Obituaries – 05-07-2014

Grace Shaeffer Atkins

Grace Shaeffer Atkins, in her 100th year, died April 29 at home in Chelsea, Michigan. She was born Oct. 3, 1914, at her family home on the banks on the Manatee River in Ellenton. Her parents, Charlie and Hattie Shaeffer, were pioneers of the region.

The family later moved to Bainbridge, Georgia, where she completed high school. She earned a degree in studio art from Huntington College in Montgomery, Alabama.

Mrs. Atkins nurtured her family and friends, taught kindergarten and was active in her church. On her husband’s retirement from the Veterans Administration in Washington, D.C., the family moved south; first to Greenwood, South Carolina, and then to Holmes Beach. In 2005, she moved to the United Methodist Chelsea Retirement Community to be near family in nearby Ann Arbor, Michigan, and New York City. She continued a passion for baseball, moving her allegiance from the Atlanta Braves to the Detroit Tigers.

A service will be held May 10 in Chelsea. Memorial contributions to the United Methodist Retirement Center Foundation, Development Office, 805 W. Middle St., Chelsea MI 48118.

Mrs. Atkins is survived by sons Daniel and wife Monica of Ann Arbor, Edwin of New York City; grandson Thomas and wife Leticia Valdez of Ann Arbor; granddaughter Susan and husband Michael Fainter of Ann Arbor; great-grandchildren Owen, Lucas, Tessa, Felix and Maximo.


Nida Anela-Mary Baltrusaitis

Nida Anela-Mary Baltrusaitis, 7 weeks old, daughter of Darius and Kay (Glogovsky) Baltrusaitis of Holmes Beach, died April 27.

Mass was celebrated May 5, at Saints Peter and Paul the Apostles Catholic Church, 2850 75th St., Bradenton. Memorials may be made to the Trisomy18 Foundation at, or CareNet Manasota Pregnancy Center, 5111 26th St. W., Bradenton FL 34207.


John Joseph Petruff

John J. Petruff, 92, of Bradenton and formerly of Miami, died May 3 in Bradenton. He was born Nov. 14, 1921, in Paterson, New Jersey, to Anna and Stephen J. Petruff.

Mr. Petruff served as a technician fifth grade in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Australia during World War II. After the war, he met and married Laurene in 1948 and moved to Miami in 1949.

He was a tinkerer who worked for Westinghouse as an X-ray technician. He opened his own electronics repair business in Miami in the 1960s. Petruff Electronics grew from TV and radio repair to include installation of master antennas, satellite dishes, cable TV, security cameras, alarm systems and controlled access systems at private homes, hotels and condominium complexes throughout the Miami area.

Mr. Petruff also was a pilot who, over the years, owned a number of small planes as well as a flying sign-towing business. He was a member of the Civil Air Patrol and was an active member of North Miami Elks Lodge 1835.

He loved music and was self-taught on the electric keyboard. He was an avid dancer who enjoyed treating women to a turn on the dance floor.

Interment will be private at Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell. Memorial donations may be made to Southeastern Guide Dogs, 4210 77th St E, Palmetto FL 34221. Condolences may be made online at

The family extends its love and appreciation to Mary E. Schulte of Coral Gables, Johnny’s friend, companion and dancing partner since 2005.

Mr. Petruff is survived by his three children and their families, John Petruff of Suffolk, Virginia, Patricia A. Petruff of Bradenton, and Laurie Delimon of San Jose, California; and several nephews and nieces.


Brent L. Thompsonobit-Thompson,-Brent

Brent L. Thompson, 65, of Amarillo, Texas, died April 25. He was born Feb. 11, 1949, in Syracuse, Kansas, to Vernon and Betty Mae Thompson.

Mr. Thompson served with the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. He worked in the street department with the city of Amarillo, as well as for Bradenton and Anna Maria.

He was known to be a good cook who worked in restaurants in Bradenton to hone his skills. He also worked for a time as a CNA, using humor to brighten the day for his patients. He was a fan of all sports, but especially enjoyed boxing, football and racing. He also loved his dogs.

A memorial service will be held May 10 in Amarillo. Cox Funeral Home, Amarillo, is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be made online at

Mr. Thompson is survived by his wife, Emily; children Jerry Lynn Decrocker and husband Jeff, Michelle Helm and husband Micael, Ami Ficco and husband Mark, Joseph Grimes, Christina Phillips and husband Ronnie, Shelley Goodson and husband Chris, Delaney Grimes and wife Kelley, Daniel Grimes, and April Grimes; brothers Larry and wife Linda, Dave and wife Sandy, and Laney and wife Susie; and a number of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives and friends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *