his arms wide, handed the young man a beer and hugged him hard, family already.
Stanley Bunn, Sr., 75, Jacksonville
He was a family man who decorated the yard and dressed up as Santa Claus. He was a Vietnam veteran and successful accountant who loved bowling and sang in Jacksonville’s Karaoke Club. He loved his teams: “Go Gators!” “DUUUVAL!”
Beyond his career, which took him from Florida Wire and Cable Co. to American Express and then Citibank, Stanley Bunn held plenty of volunteer titles: church leader, Scoutmaster, coach, adviser for Junior Achievement and more. He and his wife, Wanda, celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary nine days before he died.
Michael V. Burns, 67, Crestview
At Michael Burns’s funeral, soldiers stood at attention while pilots he served alongside rocketed overhead. He would have loved it. Mr. Burns joined the Air Force in 1975 as an aircraft scheduler, deeply proud to serve the U.S. He and his family moved from base to base in the U.S. and Germany until he retired in 1995 in Florida — but he continued to work for the Department of Defense and Air Force.
He inherited his grandfather’s love of the outdoors, spending summers at the family cabin in Maine. He was a father and grandfather, a man of faith who liked TV shows about cooking, fishing on the Gulf, telling stories and rooting for the Pats.
Martha Alice Burt, 98, Jacksonville
Martha Burt was a trailblazer — during World War II, she served in the Women’s Army Corps in Asheville, N.C. Since 1979, she was a proud member of the Women’s Army Corps Veterans’ Association Chapter 56.
To her eight great-grandchildren, she was known as “little grandma.”
Graham Buddy Byrd Jr., 60, Archer
Buddy Byrd was an Air Force veteran and long-distance truck driver. A Florida native, he attended a local Baptist church.
He leaves his fiancé, two daughters, son and stepson.
Jordan Byrd, 19, Tallahassee
He had just finished the spring 2020 semester with a 4.0. “Praise God!!!” Jordan Byrd wrote on Facebook. He worked as a custodian at the same elementary school he had once attended and took classes at Tallahassee Community College. At TCC, he was part of the Black Male Achievers program and was president of the Tallahassee Kappa League. He wanted to transfer to Florida A&M University and become an educator himself.
Friends remembered him as sweet yet determined, with a deep faith.
Renae Byrd, 32, Jacksonville
Renae Byrd announced in June that she and her husband were expecting a baby boy. She couldn’t wait. Even so, the due date came too soon — in the emergency room, where she went, coughing blood, doctors induced labor. Isaac Boyd III was born, and Byrd, struggling to breathe, tested positive for the coronavirus. Her brother told her, “Hey, you’re a mommy,” and she said, “I know.” That was the last day she was awake.
She had been careful, walking every day but keeping away from others. She took no risks, her family said, thinking of her baby. A writer and photographer, Byrd was the kind of woman who could bring out the best in people, who approached them with a smile and hard-won empathy. She and her husband had both lost spouses in recent years and had found new love together. He said, “She was ready to be a mom.”
Tim Calandra, 62, North Port
His music friends called him “Big T.” The love of his life called him Timmy.
Tim Calandra was community outreach and P.R. director of the Sarasota Film Society, frontman for blues-rock band Busta Groove, and fiancé of Roseann Falcone. They had grown up together on Long Island, then decades later, found each other again on Facebook.
Co-workers said Mr. Calandra’s favorite part of the job was running student film camps each summer. Other loves: The Sopranos, The Godfather and the Mets. Hanging out at home with Falcone and their dogs, Rocky and Quiggly.
Luis Caldera-Nieves, 63, Miami
People called Dr. Luis Caldera-Nieves the “Puerto Rican Santa Claus.” He kept spirits high, even through difficult shifts as an OB-GYN, always signing off: Somos felices. We’re happy.
Born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, he was a popular doctor, handing his private phone number to patients — even sharing his wife’s. He trained legions of other doctors in the field at the University of Miami and Jackson health system, and he delivered thousands of babies in his 25 years. He and his wife had six of their own.
Henry Camacho, 55, Davie
At Sumter Correctional Institution, where a COVID-19 outbreak plagued inmates, Henry Camacho contracted the virus. His daughter, Crystal, made a five-hour drive to say goodbye. She told him people were fighting for him. Astonishingly, he came off the ventilator after two weeks, able to breathe through weak lungs — then was sent back to his prison dorm with an oxygen machine, where he died.
He was serving a life sentence on murder charges, according to the Miami Herald. He was the youngest inmate to die. “My dad was the epitome of tough love,” his daughter said. “He had a way of being there for me, always knew when I needed him the most.”
Edward Douglas-Haig Cameron Jr., 75, Royal Palm Beach
When his father died unexpectedly, Edward Douglas-Haig Cameron Jr. left the University of Miami to provide for his family. He began working as an equine dentist, a profession he continued for years, offering his service to racetracks in Miami and farms in Ocala. In high school, Mr. Cameron played football and set an interception record that he held for years.
Dollie Campbell-Alls, 82, Gretna
In this rural stretch of North Florida, Dollie Campbell-Als was a matriarch of 10 who woke her daughters at dawn every day but Sunday to fish along the Chattahoochee’s banks. Saturdays, she spent at Kim’s Fashion, browsing the ornate hats and beaded dresses for church. One of her daughters said, “She didn’t talk loud, but when she spoke, everybody listened.”
Her perfume smelled of musk. She baked sweet potato pies for neighbors, even when times got tight. She played a bluesy electric guitar at The Open Door church for 73 years, going by the name of “B.B. Queen.” Her favorite duet with her husband was Don’t Let the Devil Ride. She had faced death before, but used to tell her children: “Oh baby, I’ve got it.”
Joseph Edward Caputo, Jr., 76, Ocala
Joseph Caputo was a long-time mail carrier. In his free time, he was an auto racing and war enthusiast and an avid modeler. For many years, he was president of the IPMS Ocala Plastic Modeler Club.
“Most of all, Joe was a loyal, fun-loving friend,” his family wrote.
Bob Carlos and Bano Carlos, 75 and 73, Kissimmee
Bob and Bano Carlos found a home in Kissimmee, both Disney employees. They’d met in community college and married in 1966, when their interracial marriage would have been off-limits in some parts of the U.S. As a mother, Bano went all-in for Halloween and other holidays, happy to craft homemade clown costumes and peeled grape “eyeballs” to make her kids happy. At Disney, she handled reservations, working with families to plan their dream trips.
For all of Bano’s compassion, Bob Carlos cut a sterner figure. Behind his dominant voice and stature, though, he was kind and used his intimidating impression to intervene when needed, like when he saw the boyfriend of a co-worker treating her badly. At the Pirates of the Caribbean gift shop, he played “Pirate Bob,” full of jokes, never breaking character.
E. Virginia “Ginny” Platt Carlson, 98, Fort Myers
Ginny Carlson was an accomplished soprano. Wherever she lived — Massachusetts, Maine or Florida — she sang in the church choir.
She met her husband while working at General Electric. The couple had five children and later, she went back to nursing school and enjoyed her “new calling.”
Mary Eleanor Carmichael, 100, Niceville
For much of the later half of her life, Mary Eleanor Carmichael was a teacher.
In Florida, she worked at the Rocky Bayou Christian School. In Bangkok, she taught English as a second language. In Papua New Guinea, she taught missionaries’ children. She was 76 then.
Born in Tennessee, she married an Army airman and was widowed in 1975. Ms. Carmichael was devoted to her church, her children remembered, and was particularly fond of the hymn, Onward Christian Soldiers.
Alma Carney, 91, Fort Lauderdale
In Alma Carney’s house, food almost always came from scratch. She was famous among friends and family for her linguine with clam sauce and chicken cacciatore. In the 1970s, she and her husband ran a catering company that gave deli meals to Fort Lauderdale construction workers.
Family said Carney was direct, diplomatic and loved to talk politics.
John Wootten Carpenter Jr., 78, Delray Beach
John Carpenter was a golfer and a bowler. He played softball and tennis and coached, too.
Mr. Carpenter designed and owned a golf course and ran a bowling alley, in addition to an office supply shop.
He died in a hospital where one memorial wing is named for his mother. His family remembers his thunderous laugh.
Thom Carr, 67, Fort Lauderdale
Thom Carr played piano and sold real estate and made people happy. With his husband, J. Heider, he donned elaborate costumes for holidays and cruises.
They both got sick after going to Winter Party Festival, an annual bash to raise money for the National LGBTQ Task Force. Mr. Carr never got better.
A friend remembered the way he and Heider were so close, two people who “knew how to love and live life as full as you can live it.”
Israel Carrera, 40, Miami Beach
Israel Carrera worked long days — sometimes 13-hour ones — to be able to send money to his mom in Cuba. His roots were there, having attended the Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de la Habana. In Miami Beach, he built a life full of healthy habits and plenty of dancing. He was energetic, charming, always down for a good party with his boyfriend, Franco. It was after the Winter Party Festival that he began to feel fatigued, but while he was there, he was joyful.
Wilbur Chester Carruth, 78, Eagle Lake
Wilbur Chester Carruth’s passion for ham radio began during his time in the Navy aboard the USS Newport News, where he was a radio operator amid the Cuban Missile Crisis.
After leaving the Navy, he operated a petroleum company until he retired and turned his efforts back to ham radio. His call sign was AB4XK.
Mr. Carruth dedicated his time to helping family and friends, and had a saying -- “can’t never could.”
David Helwig Carstater, 86, Atlantic Beach
David Carstater’s cardboard box eclipse viewers and model rocket launches for the kids were legendary in the neighborhood — that’s because he spent more than 30 years as an engineer with the U.S. Navy, even helping assist the Apollo-Soyuz hook-up in 1975.
He and his wife of more than 60 years were often heard singing to the music of their youth, like Frank Sinatra, the Beatles and the Beach Boys. At countless weddings, they were the last ones to leave the dance floor.
In his last days, the couple sang their final love songs over the phone. Carstater’s wife stood outside and watched him in his hospital bed through the window while a medical assistant held the phone up to his mouth and ear.
Frances “Fran” May Carver, 66, Gainesville
She was a “prayer warrior” who memorized Bible verses and wasn’t shy about telling people if she disagreed with them. Fran Carver was retired as a labor and delivery nurse, a career in which she had charmed patients with her sense of humor and outspokenness.
She had only lived in Parklands Care Center, a nursing home in Alachua County, for a month before contracting the virus amid an outbreak there.
Shirley Cassaras, 86, Jacksonville
Shirley Cassaras was a huge fan of crime drama and also enjoyed football and theater.
She was a dedicated homemaker and cherished her time with her husband of 68 years, five children, 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
August “Augie” Joseph Cassella, 92, Palm Beach Gardens
The American flag always flew outside Augie Cassella’s home.
A former Army master sergeant during the Korean War, Mr. Cassella helped organize Veterans Day remembrances.
He had worked as an electrician in New York and retired to Florida.
Divine Devenecia Abelon Castillo, 58, Jacksonville
In the hospital with COVID-19, Divine Castillo made her family laugh over FaceTime. That’s how she was in the kitchen, too, heading up Filipino restaurant Maharlika with her beloved husband and best friend, Ed. She had a young spirit and hostess’s grace, always offering up a plate of hot food when someone walked in the door. She loved her daughter, her “mini-me,” Jessica.
Richard Cataldi, 79, Ft. Lauderdale
Richard Cataldi was driven by a passion for theater. In New York, he attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, then worked in off-Broadway productions while working as a manager for The Plaza Hotel.
From the mid-1970s to the 2000s, he ran the Cataldi Agency and represented many up-and-coming and critically acclaimed actors. His happiest times were spent staging community productions in Cherry Grove on Fire Island.
Cheryl Hollon Cates, 67, Key West
Key West is a small place, and Cheryl Hollon Cates loomed large. Part of a well-known political family, she made connections all over the Keys as a real estate agent, businesswoman, volunteer with local charities, and as the wife of a Monroe County commissioner. For nearly a decade, she was known as the “first lady” of Key West while her husband served as mayor.
She moved to the Keys as a 2-year-old, then married her high school sweetheart. She loved music, performance, cars and most of all, her three daughters.
Virginia Elizabeth Cauley, 88, Pensacola
Virginia Cauley devoted her life to teaching math. A native of Alabama, she got her doctorate at Nova University in Florida, then settled in Pensacola where she taught high school mathematics.
Later, she rose to become Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Pensacola State College, For thirty years, she was known as the best math teacher there.
Pong Hui “Connie” Chartier, 79, Winter Garden
Outside her house, Connie Chartier showed a skill for gardening. She grew nuts, fruits and vegetables, and was particularly fond of the persimmon trees. She had started planting seeds several years ago when her daughter, Genie, got sick with leukemia. Ms. Chartier, who grew up in Korea and met her husband when he was in the Army, ran a dry cleaners in Ocoee.
Murray Cherin, 77, Pembroke Pines
Murray Cherin lived most of his life in South Florida. He worked in motorized window coverings.
He leaves his wife, sister and two nieces.
Donald G. Christen, 95, Orange Park
Donald Christen was a veteran and an active member of the Westside Republican Club. He grew up in Ohio, where he met his wife. The couple were married 60 years and moved to Florida for Christen’s job as a truck driver.
Anthony “Tony” Christensen, 55, Naples
When Southwest Florida firefighters found out about the death of Tony Christensen, it was like losing a brother. Mr. Christensen served as a firefighter for 22 years. Hundreds came out for his funeral, where a fire engine carried his casket down the street. Firefighters and family members remembered Christensen warmly, as someone who loved a good joke, his family and his community.
Barbara Chubbuck, 72, Kissimmee
Even though she and her husband lived in Kissimmee, Barbara Chubbuck still traveled back to Maine for the summers. There, she worked at a farm stand, baking Barb’s Peanut Butter Fudge, blueberry muffins, whoopie pies and molasses cookies.
She liked to work in the flower garden and watch birds. Cardinals were her favorite.
Her husband, Jesse “Tiger” Chubbuck, said the few days after she died, there were four of five cardinals in his yard.
Mark Cieslinski, 64, Port St. Lucie
Mark Cieslinski lived to be outside, cruising the Treasure Coast shoreline, casting a line for dolphinfish and cobia. His love for the natural world was so strong it gave his children their careers in the sustainability arena. “It all comes from him,” said daughter Sarah.
His children and friends remember him as healthy, alert, ready to grab his daughter’s shoulder to share a favorite bird sighting. His respect for the water was such that, once he landed the big catch of the day, he headed back to shore. He freely gave friends containers of fishing jigs, handmade.
John Cisler, 82, Sarasota
A brutal northeast winter sent John Cisler and his wife to Florida, where they settled in Sarasota. For seven years, Mr. Cisler operated a produce company until he sold the business. He later ran a janitorial services company with his brother. In Sarasota, he was an active member of his local Elks Lodge, and his family joked there was nowhere he could go where he didn’t know somebody.
Katherine Lynn Clardy, 63, Panama City
Born on an airfield in Japan, Katherine Lynn Clardy grew up in Panama City, where she met the love of her life in high school. She married Dennis on Valentine’s Day, and they went on to raise a daughter in the city where they met. Ms. Clardy believed in her values strongly, yet had a heart for forgiveness and unconditional family love.
As a tribute in her hometown paper stated, she was a “proud homemaker, lover of nature, gardener, awesome fisherman, pet lover and most recently, the best home-schooling grandmother in the entire world.”
Gwendolyn “Gwen” Elizabeth Kinsey Clark, 86, Madison
Gwen Clark trained as a nurse in New Orleans before moving back to Florida. She eventually became the director of the Bureau of Crippled Children.
She loved fishing, especially on the Aucilla and Wacissa rivers, and spending time with her large family.
Myrtle Moon Clark, 94, Bartow
Myrtle Clark married her husband after he returned from World War II. They moved around the state, and she was a homemaker until later working in accounting for her son’s law firm.
Ms. Clark loved sports and played basketball and golf in high school. She enjoyed all Gators sports, especially the Lady Gators softball team. A huge Atlanta Braves fan, she refused to miss a game, day or night.
Reginald A. Clarke, 84, Beverly Hills
Reginald Clarke grew up in Harlem and joined the U.S. Navy at 17, where he later served as an instructor of race relations.
After 22 years, he joined the civilian workforce. He worked as a corrections officer while attending college, then worked as a computer field engineer at Honeywell for 25 years, while also serving as the constable for the town of Marlborough, Conn.
Silvia Claveria, 76, Miami
When Silvia Claveria’s son Elias wants to commemorate his mom, he puts on Contigo Aprendí by Spanish singer Rocío Dúrcal. Ms. Claveria was born in Cuba and moved to the United States with her family. She supported all three of her children — her son mentioned how she would drive him to school because he was scared to take the bus. They had hoped to build her a ramp, so Claveria, who had swollen feet and difficulty walking, could go outside and see the sky. She died before it was possible.
Carolyn “Carrie” Cloud, 77, Ponte Vedra Beach
Carrie Cloud worked as a teacher’s aide and loved to paint.
She and her husband, Duane, got married during a snowstorm in 1962. They enjoyed a dinner for their 58th anniversary not long before she got sick.
Ms. Cloud’s family will scatter her ashes in the Keys. When Duane dies, they will scatter his ashes, too, so the couple “can go snorkeling together again.”
Earl A. Cody, 88, Fort Myers
Earl Cody liked to laugh and often said the way to a long and happy marriage is two words, "Yes, dear!" It must have worked because he and his wife were together for more than 70 years.
A sports enthusiast, he coached Little League games and was always in the stands cheering on his sons, granddaughters and great-grandson at their high school and college games.
He had a beautiful tenor voice. When he was young, he sang for crowds on cruise ships and nightclubs. Later, he became a building contractor but continued to sing as a deacon at his Baptist church.
David Ira Cohen, 96, Melbourne
David Cohen was a World War II veteran who received a Purple Heart after he was wounded in combat during the Normandy Invasion. He returned home to Providence, R.I., where he attended the YMCA Institute and worked as a letter carrier for 39 years.
Joseph Ernest Collins, 69, Jacksonville
Along with cheering for his favorite NFL and college football teams, Joseph Ernest Collins was a dedicated supporter of his former high school’s football team, the Raines Vikings. His daughter, who went to an opposing high school and performed in the marching band, joked about the time he came to a game and sat in the Raines' side of the bleachers instead. Collins worked as a postman before retiring.
Shirley Long Collins, 93, Tallahassee
Shirley Collins played tennis just about every day, a regular joy into her 80s.
She graduated high school in Tallahassee but was a devoted fan of the Florida Gators. For more than 40 years, she and her husband kept the same seats at the Swamp.
James D. “Doug” Cook, 53, Daytona Beach
Doug Cook worked as an auditor in the hospital industry.
His family recalls how he was artistic, a University of Florida graduate who went to high school in Port Orange. He died in his home, leaving his mother, aunts and an uncle.
Stephen Cooper, 78, Delray Beach
Stephen Cooper, an electrical engineer from New York, used to carry a photo in a wallet: it showed him with an envelope tucked under his arm, running for his life as the Twin Towers collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001.
The memory became a memento. “He would bring it to family barbecues, parties, anywhere he could show it off,” his daughter said.
Born in the Bronx, Cooper worked for the New York City Transit Authority for many years. He also was a part-time activist, helping organize rallies to protest landfills in the Rockaways, where he owned a home.
Vladislav “Vlado” Cop, 89, Venice
Before retiring to Florida, Vladislav Cop was a physician in Cleveland. An immigrant himself, he maintained a practice that catered in part to people who had left the former Yugoslavia.
He leaves his wife, Georgia, to whom he was married for 58 years, along with two daughters.
Johnny Copeland, 44, Miami
Johnny Copeland’s life took many painful turns, not the least of which happened in 1997, when a gunshot left him paralyzed. He would later be a victim once again — of the coronavirus. But in between those painful poles, his family remembered, he became self-reliant. He cooked for himself — spaghetti with sausages was his favorite — and cared for his sister’s children after she was brutally attacked by a former boyfriend.
When Mr. Copeland died, the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the cause of death was both COVID-19 and complications from the old gunshot wound. The ruling meant that his death was both a coronavirus case and a homicide, one newly thrust into the hands of Miami detectives.
Christopher Gene Correia, 71, Jacksonville Beach
Dial-A-Pizza was one of the first delivery services of its kind around Jacksonville Beach, the work of Christopher Correia and his brother. Mr. Correia was born in New Bedford, Mass., but grew up in Florida.
A Florida State College at Jacksonville graduate, he was, at various times, a radio personality and production director, the owner of a landscaping company and the owner of a pool company.
He also sang in the choir at his Baptist church.
Billy Cosson, 62, Tallahassee
Billy Cosson was a resident of Tallahassee Developmental Center. He was remembered as “a Southern gentleman.” One person left a note on his one-line obituary: “You behave Billy.”
William Couture, 72, Kissimmee
When he was young in Lowell, Mass., Bill Couture turned his closet into a darkroom. He enjoyed taking pictures, tropical fish and scuba diving. He studied engineering in school.
Mr. Couture later moved to Bradenton, where he lived for about 30 years.
Tom Craciun, 77, South Palm Beach
Tom Craciun worked hard for decades, from a childhood selling berries to neighbors from a little red wagon alongside his brother to 30 years supervising a General Motors plant in Ohio. He was a strong swimmer in his youth, making it to the Olympic trials but barely missing qualification. He loved cars — buying and selling them, racing Porches and Corvettes.
He retired early and moved to Florida, where he’d meet up with buddies at Starbucks to talk about cars and girls.
