Obituaries – 07-12-2017

Harry Herbert ‘Herb’ Ditzel Jr.

Harry Herbert ‘Herb’ Ditzel Jr. died June 28.

He was born Jan. 11, 1929, in the family farm house in Cranford, New Jersey.

He was a successful business-owner, with an egg route, nursery center, garden center, roadside stands and real estate.

He was a student at Rutgers University and served as president of the Union County Board of Agriculture.

In the late 1980s, he retired to Anna Maria Island, where he could be found joyfully working in his Anna Maria garden from day to day.

A family member remarked that the “flowers bowed and birds flew in formation to honor their friend” on his death.

He was known on Anna Maria Island as the “Pepperman,” giving away free peppers, tomatoes and more from his garden as he chatted with those who strolled on South Bay Boulevard, enjoying his array of plants, flowers and humorous signs throughout the garden.

He also enjoyed playing with friends in the over-60 Bradenton softball league.

And he’s remembered for his contagious and sarcastic sense of humor. Some “Herbisms” include: “Come back when you can’t stay so long” and “I want to ride in the backseat so I can get a longer ride.”

Memorial contributions may be made to his late granddaughter Holly Burke’s nonprofit, Shred Out Cancer, 100 Barnegat Blvd. S., Barnegat NJ 08005 or

Services for will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 18, at Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria and another in September in Cranford.

He is survived by “the love of his life,” Macel Vandesteeg; son Darren Brooks; daughter Carol Holly Hawn; grandchildren Christopher and Joseph Kostecki, Scott Burke, Darren Jr. and Dalen Tate; great-grandchildren Laila and Rylan Kostecki and siblings Edna Klimek, Mary Ann Heerwagen and Warren.


Barbara Lazzara

Barbara Lazzara, 83, of Anna Maria, died July 2.

She was born Nov. 13, 1933, in New York to the late Carl and Ivabelle (Kirkpatrick) Jolly.

She moved to Anna Maria more than 20 years ago, coming from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

While living in Oklahoma, she operated her own antique shop. She also volunteered with the Cameo Muscular Dystrophy Association in Miami.

After moving to Anna Maria, she started the Islander’s Market in Anna Maria and Bradenton for many years. She attended St. Bernard Catholic Church in Holmes Beach.

She was devoted to her large, extended family and many friends from all over the world. She loved without judgment or condemnation, always there with kind words and a soothing meal. She was a consummate cook with great love of entertaining. She never lost her zest for life or her love for words and the written word. She was an avid and voracious reader. She was a mother and grandmother and aunt to so many who were friends of her own children.

Services will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made online to the Heart Rhythm Institute of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Condolences for the family may be made online at

She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Ralph; daughters Melissa J. of Anna Maria and Rosalie D’Innella and husband Pino of Milan, Italy; three grandchildren, and many family members and friends. She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Ralph; daughters Melissa J. Lazzara of Anna Maria and Rosalie D’Innella and husband Pino of Milan, Italy; three grandchildren and many extended family members and friends.

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