Obituaries – 06-06-2012

Clara Franks

Clara Franks, 92, of Bradenton, died June 2. She was born in Bethlehem, Pa., and raised in Elizabeth, N.J. She moved to Longboat Key in 1952.

She and husband Walter Franks built their first home and started a business on the key, Frank’s Electric Center.

Mrs. Franks was the office manager and bookkeeper. It was one of the early air conditioning and heating companies in the area. Their company did work for many of the hotels on Longboat Key, and also St. Bernard Catholic Church when it was built. They also built one of the first motels on the key, later known as Holiday Beach.

She was a member of St. Bernard Catholic Church, serving several years as president of the Women’s Guild.

She helped start the church rummage sale program, and was the coordinator for more than 50 years.

She was a religion teacher and in 1956 started teaching classes to children, first in the pastor’s home and in the first parish church.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 6, at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach. A guild luncheon will follow. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Bernard Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach FL 34217. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel is in charge. Online condolences may be made at

Mrs. Frank is survived by daughters Carol Bruorton and Barbara Scharold, grandchildren Laurie Burch and Kim Bruns, and three great-grandchildren.

Pauline Middleton Allis

Pauline Middleton Allis of Bradenton died recently. She was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England.

Mrs. Allis earned a degree at Hull University, and a master’s at University of Sheffield. She worked for the city and later for a physician in the fight against child poverty, abuse and sexual exploitation.

After marriage, she moved with her husband to Pittsburgh, and worked as a family therapist at Western Psychiatric Clinic and Hospital.

Following a move to Woonsocket, R.I., Mrs. Allis became director of northern Rhode Island’s visiting nurse hospice program and became a professional speaker. She also began a practice in coaching women. The practice continued for her professional life and found focus in Holmes Beach at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, and Chapel Hill, N.C.

She was a member of the Episcopal Church of Annunciation, Holmes Beach.

A private celebration of life will be held at a future date at Church of Annunciation, Holmes Beach.

Mrs. Allis is survived by her husband, the Rev. Park Allis, retired Episcopal priest of Bradenton; son Ryan of San Francisco; stepson Andrew of New York; father Donald of West Yorkshire; and brothers Alan and Philip of West Yorkshire.


Michael A. Pieloch

Michael A. Pieloch, 90, of Bradenton, died May 26. He was born May 11, 1922, in New York City.

Mr. Pieloch wintered on the Islands in Manatee County for 10 years and for the past nine years was a resident of Bradenton, coming from East Northport, N.Y.

Mr. Pieloch served with the U.S. Navy where he was involved in the invasion of the Philippines and was stationed at Pearl Harbor along with several other duty stations during World War II. Following his military service, he worked as a machinist with Republic Aviation in Farmingdale, N.Y., from which he retired. He was a member of St. Mary, Star of the Sea, Catholic Church on Longboat Key and the Kirby Stewart American Legion Post No. 24 of Bradenton, and served as a volunteer at the De Soto National Memorial, Bradenton.

Visitation was May 31 at Shannon Funeral Home Westview Chapel, Bradenton. A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday, June 1, at St. Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church, 4280 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, with committal services to follow at Sarasota National Cemetery and military honors by the U.S. Navy.

Memorial donations may be made to either St. Mary, Star of the Sea, Catholic Church or De Soto National Memorial. Condolences for the family may be made online at

Mr. Pieloch is survived by his wife of 65 years, Constance of Bradenton; son Mark and wife Joyce of Bentonville, Va.; daughters Virginia Novak of Babylon, N.Y., and Victoria and husband Randal Platts of Cornelius, N.C.; sister Virginia and husband James Pathe of Rocklin, Calif.; grandchildren Michael, Kimberley and Tracy; and four great-grandchildren.


Antoinette Scanio

Antoinette Scanio was born to parents Maria Rosa and Salvatore Infantone March 9, 1915, one of five daughters. She was married to Bennie Scanio and moved to Anna Maria in 1946 when the population was under 500. Bennie discovered Anna Maria while delivering for Pepsi. In that day, everyone knew Coca-Cola, so Bennie made it a point to deliver his product to the smaller islands in the Tampa Bay area. During their engagement, Antoinette often accompanied Bennie with his deliveries.