Ricardo “Richard” Cremaschi, 70, Bradenton
Born and raised in Argentina, Richard Cremaschi worked for many years on boats before taking up a family tradition in wine. Inspired by his grandparents and uncles, who left Italy in the early 1900s, he started an importing business in Florida.
Mr. Cremaschi had served in the Argentine Navy, worked on tug boats and ran an airboat tour company in Bradenton. His family remembers he loved to show people around the water.
Robert Crowdis, 67, Tallahassee
Robert Crowdis served in the U.S. Navy for 21 years as an electronic communications technician. He served Tallahassee Community College next, as well as the North Florida Hispanic Association.
He loved his four dogs, Panchita, Pecas, Bella and Chombito. He liked fishing, bowling and gardening with his grandchildren. He lorded over the ham and turkey on holidays — they were his to carve and nibble. He and his wife, Eva, were always together. She visits his grave every day.
Lt. Chris Cunningham, 48, Jacksonville
Husband and father of five, Chris Cunningham taught his children to ride bikes and change the oil. Though he was busy as a civil servant with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office crime scene unit, he was a constant presence for his kids. One of his sons, remembering a high school football game, told this story: “My senior year, we played Sandalwood. I scored twice, and my dad was on both ends. I scored the first time, he was right there. High five. And I remember the second one. He was right there, too.”
Thomas H. Curcio, 91, Naples
Tom Curcio was a Naval reserve veteran who married his high school sweetheart, Patricia.
He formerly owned Seaway Mechanical Contractors before retiring to a life of tee times and big band shows.
Mr. Curcio played the trumpet, a constant since he was a little boy.
Richard Curren, 77, Fort Lauderdale
Richard Curren was married for 57 years, after meeting his wife at the University of Illinois. He was a travel agent, with a magic act, in which Sheila, of course, had a part.
They retired to Florida, where they moved together to Atria Willow Wood, an assisted living facility in Fort Lauderdale. That’s where he got sick.
Gerald Paul “Jerry” D’Arcy, 87, Panama City
Jerry D’Arcy was in the U.S. Air Force for three decades, retiring as a colonel and director of its Office of Scientific Research. He had moved around the country with his family but settled into a private job based out of Tyndall Air Force Base in the Panhandle.
Later in life, he kept up a passion for building furniture.
Vincent and Edna Daddario, 87 and 84, Boynton Beach
This was the year Vinny and Edna Daddario were to mark 60 years of marriage.
They had been together since meeting at a New York City dance, two kids from different boroughs. He worked in sanitation and drove a bus; she was a secretary. They raised a family in Queens and retired to Florida, positioning angel figurines in front of their house.
Roger L. Dalgleish Jr., 76, Wilton Manors
A resident of Wilton Manors for two decades, Roger L. Dalgleish Jr. was proud of his Scottish roots and attributed his frugality to his heritage. He was a veteran of the Air National Guard who always tried to stay strong even as he faced many hardships. When Mr. Dalgleish died, loved ones said he could be remembered through donations to a food bank or their individual savings accounts.
Sally Elizabeth Daneman, 88, Bradenton
Fourteen grandchildren called Sally Daneman “Bubba.”
Well before that generation was born, she took their parents to demonstrations in the 1960s about the Vietnam War. Her kids remember now that she set an example as a “quiet activist,” teaching them about the need for racial equality.
Ms. Daneman also served as a catechism instructor at church.
Ulf Daniel, 76, Jupiter
A friend thought of Ulf Daniel as a kind-of renaissance man.
He had lived in California and South Africa, Florida and Costa Rica. He loved the water and his 33-foot boat. Mr. Daniel once worked for Mercedes-Benz and had his own lighting design business. He appears in old photos as burly, tan and smiling. He was already sick with leukemia when he became infected with the coronavirus.
Gregory Davies, 69, Royal Palm Beach
Gregory Davies was a building contractor who focused on craftsmanship. His work spanned historic preservation and custom homes. One of his projects was a two-bedroom cottage built in 1928 and once owned by Jimmy Buffett.
He and his wife of 46 years would often take friends on tours of Palm Beach’s restaurants, museums, gardens and beaches. His dog still comes to the door, waiting for him to come home.
Robert Bernard Davies, 79, Cape Coral
Robert Davies began his career as a computer programmer in the banking and securities world and rose to become the chief information officer for Brown Brothers Harriman.
Retired in Florida since 2006, Mr. Davies became the president of the Cape Coral Republican Club and was deeply involved with his local church. His family remembers his wry sense of humor and love for traveling, politics and the New York Yankees.
Carsyn Davis, 17, Fort Myers
Carsyn Davis bowled on a school team and sang. She devoted time to help with Special Olympics and wrote Christmas cards to members of the military.
People remembered her as a Christian and honor student. She liked to take pictures of the sunset. Ms. Davis, the Fort Myers News-Press reported, had prior health trouble from an autoimmune disorder and cancer.
According to news reports, she had been treated with hydroxychloroquine and other unproven remedies for nearly two weeks before her death in a south Florida hospital.
Charlie “Bud” Davis, 80, Glen St. Mary
The eleventh of 12 children, Bud Davis grew up on a family farm, boarding and breeding horses — even competing in the rodeo with his favorite horse, King. He stayed in the family tradition and raised livestock and grew crops. He invented farming tools but considered his big family his proudest achievement.
He was married to his wife, Faye, for more than 52 years. Many people knew him as “Papa Bud.” Mr. Davis loved Saturdays spent barbecuing by the pool. “But his favorite pastime was sitting on the porch, in his rocking chair, reminiscing about the past under his beloved pecan trees.”
[District 8 medical examiner, obituary]
Dorothy “Dottie” Jane Davis, 83, Englewood
Dottie Davis played piano in church and once owned a beauty shop, where she was a stylist.
She met her husband, Floyd, when she was 11. They married two years after she graduated from Venice/Nokomis High School. They were together 64 years.
Melba Collum Davis, 88, Florida
Melba Davis — known as “Moosie” to her family — had a varied career. She started out teaching first-graders in Vermont, then was a technical publications editor at the U.S. Quartermaster School in Fort Lee, Va., owned a craft business in Massachusetts and worked in real estate development and the travel industry in Virginia.
She and her husband of 65 years also were antique dealers and members of the Lakeland Universalist Unitarian Church.
Joan A. DeCerio, 77, Cape Coral
Joan DeCerio never sat still. “She could make anything fun or adventurous,” a friend wrote. “When she laughed, it was like she had swallowed a rainbow.”
Ms. DeCerio spent many years working for Publix and was a volunteer for many organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club and the Salvation Army. She loved all babies, especially her three great-grandchildren.
A fall in March sent Ms. DeCerio to recover at Tarpon Point Nursing and Rehabilitation, which has since suffered one of Florida’s worst outbreaks of the coronavirus.
Dexter Deering, 54, Palatka
Dexter Deering wasn’t really a church guy, but he harbored deep faith, his brother-in-law said. People sought him out for advice. “He was just that kind of open, free-hearted guy," he said. He was a husband and father of three, the youngest 14, and was setting aside money for an education fund.
Betty Bliss Taylor DeJarnette, 91, Holly Hills
Betty DeJarnette grew up on a farm, the youngest of an extensive blended family that included her five siblings and 12 half-siblings.
She moved to Florida from Virginia and was once a supervisor at J.C. Penney’s. Every Friday for 25 years, she enjoyed playing cards with her best friends.
Gerald Francis DeMarco, 80, Miami
Gerald DeMarco was an architect devoted to his profession. He was an adjunct professor at the University of Miami for over 30 years and encouraged many students underrepresented in the field.
His legacy as a designer in Miami can be seen in The Lincoln Theater, Little River School, San Ignacio and Christ the King churches, Firehouse 4 restaurant and the recently completed Redfish Grill.
He loved the arts, puzzles in the Miami Herald and cooking with his family and friends.
Francis “Frankie” DePalma, 57, Fort Lauderdale
Frankie DePalma was sober in Alcoholics Anonymous for 35 years and worked as a psych tech at Imperial Hospital.
He was known as the “Karaoke Man” to his friends, who loved his rendition of Piano Man. They also looked forward to the dozens of cookies he gave out every Christmas. “Generous of spirit, he was loved by all, funny, kind, and wise — knowing when to use each gift to benefit all he encountered,” his family wrote.
Mercelie Derolus, 94, North Miami
Mercelie Derolus would travel from Miami to Montreal to care for her host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. She loved children, especially babies, and animals. She would feed the neighborhood cats, even taking one in that would sleep under her bed.
Derolus was independent, and liked to sew, pray, clean and hop on the treadmill.
Dominick Louis DeRosa, 74, Englewood
Dominick DeRosa won prizes for his PT Cruiser. A Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam, he worked hard on the car before putting it out for shows.
He leaves his wife, son and daughter, among other family.
Vincent DeSalvo, 74, Jacksonville
A Jacksonville native, Vincent DeSalvo lived his whole life in his hometown, where he built multiple businesses and had a 45-year marriage.
After graduating high school, he served in the U.S. Naval Reserves and opened Mary Ann’s Golden Fried Chicken. In 1980, he purchased Beach Road Chicken Dinners Restaurant, his “pride and joy,” and ran it for more than two decades, his family wrote.
Mr. DeSalvo was well loved at Holy Spirit Catholic Church and faith was one of his top priorities, along with his wife and three children. In his spare time, he also loved boating, fishing, snorkeling and family vacations in the Keys.
Frank Dever, 73, Longwood
Frank Dever had a robust career in finance and the restaurant industry. As vice president of General Mills’ international division, he made dozens of trips to Japan and established Red Lobster in Canada.
He loved sports, especially the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic, and terrible fiction that involved spies and twisted espionage plots.
In the 1960s, “he was a young dad of two children, and if that meant he missed both the draft and the protests...he embraced the music of the period with all his heart,” his family wrote.
Samantha Diaz, 29, West Palm Beach
Her family called her Sammy. Granddaughter of migrant farmworkers from Mexico, Samantha Diaz worked her way through school. She landed a job as a medical assistant, with hopes of becoming a registered nurse. To care for sick people was her passion. She balanced work with motherhood, raising a teenage son and two infants.
Diaz was big on celebrations, like dancing to salsa, merengue and Tejano music, or marking milestones with over-the-top cakes.
Petra and Gilberto Diazgranados, 61 and 63, Palm Springs
Petra and Gilberto Diazgranados met while in high school in New York. He came from Colombia and she from the Dominican Republic. Soon, he’d join the Army
They nurtured a big, close family and settled in Florida, where the virus sickened them together, along with two of their children.
Petra and Gilberto died July 18. He passed four minutes before her.
Danielle Dicenso, 33, South Florida
Danielle Dicenso worked on the COVID-19 front lines as an ICU nurse at Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah, near Miami. She was afraid to go to work because she didn’t have a mask, her husband said, but she went anyway, putting patients’ needs above her own.
“You’re a real hero!!” her husband posted on Facebook.
Family members remembered her great sense of humor and kind heart. She left behind a 4-year-old son, Dominic.
Joseph E. Dickinson, 93, Bradenton
Joseph Dickinson was born on a farm during the Great Depression. He enlisted in the Naval Air Corps during World War II, then went to college and worked in fundraising for more than 40 years, including as vice president of the American Fund for Dental Education in Chicago and president of the Michigan State University Foundation.
Retired half the year in Florida, Dickinson liked to cruise the Florida peninsula with his family on his boat, the “Fun Raiser,” and also used his wood-working skills to build rocking chairs for his great-grandchildren.
Edward Howard Dillon, 82, Sarasota
Edward Dillon’s family recalls he was “one heck of a water skier.” He was an avid motorcyclist and part of the Cincinnati Cavalier Motorcycle Club, along with his late wife, Ann.
Dillon also participated in the Civil Air Patrol and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Loretta Dionisio, 68, Orlando
Loretta and Roddy Dionisio fell in love at art school in the Philippines. After decades in America, they kicked off retirement by going back. They skipped to Thailand and then flew to California.
Loretta — Lettie, her family called her — got sick along the way. She was gregarious, her family said, but most of all strong.
“We were going to have these great conversations and be able to laugh about certain things that they did on their vacation," said her son, Rem.
Donald DiPetrillo, 70, Davie
Donald DiPetrillo was something of a legend in the South Florida firefighting community. Most recently, he was the fire chief for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, but over several decades, he also worked in Fort Lauderdale and led the department in Davie.
Mr. DiPetrillo graduated high school in Hollywood and served in the Navy.
He “understood that success in life was about just being nice,” said William Latchford, executive director of public safety for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, in a statement. “If you care for people, the rest takes care of itself.”
Albert DiPietro, 88, Bradenton
Once you got to know Albert DiPietro, you were likely to hear him sing or watch him cook. “If you were fortunate to be a loved one of Al’s, he was always there for you when you needed him,” his family wrote.
An Army veteran who made a career in insurance, DiPietro was devout and worked in jail ministry.
Dobby Dobson, 78, Coral Springs
A singer-songwriter whose biggest hit was his 1967 rocksteady ballad I’m a Loving Pauper, Dobby Dobson helped Jamaican pop music evolve. He loved syrupy ballads and cover songs and dabbled in genres, including R&B, ska and doo-wop. The message of his hit: I may be poor, but I have love to give.
In Florida, after a successful music career, he sold real estate, but he didn’t give up performances at reggae festivals and special occasions — even playing a featured role on a “Motion on the Ocean” cruise.
Forest Henry Dodson, 86, Panama City Beach
Forest Dodson enlisted in the Air Force at 18 and spent the next 26 years serving in England, Germany, Vietnam and parts of the United States. He met the love of his life on his first assignment in England. The couple was married for 62 years.
Mr. Dodson — nicknamed “Dod” — was a jokester who was passionate about his family. When not working, he could usually be found at the beach or on his boat or watching sports from his favorite recliner with sweeping views of the Gulf of Mexico.
Terry D. Douglas, 74, Okeechobee
A native Floridian, Terry Douglas was an active grandfather who directed Sunday school at his church and liked to tool around on a three-wheel motorcycle.
He fished for bass and explored in his RV. Born in Pensacola, he ran an HVAC business before retiring.
Barry Downes, 49, Miramar
Barry Downes, a service representative for American Airlines, was always the person to call if you were stuck. He was especially happy to lend a hand to other Barbadians, his father said.
Just months before he died, Mr. Downes got an award from the prime minister of Barbados for his service to the community. It honored the “pride of Barbados.”
Simeon Lindo Downs, Sr., 83, Miami
Simeon Lindo Downs founded a church and served as its pastor for 37 years. In 2014, the mayor of Miami-Dade County declared April 27 as Bishop Simeon Lindo Downs, Sr. Day because of his steadfast mission to extend love and praise God through his life.
His wife said he never let others' behavior affect him. He practiced what he preached, she said.
Barbara Bayley Drew, 78, Stuart
Barbara Drew was a natural athlete, growing up water skiing and sailing, then going on to play tennis and golf with her husband, John, as an adult. She often won club championships, making three holes-in-one over the course of her golf career.
A devoted mother of three, she watched her children take up sports, too, and always had dinner prepared for the family at the end of busy days. She loved having children fill her home, which became a regular gathering place for the neighborhood kids.
Ms. Drew had many other hobbies, like needlepoint, reading and interior decorating. She’s remembered for her style and thoughtfulness, and for giving her all to everything she did. Her ashes will be spread over the waters of Smith Cove off Shelter Island in Long Island, N.Y., where she spent summers as a child, and where her family has gathered for reunions for more than a decade.
Kenneth Drew, 77, Melbourne
Kenneth Drew worked his way up in the U.S. Postal Service. He retired in the 1990s as the postmaster in Carterville, the Illinois city where he graduated high school.
A Little League coach and National Guardsman, he traveled the United States in an RV, then retired to the beach.
Neirva Dumerci, 37, Vero Beach
Neirva Dumerci was a mother of four and a frontline nurse who caught COVID-19 from a patient, her children wrote on GoFundMe. She had studied nursing at Indian River College, had a sweet disposition and was her children’s “hero with wings.”
Harry Wilson “Hap” Dunaway, 92, Greenwood
Married for almost 65 years, Hap Dunaway and his wife, Jorene, used to take their children to vacation on the beach or to camp at St. George Island.
He was an Air Force veteran who went on to a career at the Florida Land Title and Trust Company in Marianna. Mr. Dunaway, his family recalled, was active in the Sons of the American Revolution and in his Episcopal church.
William Russell “Bill” Earnhart, 90, Delray Beach
After retiring, Bill Earnhart kept up his work as a doctor, volunteering as a physician at a health center in Boynton Beach. He enjoyed golf and traveling, and he hosted exchange students at home with his wife. He served on the board of the local YMCA.
While attending high school in Indiana, his team made the finals of the state’s famed boys’ basketball tournament. He later attended Indiana University and served in the Air Force.
Theresa Edwards, 62, Tallahassee
A housing manager for the Tallahassee Developmental Center, Theresa Edwards doted on the residents. She brought her energy and bubbliness to work, and brought her love of God to the Lamb’s Temple of God WITE Ministries in Midway, where she was a deaconess and usher. Her obituary says she is survived by a daughter, grandchildren, siblings and the developmental center’s residents.
Stephen R. Ehrlich, 85, Palm Beach
Stephen Ehrlich was a pioneering corporate bond trader on Wall Street who became a managing partner at Mabon, Nugent & Co for 20 years.
Ehrlich was an ardent believer in the value of higher education and was deeply involved with his alma mater, Brown University, including funding scholarships at Brown's undergraduate and medical schools.
Nancy L. Eiseman, 83, Cape Coral
Nancy Eiseman was a medical transcriptionist for over 40 years, until her retirement.
In her free time, she liked nature walks, Marvel movies, antique shops and raising baby animals. She had four children, 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Mary Lou Eitzman, 89, Gainesville
Mary Lou Eitzman firmly believed, according to her family, “that love should be shared with everyone.”
Whether working as a nurse, volunteering at a hospice or serving as a reading tutor at a local prison, Ms. Eitzman’s loved ones remember she maintained that credo her whole life.
She liked to quilt, giving her works to friends, and also painted Christmas and birthday cards. Ms. Eitzman fell ill with the coronavirus while also sick with multiple myeloma.
She was married to her husband, Don, for 65 years. They were holding hands when she died.
Anna Elinoff, 44, Jacksonville
Anna Elinoff loved to care for and rescue any kind of animal, but she had a passion for treating birds. It was a passion she fulfilled as a veterinary assistant at the Exotic Bird Hospital. She got her start tending to animals at a Sante Fe Community College Zookeeping program, later going to veterinary school and interning at South Africa’s Kruger National Park. She enjoyed horseback riding and scuba diving.
Lois Mae Ellis, 86, Pompano Beach
Lois Ellis “never met a microphone she didn’t like,” her family wrote. She was always the life of the party, with her fashion sense and extensive hat collection.
An eager karaoke singer, she became known by her fans as “Lolo of Pompano,” after moving to Pompano Beach from Long Island with her husband and five children in 1971. There, she was the buyer for the city of Pompano Beach for over 30 years.
Delores Ellison, 77, Fleming Island
From Delores Ellison’s senior year in high school, she wanted to be a teacher. She won a state teaching scholarship and began a 40-year-long career where she was an instructor, administrator, counselor and coach. She spent 18 years as the program coordinator for an International Baccalaureate program, growing the program by hundreds of students. The program she ran was recognized twice for having the most students to get diplomas in the United States.
Carl Eugene Elmore, 68, Panama City
In 1997, Carl Elmore, a Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative lineman, was electrocuted. He lived.
He had worked for the power company since 1974, and he would stay with it until he died in November.
Elmore also served as a longtime reserve deputy for the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, particularly fond of the Saturday midnight shift.
David “Davey” Emory, 53, Bayou George
Davey Emory served in the U.S. Army, then worked for Bay District Schools and for Dumpster Services. He was the kind of guy who waved and smiled at familiar cars along his route, even if he didn’t know the people inside. He liked to make people laugh. He rooted for the Georgia Bulldogs, having been born in Athens. He coached football and baseball, liked to cook and doted on his family.
Anne Ennis, 93, Kissimmee
As the last two of eight children, Anne Ennis loved to spend time reminiscing with her older sister, Margaret. Family was the most important thing to Ennis, who has six children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Ennis contracted the coronavirus after a stay in the hospital for hip surgery in May, and she didn’t have the oxygen capacity to sustain herself.
[Tampa Bay Times]
William “Bill” David Escue, 65, Sewall’s Point
A retired Navy commander, “$2 Bill” Escue always tipped with — you guessed it — $2 bills. It was meant to bring good luck.
He worked as a manufacturing executive and lived for a while in Oklahoma. He took lots of pictures and liked to collect shells and coins. A man who said he served in the Navy with him wrote that when he was young, Mr. Escue was a “devoted and dependable” leader who knew “how to work hard and sometimes play even harder.”
Carroll D. Esry, 87, Sarasota
There was a time, according to his family, when Carroll Esry wanted to become a professional bowler. His father (and his wife) figured a different line of work might be better.
Mr. Esry, an Army veteran, worked in insurance and for a communications provider. He played and coached tennis, and later took up boating.
Friends knew him as “a consummate host, ensuring his guests were always comfortable and their wine glasses were always full.”
Ron Eudy, 65, Crawfordville
At Christmastime, Ron Eudy would adorn his front yard with dozens of inflatable figures, just to see his 11-year-old smile. He loved model trains and taking his daughter, Cynda, sailing on the St. Marks River.
He was a former commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Apalachee Bay Flotilla, and he was a metal worker until he retired a decade ago. He raised Cynda for several years as a single parent before marrying his wife, Kim, six years ago.
