Obituaries – 09-05-2012

Alice S. Deam

Alice S. Deam, 86, of Bradenton, died Sept. 2. She was born Dec. 12, 1925. She came to Anna Maria Island in 1960 with her husband, John H. Deam, M.D., who started his practice that year in October and retired in the late 1980s. The Deam family lived on Anna Maria Island for many years.

She graduated from West Chester University in Philadelphia in 1946 and taught elementary school in both Pennsylvania and Florida. She was married in 1951 in Philadelphia and relocated in 1960 to Anna Maria Island. She was a member of Roser Memorial Community Church, Anna Maria Island Historical Society, Key Royale Club and Manatee County Medical Alliance. She loved to travel, enjoyed playing bridge and socializing with friends.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30a.m., Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Roser Chapel, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria. Memoria donations may be made to the National Kidney Foundation.

Mrs. Deam is survived by her husband of 61 years, John; children David, M.D. and wife Gail, of Brooksville, Fla., Donna and husband James Hitchings, of London, England, Douglas, D.M.D., and wife Ann, of Miami; and Debra and wife Bill Sanders of Bradenton; six grandchildren; two great- grandchildren; and brother Alfred B and wife Nina Strickler Jr., of Columbus, Ohio.


Calvin Edison Bell

Calvin Edison Bell, 82, died Aug. 31. He was born Nov. 14, 1929, in Cortez Village to Aaron Parx Bell and Jessie Blanche Fulford Bell.

Mr. Bell was part owner of A.P. Bell Fish Company and a proud commercial fisherman. He also was an avid collector of all things nautical. Most of his years were spent on the surrounding waters or working on his many boats in the village.

Mr. Bell served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Upon completion of his duty, he returned to the village and way of life he loved.

He often devoted his energy and vigilance toward educating Manatee County Code Enforcement officials about the differences between salvaged marine equipment and what the officers often considered old junk.

He also had a deep appreciation for God’s many creatures, raising greyhounds in his younger years and, in more recent times, he fed and cared for wild birds and feral cats.

Known to be strong and healthy, he was as hard worker and could typically be found dragging pilings around his yard, moving nets from one corner to the other or scraping and cleaning boat bottoms. He spent most of his days keeping up a fleet of historic wooden fishing boats.

When diagnosed with bone cancer two years ago, he continued to ride his bike daily to the shoreline to keep up with what was going on among his friends the village.

As his health deteriorated in the past month, one family member said his dear friend Junior Guthrie told him everything was going to be all right.

In good humor and like a true Cortezian, he replied, “How ya reckon?”

A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, at Manasota Mermorial Park in Oneco.

Calvin Bell is survived by brothers Walter, Chester and Doug and a host of family members throughout Cortez and beyond.


Margaret Elaine Cox

Margaret Elaine Cox, 77, died Aug. 29. She was born July 19, 1935, in Dallas.

She was a proud fifth generation Texan and member of the Mayflower Society.

She graduated Southern Methodist University in 1956, married Floyd DeVine Cox and moved to his hometown of Bradenton, where she began her 35-year career as a teacher. She taught at Anna Maria Elementary School, Walker Junior High and finally, her last 20 plus years teaching was at Manatee High School.

She was an active member of Christ Episcopal Church, a Steven’s Minister, past president of St Anne’s, past officer of the Manatee County Republican Women’s Club, past officer of the Manatee County Historical Society, and a sustaining member of the Junior League.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sept. 15 at Westminster Towers, Bradenton.

She is survived by her husband since 2008, Robert “Bob” Leonard; children Susan and husband Mark Scheffer, M.D., of Concord, N.H., and Scott and wife Elizabeth of Schertz, Texas; stepchildren John Leonard and wife Debbie of Palmetto, Bob Leonard and wife Mary of Palmetto, Laurie Kline of Anna Maria and Ron Leonard of Bisbee, Ariz.; and grandchildren William Matheson Scheffer, Benjamin Cox Scheffer, and Victoria Margaret Scheffer.


Mary Virginia (Armstrong) Ridgdill

Mary Virginia (Armstrong) Ridgdill, 91, of Bradenton and Anna Maria, died Sept. 3. She was born in Bradenton to the late George David and Margaret (Notestein) Armstrong.

Mrs. Ridgdill attended Bradenton High School and Tennessee Wesleyan College. She was a life-long member of the First Presbyterian Church where she was active in the Homebuilders Class and Women’s Circles. She was one of the organizers of the Original Thirteen, a high school service club for young women now known as Reinaunce.

She was married almost 70 years to the late Paul Ridgdill.

After raising her family, she helped manage the family business, Ridgdill Plumbing, which had been founded by her father. She assumed the management of the business for many years after her husband’s retirement and retired herself in the early 1990s.

Mrs. Ridgdill’s contributions to her community and family were remarkable. Visitation will be held 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Mary Virginia (Armstrong) Ridgdill Sept. 8, at Shannon Funeral Home Westview Chapel, 5610 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

A private service is being held at a later time. Memorial donations may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 410 15th St. W., Bradenton FL 34205. Condolences for the family may be made online at

Mrs. Ridgdill is survived by four daughters and their husbands, Sandra and David Livingston, Patty and Dave Hall, Rosemary and Ron Carlson, and Barbara and David Bjorklund; 13 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren; and caregiver Bernadette Lauck.

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