Once settled in Anna Maria, they along with Antoinette’s sister Josephine and her husband Ernie Cagnina, bought a small store that became the IGA. It was extremely difficult for the first few years and many nights they would all work until 3 in the morning. Bennie would make trips to Tampa to restock the shelves. World War II was over but rationing continued and Antoinette recalled ration lines outside the store. Oleo was in high demand, as was pork and bacon. She would take a pound of bacon and slice it up so it would serve more than one family.

Her life revolved around her family and working at the IGA. She knew everyone on the Island. She was known for her cooking, specializing in her heritage, Italian cuisine. Many women learned to cook meatballs from her. In those days, to raise money for community projects, Antoinette and Josephine would spend many hours preparing renowned spaghetti for dinners at the Anna Maria Community Hall, which is now home to the Island Players.

Antoinette was an excellent seamstress who loved sewing beautiful dresses for her daughters. Her personality was of a quiet nature, although she was known for her community involvement and was an active member of the Anna Maria Elementary School PTA. She was a member of Roser Memorial Community Church. She did not sing with the choir, but appreciated music of all kinds. Even in her later years, she recalled and enjoyed music of all kinds, especially ballads of the 1940s and ’50s, and was a fan of Elvis Presley.

The loss of Antoinette represents the end of an era, one of the last of Anna Maria’s pioneers. She will be remembered for her kind manner and love of family, friends and of course her dear Anna Maria Island.

A memorial was held May 19 at Roser Church, where her family and friends were able to say good-bye


Harold Sprague Sears

Harold Sprague Sears, 90, of Holmes Beach, died May 28. He was born July 28, 1921, in Rockland, Mass., and lived in Hanover and Marshfield before moving to Florida in 1976. He spent summers in Port Clyde, Maine, for many years.

Mr. Sears was a U.S. Navy salvage diver in World War II. After returning from Europe, he was an instructor at the U.S. Navy Diving School in New York. He was a member of the U.S. Navy Salvage Divers Reunited and a life member of the American Legion “Kinney Melquist” Post 34 in Tenants Harbor, Maine. He recently was honored by the French Government and inducted into the French Legion of Honor as a “Chevalier” and awarded the French Legion of Honor Medal.

Mr. Sears was a general contractor for more than 60 years, owner/president of Harold S. Sears Co. Inc. of Boston and Florida.

He was an accomplished equestrian and a former member of “The Hanover Hunt Club.” He was a former member of Pembroke Country Club, Maine, El Conquistador Country Club of Bradenton, Key Royale Club and Rockland Golf Club in Maine.

No services are planned. Memorial donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice, 8355 26th St. W., Bradenton FL 34205, or Alzhiemers Association, 3277 A Fruitville Road, Sarasota FL 34237. Good Earth Crematory was in charge or arrangements.

Mr. Sears is survived by his wife of 44 years, Jean Lee; son Gregory P. and wife Wendy of Scituate, Mass.; daughters Amy Lee Fosciano and husband Mark, and Sue Ann Tobias, both of Marshfield, Mass., Laura Beth of Plymouth, Mass.; grandchildren Cortney Preston, Michael and Matthew Conniff, Bryan and Taylor Sears, Adam Ring and Karli Tobias.; great-grandchildren Chase and Haley Preston, June and Harrison Conniff and Jaxson and Rocco Conniff; and sister Claire Mulvaney.


Jacob Peter Wenzlick

Jacob Peter Wenzlick, 86, of Bradenton, died May 27. He was born in Mason, Mich., and moved to Bradenton in 2004 from Saginaw, Mich.

Mr. Wenzlick was a veteran of the U.S. Navy who served during World War II in the Pacific. He retired from the funeral service. He was a member of St. Bernard Catholic Church and American Legion Kirby Stewart Post 24.

Visitation was held May 31 at Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory-43rd Street Chapel, Bradenton. Mass was celebrated June 1 at St. Bernard Catholic Church, Holmes Beach. A committal service with military honors was held June 1 at Sarasota National Cemetery, Sarasota. Memorial donations may be made to St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach FL 34217. Condolences for the family may be made online at

Mr. Wenzlick is survived by wife Helen; son Dennis M. and wife Gloria of Melbourne, Fla.; brother Bernard and wife Donna of Tawas City, Mich.; sisters Connie Warren of Port Huron, Mich., and Betty Fogel of Chesaning, Mich.; grandchildren Shawn and wife Wendy and Kelly; and great-grandchildren A.J. and Shannon.

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