Fritzner Fabre, 41, Miami
Fritzner Fabre was a healthcare aide, caring for coronavirus patients until their sickness became his own. In Miami, his life was quiet, but he came from Haiti, where he was a rapper in a group called Majik Clik. In the days before he died, a neighbor left Fabre soup at his porch to make sure someone was looking after him.
Manuel “Manny” Peter Fanarjian, 81, Stuart
Manny Fanarjian was a lawyer in New Jersey for more than 40 years, also serving as a prosecutor “where he earned a reputation for firmness, fairness and compassion,” his family wrote.
When not at work, he was on the water every chance he got. He loved swimming, waterskiing, tinkering with boats and enjoying a strong Bloody Mary with friends.
Dr. Edward Richard Farber, 82, Sarasota
When he worked as a pathologist, Dr. Edward Farber met his colleagues by saying: “What are we learning today?” He was known for organizing big holiday parties for his lab.
Dr. Farber was a University of Michigan die-hard and loyal tailgater. He liked red wine and red meat, bicycling and working out. His family wrote: “At the time of his death, Ed ‘The Great Pathologist’ was reading The Great Influenza and was convinced he would figure out this virus.”
Lou Emma Farlow, 84, Palm Coast
As a lover of crochet, Lou Emma Farlow would donate handmade chemotherapy caps for the AdventHealth Foundation and Hope 2 Help Foundation. She also loved bowling, winning bingo, mosaic art, singing and more. After raising her four children, Farlow started a career as a personal fitter for a bra company. She loved spending time with her family and her Pekinese dog, Sugar.
[Tampa Bay Times]
Billy Farrell, 84, Tequesta
Golf great Billy Farrell came from a line of PGA Tour players and lived by what you could call the family creed: “It was an honor to serve golf, not the other way around,” his niece, Mary Kay Willson, told The Palm Beach Post.
His father’s illustrious career — he was the 1928 U.S. Open champ — lifted the family out of poverty. Farrell continued the legacy, with 70 PGA Tour events and nearly four decades as head professional at Connecticut’s Stanwich Club. More than the victories, though, the gregarious family man prized sharing his love of golf with others, particularly women and children. He was giving lessons, from his wheelchair, as late as last winter.
Dominic Edward “Nick” Fazzina, 88, Bradenton
The son of Sicilian immigrants, Nick Fazzina served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, then worked in the restaurant business until retirement.
Mr. Fazzina was a true extrovert who loved dancing, music and traveling. At parties, he often launched into his own comedy routines. His family regrets that, because of the pandemic, he was never able to achieve a lifelong dream to cruise to Alaska.
Thomas George Ferguson, 74, Fort Myers
After graduating from Saginaw Valley State College with an English degree, Thomas Ferguson worked for the Saginaw Township Times and for his alma mater as a director of plant services.
He ran his own advertising and consulting firm and led a chamber of commerce in Michigan.
He is survived by his wife, three sons and several grandchildren. His family was grateful he got to hold the youngest, 2 months old, before he got sick.
Ada Ficarra, 79, Winter Garden
Ada Ficarra once bought a car on the spot even though she didn’t have a license. Her husband didn’t, either. After moving to an assisted living facility, someone asked her to watch her mouth when she was swearing. Ms. Ficarra told the woman to go to a new table.
A native of Sicily, Ficarra grew up in New York. She loved books and Pavarotti.
DeAntuan Travelle Fields, 35, Pompano Beach
As a young boy, DeAntuan Travelle Fields taught himself to play guitar by ear. Family said his heart belonged to music — along with the guitar, Fields played the drums and bass for a variety of gospel groups. He had three children and worked in Broward County Public Schools as a janitor until he faced kidney failure.
While he was on the waiting list for a kidney, his spirit never wavered. He’d wake up early for treatment and still play music each night.
Bernard Fils-Aimé, 67, Miami
Bernard Fils-Aimé dedicated himself to improving the lives of fellow Haitians, on the island and in the United States. He fought to secure rights for Haitian refugees and led a cellular company that spread technology in Haiti while investing heavily in working people.
He co-founded the Haitian Refugee Center and fought against dictatorship in the country where he was born. Fils-Aimé attended Columbia University, liked to drink Scotch and became a trusted adviser to a Haitian president.
He used to bring his children with him to protests at the Krome Detention Center in South Florida. They remember him as a “freedom fighter,” as well as a loving father.
Evy Olive Thomaston Finch, 83, Panama City
The daughter of a minister, Evy Finch became the first female switchman in the state of Florida and worked for Bell South telephone company for more than 30 years.
After retirement, she built a successful electronics business, Florida Electronics, with her son.
Gerard “Jerry” Fisher, 94, Delray Beach
A long-time wholesale wine and liquor executive, Jerry Fisher is remembered for his “larger than life” personality, wrote the Atlanta Jewish Times. During a 30-year career with National Distributing Co., Mr. Fisher was in charge of operations in Atlanta, North Florida and South Florida. He retired as president and managing director of the company’s South Florida market operation. His claim to fame was introducing his favorite vodka, Ketel One, to the Southeast.
Mr. Fisher was a loving husband, married to his high school sweetheart, Helen, for 25 years. After she died, Mr. Fisher moved to Jacksonville, where he met his second wife, Jean. They enjoyed 43 years of marriage, creating a blended family with five children. He was a proud grandfather of eight and great-grandfather of four.
Laszlo Fischer, 81, Boynton Beach
At age 6, Laszlo Fischer narrowly avoided death when at the last minute his family was pulled from the train to the Auschwitz concentration camp and instead sent to a Budapest ghetto, where they lived until liberation in 1945. Mr. Fischer gave his account of living in Nazi Hungary to the Shoah Foundation, one of more than 3,000 Holocaust survivors interviewed. Later in life, he moved to Denmark, where he met and married his wife, and then both moved to the United States.
Harry Edward “Bo” Flanders, 80, Pensacola
Bo Flanders was a trained mechanical engineer who pursued woodturning as a hobby. “He received even greater pleasure from sharing his creations with hundreds of friends and family across the country,” his relatives recalled.
Born in Georgia, Mr. Flanders was active in a Bible study group. He was sick with Alzheimer’s disease when he became infected by the coronavirus.
Honey Fleischmann, 87, Boynton Beach
Honey Fleischmann could have been “carved right out of a ’50s TV show,” her son said. She loved crafts and Broadway musicals and cooking healthy recipes for her family at a time when people who did so were considered “kooks.” Her myriad hobbies included gardening, doll-making and Febergé egg design.
Mr. Fleischmann’s favorite season was spring. Each year, she called her kids up and sang The Spring Song, a ritual that continued up through this year.
Johnny Ray Fleming, 88, Orlando
Johnny Fleming married his high school sweetheart in 1953. The couple moved to Orlando, where Fleming worked as a department manager for Sears for 40 years, except for a brief period in the U.S. Army.
Mr. Fleming loved the Yankees, the Orlando Magic and his cat, Duke. “No matter the situation, John was there with a smile and an offer to help,” his family wrote.
Frances and Marshall Fletcher, 79 and 79, Gulf Breeze
Marshall Fletcher served in the U.S. Air Force and retired as a physician’s assistant with the rank of captain. Frances Fletcher enjoyed playing bridge, knitting and crocheting. Both cherished spending time with their children and grandchildren.
The couple died within days of each other.
Nancy Emily Clark Flournoy, 76, Quincy
Nancy Flournoy was born while her father was away, serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He returned 15 months later, and “it was quite an adjustment for the little girl to have this handsome young man appear in her life,” her family wrote.
She was raised on a farm, then married and studied at Massey Business School in Jacksonville. For 33 years, she worked as the secretary for the bureau chief of the Department of Agriculture’s Seed Laboratory.
Maurice Ford, 50, Palm Beach
Maurice Ford was a sheriff’s deputy at the West Detention Center in Belle Glade. He joined the department 14 year ago and was hospitalized in June. He died Aug. 27, leaving behind a wife and son.
Juan Reynaldo Forte, 85, Miami
Born in Cuba, Juan Forte moved to New York in 1953 and learned to speak English by watching television. He was a “Renaissance man,” his family writes, who joined the Army before he was a citizen, then worked in a hospital mailroom, in waste management and eventually, opened his own trucking company.
He also was an amateur photographer and a religious reader of the Miami Herald — he was once profiled in it for saving two children who were swept away by ocean currents. A hard worker, Forte also loved joking, dancing and pretty women.
His family wrote: “His death is due to the carelessness of rushing to reopen without a plan, causing cases to skyrocket in Florida and the refusal to acknowledge the severity of the crisis or give clear direction on how to mitigate or minimize risk. The Cuban-American community and other communities of color are stuck with the bill: needless, preventable deaths.”
Joseph “Joe” Foster, 40, Gainesville
Joe Foster worked for the Florida Department of Corrections, most recently at the Florida Women’s Reception Center in Ocala. He is the second correctional officer to die from the coronavirus, which has ravaged the Florida prison system, killing dozens of inmates.
The first was Wayne Rogers, who died within an hour of his wife, Lauri, who also contracted the virus. Rogers lived in Alabama and commuted to his job at Jackson Correctional Institute on the Panhandle.
William Lee Frakes and Elizabeth Jane “Betty Jane” (Booth) Frakes, both 92, Melbourne
High school sweethearts who married in 1950, William and Betty Jane Frakes died 12 days apart.
He loved fishing, hunting, woodworking and flying his aircraft, often to the Bahamas. She founded the library at her church, taught Sunday school and played piano. He served in the Army; she was valedictorian in high school and later attended the University of Kansas.
They worked together at the family hatchery and insurance businesses. They raised two daughters and lived for many years in Kissimmee.
Byron Francis and Mychaela Francis, 20 and 23, Lauderhill
Siblings Byron and Mychaela Francis died of COVID-19 11 days apart. Their mother first discovered Byron sleeping in the living room, breathing poorly. He was rushed to the hospital and died later that day. Soon after, Mychaela suffered from a fever, and her kidneys failed. Both struggled with obesity and asthma.
Byron was known as “Big Teddy Bear” by his family and had a smile that could light up a room, his mother wrote. Mychaela was nicknamed “Kayla Pretty Barbie” and was always serving others, offering a listening ear and sharing advice.
Devin Francis, 44, Miami
Devin Francis was just months from his wedding day. A radiology technician with a second job as an American Airlines employee, a father of an 11-year-old daughter, he worked hard. Friends called him silly names, including Gummy Bear, an apt descriptor for a shy softie who loved to cook. He proposed to his fiancée, Micela, at Christmastime, surprising her with perfume that she wanted — and a second surprise of a ring.
Glen Frank, 79, Stuart
Glen Frank made his childhood dream come true when he bought the bowling alley in the Wisconsin town where he grew up and met his lifelong love.
At Omro Lanes, Frank helped teach people how to bowl. He was the first college graduate in his family, majoring in business. After retiring from the bowling alley business, he and his wife moved to Florida, where he worked as an armed security officer and enjoyed mowing the lawn at his local VFW Post.
Severia Franklin, 71, Tallahassee
Severia Franklin was a woman of God. She devoted herself to Tabernacle M.B. Church as president of the Missionary Society and a member of the Deaconess Board. She spent many years with the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office and liked to share Friday lunches with the ladies at the Quincy Police Department.
A wife and mother of five, she loved to laugh. As a friend wrote in a tribute: “Severia was a soft voice of advice, a gentle whisper of correction and a graceful and humble spirit.”
Catherine Ruth Frederick, 70, Ormond Beach
Catherine Frederick once owned a gift shop in Georgia and had a talent for natural design. She earned her living buying and selling plants and antiques, and designing gardens.
She loved reading, film and dogs, especially her Dobermans: Rica, Diva and Lucy Ball.
David Fried, 58, Coral Springs
Originally From Bayside, N.Y., David Fried made everyone he met feel special. During his life, he devoted time and energy to causes he loved, including the YI of Boca Raton.
He “was intelligent, kind, had a wicked sense of humor, a deep faith and was full of love,” his family wrote.
Marcus Albert Friedman, 54, Boca Raton
Marcus Friedman was a Realtor and father to a 12-year-old boy.
In the 1980s, he won multiple bodybuilding competitions. He liked the sun and guitar.
He loved being a dad.
Richard Martin Fust, 84, Santa Rosa Beach
Richad Fust, a former youth hockey coach, happily followed the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Stanley Cup run.
He played keyboard and chess, sang at his church and owned a heating and cooling business. His “greatest love and focus in life was his family.”
Howard Garlin, 89, Lake Worth
A former pharmacist, Howard Garlin “had to have a hobby,” said his companion of the last 15 years. Originally from the Bronx, he collected baseball cards and played golf.
He was a Korean War veteran involved in groups for people who served. He died about a week after his birthday.
Mike Garone, 91, West Palm Beach
Mike Garone’s son called him a “character,” which was perhaps an understatement.
He played Minor League Baseball but didn’t stick. He joined up as a police officer in New York City, where he liked the jazz clubs, and later went to school to become a nurse.
On Facebook, where he wrote about his life, he talked about trying to break into acting and modeling, searching for fame after sports.
Thomas A. Gero, 74, Fort Lauderdale
Thomas Gero was a certified accountant and Rotarian with a “big heart and quirky style.”
His family wrote that “his best fur buddy, Zippy ... is still waiting by Tom’s chair for Tom to come home.”
Patricia Gibbons, 76, Naples
When Patricia Gibbons started going steady with her future husband, she was a 15-year-old hospital volunteer, dreaming of becoming a nurse.
She achieved that dream and much more. Her first job was in the newborn unit of a hospital in Pennsylvania. Later, she worked the night shift in an intensive care unit while caring for her four sons during the day.
Her husband’s career took her across the country and around the world — including a 5-year stay in Bangkok, Thailand, where she taught English to children. In 55 years together, the couple shared 22 homes. “Pat managed to combine her adventurous spirit with helping children out wherever we went,” her husband said.
The couple moved to Naples in 2007. There, the two were trustees of the Naples Children’s Education Foundation and the Southwest Florida Children’s Charities.
William “Billy” Gibbs, 72, Hawthorne
A Florida native, Billy Gibbs served in the Army, sold furniture and real estate. He fished, and he hunted. He rode a Harley Davidson Fat Boy and enjoyed Daytona Bike Week.
“Billy loved many pets,” his family remembered, “now leaving behind four felines.”
James Anthony “Jim” Gioia, 75, The Villages
James Gioia went by Jim, but his family had another name for him: “Crazy Legs.” He loved to dance.
A sail maker and boat canvas upholsterer, Mr. Gioia lived for many years in Stuart. He had fun playing softball and scuba diving. He was accomplished at telling stories and catching fish.
Alan Gittelson, 69, Miami
Alan Gittelson was a mensch -- and he liked to say so. On rainy nights, he took in the homeless. In college, Mr. Gittelson overcame his shy nature and gained an interest in politics. He later worked on national and local campaigns. Later in life, he started his own newsletter, The Humanitarian, and wrote frequent letters to the editor. Mr. Gittelson enjoyed chess and Scrabble.
John Gness, 77, Tice
John Gness’ stepdaughter took him to her 5-year high school reunion as a date. Her friends loved him.
He retired from Massachusetts and made regular visits to the casino and a local Moose Lodge, she said. He loved the New England Patriots. He left her with this: “He wanted me to take care of my mom."
Jason “PeeWee” Goen, 38, Crestview
Jason “PeeWee” Goen was “effortlessly kind,” an Okaloosa County correctional officer who moved his co-workers with his “unending compassion.” His boss remembered him as a naturally gifted officer, receptive to ideas and full of respect for all people. He was a brother, boyfriend and friend.
Robert Gonzalez, Miami
Robert Gonzalez worked as a micrographics supervisor at the Miami-Dade Police Department. He was a 28-year veteran of the department, the agency said on Facebook.
”We offer our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time,” the agency said. “May he rest in eternal peace.”
Robert Goodell, 89, Sarasota
Hanging around Robert Goodell, you were likely to hear some pattering. A lover of jazz and percussion, he tapped out beats, no matter where he was.
“Poppa” to his grandchildren, Mr. Goodell started his own structural engineering firm in Connecticut. He liked ketchup. And chocolate. Among other family, he leaves his wife, Georgia, to whom he was married for 65 years.
Ella Mae Gordon, 78, Hawthorne
Ella Mae Gordon wouldn’t let a visitor leave empty-handed — and this matriarch had a lot of visitors, from her nine children to 200-plus grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She’d grab a blanket from the couch or a bowl from the pantry, even a Reader’s Digest if she had one around.
“She’s been like that since I’ve been born,” said her youngest daughter, Dorothy. “That’s the type of woman she was.”
She prayed by the couch before taking her decaf coffee with a bit of cream and tore scriptures out of the Bible to read them around the house. For a long time, she worked alone to feed her family, waking at 4 a.m., walking a dirt road and churning out her famous scratch biscuits. She was engaged to Pedro Torres, who loved her toughness.
[The Independent Florida Alligator, District 8 medical examiner]
Susan McPherson Gottsegen, 74, Palm Beach
Splitting time between New York and Florida, Susan McPherson Gottsegen and her husband were movers in a Palm Beach cultural scene. They supported the local symphony and The Society of the Four Arts. A friend described Ms. Gottsegen as a practiced host who enjoyed music, a “beauty in our midst.”
Sonia Ivelisse Goveo and Rubén Merced, 68 and 72, Oviedo
Sonia Ivelisse Goveo and Rubén Merced were the hosts. Huge, vibrant family gatherings filled their home in Puerto Rico and later in Florida. They cooked, they worshiped, they laughed — everything together.
They died one week apart.
“From the very beginning, they made you feel comfortable,” the leader of their church said.
Charles Wayne Gray, 76, Citra
Wayne Gray, who had built the family farm, spent decades training thoroughbred horses. That experience culminated with he and his wife, Betty, opening Stirrups ‘n Strides Therapeutic Riding Center on the farm more than a decade ago. Their goal was to provide an outlet for people, inspired by their daughter, who suffered an accident when she was 3.
His family remembers how Gray, an Army veteran, was often around to help fix a broken car or tractor.
Gary Carleton Gray, 70, Port Charlotte
Gary Gray was a lifelong musician. After college in Vermont, he moved to Arkansas to tour with his band, The Country Classics. In 1979, he settled down in Nashville, where he spent 20 years honing his songwriting skills and performing in Writer’s Nights.
He bought a house in Port Charlotte in 2007, where he continued singing and writing songs, including a Willie Nelson tribute at the Cultural Center in Port Charlotte in 2009.
During the pandemic, Mr. Gray’s family says he was careful to wear a mask and carry hand sanitizer at all times. He still got the virus. “The mask Gary wore did not protect him from the virus that was in the air because some people do not wear masks,” they wrote. “It is too late for our family because Gary is gone, but if we work together, maybe we can keep your family members safe.”
Mark Greenberg, 88, Boca Raton
Atop the advertising department at Warner Books, Mark Greenberg chuckled upon the sight of his own work and received personal notes from prominent writers.
He was hardworking but fun, a man who read widely and had absolutely no sense of direction. Mr. Greenberg liked to meditate, according to his sons, focusing on a mantra for 20 minutes at a time.
Jules Greene, 81, Windermere
After Jules Greene died, his neighbors turned out on their cul-de-sac and sang hymns, including Amazing Grace. His wife, Barbara, sat in her driveway with flowers.
Mr. Green had served in the Army and enjoyed jazz and traveling. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, who knew the couple through church, said “they were just two loving people.”
Beauty Breedlove Griffin, 76, Miami
Beauty Breedlove Griffin would cook meals for the homeless through her Miami church — but she’d also take people into her house while she helped them find a place to stay. She founded a church service and recorded her own gospel songs. She also taught Sunday school. “My mother was the epitome of a saint,” her daughter said. “Her life was filled with her giving to others.”
Leon “Buster” Gridley, Jr., 83, Webster
Buster Gridley lettered in football and wrestling at Norwich High in New York, served in the U.S. Army and lettered in wrestling again while he worked toward a college degree at Oswego State.
He loved his family, and lots of other things, according to his obituary: "country music, garage sales, square dancing, summers in North Norwich, gardening, rock hounding, traveling in all fifty states and animals, especially Lightning and Thunder.”
Philip Wayne Griffitts Sr., 75, Panama City Beach
Philip Wayne Griffitts’ stake in Panama City Beach began with the 13-room Sugar Sands Motel.
It grew — a lot — from there.
Mr. Griffitts, whose family called him “Flipper,” was mayor of the city from 1982 to 2000, the longest-serving in its history. With his family, he expanded to more motels, liquor stores and a rental center. He chaired the local Tourist Development Council and helped start a high school.
Mr. Griffitts enjoyed Florida State football, fishing and Crown Royal.
He had seven back surgeries throughout his life. He was always trying to make you laugh.
Alexis “Alex” Maurice Gross, 88, Naples
Alex Gross was a plastics engineer and award-winning hobbyist winemaker.
He served in the Army and enjoyed volunteer work, along with staying active outdoors.
On trips with his family, he visited 44 states.
Michael Mitchell Grote, 82, Naples
Michael Grote studied architecture at the University of Boulder, then joined the U.S. Army and served in LaChapelle, France. He met his wife on her 21st birthday, when she was a stewardess on his flight.
In Florida, Grote worked as a general contractor and real estate broker, and loved playing classical piano, racing sailboats, making gourmet meals for his family and spending time with his grandchildren, his family wrote.
