Obituaries – 12-04-2013

Bertha W. Heerema

Bertha W. Heerema, 95, of Bradenton, died Nov. 25.  She was born in Fremont, Mich., and lived in Bradenton 1952-1982, then moved to Fort Myers and then back to Bradenton in 2010.

She was the owner of the former Bradenton Beach Hardware Store.

A service at a later date will be in Grand Rapids, Mich.. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd St. Chapel was in charge of arrangements locally. Memorial donations may be made to Bradenton Christian School, 3304 43rd St. W., Bradenton FL 34209. Condolences can be made online at

Mrs. Heerema is survived by her children, Ken and Patricia Waldo of Bradenton, Paul and Cynthia Waldo of Norcross, Ga., Dr. Mary and Michael Lynch of Nova Scotia, Canada, Edward Jr. and Ruth of Byron Center, Mich., Robert and Valerie of Guilford, Vt., and JoAnne and Franz of Hebron, N.H.; 13 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.


Norma Whitfield

Norma Whitfield, 73, a resident of Anna Maria from the late 1990s to early 2008, died Nov. 22 in her hometown of Louisville, Ky.

She grew up in Louisville, Ky., and graduated from Centre College. She worked many years as a special education teacher. Mrs. Whitfield was a strong supporter of the arts.

Mrs. Whitfield is survived by her daughter, two sons and many grandchildren.


Mary Jo Zacchero-Smithobit-zsmith

Mary Jo Zacchero-Smith of Bradenton died Nov. 23. She was born in Mt. Lebanon, Pa., and formerly resided in Washington, D.C.

She graduated from Georgetown University in 1979. While still in college, she took a position in the Congressional Office of U.S. Rep. Doug Walgren of Rochester, N.Y. She also worked on the 1984 Walter Mondale presidential campaign. She was a special assistant to the director of the Department of Energy’s Pittsburgh Energy Technology Center (now the National Energy Technology Laboratory). Several years later she transferred to the Department of Energy’s headquarters, Office of Fossil Energy, as a speech, congressional testimony and technical writer. Also during her tenure at the energy department, she was a writer and an executive assistant to the assistant secretaries for the Offices of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Environmental Safety and Health. She retired in 2005 and became a consultant for several health and safety organizations, focusing on the effects of radiation. Also following Georgetown, she received her certification from American University in Washington, D.C., to teach English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

Mrs. Zacchero-Smith was devoted to her family and friends, always willing to help someone in need. She loved sports, especially the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers and attended many games with her father while growing up.

She studied the Italian language and spent a month in Italy improving her skills. A devotee of opera, she volunteered as an usher at the Sarasota Opera House. She loved travel and celebrated her 50th birthday in Lucca, Italy, with her husband and close friends.

She also traveled to France, Spain, Germany, England, Ireland, Croatia, Morocco, Gibraltar, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Bahamas, Jamaica, Dominica, the U.S. Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands, where she spent time cruising with her husband on their sailboat, Pinguino, named for her love of penguins.

She was active in the Bradenton Yacht Club, serving on the communications and membership committees, the entertainment committee and was part of the BYC Sail Cruisers. She was a member of the Georgetown Alumni Association and the Sarasota Opera.

A Mass will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, at Saints Peter & Paul the Apostles Catholic Church, 2850 75th St., Bradenton. A celebration of life will be held 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, at the Bradenton Yacht Club, 4307 13th St. W., Palmetto. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel in charge. Condolences may be made online at

Mrs. Zacchero-Smith is survived by her husband of almost 13 years, Brian M.; mother Frances Zacchero of Bradenton; brother Charles (Chuck) Zacchero of Holmes Beach; stepson Brian Jr. wife Maria and grandson, Dominic, of Phoenix; stepdaughters Quinn of Killeen, Texas, and Sidnie, PFC U.S. Army, currently stationed in South Korea; lifelong friends Ann Cecchetti of Bradenton and Stephen Lerner of Washington, D.C.; and many devoted friends from the Bradenton Yacht Club and around the world.

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