Obituaries – 01-08-2014

Rosemary S. Center

Rosemary S. Center, 86, died Jan. 6. She was born in Chicago and moved to Anna Maria Island in 1979 from Los Angeles.

She was married 61 years to the late Charles E. Center.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan, 11, at Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel, 604 43rd St. W., Bradenton.

Condolences may be made online at

Mrs. Center is survived by her children, Charles Jr. of Dover and Diane Boudro, Daniel, Tera Howard and Rosemary Balandra, all of Bradenton; 10 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.


Ramon Marra

Ramon Marra, 79, of Bradenton Beach, died Jan. 4.

He was born in Guantanamo, Cuba, and came to Florida in 1962 after being expelled by Fidel Castro’s government.

Mr. Marra served 18 months in a Cuban prison for anti-communist activities. He was proud to become an American citizen and was always grateful for America’s liberties and opportunities. At age 37, he earned a degree in accounting from Florida Atlantic University, despite barely speaking English. He worked as an auditor for the city of Tampa and served as city auditor for four years before relocating to Bradenton.

He was a proud member of the Tampa Downtown Lions Club and the Tampa Cuban Civic Club. He retired in 2002 and spent time fishing, playing softball for the Bradenton Senior Softball League and enjoying his grandchildren. He was a man who lived life to the fullest and found every person a friend.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel in charge.

Memorial donations may be made to the Parkinson’s Research Foundation, 5969 Cattleridge Blvd., Suite 100, Sarasota FL 34232, or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Condolences may be made online at

Mr. Marra is survived by his wife of 54 years, Nancy; daughter, Teresa of Denver; daughter Nancy and husband Andre Perron of Bradenton; grandchildren Jeremy and Jacqueline Perron.


Clay Wilsonobit-clay-wilson

Clay Wilson, a veterinarian, 57, of Bradenton, died Dec. 20.

He was born July 17, 1957 in Johannesburg, South Africa, to the late Erwin Robin and Thelma Marie (Scott) Wilson. He moved to Mexico with his family at age 2 before returning to the Republic of South Africa 11 years later.

He graduated in 1979 from the University of Florida with a degree in zoology and furthered his education with a degree in 1987 from the Onderstepoort Veterinary Hospital at the University of Pretoria in Pretoria, South Africa.

He moved to Manatee County in the early 1990s and  was owner for 17 years of Beach Veterinary Clinic in Cortez, where he was considered a specialist in orthopedics, small animal and exotics medicine.

He moved to Botswana to operate and volunteer as the primary wildlife veterinarian for the Kasane Department of Wildlife and National Parks for five Years.  He also served as veterinarian and honorary game warden for the Chobe National Park in Botswana until 2011, when he returned to the United States.

While in South Africa, he had the honor of doing a documentary of the national park with Jack Hanna of the Animal Planet. He also was well known in Botswana for providing an annual free clinic day to provide rabies vaccines to the local dog owners at no charge.

Once back in the United States, he continued saving wildlife in Kenya and established a mobile veterinary unit for Kenya Wildlife Services. He also was a worldwide wildlife consultant through his non-profit organization, International Wildlife Rescue.

Dr. Wilson recently published a book, “BushVet in South Africa” based on his experiences.

A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, at Shannon Funeral Home Westview Chapel, 5610 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton. The family requests no flowers. Condolences may be made online at

Dr. Wilson is survived by two brothers; Graham Wilson, M.D., of Henderson, Nev., and Wayne Wilson of Tucson, Ariz., and many extended family members and friends.


Frank Wheeler Wiley

Frank Wheeler Wiley, 91, a 30-year resident of Anna Maria Island, died Jan. 3. He was born Oct. 21, 1922, in Bradenton to the late Ralph and Laurette Wheeler Wiley.

Mr. Wiley was proud to have been a graduate of Manatee High School. He worked for Southern Railway for 40 years.

The family will receive friends 1-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8, at Manasota Funeral Home followed by a 2:30 p.m. service. Interment will follow at Manasota Memorial Park. Manasota Memorial Park and Funeral Home is assisting the family. Condolences may be made online at

Mr. Wiley is survived by his son, Frank Jr.; daughters Loraine, Joan and husband Lew Humphrey and Dorie; sisters Frances Hamilton, and Dorothy Thomas; and grandchildren Graham and wife Brandy Maddox, Edward Porter, Melanie, Lisa, and Patrick Geren, Nick and Margaret Gaba; two greatgrandchildren; many nieces and nephews; and other relatives and friends.

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