Nunzia Guardascione, 80, Naples
Nunzia Guardascione’s children called her “the perfect Italian mother,” and she lived up to the name with her plentiful and delicious cooking: Saturday was pizza night, and Sunday was a feast of pasta e fagioli, pizzaiolo and meatballs.
Ms. Guardascione grew up in Bari, Italy, and came to New York City as a young woman. She and her husband moved to Naples in 1975 and opened Gino’s, one of the area’s first pizzerias. For 26 years, she worked in public school cafeterias, where she was known as “Miss Tina.”
“My mom absolutely adored children and being around the kids at school,” her daughter said.
Ms. Guardascione turned 80 while in the hospital battling COVID-19. Her relatives across the world sang Happy Birthday on a Zoom call.
Thomas H. Guill, 91, Satellite Beach
Thomas Guill fought the COVID-19 virus as valiantly as he fought during the Korean and Vietnam wars, his family wrote.
After 28 years in the armed forces, Guill served with the space program for more than a decade. He loved playing golf and cherished time spent with his wife, children and grandchildren.
Gerardo Gutierrez, 70, Miami Beach
Gerardo Gutierrez was a father of four and a man who worked all his life. He sliced meats with a smile at the Publix deli counter in Miami Beach, where people knew him as “Gerry.”
His family is suing the grocer over his death. His daughter Ariane said: “He was truly loved.”
Helen Gutierrez-Zwick, 62, Miami
A social worker who spent three decades caring for people struggling with mental health and illness, Helen Gutierrez-Zwick devoted herself to her community with humility and laughter — and with a flair for colorful glasses.
Her work could be heavy, putting her up close with the most vulnerable, from hospice to child abuse to AIDS. But she was quick to joke, and her love flowed deeply and easily. She liked to unleash her wit on those who were too serious. Both tender and rambunctious, she touched hundreds, if not thousands, of lives.
Paul Wayne Haggas, 73, Winter Haven
As a member of the Air Force, Paul Haggas traveled the world. When he finished his service, he dedicated his life to helping others with their travels.
“Nothing made Paul feel more successful than putting together memorable and exciting travel experiences for his customers,” his obituary read.
The father of six often passed his free time cooking, golfing, playing cards and traveling, but his favorite activity was simply spending time with family. A Rhode Island native who spent much of his life in Nebraska, Mr. Haggas cheered on the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox.
Phillip S. Haisley, 86, Gainesville
A former Quaker minister, Phillip Haisley and his wife, Anne, opened Books, Inc. and the Book Lover’s Cafe in Gainesville.
Before he was a business owner, Mr. Haisley taught several languages — English, French and Spanish. He taught in Australia and in Kenya, where he worked to integrate a Quaker school. In the 1980s, he moved to Nicaragua for an organization that sought to stop attacks by American-funded Contras, by putting witnesses on the ground.
He was once an International Scrabble master.
Shadel Hamilton, 62, Miami
Shadel Hamilton was a bus driver in Miami for about 30 years.
His family remembers his strength and big personality.
He brought wipes and sanitizer and a face covering with him to work, worried about the coronavirus.
Hamilton had six children and 11 grandchildren.
Chandra Haniff, 69, Miramar
While working two jobs, Chandra Haniff studied to become a nurse. Later, she worked at Mount Sinai Medical Center for 25 years. After retiring, she filled her life with hobbies, like traveling, volunteering at church and cooking. Even if only one person was coming over, Haniff would prepare enough food for an army, her loved ones said.
Terry Lee Hanks, 73, Pensacola
Terry Hanks served in the U.S. Navy, then spent the rest of his career working for the Department of Defense in civil service roles.
Hanks survived cancer twice, never letting it dampen his sense of humor or kindness. He and his wife “were loved by friends and neighbors and were known for always being willing to help someone in need,” his family writes.
Betty Harrelson, 84, Jacksonville
As an employee at doctors' offices and banks, Betty Harrelson was known for her sense of humor and joyfulness. She was also known to write into the local paper to give her opinion on the latest current events. She was active in the local garden club and held clothing drives, bake sales and more.
After her health deteriorated, Harrelson declined to go on a ventilator. Her daughter said she was ready to go.
Calvin “Cal” Harrison, 76, Pompano Beach
Calvin Harrison had retired from police work in February, about a month before he was hospitalized. He served as an officer beginning in the 1970s and spent 28 years working with the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
In 1995, while responding to a call, he was shot in the head. After emerging from surgery, Mr. Harrison said: “I should be in a grave right now. There has to be a God.”
Michael Hartsfield, 44, Lake Forest
A classmate remembered Michael Hartsfield as someone with an infectious smile and sweet personality. Mr. Hartsfield worked as a janitor before his death in April, two weeks before his 45th birthday. He was one of Duval County’s Black residents, a group that data shows has been hit disproportionately hard by the virus.
Joseph Lawrence Hawkins, 87, Key Largo
Joseph Lawrence Hawkins, a thoroughbred horse trainer, chose a career rare for Black men and served as an example for others, his family said. Growing up as one of 13 children, Mr. Hawkins left school in eighth grade to help support the family farm. But as he got older, he got to pursue his passion for training horses and to teach his five daughters how to ride and care for them.
Brandy Hearne, 41, Fort Walton Beach
A devoted, independent single mom of 13-year-old Alez and 6-year-old Lillian, Brandy Hearne had a contagious laugh and a tight circle of friends so close they were like soulmates. She worked as finance director at the Okaloosa County Tax Collector’s Office but spent hours of off time with her kids and on long, laughter-filled phone calls with loved ones.
One of her friends said: “We could just laugh for hours. Over nothing. Two grown women in Target laughing hysterically because we read a brand name wrong. ... No one was ever as entertained by us, but us.”
James Helferich, 75, Ocala
“He was a Michelangelo of ice, a Rodin of butter,” James Helferich’s New York Times obituary begins. An artist of edible delights, the longtime theme park worker often amassed an audience as he worked his raw materials, chiseling the ice or trimming the butter to reveal mermaids, fish, eagles or fruits.
He had hoped to retire but hard times led him to find work in recent years as director of food services at the Sumter Correctional Institution in Bushnell. Even under strict prison conditions, he took pride in the cuisine, often sitting down with inmates to share in the meals they had made together.
Helferich spent four months on a ventilator.
John Douglas Henderson, Jr., 56, Fort Walton Beach
You could consider Johnny Henderson a “master of his craft,” a bartender with experience at Swizzle Stick, Jamaica Joe’s, Fudpucker’s, The Little Bar, Hogs Breath, Pandora’s and Docie’s Dock. He always had a wisecrack on deck, or a word of encouragement. On Saturdays, he lounged with his two tabby kittens, Cheeto and Dorito, and rooted for the Seminoles (his alma mater). He loved woodworking, and he loved people.
Back in the 1990s, he and two friends opened a deli and ale house on Okaloosa Island, which became “a fixture in his heart and to the many who passed through the doors.” He threw a blowout party on the Fourth of July and a big Friendsgiving.
Deborah Henson, 56, Orlando
When her husband became ordained, Deborah Henson quickly became a fixture at Isom Memorial CME Church in Ocala, where many knew her as “first lady of the church.” She helped with music, mentored young women who sought her guidance and volunteered in church offices when her health allowed it.
A fall in her 20s had left her with plates and screws in her back, a source of nagging pain. Still, when friends and family needed her, she showed up. When her brother struggled with mental illness and homelessness, she gave him hope he’d serve his community one day. “She was my inspiration,” he said.
Maria Hernandez, 55, Mulberry
Maria Hernandez worked in the guidance office at Mulberry High School, a longtime fixture of the local school system. She liked to push students beyond their limited ideas of what they could achieve. She paid particular attention to those in the migrant education program, translating documents, helping parents make calls, teaching English, shepherding donations and much more. Her Instagram handle was “Mulberry Momma Bear.”
Much of her time was given for free. She volunteered as a tutor, mentor, ticket seller and chaperone on college field trips. It was after attending a student wrestling tournament with one of her children that she became the first Polk district employee to die of COVID-19. She was a woman of faith and mother of five. She brought her children to the homes of families she was helping and was known to show up at countless graduations, weddings and quinceañeras.
MaryLee Hershberger, 83, Ocala
You didn’t have to know MaryLee Hershberger well for her to greet you with a hug. Ms. Hersberger loved to paint, especially landscapes and animals, and had several art pieces hanging around Ocala and Marion County. She was a founding member of the Marion Art League. She also ran a trophy shop with her husband.
Davon Hill, 24, Pensacola
Bubbly and outgoing, Davon Hill had “just this loving energy,” a friend said. “If he’s in a room, you feel welcome, no matter where you are.”
His family relocated to Pensacola from New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Recently, he was working at a Whataburger, where customers recognized his friendly face.
After contracting COVID-19, his symptoms quickly escalated, and his organs shut down. Doctors tried the experimental treatment convalescent plasma, but it did not save his life.
James Hilliker, 69, Jupiter
From Shakespeare to Santa, Jim Hilliker commanded the spotlight. A long-time drama teacher, he was a student favorite at Jupiter High School.
Mr. Hilliker helped create the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival and played Santa Claus in a local parade every year. A daughter remembered how “he liked to show the kids the magic.”
Paul Hinckley, 77, Jacksonville
Paul Hinckley met his wife on a blind date, and they got married after 10 weeks of dating. He and Carolyn enjoyed traveling together, embarking on dozens of cruises. Mr. Hinckley also was a proud employee of a company his father started, which he later became president of and passed down to his son. He retired after 50 years of work. In his downtime, Mr. Hinckley was an unshakable fan of the Georgia Bulldogs.
Erin Hitchens, 46, Jupiter
Erin Hitchens was a pastor in West Palm Beach. She and her husband didn’t believe the virus was a threat, chalking it up as a hoax. When she got sick, she thought it was just the flu and delayed seeking help. Her husband, Eric Lee Hitchens, has since urged people to take the virus seriously.
Benson Lee Hobbs, Sr., 79, Astor
Benson Hobbs’ smile and big laugh will be missed in the temples, chapters and courts of the Freemason, Shriners and Royal Order of Jesters. As president of the Homestead Shrine Club, he drove “Tin Lizzies” dressed as a clown during events and helped transport children to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Tampa.
In Homestead, he owned and operated the Hobbs and Son Nursery. He retired to Astor in 2009 and was involved in many community organizations. His favorite pastimes were poker, fishing and lighting off fireworks.
Carolyn Rae Hodge, 64, Naples
For 40 years, Carolyn Rae Hodge taught elementary schoolchildren and mentored other educators. When she retired, she turned her attention to travel, both domestic and international. She loved to read and frequented her local library, but nothing made her happier than being poolside or near the ocean, often with a margarita.
Katherine Hoffman, 105, Tallahassee
The one-time “dean of women” at Florida State University, Katherine Hoffman was proud to see the role abolished. It belonged in the 1960s, along with a punitive dress code and curfew. She wanted gender equity, for female students and male students to answer to the same administrators.
Born in 1914 in Winter Haven, daughter of a citrus grower and schoolteacher, Hoffman studied at the Florida State College for Women (FSU’s earlier incarnation) in 1932. Her father helped pay for her schooling with orange bundles. Student body president, women’s baseball and volleyball captain, she was a star, and one with principles. She neglected to pursue medicine at Duke University when the school asked that women pledge not to marry while studying there. In the chemistry field, instead, she ended up returning to teach at FSU. She rose through the ranks, advocating for women in both the classroom and administration. Friends thought she was eternal, zipping around in a pink Cadillac.
Clifford Earl “Red” Holland, 80, Wewahitchka
Around Alabama and Florida’s panhandle, Red Holland was a local television staple. Holland was known for his large personality on shows he hosted about the outdoors. After retiring from WJHG in Panama City, Mr. Holland kept up his love for fishing and competed in tournaments. He often hosted community events and helped found a park.
LeRoy “Lee” Honsinger, 82, Fleming Island
Lee Honsinger was 17 when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, which led him from blimps over North Carolina to surveillance aircraft over Iceland and onto an attack squad known as “Hellrazors" under Sen. John McCain. After the Bay of Pigs invasion, he was there for the naval blockade. Post-Navy, his next stop was a 21-year career as a railroad engineer.
Though he never lost his pride for his Troy, N.Y., hometown, it was in Orange Park, Fla., that he and his wife, Carole, chose to raise their family. He loved the Yankees and Giants, John Wayne movies, his Lionel Scale train set and coaching his kids.
Frances Gail Hopkins, 75, Naples
Frances Hopkins was an energetic school nurse in Dover, N.H., for 25 years. Besides caring for her young charges, she was a mentor to nursing students and worked with community partners to provide youth with clothing, food, vaccinations, eye care and dental care. She also went back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree in health administration in 2002, all while raising four children.
Over the years, she also was a part of her family’s various businesses. She helped run a convenience store and deli, a flower shop and a horse farm, and also designed and decorated countless residential and commercial properties.
Though they never lost sight of their community in Dover, eventually she and her husband became Florida snowbirds, spending winters and vacations in Naples.
Carol Ann House, 85, St. Augustine
Carol House hated moving — she moved more than 35 times for her husband’s job. “But little did she know it was what made her who she was,” her family wrote.
She was always on the go and made friends easily wherever she went. Her hobbies included swimming, bowling, golfing, fishing and the arts. She could finish a New York Times crossword puzzle.
Before she married her husband, her partner for 61 years, she served in the U.S. Navy for four years and received a National Defense Service Medal.
Alex Hsu, 67, Margate
Alex Hsu was a doctor of internal medicine. “He was very genuine” and “never denied anyone without insurance,” family friend Lana Van said in a statement. Officials from Northwest Medical Center wrote that Mr. Hsu worked at the facility from 1995 to 2017.
A colleague who said he served on a rotation under Mr. Hsu posted to Facebook after his death: “A humanitarian in the greatest measure possible passed away much too soon.”
Pio Ieraci, 58, Fort Lauderdale
For 30 years, Pio Ieraci served as president of the Galt Mile Community Association, combining a penchant for detail with charismatic leadership as he advocated for the 16,000 residents of his tony beachfront community.
He made friends with local leaders, who remembered him as a force of nature in activism and protecting the barrier island, which was home to the Galt Mile’s luxury high-rises. His bio on the association page said Mr. Ieraci was part businessman, part family man, part diplomat and part village shaman. As one local official said: “Pio is the Galt.”
Araceli Ilagan, 63, North Miami
She was on the front lines until the end. Araceli Ilagan, whom friends called “Celi,” was a 5-foot, 1-inch “giant,” fellow nurse Garfield Phillpotts said on Facebook. She was intuitive with patients — even those of other nurses — and protective, a mentor and a veteran with decades of knowledge.
Like so many Filipina nurses, she studied in her home country and built a life for herself in the United States. She first registered as a nurse in Florida in 1982, eventually working in Jackson Memorial Hospital’s intensive care unit. She finished her final shift March 24 and died of complications from the virus three days later.
Mikhail Itskovich, 81, Miami
What became Mikhail Itskovich’s livelihood in America, and his true passion, was illegal in his home country of Russia — antique dealing. Born in Moscow, he was one of many Soviet Jews who left in pursuit of more freedom. In New York, he became a fixture at antique markets, with an affinity for 18th and 19th century artwork.
Mr. Itskovich loved to tell stories, and while best in his native Russian, family said the spirit of them could be understood by anyone.
Desmond K. Jones, 34, Fort Walton Beach
Desmond K. Jones was the dad of a 1-year-old girl named Genesis — an amazing dad, his wife Remeeka remembered. He’d been a loving husband and son, brother and uncle. He had loyalty to his birthplace of Troy, Ala., as well as Kappa Kappa Psi, of which he was a longtime member.
Lynn D. Jones, 52, Orlando
Lynn Jones was a master detention deputy at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office who had recently been promoted to corporal. He died one day short of a 13-year run with the agency.
Before joining law enforcement, he served in the Army, where he discovered a passion for cooking. This led him to a stint as head chef at Morrison’s Cafeteria, where he met his wife.
Tyler Compton Jones, 30, Lynn Haven
Tyler Jones grew up hunting and fishing in Bay County with his parents, who he considered two of his best friends. He was active in his local church and graduated from Florida State University – Panama City with a degree in business administration, although he made it clear to friends and family he was a Florida Gator at heart.
He later worked alongside his father, Neil, at a commercial real estate business. In 2016, he married his wife, Nicole, who he greeted each morning with a cup of espresso. Together, they had a 4-year-old West Highland Terrier named Walter.
“Tyler’s legacy will be one of joy and laughter,” his obituary says, “as those are the gifts he brought to all that met him.”
Barbara Ann Johnson, 69, Gulf Breeze
Barbara Johnson and her husband were free-spirited travelers. They loved to take off for new adventures, “sometimes with barely enough money between them to ensure they would return,” her family wrote. They especially loved sailing around the Caribbean.
Ms. Johnson began her career as a high school teacher in the 1980s and was part of the changing nature of home economics as it expanded to include boys and was renamed Family & Consumer Science. She taught for 20 years, including her own children. In 1999, the couple moved to Gulf Breeze, where Johnson told friends “she was fulfilling her ultimate goal — being a full-time beach girl.”
Brad Johnson, 44, Bonifay
A beloved small-town veterinarian, Brad Johnson was known to sit beside grieving pet owners and cry with them.
A high school football player, he studied at Auburn University and became a lifelong fan (War Eagle!). He loved being out on the water and casting a line. When he opened Dixieland Veterinary Services, he began with farm calls, tending to pets and animals on the road. Because he worked in the community where he grew up, relationships with people and their pets ran deep. He admitted to sometimes getting attached.
Carolyn Johnson, 83, The Villages
As a volunteer and leader for the League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women, Carolyn Johnson helped educate and empower others. She assisted on the scholarship committee, which gave annual funds to college students. Ms. Johnson enjoyed traveling and had been to every continent except Antarctica. She enjoyed painting with oils and watercolors.
Lonney Johnson, 67, Winter Park
Lonney Johnson, whom many knew as “Pops,” was a “good man with a true old soul,” his obituary said. He found joy in racquetball, his faith, biking on the beach and, most of all, time with family and friends. He worked for Advent Health for 35 years and was married to his wife, Trish, for 35 years, too.
Brittney Jones, 28, Fort Lauderdale
Brittney Jones started working at JetBlue last year in airport operations, based in Fort Lauderdale. She struck her co-workers as optimistic and kind. Her obituary notes the dozens and dozens of people she left behind, from her mother and twin sister and brother to adopted mothers, biological parents and six godchildren.
The same day she died, so did another airline employee, Orlando Tavarez, a quality control inspector on temporary placement in the same city.
Harold Roy Joslyn, 91, Wildwood
Harold Joslyn was a World War II veteran who became a fireman and then a police detective.
In retirement, he loved traveling around the country in his motor home with his wife of 67 years and spending time with his extensive family.
Gene Kalish, 77, Kissimmee
When his daughter, Jillian, was a little girl, Gene Kalish watched her dance. This year, he followed her on television from his memory care center, seeing her use sign language to translate Orange County officials’ news conferences about the coronavirus.
Mr. Kalish, a Detroit sports fan and bowler, was supposed to walk his daughter down the aisle next year.
He died July 24.
Alan Kaplan, 69, Coral Springs
Alan Kaplan’s mind was made for numbers, but he also was good at recalling sporting events. His wife, Ellen Kaplan, said Kaplan was her soulmate. The two moved from New York to South Florida 30 years ago.
Mr. Kaplan worked as an accountant for nonprofits and other private clients.
George E. “Georgie” Kemp Jr., 66, Ellenton
George Kemp loved words and doo-wop. He followed NASCAR and coached youth baseball.
For 38 years, he made a career of public works in Syracuse, N.Y. That earned him a retirement in Florida.
His friends and family remember his tenderness and how hard he worked.
Philip Walter Kemp, 84, Stuart
Philip Kemp was raised in Manchester, England, where boarding school life meant rugby and rowing. He served in the British Army, met the love of his life while working as a trainee manager at Boots Pure Drug Co., then went back to study at the London School of Economics.
Mr. Kemp’s career took the family to Sri Lanka, California and New York, where he worked as the CEO of Dawson International on the 62nd floor of the Empire State Building. The couple loved to travel and continued to check destinations off their bucket list in retirement.
Keith Douglas Kiel, 71, DeLand
After Keith Douglas Kiel joined the high school marching band, he loved playing the trumpet and did it up until his death. He often played at senior citizen homes and with small jazz bands. He put his music onto CDs for friends and family. A realtor by trade, Kiel was a national speaker for different companies and programmed a financial software package used by mortgage lenders. In his spare time, he was a passionate bowler who had many perfect games, and he coached baseball for his sons.
Robert “Bob” Killen, 73, Coral Springs
Long after Bob Killen left Chicago for Florida, he remained a loyal fan of his hometown teams -- even holding season tickets for the Bears. In 1978, Mr. Killen graduated from the Broward County Police Academy and began a long career in law enforcement, which often included training K-9s. He was the president of a region in the International Police Association for years. In his personal life, Mr. Killen explored his roots, traveling to Ireland to learn more.
Virgil Victor Kimball, 51, Port Orange
Virgil Kimball was “a force of nature,” his family wrote in an obituary. He was an Air Force veteran who had proved his skill on the high school gridiron in Liberty, Mo., where he was an All-State player; in the tire business, where he worked his way up from the shop to a sales manager job; and in the garage, at the pool table or manning the grill.
Recently, he’d worked in Volusia County’s economic development office. He’d also been battling lymphoma — and was close to prevailing, his family wrote, when the coronavirus hit. For all his skills, the one people remembered was his ability to make anyone smile.
