Obituaries – 06-13-2012

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.


Christopher Madden

Christopher Madden, 52, of Holmes Beach, died June 9. He was born Nov.12, 1959, in Sarasota. Mr. Madden graduated Southeast High School, Bradenton, and earned his barber’s license in Sarasota.

According to his sister, Kelly Warne, “Christopher was a man of infinite style, from his hats to his cooking.

He celebrated every day occasions with flair. He loved the outdoors, to camp, fish, surf, skateboard, bike, run, swim, and take part in triathlons. He was quick to smile and talk to whomever he would meet, including cats. Chris loved to take things apart and sometimes put them back together.

He looked at the world in wonder, amazed to learn new things every day and find treasures to share. He loved his family and friends. They carried him through in his happiest and hardest times.

Family and friends will gather at 7 p.m. Monday, June 18, to remember Mr. Madden at Bayfront Park, 316 N. Bay Blvd., Anna Maria. Those attending are asked bring a story or a photo, and a dish of food to share. Memorial donations may be made to Manatee Glens, 379 Sixth Ave. W., Bradenton FL.

Mr. Madden is survived by his father Don, of Holmes Beach; mother Joy Madden Raynor of Bonaire, Ga.; brother Patrick Madden of Bradenton; and sister Kelly Madden Warne of Sarasota.


Donald J. McSparran

Donald J. McSparran, 80, of Bradenton, died June 9. He was born in Jersey City, N.J. and moved to Bradenton in 1991 from Madison, Conn.

Mr. McSparran was a veteran of the U.S. Navy during the Korean War and was a member of St. Bernard Catholic Church. He graduated from St. Peters College in Jersey City, N.J., he was a member of the Holy Name Society at St. Bernard Catholic Church, Anna Maria Moose Lodge, and American Legion Kirby Stewart Post 24.

Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. with wake at 7 p.m. Friday, June 15, at Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory, 604 43rd St. W., Bradenton. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 16, at St. Bernard Catholic Church, Holmes Beach. Memorial donations may be made to St. Bernard Catholic Church Pew Renovation Fund, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach FL 34217, or a charity of one’s choice. Condolences may be made online at

Mr. McSparran is survived by his wife of 57 years, Mary Jane; sons Daniel of New London, Conn., and Peter of Buckeye, Ariz.; daughters Maureen Ruby of Madison, Conn., Mary Ellen Krom of Bristol, Conn., Jacqueline Cirillo of Overland Park, Kan.; and Kathleen Mendonca, and Theresa McSparran, both of Madison, Conn.; 22 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.


Gilbert E. ‘Baby’ Mora Jr.

Gilbert E. ‘Baby’ Mora Jr., 70, of Cortez, died June 9. He was born Dec. 2, 1941, in Cortez.

Mr. Mora grew up in Cortez and Bradenton Beach, providing for his family as a bait shrimper in the bay and area waters. Known by all as ‘Happy Pappy, ’he was always of good humor with a ready smile for everyone. He was always surrounded by his grandchildren and truly lived life to the fullest.

As a patriot of the Cortez fishing village, Gilbert spent his days fishing and hanging out on the local docks with his longtime friends. He knew the waters like the back of his hand and would have been out there every day if he could. He could take you to any spot on the water and it would be a gold mine of fish.

Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. Thursday and service 10 a.m. Friday, June 14-15, at Brown & Sons 43rd Street Chapel, 604 43rd St. W., Bradenton. Arrangements by Brown & Sons Funeral Home.

Mr. Mora is survived by his wife of 50 years, Muriel “Gigi;” sisters Laura Ann Roak and Bonnie Scalzo; sons Patrick, Blake and Nicholas; daughters Keverly Sugden and Ansley; and nine grandchildren.


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.


Betsy N. Smith 

    Betsy N. Smith, 82, of Anna Maria, died June 5. She was born July 24, 1929, in Chicago.

to Victor and Kay Nardi.

She graduated in 1951 with a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Illinois. She married William K. Smith Aug. 23, 1953, and they moved to Mariemont, Ohio, in 1956.

Mrs. Smith was a 25-year Girl Scout troop leader, as well as a Cub Scouts den leader and coordinator at MariElders.

The couple moved to Anna Maria in 1988 after visiting AMI since the 1960s. She was active with the Anna Maria Art League, Island Players, Eyeland Needlers , Anna Maria Island Historical Society and as a volunteer at Desoto National Memorial.

A celebration of life was to be held 2-4 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, at Griffith Cline Funeral Home, 720 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

Mrs. Smith is survived by husband Bill; brother Victor Nardi; son Ken and wife Pam; daughter Wendy; grandchildren William, Sutherland and Helen Smith and Cody Faulkner.

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