Helen Kimbrell, 100, St. Augustine
Helen Kimbrell made a living through Burlington Industries, a North Carolina fabric company, and was a member of Triplett United Methodist Church. The North Carolina and St. Augustine resident was twice-married. She is survived by several younger generations, including six great-great-grandchildren.
She celebrated her 100th birthday on Feb. 13, shortly before the virus that would take her life came to Florida.
George Mitchell “Mitch” Kirkland, Jr., 68, Live Oak
Mitch Kirkland was a jack of all trades, his obituary says. He was a farmer and a barber, a mail carrier and a salesman, an Army veteran and a father. To his family, he was a legend.
[District 8 medical examiner, obituary]
Richard “Dick” Lee Knight, 86, Fort Myers
Dick Knight served with the U.S. Marines in the Korean War, then studied electrical engineering at Purdue University in his home state, later becoming a Master Mason. An avid traveler and boater, he never tired of motion, whether it was tennis, golf or skiing. In 2005, he retired with his wife, Linda, to Florida, becoming a member of the Southwest Florida Symphony Society. Every Friday, he met with his buddies for lunch.
Sherry Knowles, 62, Orlando
Sherry Knowles was a nurse. Her mother was the inspiration, but Knowles’ personality was made for the job: caring, empathetic, kind and devoted. She worked in ICUs across the country as a traveling nurse. Her most recent station was in Orlando, where she worked as both a critical care RN in a heart unit and a nurse educator. Thousands of nurses can call her a mentor, her family said, because teaching was her calling.
Knowles loved her dog, Lance, who went on bike rides and vacations with her. She trained him to become a therapy dog so he could come to the hospital. She liked making ceramics and crafting things like her backyard wooden swing. And she relished a cold bottle of Coors Light.
Andrew Kowalczyk, 63, Doral
Banking, meditating, singing in a rock band, golfing with an up-and-coming Tiger Woods: What didn’t Andrew Kowalczyk do in his 63-year life?
Mr. Kowalczyk started his own investment banking firm and split his time between New York and South Florida. He once was the lead singer of a group called the Cadillac Rock Band and produced a compilation album to benefit New Orleans musicians impacted by Hurricane Katrina.
He fell ill in mid-March, after a trip to New York.
William “Bill” Jude Kurth, 66, Macclenny
Bill Kurth put in 25 years with the U.S. Postal Service after serving in the Army. He spent 31 years with the love of his life, Rhonda, raising two kids. He unwound with golf and photography. After living in Jacksonville, health issues took him to Macclenny Nursing and Rehab.
Larry Kushner, 68, Boynton Beach
Larry Kushner was a father of 13 who in the years before his death tried unsuccessfully to appeal a fraud conviction.
On a tribute page, a person calling him Dad said he was a “family man full of life” and faith, who studied the Torah. According to The Palm Beach Post, he pleaded guilty of fraud in New Jersey after authorities said he took $1 million from investors and used it for personal gain rather than investing in foreclosed properties.
Amanda Laffler, 28, Palmetto
Amanda Laffler was an animal lover her entire life. One of her favorite activities was petting and playing with therapy dogs at a program run by Suncoast Canines for Christ.
“Amanda was the happiest baby and never lost her infectious smile as she grew,” her godparents wrote.
Her family is asking for donations in her name to the Manatee County Humane Society or Spina Bifida Association.
Robin and Michael Lamkay, 76 and 82, Delray Beach
As teachers, she in art and he in biology, Robin and Michael Lamkay raised their children on ski and beach trips. They eventually retired to Florida and a life of casino, painting and crafts.
Fifty-five years after they married, they died 13 days apart. At the time they got sick, they were focused on their daughter, who had been diagnosed with lung cancer that moved to her brain. She died weeks after they did.
Eleonora Landy, 90, Coral Gables
Eleonora Landy made a pact with her husband — she’d attend football games if he went with her to the opera. She kept her end of the deal, though she mostly sat with a book on the bleachers. From a young age, Ms. Landy took an interest in art and worked as a commercial artist for different advertising agencies. She loved to travel and was proud of having visited places far and wide, like Antarctica and Mount Everest.
James LaRue, 48, Sanford
Once a Marine, James LaRue became a mission-driven Seminole County Sheriff’s Office sergeant some called the “inmate whisperer.” In 20 years at the agency, LaRue had a special way with people who were incarcerated.
“One of the inmates said, with tears in his eyes, ‘Big Sarge taught me how to read,’ ” Sheriff Dennis Lemma said. “He went on to say... ‘Big Sarge saw me as a person.’ ” LaRue pushed for programs to treat mental illness and help veterans. He was a basketball coach, husband and father of three.
Lawrence Laser, 86, Fort Lauderdale
For much of his life, Lawrence Laser worked as an undercover operations officer in Latin American, spending 10 years in Brazil. Laser retired at 44, turning down an offer to be the right-hand man for the deputy director of the CIA. He and his wife loved hosting parties and volunteered to DJ in nursing homes.
Marvin Lawton, 60, Orlando
When anyone asked Marvin Lawton how he was doing, he’d answer, “On top of the world.” A faithful man with a jolly laugh, he loved serving God, making barbecue ribs and sharing food with family and friends. To Lawton, strangers were simply potential friends. He was a “hero” of a father, best friend to his wife and a man who told his family over and over how proud they made him. He gave great hugs.
Gwendolyn M. Lear, 83, Tallahassee
Gwendolyn Lear was raised in Iowa and married the love of her life just after high school. She worked as a bookkeeper until retirement.
Ms. Lear was devoted to her family and her church, her family wrote. She also loved singing hymns, sewing, baking pies, her dogs and working in her flower garden.
Raymond Clinton Lecuivre, 73, Middleburg
Raymond Lecuivre’s woodworking skills were so high-level that his custom baseball bats were ordered by customers as far away as Japan. But his wife, Patricia, treasures the things he made for the family most, like quilt racks and a rocking horse.
The two were married for 45 years and moved to Florida to be closer to their grandchildren. On one of their early dates dancing, Mr. Lecuivre told Patricia he knew he’d marry her.
John Lee, Sarasota
Lee was a vascular surgeon, former Army Reserves medical officer, mentor to countless medical students and a published author known for bursting into Irish ballads and planning vacations with precision. He especially loved to go fishing, organizing itineraries to catch salmon in Alaska or snook and tarpon in Boca Grande.
His curiosity and desire to learn never ceased, his obituary said. He taught himself to speak German and play the mandolin, and he “would not let you go without filling him in on what you were reading or studying.”
Joyce Lee, 96, Miramar
After immigrating from Jamaica in 1979, Joyce Lee had children, then grandchildren, then great-grandchildren, then a few great-great-grandchildren.
Ms. Lee tended to them with as much care as she gave her garden of vegetables, fruits and flowers. She had last worked as a housekeeper at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla.
Mike Leedom, 31, Lake City
Mike Leedom loved to fish and hunt and laugh, and he loved his girls — his wife, Katie, and two young daughters. Because he was a tow truck driver, he got a sendoff from his fellow truckers: A final call over CB radio.
Gladys Sabillon Leonardo, 56, Miami
As Gladys Sabillon Leonardo left Honduras and later crossed over the Rio Grande, she cried, thinking of her children at home. For years, she worked in Miami as a seamstress, sending money home every 15 days. As a teenager, her daughter joined her in Florida.
Sabillon Leonardo almost never took a day off, always working to support her family, her children said. Even as she struggled with kidney issues and the difficulty of living in a foreign country, she tried to keep up a good attitude.
Fred Levin, 83, Pensacola
One of the country’s top trial attorneys, Pensacola native Fred Levin made his fortune, gave his name to the University of Florida law school and turned to philanthropy.
His legal career with the firm Levin and Askew, which began in 1961, had plenty of standout moments. In the 1990s, according to the Pensacola News-Journal, he won a case that prompted the state Legislature “to change the statute to Florida’s Medicaid law that allowed it to recoup money for the cost of treating lung cancer.” That led to a $13 billion settlement with Big Tobacco.
He also flirted with controversy, bringing attention and investigations from the Florida Bar. Overall, he donated more than $35 million. He told his hometown paper in 2019 that he’d lived a lucky life.
Hershel Daniel Lewis, 66, Jacksonville
H. Daniel Lewis was a Jacksonville native who studied business administration in Tennessee and Florida. Then he worked as a CPA and real estate broker in north Florida for over 40 years. Friends remembered him for his “Southern hospitality” and kindness.
Rosa Louise Lewis, 69, Panama City
A nurse for more than four decades, Rosa Louise Lewis was known for her warmth and joy, which often made her break out in dance. She loved to share home-cooked meals and give to-go containers to guests. Her faith was important to her, and in 2019, she was re-baptized in the Gulf of Mexico, which family describes as one of the most joyous moments of her life.
William F. Lichtler Jr., 96, Orlando
William Lichtler helped people across the nation understand their water. As a hydrogeologist working for the United States, Mr. Lichtler published water resources that helped developmental planning. He enjoyed science, history and museums, where he read every sign. He also liked to garden and spend time in his mountain home, where he hiked and sat by the fireplace.
Jack Lieberman, 70, Miami
Administrators booted Jack Lieberman from Florida State University for teaching fellow students about revolutionary politics. “Radical Jack” already had the schooling he needed. He devoted his life to advocacy and protest.
Lieberman demonstrated against President Ronald Reagan, advocated for Haitian refugees — co-founding the Haitian Refugee Center in Miami — and not long before he died Aug. 30 took to the street to protest police violence after the killing of George Floyd.
“If there was a movement for social justice, Jack got involved in it,” his wife, Marilyn, told the Miami Herald.
Louis Michael Livatino, 71, Jacksonville
Auxiliary Sgt. Louis Michael Livatino served at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, where he was a member of the honor guard. A New York native, he was a Navy veteran who belonged to the American Legion and was on the board of directors for the Fraternal Order of Police.
As president of a ham radio club, he helped connect families with loved ones deployed on military ships. He also was a member of Mensa.
Tomas Edmundo Lopez, 61, South Miami
Earlier in the year, Tomas Edmundo Lopez completed his lifelong dream of traveling to Europe.
During the day, he’d work as a custodian, where he was known to sing and dance. On Christmas, he’d dress up as Santa for the students. It was his favorite holiday, and he always decorated every inch of his house when Christmas rolled around.
Marjorie Winafred Lord, 97, Fort Lauderdale
Marjorie Winafred Lord was a child when her family moved from La Romana, Dominican Republic, where she was born, to Banes, Cuba, where her father was a superintendent of railroads for the United Fruit Co.
She would leave and return to the country repeatedly over the next 25 years: away to New Orleans as a teenager, and then back to the University of Havana, then away again to New York University. As a young woman in New York City and Washington, D.C., during World War II, she worked for the FBI as a Spanish-English translator. After the war, she went back to Cuba to teach elementary school, educating students who still called her decades later.
In the 1950s, she and her young family fled the revolution in Cuba and landed in Fort Lauderdale.
Capt. Lloyd Losinger, 60, Fort Walton Beach
Capt. Lloyd Losinger, a firefighter for Ocean City, contracted COVID-19 while doing inspections. He was loyal, devoted to his work and his family. He’d been a volunteer firefighter before getting brought onto the force of the North Bay Fire Control District, working his way up to Assistant Fire Chief. After 35 years of work, he retired but couldn’t leave it behind. For Ocean City-Wright Fire Control District, he was a captain who performed fire inspections. Off the clock, he worshipped at Valparaiso First Church.
John “Jack” R. Lynch, 86, Sarasota
Jack Lynch grew up and raised a family of five with the love of his life in Wassaic, N.Y.
He was a high school athlete who excelled in football, basketball and baseball. From 1953 to 1957, he served in the U.S. Air Force. Then he spent 10 years working in the family business, Lynch’s Amenia Market, a weekly outdoor farmer’s market. He later worked in the recreation department of the Wassaic Developmental Center.
After his retirement in 1989, he moved with his wife to Sarasota, where they enjoyed ballroom dancing and traveling. His family remembers him for “his compassion and generosity, his logical and practical approach to life, his quick wit and inviting sense of humor, and his quiet demeanor and dignity.”
Kimora “Kimmie” Lynum, 9, Gainesville
Kimmie Lynum was resilient and bubbly, inquisitive and outgoing despite the recent, sudden loss of her father, her “number one hero.”
Kimmie spilled over with love for her big family, including her grandma, aunties and uncles, who ate up her goofy laugh. She liked unicorns, glitter, making TikToks, swimming at the pool and playing Roblox with family and friends. “Most days,” her obituary reads, “you could find her on her phone making her own dramatic YouTube videos.”
She would have started fourth grade this fall.
Sharon Ann Maclaren, 79, Port Charlotte
Sharon Maclaren was the kind of person who got things done, her friends said.
Her passions were arts and education, and she also loved to travel. She started her career working in universities, but in 1979, she opened a restaurant, the Café du Voyageur in her hometown, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. She later expanded to Voyageur Tours, started the first hospice in town with a friend and later designed and built a house.
Port Charlotte became her permanent home in 2011, and she threw herself into the area’s arts scene. She was the director of The Cultural Center’s Learning Place and volunteered to help run the Charlotte Players and Charlotte Symphony volunteer organizations. She also taught art history classes at the Renaissance Academy in Punta Gorda.
Ms. Maclaren contracted COVID-19 on the Coral Princess cruise ship, which suffered a major coronavirus outbreak in April. “It was an extraordinary life,” said a close friend. “I have been full of joy that Sharon slipped out of this life on a high of a cruise.”
Ralph Maffei, 89, Fort Myers
Ralph Maffei’s children will remember his signature phrases, like telling them to go study when he saw them idling around or joking that the family was like a herd of turtles. A graduate of Harvard Law, Mr. Maffei had a long career as a lawyer and executive focusing on real estate. He was a lifelong learner and enjoyed talking about history, religion, politics and more. He had a philanthropic spirit and helped build a hospital in Poland, along with volunteering legal aid.
Ellen Marcus, 80, Coconut Creek
Ellen Marcus held various jobs over the years, but her true calling was caring for others. For a time, she was a stay-at-home mother, and later, she was the primary caretaker for her mother.
Ms. Marcus’ love for art spanned many different mediums, including drawing, sculpting, ceramics and most recently, woodcarving. She also volunteered her time with a dog therapy nonprofit to help children with special needs.
Rev. Canon Richard L. Marquess-Barry, 79, Miami
As rector of the Historic Saint Agnes Episcopal Church for 35 years, the Rev. Canon Richard Marquess-Barry was a beloved champion of Miami’s Black community and could often be found chatting with parishioners over shrimp, rice and conch.
In his early years as a priest in Fort Pierce, he successfully sued the school board and a cemetery for segregationist policies and pressured the city and county to adopt affirmative action in government agencies.
In Miami, he was passionate about inequality and education and helped spearhead affordable housing projects in Overtown. “At another time, it would have been hard to find a house of God to accommodate all who would have attended his funeral,” a friend writes.
Claudia Martin, 22, Royal Palm Beach
Claudia Martin worked at a daycare and wanted to be a nurse. On a memorial page, a woman who wrote that she was a teacher at a high school in Lake Worth remembered Martin as mature and driven. Another recalled how much she loved her niece.
James “Jim” Martin, 77, and Joanne “Jody” Martin, 76, Crestview
It began with a blind date in the early 1960s. She was named Joanne but went by Jody. He was named James but went by Jim. She was a high school junior who loved going to dances. He was a college student who played the trumpet in bands. They would be married for 55 years.
Jim, a programmer and programming instructor, worked a ham radio and knew morse code. He began every class he taught with a story. Jody played the tile game Qwirkle and made gorgeous quilts for a family that grew to include two children, 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He wrote books on programming, and she typed his longhand notes and sent them to the publisher.
They died a week apart, both of COVID-19.
“They had an amazing partnership,” her obituary read. “How fitting that they are together again, and we will be able to celebrate their lives together. This is truly the end of a beautiful love story.”
Patricia “Pat” Ann Martyka, 77, Sebastian
After Pat Martyka’s first date with her future husband, she already knew. “She went home and woke her sister, Phyllis, and said, ‘I just went out with the man I’m going to marry,’” her family wrote. The couple was happily married for 57 years.
She loved caring for her family and also was an animal lover who dreamed of starting her own shelter. Instead, she volunteered at a thrift shop that supported local rescues and fostered hundreds of cats and kittens — including some that never left.
Robert Matusevich, 68, Poinciana
A computer scientist by degree, Robert Matusevich was nifty around the house. Flooring, plumbing, electric — the jobs came easily. He loved to cook with ingredients from his garden.
He was most proud, after retirement, of becoming GrandBob to his granddaughter, Mikaela.
Stephen “Steve” Maxwell, 68, Bushnell
Charges of robbery, battery and kidnapping landed Steve Maxwell in prison in the 1970s. But friends said he was far from the man he used to be.
He was nearing 70 and had a pacemaker. At the Sumter Correctional Institution in Bushnell, Maxwell was known as the “Cat Man,” because he cared for stray cats in the prison, a friend said.
He was eligible for parole in 2018. But the state Commission on Offender Review didn’t grant it, and two years later, Maxwell became one of dozens of inmates dead from the coronavirus.
Geri Mayer, 67, Lake Worth
At Florida Atlantic University, Geri Mayer ran the biological laboratory and worked for more than 20 years in the biological sciences department. Students described her as the heart of the department and like a mother. Her office was a safe space for students to go when they were happy, sad or tired. She cared deeply about mentorship and oversaw about 100 teaching assistants each semester.
Mario Mayorga Sr., Esperanza Tapia de Mayorga and Mario Mayorga Jr., 72, 72 and 42, Miami-Dade County
Mario Mayorga Jr. loved the horse he kept in a rural part of Miami-Dade County. He loved Nicaragua, the country he had fled with his family as a child in the 1980s and visited as recently as January. And he loved his parents, who were looking forward to celebrating 50 years of marriage this year.
When Mario Jr., who supervised a company contracted for hospital cleaning, started feeling sick in March, his parents and 45-year-old sister soon followed. The elder Mayorgas, who had been beloved teachers in Nicaragua, died in mid-April, and Mario Jr. died soon after.
Virginia Kay McCamish, 61, Port St. Lucie
Virginia McCamish was a nurse who enjoyed baking fantastic cakes and cookies (if she didn’t eat all of the cookie dough), all things ’80s, scary movies and dreadful daytime soap operas, her family wrote. Her nickname was “Ginger” — and her son dubbed her “Ginger of Assisi” for her love for animals.
Ms. McCamish’s family believes she contracted COVID-19 while working at Cleveland Clinic Martin Memorial Hospital. After fighting the virus, she finally tested negative. But days later, it became clear her heart and lungs were irreparably damaged. Her son, a Catholic priest, was by her side to give her last rites.
James Aloysius McCarthy Jr., 82, Miami
James McCarthy Jr. loved physical activity and being outdoors, whether riding his motorcycle or spearfishing on his boat.
He spent his career in the grocery industry, starting with opening a Tom Thumb Food Store in Hialeah in 1964. By 1986, he and his wife were operating 15 stores, nine Subways and seven rental properties. During those years, he served as the president of the Florida Retail Grocers Association and the Associated Grocers Credit Union.
Kelly McCarty, 52, Ocala
Born with cerebral palsy, Kelly McCarty had a childlike bearing and an immediate love for strangers. Her sister Terri was her protector, her sun. Living in a group home, then being treated for COVID-19 in a hospital, she didn’t quite understand why Terri couldn’t be there. Terri asked someone to hold the phone up to Kelly, so she could sing “Yes, Jesus Loves You.”
Mary Jacq McCulloch, 87, Winter Haven
Mary Jacq McCulloch was never one to avoid the limelight — her family says she was prone to dancing down grocery store aisles, chatting with strangers and belting out a hearty vibrato. A Southerner from Birmingham, Ala., her expletives of choice were “fiddlesticks” and “quit your bellyaching!” When the family lived in Austria for a time, she spoke German with an unabashed Southern twang.
She taught her three children to appreciate the charms of garden “piddling,” hiking in the outdoors and throwing a perfect party. After they were grown, she rode a camel in the Holy Land, kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland and hiked the Grand Canyon.
Teaching was her calling. She was a PE teacher for years in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and later was a pre-school teacher and director of Christian education for United Methodist congregations. She was thrifty but always managed to dress to the nines. Her pre-school students especially loved her vibrant array of costumes and jewelry for every holiday.
In her later years in Winter Haven, she taught an exercise class for fellow church retirees — and never failed to show off her extensive seasonal sock collection.
Robert Alexander McDaniel, 92, Bradenton
Robert McDaniel’s basketball teams had a style, and that style was fast. A successful player while growing up in Rensselaer, N.Y., he went on to coach teams in the Chenango Valley school system and at the State University of New York at Binghamton.
McDaniel was a retired teacher and snowbird with his late wife of 67 years, Nancy. He liked to play golf, travel and fish.
Lucy Carolyn Cain McGuffee, 79, Niceville
Lucy Carolyn Cain McGuffee died on her 62nd anniversary with her husband, Bob. For decades, she’d been a stay-at-home wife and mother, the kind who was present no matter what. For her husband, this love felt like a 3-foot circle of protection — inside that halo, those lucky enough would feel that love and be the better for it. More than anything, she loved Jesus “with her whole heart, which made her love others that way, too.”
Renada McGuire, 39, Palm Coast
Life started out hard for Renada McGuire and stayed that way, but she kept a fighting spirit, some essential spunkiness. Born to a farmworker and home health care worker, she was young when her father was deported to his native Guatemala. She never heard from him again. Her brother became the head of the household, and Renada his protector.
Her first son, who developed a mental disability, inspired her to become a home health aide focused on adults with mental challenges. As a single mom, she juggled six kids, her work and health problems of her own. She loved R&B and fishing, drawn to water as often as she could go.
Desi-Rae Nicole McIntosh, 26, Fort Walton Beach
Desi-Rae Nicole McIntosh was working the night shift at a Tom Thumb grocery store when she fell ill. She and her husband were living in a motel to save money, and she was afraid of losing her job. She went to work with symptoms.
A friend found her coughing and short of breath.
She still went back to work the next day but left early to go to the emergency room and was soon put on a ventilator. Her husband wouldn’t see her again until right before she died. “We were pretty much inseparable,” he said. “We always held hands and cuddled and kissed and hugged every chance we got.”
Terrence McNally, 81, Sarasota
Terrence McNally became one of the first celebrities to succumb to COVID-19. His prolific career included winning Tony Awards for the plays Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class and the musicals Ragtime and Kiss of the Spider Woman.
His work explored how people connect — or fail to. Mr. McNally, openly gay, wrote about homophobia, love and AIDS.
Tributes pored in from Broadway. Lin-Manuel Miranda called Mr. McNally “a giant in our world, who straddled plays and musicals deftly. Grateful for his staggering body of work and his unfailing kindness.”
Elizabeth McNew, 12, Atlantic Beach
It was only after 12-year-old Elizabeth McNew died that her mother, who called Elizabeth “my sweetness,” glimpsed a new side of her. Elizabeth had been a virtual student at Mayport Coastal Sciences Middle School, where she had something like “a secret life” as a role model, her mother said: “If she saw a friend in a tiff with someone, she would go to them and say, ‘This is not how we should be.’ ” Elizabeth loved The Promise radio station, the Girl Scouts, painting “anything that would hold still,” hugging generously and her brother, Liam.
Linda Mehney, 78, North Palm Beach
Linda Mehney died in Florida, where she stayed in a winter home, but her pride was in Michigan.
There, she owned Grand Arabian Farms, breeding horses and marking births with balloons on the fence. Ms. Mehney brushed shoulders with famous people, from President Gerald Ford to Patrick Swayze. To relatives, she kept things running, a fact made clear this Memorial Day, when without her at a getaway, they took stock of the water and toilet paper supplies and were reminded of the many ways she had taken care of them.
Iris Mensh, 79, Palm Beach Gardens
To her family, Iris Mensh was the “master of surprise.”
She was direct and carried a mischievous streak, once calling firefighters to bring their hoses and blast off dirt from the tennis courts where she played. She loved her children and wanted them to be well, demanding they eat vegetables even if she would not. When her husband said he was considering a gig touring with a band in the 1960s, she told him sure, but she would date.
“That was Iris,” he told The Palm Beach Post. “And that was the end of my career.”
Peter Mermelstein, 72, Delray Beach
Peter Mermelstein was a former New York limo driver who couldn’t stop working in retirement. His wife convinced him to move to Florida, but he continued to drive for a ride-sharing company up until the day he fell ill, in the early days of the pandemic.
Mr. Mermelstein was born in Hungary and brought to Israel as a baby during World War II to escape the Nazis. In November, he returned to Israel for the last time, to visit his 93-year-old mother.
To honor his life, neighbors organized a prayer ritual, stepping out of their homes to wave at his wife from a distance.
George M. “Buddy” Merritt, 70, Ocala
Buddy Merritt liked Superman and wearing a sheriff’s badge. He favored dinosaurs, too.
Merritt, born in Georgia, lived for decades in Marion County at a home for people with developmental and physical disabilities.
His family remembers his laughter.
Marcel Métayer, 63, Fort Lauderdale
Pastor Marcel Métayer, founder and leader of Renaissance Evangelique Baptiste Tabernacle in Plantation, blamed his belabored breathing on getting caught in the rain. He pushed to keep his Baptist church open for his Haitian-American community, knowing it was a haven. He had built a following on “straightforward Bible teaching and preaching.” It was only on his hospital bed that he said he would move services online.
John and Noreen Metzger, 93 and 91, Ocala
John and Noreen Metzger passed away from COVID-19 two days apart.
The couple met in Pittsburgh. Noreen was an elementary school teacher who loved music. She sang and played the handbell in community and church choirs for many years. She also loved classic movies, traveling, trivia and almost any kind of game, from bowling to crosswords.
John served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific during World War II, then worked for J&L Steel for many years, finally retiring from the Allegheny County Department of Aging.
Jermaine Mills, 40, Ocala
Jermaine “Shack” Mills was a “gentle giant,” hard worker and loving father of six: Jermesha, Tremaine, Jeremiah, Trentyn, Josiah and Trinity. He spent free time saltwater and freshwater fishing and relaxing on the beach when he could find a moment away from his masonry work, his life’s passion. He made people laugh with his Facebook posts.
Park Randall Miller, 73, Tallahassee
A top lobbyist and fixture around the state Capitol for decades, Park Randall Miller, known as Randy by his Tallahassee colleagues, was an expert on Florida taxation. For nearly 10 years, Mr. Miller served as the agency head for the Florida Department of Revenue. He later worked for the Florida Retail Association, where he retired as president.
Shaquana Miller, 35, Fort Lauderdale
Shaquana Miller was a registrar at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, a welcoming face for patients at the front desk. She had been faithful from a young age and worked as praise and worship leader.
She was a wife and mother of four daughters.
Norman Mintz, 85, Boca Raton
Once the executive vice president of academic affairs at Columbia University, where he created the computer science department, Norman Mintz held a doctorate in economics and later worked for a financial firm.
He liked to sail, his sons said, and served as a lieutenant in the Army. He met his wife in the 1960s, swimming in Nantucket. They married in less than a month.
John William “Pat” Mitchell Jr., 74, Inverness
Pat Mitchell was born into a military life and went on to reach the rank of colonel across decades of decorated service. He saw three stints in Vietnam for the U.S. Army and later became a Reserve Officers' Training Corps instructor in Kansas. At home, he coached his daughters' softball teams, traveled with his wife and golfed.
He suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder that family members said sometimes clouded his love for them. Time helped, they wrote, and they felt his appreciation “with every silly dance, every team coached, every holiday dinner and prayer and every time he bragged on us until we rolled our eyes in mock embarrassment.”
Marco Molano, 68, Coral Springs
Marco Molano, the generous owner of El Mariachi restaurants in Coral Springs, was known to some as the city’s “Spanish mayor.” He worked six days a week, running his Mexican-Cuban joints from his usual seat at one of the restaurants. He used to plop one of his sons in a playpen by the kitchen while he and his wife cooked. When customers came in the door, he personally greeted each one — for 27 years.
“He wanted his customers to know they were part of life,” his daughter Erika said. And he was like a second father to others. Molano had come from Bogota to New York City at 18, hustling to sell bags and scarves on the streets. With a bit of cash, he opened a pizzeria in Florida. Later came El Mariachi. When people were hurting, his loved ones said, he fed them.
Ralph Monahan, 77, Boynton Beach
For more than three decades, Ralph Monahan taught industrial arts in Buffalo. Later, as a snowbird, he and his wife spent time at a condo in Boynton Beach, where he was, of course, working on projects when he got sick.
His son called him an “all-around wonderful guy,” a Boy Scout leader and fisherman who remodeled a New York farmhouse and had “built so many things.”
Carlos Morales, 62, Greenacres
Carlos Morales learned quickly. He mastered English and Creole after moving to the United States with his family from Nicaragua. He taught himself guitar and captivated listeners with classical songs.
A shuttle driver at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, he was about to move back to Nicaragua when he got sick, planning retirement with his wife.
Maria Morales, 73; Elizabeth Toro, 52, Melbourne
Mother and daughter died within hours of each other, in separate rooms of the same hospital. Elizabeth Toro was a middle school reading teacher. Her family said she had an infectious laugh and adored her students, who loved her in return.
Helen Craven Morris, 87, Pensacola
Helen Morris studied music at Elon College, where she met her husband in the college choir. She was a veteran church organist and piano teacher. One of her favorite songs to play was New York, New York.
A “small-town girl,” Morris got to see much of the world. “Though she relished living in places like Spain, Panama and California, she was always proud to tell people, ‘I’m from North Carolina.’” her family wrote.
William Morrison Jr., 72, Daytona Beach
Every year, dating to 1973, William Morrison Jr. would pack up his family and head to the Florida Keys for lobster season.
When not vacationing, Mr. Morrison and his wife ran a fencing company they started in a tattered barn but grew to a building that still stands, run by his son and grandson. Mr. Morrison was proud of his family’s work, and during Christmas would support his daughter’s dance business by pulling floats along in parades.
Stephen Edward Morse II, 65, Gainesville
A Michigan native, Stephen Morse was a newspaper reporter and editor, including at the Tampa Bay Times. Writing was his life’s work. He suffered from pulmonary fibrosis and had recently retired.
Morse was known as a deft hand, sharpening stories with focus and clarity. He was an alum of Central Michigan University.
Leona Moten-Scott, 101, Miami-Dade County
Leona Moten-Scott lived to 100, then 101, and she would have kept on going, her daughter said, had COVID-19 not intervened.
Ms. Moten-Scott had her faith and was never afraid to speak her mind. She loved to fish and enjoyed Applebee’s BBQ ribs for lunch.
She worked most of her life as a cafe manager or housekeeper, but she spent more recent years living with her daughter Carolyn Moore and son-in-law David, watching the happenings of the neighborhood from her favorite chair by the window.
Joan Moxley, 88, Gainesville
Joan Moxley spent her lifetime listening to other people and helping them thrive as a rehabilitation counselor. On the side, she helped develop properties around Gainesville. Her family describes her as an avid hobbyist who enjoyed reading, gardening, learning about other people, sculpting, running, antiquing and more.
Arnold “AJ” Mullins, 64, Lehigh Acres
AJ Mullins was a guitarist with The Collaboration Band, a Southwest Florida group that played soul, R&B and Motown. In June, he and most of his bandmates contracted COVID-19. He never recovered.
“This man had one of the most soulful voices you’ve ever heard in your life,” said one bandmate. The group plans to play benefit concerts in August to feed families in the community and honor Mr. Mullins’s life.
Dieugrand Nazaire, 43, Delray Beach
Dieugrand Nazaire was a soft-spoken math teacher at Lake Worth High School. Students called him Mr. Naz. He stayed late to tutor students in Creole, his native language from Haiti, asking about their lives and sometimes offering them a few spare dollars.
Graduating senior Johana Cruz said it was because of him that she enjoyed geometry. “Every time when you walk in, you always hear good morning from him,” Cruz said. “Even if you were the quiet kid, he would always talk to you." She said he was like a parent to her.
Dr. Eddie Negrón, 69, Fort Walton Beach
He could dance, tirelessly. And he loved a good joke — until it was time to scrub in.
Dr. Eddie A. Negrón was a trusted internist in Fort Walton Beach, along the Florida Panhandle. Born in Puerto Rico, Eddie moved with his family to the Bronx as a boy. He didn’t speak English. Science and math — much better. He shined shoes for cash, played cello and pursued a laboratory career under the watch of his strict single mom. Later, married to a respiratory technician, he went back to school to become a doctor and landed in Florida. His niece, who lives in Ohio, recalled a serious problem her own doctors couldn’t figure out. Her uncle could — 800 miles away, he remembered a rare case, from back in medical school, that fit the bill.
Nelson Nelms, 89, Belle Glade
Nelson Nelms, a retired sugar mill foreman and Korean War veteran, lived in the same white house with red trim for nearly 50 years. Though he lost his eyesight some 15 years ago, he still insisted on chipping in with the chores.
“It made him feel he was doing his share,” said his daughter, Alice Gay. “He would sweep and mop the floor, and when he went to bed, we went behind him and re-did it. But he tried.”
Each Sunday, he went to church, and each Monday morning, he sat in his trusty recliner across from his nephew Bill Taylor, a Baptist pastor. They swapped stories, as Mr. Nelms told tales from his time in the Marines to fishing on Lake Okeechobee. Besides the war, he had never left his beloved Glades. The men often talked about heaven and how Mr. Nelms couldn’t wait to go. At the end of their hour, they always held hands and prayed.
Milton Nembhard, 70, Lauderdale Lakes
Growing up with five older siblings in Jamaica, Milton Nembhard knew family came first. With his typical joyful spirit, he sang in Sunday school and at family devotion, and sought out time to play, whether it was cricket, soccer, football, basketball, boxing, wrestling or dominoes.
He loved to learn, and after coming to the U.S. in 1974, he took night classes in Paterson, N.J., for his GED (though he was already a high school graduate in Jamaica). He studied into his 50s, learning medical technologies, engineering and real estate for his many careers. He liked to play jokes. Perhaps the only things he loved more than his faith and family were women.
Jerry Nicholas, 54, Jacksonville
Jerry Nicholas loved his large family and went out of his way to help anyone, no matter what they needed.
A church elder at Freedom Ministries in Orange Park, he “was always trying to spread the gospel,” his son said. “No matter what he was going through, in good times and in bad, he smiled through it.”
In the hospital, Mr. Nicholas was given an experimental plasma infusion from someone who had recovered from COVID-19. His health improved at first, but then suddenly declined.
Steven Nolan, 73, West Palm Beach
Steven Nolan served in Vietnam and had a career in Army intelligence before he retired in 2003. By then, he had met Adelina “Nina” Camacho, who would marry him in 2009 and later call him “the best husband in the world.”
In February, the couple booked a cruise on the Nile River to celebrate Nolan’s birthday. By the time they got on the plane home, they were feeling sick. Camacho recovered after five days in the hospital, but Mr. Nolan died March 25.
Gail DeWitt North, 87, Port St. Lucie
After Gail DeWitt North’s children grew up, she returned to school and became a nurse, earning her RN and LPN. When not working, she played cello with the Treasure Coast Symphony. She enjoyed playing bridge, reading and traveling, with highlights including an African safari, a visit to China and seeing all 50 states.
JoAnna Darlene Odom, 44, Panama City
JoAnna Odom was a teacher who loved helping her students learn and treated her colleagues like family. She studied elementary education at Florida State University, then taught for 17 years.
Her family wrote that Odom “never met a stranger” and was always ready for a gathering with friends and family. She enjoyed relaxing at the beach, traveling, scrapbooking, singing and cooking.
Calvin Aurora Ogletree III, 45, Lakeland
His decorated military career of 27 years took him around the world. Sgt. 1st class Calvin Ogletree III became a Florida Army reservist after three years on active duty in the mid-1990s. That’s when he was a light wheel vehicle mechanic stationed in Germany and Bosnia and Herzegovina. As a reservist, he serve a combat tour to Iraq in 2003. Lately, he had been a “senior writer instructor” for the 8th Battalion, 108th Regiment in Jacksonville.
Mr. Ogletree took home many awards for good conduct and achievement.
Willard “Will” Linzy Oost, 84, Parker
Will Oost was a Vietnam veteran who served in the U.S. Air Force for more than 23 years. After, he became a police officer, eventually serving as Parker’s police chief for 12 years. In retirement, he served on City Council.
Graciela Ordiales, 89, Westchester
Every day at 3 p.m., Graciela Ordiales would take her rosary and pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
She passed away in the hour of the Divine Mercy, on Divine Mercy Sunday. From a childhood in Cuba to raising three children in the United States, Ms. Ordiales worked hard to care for her family and others in the community. She gave often to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and other organizations, saying she may not be able to help directly, but she would give so others could.
Don Osceola, 77, Hollywood
Don Osceola may have been the first Native American in Florida to die from COVID-19. Osceola was born on the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation and later joined the Miccosukee tribe. There, he worked as a police officer and in the housing department.
Mr. Osceola was a U.S. Army Vietnam veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart. He studied theology and architecture. He worked for the National Park Service in the Everglades National Park.
Max Osceola Jr., 70, Hollywood Seminole Reservation
During his time on the Seminole Tribal Council, Max Osceola Jr. transformed Seminole Gaming and the Hard Rock brand into a global force. He governed on the council for more than two decades, during which the tribe bought Hard Rock International. He also worked with a number of nonprofit organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club. In 2017, Mr. Osceola was inducted into the Broward Education Foundation Hall of Fame.
Donn Ross Osmon, 87, Sarasota
Donn Ross Osmon was a long-tenured employee of the 3M Company who once oversaw its sponsorship of the Winter Olympics.
Born during the Great Depression, he was left outside an orphanage in a basket. He later graduated from the University of North Dakota and served in the U.S. Army.
Mr. Osmon loved retirement, making a predictable routine in Florida filled with golf and books.
Shane Owens, 48, Broward County
Shane Owens, a three-decade deputy with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, was the agency’s seventh employee to die from the coronavirus. Mr. Owens was a sergeant who worked in the county jail, like his father had. The director of the detention department said Mr. Owens was no nonsense and a great role model for other employees.
Virginia M. Pahlman, 82, Royal Palm Beach
Virginia Pahlman enjoyed gardening, painting and cooking. Over the years, she worked in real estate and was a manager in a doctor’s office, among other clerical positions.
She was married three times and enjoyed 30 happy years with her third husband. “In her death, she requested nothing other than being back with her husband,” her family wrote.
Peter W. Pallot, 96, Miami
A former flight engineer during World War II, Peter Pallot became a salesman for Magliner hand trucks. His fascination for the mechanics of cars and planes continued throughout his life.
“He had many stories about his life, and he savored the chance to tell one or two,” his family wrote.
Charles Patrinos, 100, Naples
Charles Patrinos was a World War II veteran who helped build the Twin Towers in New York “with his hands of gold,” his family wrote. A generous and friendly “gentleman,” he was always the life of the party.
[Tampa Bay Times]
Corey Pendergrass, 51, Lauderhill
A “gentle giant” who served as a patrol officer in the Lauderhill Police Department since 1997, Corey Pendergrass was known as a mentor who faced adversity with a hopeful outlook. “The many accolades received by members of the community speaks volumes to his character, which was beyond question,” the Lauderhill police chief told reporters.
He was a father of six. His son Corey Jr. has said he wants to follow his father’s path.
Charles “Charlie” Perdomo, 78, Bradenton
Charlie Perdomo taught in Hillsborough County for more than two decades and coached the 1993 Bloomingdale High School softball team to a state championship.
He played senior softball himself and also liked to hunt and fish. A Tampa Bay native, he graduated from Jefferson High School and attended the University of Tampa.
Rodolfo “Rudy” Daniel Pereda, 59, Tallahassee
When he was a little boy, Rudy Pereda left Cuba with his family on a Freedom Flight.
He loved coffee shops, riding bicycles at the beach and Christmas. With a degree in computer science, Pereda worked for decades in Florida state agencies. He stayed busy at home plugging away at projects in his workshop.
Alfredo Enrique Matheus Perez, 78, Weston
Alfredo Enrique Matheus Perez was a businessman and award-winning salesman with “a youthful spirit and a contagious energy.” He sailed and raced pigeons, recorded videos for family and gardened. Born in Venezuela, he built multiple boats as a teenager. Later, he retrofitted a van into a motorhome.
He lived — and shared — many incredible stories.
Norma R. Perez, 78, Miami
Norma Perez graduated top of her class in Cuba, then moved to New York “to escape communism,” her family wrote. She later moved to Florida and worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 30 years.
She was a deeply religious woman who always sent her family and friend handmade cards for special occasions.
Fabian Pettiford, 34, Chattahoochee
Fabian Pettiford was a patient at Florida State Hospital’s mental health facility after a turbulent life spent in and out of institutions, from prison to hospitals. A judge in June ruled Mr. Pettiford mentally incompetent to stand trial, extending his time at the facility. He had faced a charge of battery on a law enforcement officer.
His uncle Walter Pettiford said: “It’s hurt me so bad how I lost him… I know people do wrong and right, but we’re human. If you cage them up, you should take care of them.”
Al Phillips, 61, Lake Bradford
Al Phillips could seem intimidating at first, with his 6-foot-2 frame and booming voice, but strangers soon found that “he had the biggest heart in the world,” said his wife, Debby. He had soft spots for tie-dye, motorcycles and the Florida State Seminoles — whose games got him even louder than usual.
He was a gregarious mechanic when Debby met him, and when she was robbed soon after they started dating, he quietly bought her a new TV. Decades later, on Mother’s Day 2018, he surprised her with the new red convertible she’d always wanted. They would have celebrated 30 years of marriage next month.
William “Bill” Rowan Phillips Sr., 76, Lake City
Bill Phillips’ children remember visiting the meat counter to see their daddy and get a slice of bologna. He was a butcher, a Navy veteran and a police officer. At one time, he owned a grocery store.
He had a “servant’s heart,” his family wrote, and once saved his friend’s life by performing CPR. As a volunteer at the Veteran’s Hospital, he also donated gallons of blood.
James “Jim” Picciano, 88, Boca Raton
Jim Picciano was known to fool his audience, spinning jokes that up until the punchline sounded like a story. He was an ironworker, World War II history buff and baseball fan.
He and his wife got sick at the same time, but unlike her, he did not recover.
John Duval Pollitzer, 73, Tallahassee
John Pollitzer’s family remembers him for his dry sense of humor and kindness to those in need.
He was a medic in the U.S. Coast Guard, then a member of the Beaufort County Emergency Management Services, where he worked as a shift supervisor for more than 30 years. He loved the South Carolina Gamecocks and “all things Beaufort,” his family wrote.
Nina Popova, 97, St. Augustine
Nina Popova was born in Russia on the brink of the Soviet Union’s birth. She escaped the Bolsheviks in her home nation, then, after discovering her talent for ballet as a girl in Paris, ran from the Nazis. Her dancing took her across Europe, to Australia, to Cuba and to New York. Making a go of it in Houston, she hated when men wouldn’t doff their cowboy hats during a performance.
In 2018, a broken hip brought her to her daughter in Florida. Even at 95, in physical therapy, she could still show off those old ballet poses.
Elbert Lee “Bully” Poppell, 99, Havana
Bully Poppell was a World War II veteran who later worked for the Florida Department of Transportation and managed the mailroom for the governor’s office. A Boy Scout when he was young, he grew up to be deeply involved with the organization and was proud of his four-generation Boy Scout family, down to his great-grandsons. The Havana Boy Scout Camp was even re-named Camp Bully Poppell in his honor in 1991.
Mr. Poppell was a lover of flowers and found “peace” when riding his tractor, his family said. He was known for his green thumb: “If he had a spot to plant it, it would grow!!” his family wrote.
Neil Powell, 93, Orlando
Neil Powell had a way of bringing people together, especially fellow dentists.
He led multiple professional societies in his career and helped bring fluoride to tap water in Orlando. When he stopped working on teeth, he formed a club, R.O.D.E.O, or Retired Old Dentists Eating Out. Mr. Powell was a hunter and played drums in a jazz band that was made up of — you guessed it — a bunch of dentists.
George Prastitis, 87, Ormond Beach
George Prastitis had an incredible store of knowledge and loved trivia, jeopardy and debate. An avid DIYer, he knew how to fix anything and also was a talented artist with oils and pens.
He spent his career at Otis Elevator and was a devoted father who coached his children’s baseball and softball teams. His favorite pastime was golf.
Karen Puerner, 75, Naples
As the engineering secretary for GM Janesville, Karen Puerner was described as the glue that held the engineers together. Later in her retired life, Ms. Puerner grew an affinity for golf and won the Ladies Nine Hole President’s Cup in back-to-back years. She enjoyed spreading joy to others through quilting and arts and crafts she made.
Ethel Lynn Radford, 92, Pensacola
When Ethel Radford was in high school during World War II, she worked in a meat processing plant for soldiers’ rations and used part of her earnings to pay for tap dancing lessons.
She raised four children in Pensacola with her husband, a WWII veteran and retired career Navy man. She nurtured an intense interest in environmental issues and politics and was proud of having marched for the Equal Rights Amendment in Tallahassee in 1974.
After her husband died in 1984, she revived her love for tap dancing and performed with “'seasoned dancers’ like herself, who still had what it takes," her family wrote.
Karen Ruth Rapaport, 62, Boca Raton
Karen Rapaport was a psychologist who loved music and art. She had a beautiful singing voice and also wrote songs for guitar. She spent much of her retirement painting and drawing. Her beloved dog, Isabel, was often the model.
“Most of all, Karen loved to spend time with her family and friends,” wrote her family. “She was always the happiest when she was around those that she loved.”
She died after a brief struggle with gliobastoma, followed by a COVID-19 infection.
Kenny Reagan, 56, Hollywood
A former Marine, Kenny Reagan was a dependable guy. You could count on him if you were his patient at Memorial Regional Hospital, seeking respiratory therapy. You could tell him your fears and stories, and he might even make you his friend. And if you were his baseball player, a junior varsity Mustang at McArthur High (his alma mater), you looked up to his caring, mild-mannered mentorship.
He looked out for his community deeply. He helped overhaul the baseball program with his attention and hustle, seeking sponsorships, parental involvement, repairs and new investments — work that some believe helped the varsity team make it to states in 2019. His son was always by his side.
Margaret “Peg” Reilly, 96, Eustis
With her skill for sewing, Peg Reilly created beautiful custom wedding gowns. She worked a career in human resources at JCPenney.
To her youngest relatives, she was “Grandma Peg.” Born in Toronto, her family remembers how she volunteered during her life and favored St. Jude, the patron saint of desperate causes.
Lt. Aldemar “Al” Rengifo Jr., 47, North Lauderdale
A 20-year veteran of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Lt. Al Renfigo had recently started working with the Youth and Neighborhood Services Bureau. In 2012, he was detective of the year.
Colleagues called him a true professional, deeply devoted and a great communicator. In the most complex and stressful moments, he stayed calm, they said. He was a father and husband.
Richard Retblatt, 74, Boca Raton
Richard Retblatt had no regrets.
He broke into dance spontaneously and was, his son said, a “fashionista.” After he and his wife, Mindy, retired to Florida four years ago, he took up smoking cigars and put together a 42-person golfing group he dubbed the “Good Fellas.”
Just before he died, he told his wife and kids to have a drink in his honor.
“He was an acquired taste,” Mindy said. “He came on strong, but he had a heart of gold.”
Lorna Retener, 60, Miami
After scoring in the top 10 percent on the national nursing exam in the Philippines, Lorna Retener was offered the chance to come to the United States and work. Along with working as a nurse, she taught nursing students and inspired them to get higher degrees than they thought they could.
Family remembers her patience and love of Marvel movies.
Judge Roberson III, 80, Pompano Beach
From an early age, Judge Roberson knew he wanted to spread the word of God. He was only 9 years old when he began writing sermons, which he was sometimes allowed to read during church services.
He served in the U.S. Army, then ran a masonry company, but his “main goal in life was to encourage men and women to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior,” his family wrote.
In Florida, he was a pastor with the Faith Center Ministries in Sunrise and Fort Lauderdale and conducted many revivals.
Patricia C. Roberts, 75, Dunnellon
For years, Patricia C. Roberts ran the Roberts Funeral Home of Dunnellon with her husband. Outside of work, Ms. Roberts enjoyed sitting by the river or on her porch flipping through a cookbook. She was a talented cook and “everyone knew it,” according to her obituary.
Robert “Bobby” Robins, 76, Miami
Bobby Robins had a close-knit family and loved cheering on all his grand-nephews at lacrosse, football and basketball games. He also was known as “Uncle Bobby” as a volunteer working with foster youth through Voices For Children. He loved animals, including his rescue dog of 15 years, China.
“One of Bobby’s last wishes was that everyone takes this deadly virus seriously and stays safe,” his family wrote.
Jimmy Robinson, 55, Miami
Jimmy Robinson was a big sports fan. He rooted for the Miami Heat and Hurricanes, and was a Dallas Cowboys stalwart.
He worked for nearly three decades for Miami-Dade Transit, rising to the rank of supervisor.
Ana Rodriguez, 76, Orlando
Ana Rodriguez, who was from Puerto Rico before moving to Florida, would feed everyone who came by. Her family members said Rodriguez cared more about other people than she did herself and loved fully.
[Tampa Bay Times]
Aurora Ruiz Rodriguez, 65, Lakeland
Aurora Ruiz Rodriguez may have been born in Texas, but Central Florida was home. She prayed at Turning Point Worship Center in Bartow and worked as a CNA in Winter Haven. She had a son and five daughters, 14 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Luis Soto Rodriguez, 73, Orlando
Whether Luis Soto Rodriguez was traveling for a weekend or moving, he always packed his dominoes. As he played, he’d talk about his life growing up in Puerto Rico and New York.
For many years, Mr. Soto Rodriguez worked as a truck driver. After retiring, he drove for Uber, which is how his family suspects he came into contact with the coronavirus.
Mary Rodriguez, 82, Crestview
Her daughter Christine called Mary Rodriguez “the bravest and strongest lady I have ever known.” Born in Texas, she built a family in Florida, and they were the axis of her world. She was a mother of five, a grandmother of 12 and a great-grandmother of 25. A worshipper at a number of churches, she liked to sing worship songs and read scripture — when she wasn’t tuning into old TV shows.
Wayne and Lauri Rogers, 65 and 61, Florida Panhandle
Wayne Rogers, the first state prison officer to die of the coronavirus, would light up when he talked about work, his daughter said. He worked as an officer in Florida’s prison system for 30 years.
He and his wife, Lauri, died an hour apart in late July. The two liked to ride on Wayne’s motorcycle together. Their daughter said the couple lived simply and down-to-earth.
Alberto Rojas, 52, Lake Worth
The eighth child in a family of nine, Alberto Rojas grew up in Mexico learning to harvest corn and beans and hanging around big tractors with his uncles. He loved a good party, and soon met the love of his life, Juana Torres. Once married, he began traveling to the U.S. for work, until the family moved to Florida for a new life.
Mr. Rojas worked in agriculture, readying land for crops, and but was happiest on a tractor. Father of three daughters, and a grandfather, too, he was lucky in love. In 2013, after 25 years, he and Juana renewed their vows. Just this year, he was offered a better job, with the chance to do more of what he loved, operating heavy machinery.
[Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, obituary]
Richard “Rick” Ross, 66, Boynton Beach
In a Boynton Beach Police Department tribute, Rick Ross was referred to as “Sensei.” That’s because Mr. Ross, a longtime officer, also was a longtime karate instructor.
He once described to The Palm Beach Post how in that position he taught “a way to function.”
Mr. Ross raced boats and rode motorcycles. He led an outboard engine company and was dean of discipline at a school, where officials wrote that he always worked “with love and compassion.”
Ron Ross, 87, Boca Raton
Ron Ross was a fighter and a writer. A member of the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame, he was doing sit-ups and push-ups, 50 a day, only a few months before he died, his daughter said.
His family knew him as “the biggest mush,” an adoring grandfather who was drafting a screenplay for his book, The Tomato Can.
Anabelle Hernandez Rudolph, 79, Jacksonville
Anabelle Hernandez Rudolph loved to travel, leaving her native Costa Rica to study in Vermont and Florence, Italy. At home, she was known for throwing holiday bashes for friends.
She served as a translator in U.S. District Court — having command of several languages — and later was a nanny. Ms. Rudolph once met Pope John Paul II, one of her greatest memories.
James “Tom” Russell
Tom Russell was the principal of Flagler Palm Coast High School when he got sick.
He had previously served as superintendent of Volusia County Schools, having worked his way up from teaching English and social studies to middle schoolers.
A schoolboard chairwoman told The Daytona Beach News-Journal that Russell “had the heart of an educator.
“He was compassionate and always believed in the best of people.”
Wayne Robert Ryder, 76, Hollywood
Wayne Ryder was a Harley enthusiast, a former member of the original Crazy Horse MC. Besides his motorcycle, he loved boating, kayaking, hunting and fishing — and more than anything, his family.
He attended St. Thomas More Catholic Church and was a lifelong member of the Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union 105/7.
Laura Saint-Amand, 78, Miami
Laura Saint-Amand died in October, after visiting her daughter in Orlando, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Sandra Saint-Amand drove to Miami to visit her mother in the hospital every weekend until her death.
“She was still conscious, but she looked like she was really scared,” Sandra Saint-Amand told the newspaper.
Ms. Saint-Amand was a retired nurse who liked to visit her daughter and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa.
“She was my traveling buddy, my best friend, my confidant,” her daughter said. “She was everything.”
Meryl Salkin, 84, Lantana
They fell for each other late in life, but the easy romance was full of dinners and moonlit nights, making Meryl Salkin and Ken Lassiter feel like teenagers, he said. She loved dachshunds and, according to her son, being the center of attention.
She held a master’s degree in psychology and once ran a hearing aid shop. Her sister remembers how they used to compete as kids, except, of course, when they united to defy their parents.
Rodrick “Rod” Samuels, 49, Orlando
Rodrick Samuels was intensely protective of those he loved. Relatives thought of him as a “teddy bear.”
His brother remembers how Mr. Samuels fought for him when they were young. Lately, he was a proud grandpa.
Damien Sanchez, 72, Denise Sanchez, 71, and Denise “Nany” Sanchez, 50, Orlando
The Sanchez family members died within about a month of each other, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Melissa Sanchez, who survives her parents and older sister, said her family never got a funeral. In May, she hopes to scatter their ashes in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, her parents’ hometown.
After losing her father and sister, Sanchez pleaded with her mother not to die.
“You can’t leave me,” she told her. “I can’t do this by myself.”
Frederick Sands, 86; Marcy Friedman, 94; and Beverly Glass, 84; Hollywood and Aventura
The trio of retirees met with five others to play poker five nights a week at a condo north of Miami. The group formed a tight bond, going on cruises together and trading stories about grandchildren.
All eight members came down with the virus. Mr. Sands, Ms. Friedman and Ms. Glass died within five days of each other.
Ms. Friedman helped organize the games and hosted them at her condo in Aventura. Mr. Sands and Ms. Glass were partners of 20 years who lived in Hollywood, south of Fort Lauderdale.
Junior Santana, 36, West Palm Beach
Weeks before his death, Junior Santana traveled with three friends for a weekend getaway, hitting up bars, clubs and restaurants across Central Florida.
Mr. Santana worked as an assistant manager of a gentleman’s club and restaurant. His friend said he was a legend in the downtown area and the entertainment industry.
Last year, Mr. Santana went back to the Dominican Republic to take care of his aging mother and made sure to spoil his sister’s children.
Enrique Guillermo Sauer, 77, Orlando
Enrique Sauer’s parents were European immigrants to Argentina. He grew up to emigrate himself, to the United States, where he studied physics at Brown University and worked in the aerospace industry. He spent 40 years working for Lockheed Martin in Orlando.
His family remembers him as “a loving husband and father and for being a curious intellectual with a passion for science and Argentine culture.”
Dr. Eugene “Gene” J. Sayfie, 85, Miami
A renowned cardiologist and internist at many medical institutions, decorated with awards and recognition, Dr. Eugene Sayfie kept it genuine. He gave patients his cellphone number, and even saw some in their homes.
Patients would stop his family members on the street to rave about his care, how he never simply focused on an ailment, but on the whole person’s well-being. He liked to quote Khalil Gibran: “Work is love made visible.”
Born in Virginia to Lebanese immigrants, Dr. Sayfie made his way up in the medical world, while also making time for his Miami Dolphins, Sunday church and dinners with family (where his four daughters raced to be the one to sit beside him). He would leave the hospital, speed to his daughters’ games and other events, and head right back. He sought most of all to enjoy life and make a difference. His daughters, at his hospital bedside, told him he had done both.
Seymour Schreck, 86, Miami Beach
Even in his 60s, Seymour Shreck would come home by curfew so his elderly mother wouldn’t worry. As her only child, he lived to care for her. Though he never had children of his own, he always carried toys when going to events where he knew there’d be kids. He’d even surprise some with game tickets and give them his sports memorabilia.
He was a trivia whiz when it came to baseball, football and basketball, and helped found an early Orthodox Jewish congregation in South Florida.
Rosemary Sell, 80, Jupiter
A true New Yorker — one who, like so many New Yorkers, spent her later years in Florida — Rosemary Sell was a lifelong nurse. From nursing school in Greenwich Village to West Berlin, where she was a nurse for the British army, she kept her license active even after retiring to Florida. In February this year, just before schools would close, she accepted a fill-in nurse position with New York City public schools.
She loved bargain-hunting, gift-giving, coaching baseball, telling stories and making new friends who could keep up with her energy. She had five boys and lived to travel the world. Next up was the Taj Mahal.
Robert Shackelford, 61, Sarasota
A Sarasota High School social studies teacher of 27 years, Robert Shackelford was a towering figure — literally, at 6′4″ — who bore more than one kind of resemblance to Richard Gere. With a deep voice and worldly sophistication, “Coach Shack” held students to a notoriously high standard. They knew to show up not one second late. They anticipated lively, Socratic-style lectures from a history lover who spent vacations at Civil War battlegrounds. And they scored so well on assessments that they were among the highest in the state.
A former football player, Mr. Shackleford always sent his daughter a postcard when the team he coached was traveling. He ate healthy, but loved Peanut M&Ms. He considered himself a patriot. He sacrificed sleep if it meant helping his brother, who has disabilities. He was one year from retirement.
Margaret Shaw and Jimmy Shaw, 79 and 80, Miami
Growing up in a rural Georgia town, Margaret and Jimmy Shaw married secretly as teenagers — and it lasted nearly 63 years, until they died within 24 hours of each other.
Their upbringing stayed with them. Sharing meals in Miami, Jimmy Shaw waited until his wife and kids had had their fill, then would shovel whatever scraps they’d left onto his plate. They had hard jobs, pinched pennies, faced significant racism in segregated Miami and struggled with health problems, including cancer, diabetes and alcoholism, but their home was a haven: fresh biscuits, grits, bacon, gospel music and Margaret’s constant singing. The Miami Times covered their 50th anniversary in 2007. Margaret said the marker of a good marriage was that “you learn from your mistakes, because everyone makes mistakes.”
Sumner “Charlie” Shaw, 86, Boca Raton
Charlie Shaw hailed from Massachusetts, where he built a legacy as a successful real estate developer in the Boston suburbs.
He was an avid outdoorsman and loved fishing, sports and skiing. “He was known for his engaging smile, generosity and wicked sense of humor,” his family wrote.
Tom Sheehan, 68, Bradenton
A prankster and proud Italian-American family man, Tom Sheehan loved the chance to travel more in his retirement years. But it was a cruise bound for Venice that got him sick. His family remembers a stubborn man with a wicked grin, a party-planner who counted the weeks until St. Patrick’s Day. They remember a grandfather of 11 who ended every conversation — texts, too, — with “I love you.”
Dr. Steven Silverman, 71, West Palm Beach
His bedside manner was everything you wanted in a doctor: Kind, easy to laugh, with plenty to talk about, like his love of taking photos on great adventures. He didn’t rush patients. And nothing was off-limits.
Dr. Steven Silverman, a longtime West Palm Beach OB-GYN, was a runner and cyclist, an easygoing guy with serious medical chops at his practice, Comprehensive Women’s Medical Center. He delivered thousands of babies in his four-decade career. He was a husband and father who loved Maroon 5 and devilishly taught his grandson lyrics too advanced for his tender age. He grew orchids. His wife was his best friend.
Billy Leroy “Bill” Smith, 84, Lake Wales
Bill Smith’s work will last across Florida. As an electrical contractor, he worked on the NASA Apollo program and Disney’s Magic Kingdom. He later opened his own company, B.L. Smith Electric, which helped construct the Lakeland Square Mall.
His business will continue through his son — one of his five children.
Troy Sneed, 52, Fleming Island
Troy Sneed grew up thinking he’d play football, but by the time he got to Florida A&M University in the 1980s, his knees were banged up, and he was looking for a new passion. That’s when he found the school’s choir, where he began singing, playing piano and writing songs — and where he met his wife, Emily.
From there, he became a minister of music and entered the industry, earning a Grammy nomination in 1999 for his production work on the Youth for Christ album Higher. He later found success as a solo artist, with his records reaching as high as No. 2 on the Billboard gospel charts. Even as peers gravitated toward the musical hubs of Atlanta and New York, he elected to stay in the Jacksonville area, where he ran his imprint Emtro Gospel Records and lived with Emily and their four children.
Lakeisha Y. Snipes, 42, Miami
A bus driver with high blood pressure, Lakeisha Snipes knew she was high-risk for COVID-19. She tried to stay home, taking a two-month leave of absence.
But when Miami-Dade Transit told her to come back in June, she complied, though she didn’t feel protected. No hazard pay or life insurance, and not enough safety measures, she told family. They believe she got the virus on the job.
“She wanted to secure her job. She bought a house not too long ago, she had responsibilities. So she put her health aside to do her duty,” a cousin said.
June Snyder, 103, Sarasota
June Snyder wore a suit to her wedding. Decades later, she still beamed with pride at being ahead of her time.
Ms. Snyder, studying for her master’s in psychology at Ohio State University in the ’40s, confronted her graduate assistant teacher about a poor grade — and later married him, going on a date only after their course was completed.
Ms. Snyder worked as a school psychologist and later taught psychology at Penn State University. She said she was grateful that her parents valued education and that they used every resource of their poor upbringing to help her.
In her later life, she started every day with The New York Times and spent the rest of it reading. Her ashes will be scattered in the Atlantic Ocean.
Soeur Som, 67, Pensacola
Soeur Som fled the brutal Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia with his pregnant wife in 1979 and eventually made it to the United States through a refugee program. He arrived in 1982, “with only the clothes on his back and pictures of the memories and family left behind,” his family wrote.
Despite enormous hardship, Som was gentle, generous and selfless, his family said. In his 20s, he spent six years in a Buddhist monastery. In the U.S., he “sacrificed his entire lifetime to his children, so that they had the opportunity to be successful,” his family wrote.
Juan Carlos Sosa, 57, Orlando
A custodian at Celebration K-8, Juan Carlos Sosa flashed a toothy smile when students arrived in the mornings. He was known to share snacks and, if a parent couldn’t make it, drive kids to baseball practice. His family thinks he contracted the virus at the school, where he celebrated his birthday.
He grew up in Guatemala and toiled, alongside family, to make it to the U.S. He and his sister were particularly close: Like Pimpinela, she said, the brother and sister Argentinian singers. In the U.S., Sosa belted songs in the car with his 17-year-old daughter, Jasmin.
Joel Spitzer, 83, Aventura
As a graduate fresh out of college, Joel Spitzer had an early job at a record store in Washington, D.C. It was one slice of his love of music, which he always demonstrated to guests by playing classical or jazz tunes on the piano. Born in Long Island, Spitzer and his wife moved to Miami Beach in the 1990s. After growing up watching his father, the vice president for the watch manufacturer Speidel, Spitzer later started his own jewelry company called JSA Inc. He enjoyed working, traveling and dressing up in a flamboyant tie.
Roy L Spurlin Sr., 75, Panama City Beach
Roy Spurlin could cook. His family loved his cornbread and biscuits. His sour cream pound cake was great, too.
Spurlin worked for AIG Insurance and often lent a hand to friends on do-it-yourself carpentry. Born in Georgia, he was a devout Christian who also spent time in Alabama.
Dolores Serkes Stein, 91, Jupiter
Born in West Orange, N.J., Dolores Stein was an executive secretary for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark and later worked as a bookkeeper.
Ms. Stein moved to Lake Worth, Fla., in 1984 and served as president of Womens’ Equity of Poinciana Country Club. She loved dogs, especially her dog, Buttons.
“She has always been such a comfort, always made me laugh, and smile, even when I didn’t want to, she just had that way about her, “ her granddaughter-in-law wrote. “She was absolutely the ‘glue’ of our family.”
Jason Stein, 46, Coral Springs
As the athletic director at J.P. Taravella High School, Jason Stein was a father figure to the students he worked with. Other teachers, including the head football coach, said Mr. Stein taught them how to be better leaders and parents.
Joan Steinhauer, 79, Orlando
Joan Steinhauer lived near Disney World and her daughter, Ann Day, in Hidden Valley Mobile Home Park. The two talked often, and Day enjoyed just hearing her mother’s voice.
“Mentally, I’m trying to move forward, but it’s been hard,” Day told the Orlando Sentinel.
Ms. Steinhauer is believed to be Orange County’s first confirmed coronavirus death.
Donald L. “Don” Stuart, 89, Sarasota
Don Stuart was an Army veteran who served during the Korean War and later became a business owner.
He was born in New York City and attended Lehigh University.
Ronald David Sweeting, 56, Key West
A Key West native, Ronald David Sweeting, known as Dave, was one of the first COVID-19 deaths to rock the small town.
Mr. Sweeting was a Miami Marlins season ticket holder who also loved to play baseball. When his knees gave out, Mr. Sweeting became an umpire, just to stay in the game.
He left behind his parents, two daughters, a son and five grandchildren.
Peter Szabo, 67, Hypoluxo
An engineer from Hungary, Peter Szabo worked on the Soviet Union’s space program before he defected. His wife said American officials helped them flee to Germany.
They settled in Florida, she said, where Mr. Szabo became an electrical engineering professor at Florida Atlantic University.
Edward Tancer, 59, West Palm Beach
Edward Tancer, a corporate lawyer, spent his hours mentoring young lawyers and giving back to the community. He was the chair of the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County and gave frequently to other charities in the area, including The Lord’s Place and Quantum House. A statewide scholarship has been set up in his honor through the University of Florida, meant to honor political science students who represent Mr. Tancer’s ideals of community service.
James Edward Thomas Jr., 70, Ponte Vedra Beach
James Thomas Jr. was a Southern gentleman “who made those around him feel like they were part of something bigger than themselves,” his family said.
During a 35-year career spent in the financial services industry, between Tennessee and his native Georgia, he gave back to the community through volunteering, charity and mentorship. His hobbies included fast boats, antique wooden boats, golf, croquet, reading, writing and traveling.
Nikima Thompson, 41, Boca Raton, and Geraldine Wilson, 78, Miami Gardens
Nikima Thompson was bold, bubbly and an attentive mother to her four children, ages 14 to 22. She loved traveling, music and cosmetology.
She also loved her job as a 911 dispatcher for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. The office stayed open as the coronavirus spread and had lax safety standards, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Dozens of her colleagues contracted COVID-19.
Weeks later, her mother, Geraldine Wilson, also died of the virus.
Lois Zug Thomson, 95, Naples
Lois Thomson spent most of her life in Chester County, Pa., where she grew up on a farm with 13 siblings and later raised her children.
She enjoyed country music and square dancing and was well-known for her blueberry and shoo-fly pies, her family wrote. People called her the “gravy lady” at the annual community Thanksgiving dinner where she volunteered, in honor of her tasty recipe.
Leona and Selwyn Thorner, 85 and 89, Delray Beach
Married for 65 years, Leona and Selwyn Thorner died a few days apart. She was a stay-at-home mom; he was a former Army sergeant who served in the Korean War.
They were the leaders of their family, Selwyn’s brother said, the “glue” that held everyone together.
Gary Tibbetts, 66, Ellenton
A longtime staff member on U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan’s team, Gary Tibbetts was the “consummate professional,” the Sarasota Republican said in a statement. Mr. Tibbetts joined Buchanan’s staff in 2011, prized for his background in law enforcement, which helped in building relationships with local agencies. He had spent 26 years as a sergeant at the Manchester Police Department in New Hampshire, ranging from juvenile services to the SWAT unit.
“I will never forget his uplifting spirit, sense of humor and sheer joy helping others,” Buchanan said.
Stephen R. Tranovich, 92, Bonita Springs
A U.S. Navy veteran who liked to boat and golf, Stephen R. Tranovich founded a trucking company and eventually settled in Florida.
He was born in Pennsylvania and went to college at Drexel University. He liked vacationing at a lake house in the Poconos.
Tereso Trinidad, 80, Orange Park
Tereso Trinidad was “a really, really good man,” his daughter Sabrina wrote on GoFundMe. “When I say that — being a good man — you know what I mean. He was a good person deep down into his bones.”
His word was law, she wrote. He inspired a sense of deep loyalty in his children. She asked for help paying to bring his body home from the hospital so she could honor him.
Richard “Dick” G. Tutwiler and Myra Tutwiler, 89 and 77, Naples
For 41 years, Dick and Myra Tutwiler were best friends.
They died about a month apart, him on July 18 and she on Aug. 13.
Dick was a Vietnam War veteran with a Purple Heart and an entrepreneur who built a financial recruiting agency that sprouted offices along the Atlantic coast. Myra grew up on a Tennessee dairy farm, learning to tend to animals, bail hay and can vegetables. She became a radiologic technologist — one of the people who run scans to diagnose injuries — and a leader in local women’s clubs.
They played tennis and cards and were founding golf members of the Wyndemere Country Club. Dick could make a “mean sandwich,” their family recalled, and Myra read bedtime stories.
Sgt. Eric Twisdale, 49, Jacksonville
He started out as a bailiff for the city of Jacksonville in the 1990s, then became a corrections officer. Eric Twisdale joined the Clay County Sheriff’s Office in 1998, moving up from the patrol division to become a detective and then a sergeant. Recently, he was overseeing the Crime Scene Unit, also serving on the honor guard and dive team.
In 2014, he saved someone from drowning. In 2015, he was named deputy of the year. Officials said he “earned a reputation for being courageous and having a huge heart.” A dad of three, his family says he was the kind of guy who’d come fix your porch light at midnight. He liked napping in his hunting blind.
Chad Joseph Tyler, 45, Daytona Beach
Chad Tyler had a contagious laugh and a smile that could light up the room, his family wrote. He found purpose in helping people — especially with their technology needs as an Apple Master at Best Buy.
He loved Star Wars, Harry Potter, the Florida Gators and animals. Recently, he had been volunteering with Southeast Volusia Humane Society to help cats and dogs find homes.
Jorge A. Vallejo, 89, and Carlos Francisco Vallejo, 57, Hialeah
Two doctors, a father and his son, both died of the coronavirus weeks apart. When Jorge Vallejo fled Fidel Castro’s Cuban regime and arrived in Florida, he became an important doctor for the Cuban American community. He also once delivered what was then the smallest baby born in the United States, a girl who weighed less than 1 pound. His son, Carlos Francisco Vallejo, was working and treating coronavirus patients before he got sick.
Nick Van Glahn, 29, Parrish
Softspoken in person, Nicholas Van Glahn found comfort and confidence in online gaming and YouTube, where friends knew him as SYBE. He played World of Warcraft, League of Legends and Vexx, having been drawn to computers and coding from a young age. He worked in the tech world and stayed close to his mother, whose kindness he sought to emulate. She had mostly raised him on her own, until she later remarried. For a while, money was tight. She told the Bradenton Herald about coming home from work one day when her son was 10 and finding the babysitter gone. He’d fired her. “We needed the money,” she said.
After Van Glahn died, the family started getting calls from his gaming circle, who told them about how he’d been a mentor and friend.
Teodoro Viteri, 55, West Palm Beach
Teodoro Viteri’s philosophy was “what’s eaten and drunk nobody takes away from you.” Along with being a dedicated programmer, Mr. Viteri loved golf, traveling, tango and a good meal. He had traveled to 20 countries and visited every Caribbean island. His family hopes to scatter his ashes in the ocean — either in the United States or in his home country, Ecuador.
Francesco “Frank” Vitiello and Rosa Vitiello, 83 and 82, Naples
Both born in Italy, Frank and Rosa Vitiello immigrated to the United States on the same boat in 1962.
They didn’t meet until the next year in night school. They fell in love and quickly married.
“Frank and Rosa were absolutely devoted to their family, whom they put through college, helped begin careers, taught how to play and sing music and served the greatest Italian food,” relatives wrote.
The Vitiellos settled in Naples, where he ran a barber shop, and she worked in the cafeteria of an elementary school. They died two days apart.
Janet Wade, 67, Miami
Janet Wade’s obituary says only: homemaker. She was a mother of three, with grandchildren and great-grandchildren, too. “She was the best mom to me,” her daughter wrote.
Grady B. Walker, 64, Panama City
Grady Walker could pick a banjo or guitar and cheered on the Alabama football team.
A structural welder, he doted on his grandchildren, fished and hunted.
Vance Weimorts, 63, Ponce de Leon
Vance Weimorts loved to hunt in the local woods, fish in Florida’s freshwater and work with his hands. He also loved to spend time with his wife and children, brothers and sisters.
Clarence Whitfield Wash, 91, Orlando
Born in West Virginia, Clarence Whitfield Wash worked for 30 years at the Kennedy Space Center.
He lived for a while on Merritt Island with his wife, whom he had met in Bermuda.
Mary Carlene Waters, 85, Hampton
She liked to cook, read and write poems, but above all else, came her family and Jesus Christ. Mary Carlene Waters was a devoted member of Starke’s River Church of Life, and, when she wasn’t busy with church activities, taught a Bible class at a local nursing home.
[District 8 medical examiner, obituary]
Philip D. Weinstock, 57, Lauderhill
Creativity governed Philip Weinstock’s time in school. He studied psychology at the University of Florida and made poetry, short stories and photographs.
Above all else, his family recalled, Weinstock was honest.
Music brought him joy, with Bob Dylan and The Doors his favorite. He struggled with mental illness, relatives wrote, “but mental illness did not change his heart.”
Masela Diana Westerman, 59, Delray Beach
Masela Westerman joined her daughter and brother in Florida after Hurricane Maria ravaged her home in Nevis in 2017. She suffered from lupus and diabetes and was having trouble getting her medications.
“You were the only person I spoke to every day, multiple times a day,” one of her daughters wrote on her obituary page. “You were a mother any child could hope for.”
James “Jimmy” White, 27, Lake City
Jimmy White, a registered nurse at the Lake City VA Medical Center, tended to patients with COVID-19. Later, after a positive result and increasing pain, he left his self-isolation and drove himself to the hospital.
His family loved his quick wit and soft heart. When he wasn’t with patients, he played video games and rewatched Star Wars. He was close with his sister, Allison, and doted on his cat, Tiberius. He was born in Chicago and rooted for “Da Bears,” the Cubs and Blackhawks, and loved any chance he got to go back.
Keith White, 55, Key West
Keith White embodied the Key West motto of “One Human Family,” friends said. White worked for years as a chef and helped struggling addicts.
“He no doubt saved my life,” William Hall said of Mr. White. “I used to introduce him as my hero.”
Leonard “Len” Wiener, 86, West Palm Beach
Trained as an engineer and working at computer companies, Len Wiener was 50 years old when he decided to tackle another dream. He went to law school and — studying with classmates younger than his children — passed the bar.
An avid basketball fan from Brooklyn, Wiener retired to Florida, where he played golf and bridge. Once, he hit a hole-in-one.
He was sick with a neurological disorder, worsened by the coronavirus.
George M. “Mell” Williams, 89, Stuart
To his grandchildren, Mell Williams was known as “Yampa.” He and his wife hosted an elaborate Camp Yampa Yamma, bringing in 12 of the kids for a week each year.
They swam, made trips on a boat, handed out awards.
Williams was a transplant surgeon who led numerous medical and professional organizations, including the United Network of Organ Sharing. His family recalled how “his deepest commitments were to the care and well-being of his patients.”
Lakisha Willis White, 45, Orlando
After surviving a car crash, Lakisha Willis White struggled with lung damage she sustained in the wreck. She became ill after traveling to Detroit to see family.
In healthier times, Ms. White enjoyed taking care of loved ones. She lived with four of her dozen grandchildren. She also liked to go to the beach and cook. Friends especially enjoyed her deviled eggs.
Gene Wilkinson, 79, Altamonte Springs
As part of the Beach Boppers, Gene Wilkinson would swing dance and jitterbug with other Central Florida residents.
Mr. Wilkinson also loved sports, especially the Chicago Bears. He liked to take ski trips and play volleyball, along with cornhole. Mr. Wilkinson, an Air Force veteran, helped raise his nephew after Mr. Wilkinson’s brother died in a car accident months before his son was born.
Daequan Wimberly, 11, Miami
Daequan Wimberly joined a pastor’s family at 18 months old, his kidneys already failing. Years later, he was adopted. The 11-year-old was always a smiling presence at the Miami church, but the dialysis he needed took a toll on his body.
Daequan was the third minor in the state to die from the coronavirus and the youngest. When he died, his adopted father couldn’t be with him — as he was also in the hospital with COVID-19.
Londell Woodbury, 23, Lake Butler
Londell Woodbury dreamed of being a detective. To get on his way, he took a job as a correctional officer in May. His work at the Reception and Medical Center in Lake Butler put him in close contact with inmates, which, in a pandemic, made his mother worry.
She keeps photos of him close, showing his football and cross-country days. He was “golden-hearted.”
Helen Jones Woods, 96, Sarasota
To make it as a female, African-American jazz musician in the 1930s and 1940s Jim Crow South took a certain kind of determination. After a tumultuous childhood, Helen Jones Woods played trombone in the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, an all-female, multiracial ensemble. In a twist, sometimes that meant its white members wore blackface to ward off trouble in the South. The group took off, playing major gigs at the Apollo Theater in New York and Wrigley Field in Chicago and sharing bills with Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.
After a 1949 split, burned out and broke, Ms. Woods tried entering the classical world by passing as white. Her dad picked her up after her first show with the Omaha Symphony, blowing her cover. Fired, she gave up playing that day. She turned to nursing and social work.
Debra “Debbie” Lynn Woody, 57, Lake Wales
Debbie Woody greeted people with a smile. Her family remembers her as a “protector” and “living example of the Golden Rule.” She worked as an employee services manager at a nursing and rehabilitation center.
On the sidelines of her childrens' sports games and in the stands at their recitals, she was always vocal and supportive. She kept them focused and organized for school.
Her five children were with her when she died.
Desi’rae “Desi” Wysocki-McIntosh, 26, Fort Walton Beach
Uncomplaining, always on time, Desi Wysocki-McIntosh was often seen working the counter at her local Tom Thumb. Living in a motel with her husband, she was saving for a place of their own. She worked late hours and wasn’t one to call out sick — even when she probably should’ve.
When a frequent customer saw Ms. Wysocki-McIntosh coughing and struggling to breathe in July, not long before she died, the customer told her: “It breaks my heart that you felt like you had to come in today.”
She loved animals. She was a quiet person. She enjoyed holding her husband’s hand.
Fay Jenkins Yount, 77, Grand Ridge
Raised in Graceville, Fay Jenkins Yount worked for LeHigh Furniture and UniMac.
She was married 35 years and raised three children, who remember how she was happy to work outside and always around to help.
Rosa Zamanillo, 90, Miami
Dementia took away many of Rosa Zamanillo’s memories, but she never forgot the Cuban ballads of her childhood.
She was known for singing the tunes from her room at the Residential Plaza assisted living facility in Miami, where she lived for the last eight years.
She hadn’t left the facility in three years. But COVID-19 still got her.
Anne Zuckerberg, 94, West Palm Beach
Anne Zuckerberg’s homemaker life took a turn in 1958 when she defied her husband and placed an ad in her local New Jersey paper: “Confused in choosing fabrics? Think you can’t afford a decorator? Call me.” In time, her reputation as an interior designer led her to the penthouses and lobbies of New York and its wealthy art-world celebrities. She was aggressive in making herself known and tasteful in her work.
After three decades, she craved more than antiques, so she took to world travel, painting (even landing a solo exhibition in 2015) and attending legendary Palm Beach parties. As she neared 95, she was living solo and going strong, dancing at her grandson’s wedding.
“She thought she was Marie Antoinette reincarnated,” said her daughter Elish Kodish. “She was just a really independent spirit ahead of her time.”
Carol Zuckerman, 56, Davie
Carol Zuckerman lived in Paris, Calif., and Maryland before relocating to Florida, where she worked as a first-grade teacher at Aventura Waterways K8 Center. She had a 10-year-old daughter, Lacey, and a toy poodle named Lexi.
“She loved kids and wanted them to feel special,” her brother told the Sun Sentinel. “Teaching was a very satisfying career for her.”
She had been getting ready to visit her mom in New York during spring break but never got to go.
Gerald “Gerry” Zuckerman, 80, West Palm Beach
Gerry Zuckerman, an Army veteran and businessman, divided his time between Schenectady, N.Y., (where he could have been elected mayor, one of his daughters says) and West Palm Beach. So charismatic he won a sheriff’s badge, so committed to justice he took in an émigré and paid other peoples’ rent (with a complimentary cigar, to lend them dignity), he made a loud impression. Literally — he celebrated his 80th birthday by belting Sunrise, Sunset.
“He was just in his glory,” said daughter Sarah Ovadia. “He was smiling, alive and smiling, and then he was dead.”
At the end, his family asked a nurse to lift the phone while his three daughters played that tune one last time.
Others we’ve lost
The coronavirus has killed many Floridians who have been named publicly but whose lives haven’t been described in detail. We wanted to acknowledge them here. But if you can tell us more about anyone listed, please fill out the form below.
Leonard Leroy Adams Sr., 77, Port Charlotte. He was a U.S. Army veteran with a wife and two children. [Obituary]
Jose Antonio Sapon Alvarez, 35, Jupiter. He worked in landscaping and played keeper on the soccer pitch. [Palm Beach Post]
Claribel Cardenas-Gamboa, 33, Belle Glade. A mother. [Palm Beach Post]
Frances Lee Chase, 78, Sebring. She read the newspaper cover to cover each day. [Stephenson-Nelson Funeral Home]
Angela Chavers, 44, Palm Beach. A Palm Beach sheriff’s deputy, she put in 18 years at the agency, working in inmate management and corrections. She raised a son and niece. [NBC Miami]
Randy Christensen, 66, Daytona Beach. Born in Utah, he collected stamps and liked to be outside. [Obituary]
Theodore “Ted” David, 55, Coral Springs. He owned a surveying company and liked to dive and fish. [Obituary]
Bernie Dukes, 73, Pembroke Pines. He was president of the Miami Tri-County Senate bowling group. [Sun Sentinel]
Bayro Vazquez Escobar, 30. He was a landscaper with a wife and children. [Palm Beach Post]
Féquière Espérant, 65, Fort Lauderdale. An assistant pastor at Renaissance Evangelique Baptiste Tabernacle, he likely contracted the virus there. [Miami Herald]
Dieumene Etienne, 94, Miami. Dieumene Etienne, a Haitian woman, was the first documented victim of COVID-19 in Miami-Dade County. [Miami Herald]
Eric Thomas Evans, 56, St. Petersburg. He used to live in Illinois and loved his late dog, Biff. [Obituary]
Harry R. Fischer Sr., 87, Palm Harbor. A Navy veteran, he worked as a maintenance supervisor on the George Washington Bridge for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. [Obituary]
Ruth W. Ginn, 93, Pensacola. Living most of her life in Ohio, “her positive attitude and genuine caring brightened others’ days.” [Obituary]
Cody Jones, 27, Largo. He was sweet and shy, family said. [Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner, Grasso Funeral Memorial]
Pierre Martin, 69, Miami. He was an architect who took the virus seriously, only venturing out to Costco when he had to. He was part of the city’s Haitian-American community. [Miami Herald]
Alex Montaner, 69, Miami. He was born in Cuba and is survived by his partner, son, daughter, grandson and brothers. [Obituary]
Robert and Alice Pollock, both 68, Boynton Beach. They were dedicated to their church, St. John Missionary Baptist. [Sun Sentinel]
Frank Schaeman, 80, Delray Beach. Born and raised in North Carolina, he was “the epitome of a Southern gentleman,” his daughter said. [Sun Sentinel]
Janet Schloss, 82, North Miami. She graduated from Ohio State University in 1959. [Obituary]
Julie St. Preux, 43, Hialeah. A Haitian-American nurse practitioner, she had just had heart surgery in February and returned to work at a nursing home before she contracted the virus. [Miami Herald]
Todd E. Thralls, 68, Orlando. He was from West Virginia and lived in Central Florida for many years. [Obituary]
Elfriede H. von Holtz, 96, Fort Lauderdale. She was a steadfast supporter of her neighborhood, Melrose Park. [Sun Sentinel]
Dennard Washington, 39, Pembroke Pines. He was a senior state administrator for Mothers Against Drunk Driving Florida. [Sun Sentinel]
Ethel Wright, 66, Fort Lauderdale. She worked for Morrison’s Cafeteria for two decades and was married to her husband for 43 years. [Sun Sentinel]
Help us tell more stories.
Times staff writer Chris O’Donnell and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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