Gaetano “Guy” Gebbia, 90, of Perico Bay Club, Bradenton, died Sept. 27, three weeks before his 91st birthday.
Mr. Gebbia was born in Bronx, N.Y., married his wife Marie and moved his family to Valley Cottage, Rockland City, N.Y., in 1957. They moved to Bradenton in 1984.
As a young man in the Bronx, he was a Golden Gloves boxing finalist in his class.
He served his country in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II as a gunner and acquired a love for flying. He worked for the NYC Manhattan and Brown Surface Transit Operating Authority for more than 20 years. He acquired his pilot’s license at age 55, purchased a Cessna 150, and pursued his passion of flying.
After retirement in Florida, he spent much of his time flying to various locations and flying with the Young Eagles. His greatest flying accomplishment was flying 8,878 perimeter miles of the United States solo, landing in each state.
He played golf and baseball, having met Joe DiMaggio. He also was known for rebuilding cars and drag racing in the 1960s.
A Mass of Christian burial and interment was held in Nyack, N.Y.
There will be a memorial lunch and gathering of family and friends noon-2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, at St. Bernard Catholic Parrish Center, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach.
Mr. Gebbia is survived by daughter Cheryl; son Guy and wife Karen; daughter Kathryn and husband John Magee, son Gary and wife Colleen; numerous grandchildren; great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.
James Jerome Jenkins
James Jerome Jenkins, 89, of Anna Maria, died Nov. 17.
Memorial Services will be at a later date. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel is in charge. Condolences may be made online at www.brownandsonsfuneral.com
James G ‘Jim’ Davis
James G. “Jim” Davis of Holmes Beach died Nov. 3. He was a native of Atlanta.
Mr. Davis attended Boys High School and Georgia Tech before entering the U.S. Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet in 1942, graduating as a pilot in class 43-F. He served as pilot in the China-Burma-India theatre, where he was awarded the DFC, two Air Medals, Presidential Citations, China War Memorial Medal and others. He received his Air Line Transport Pilots Rating in 1948 and joined the Civil Aviation Authority, now the Federal Aviation Administration, and became a specialist in Air Traffic Control, Facility Flight Inspection and Air Carrier Operations.
During his second tour in Europe with the FAA, he was awarded the Secretary’s Award for Valor. Following retirement from the FAA in 1980, he was recruited by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) as an aviation expert. In his total career, he accumulated more than 16,000 flight hours as pilot and worked with the civil aviation authorities of 37 foreign countries.
He married Lillian Marguerite Michael, also of Atlanta, in 1946. Before moving to Holmes Beach several years ago, he was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Marietta, Ga.
Memorial donations may be made to Roser Memorial Community Church, P.O. Box 247, Anna Maria FL 34216.
Mr. Davis is survived by sister Mrs. Dale Topping of Roswell; daughter Mrs. Debbie Davis Holman of Marietta; son James G. Davis Jr. of Hiawassee; granddaughters Mrs. Courtenay Holman Wall and Ms. Haley Holman, both of Marietta, and Rebecca Davis of Hiawassee; and five great-grandchildren.
Kenneth L. Freshwater Sr., 88, of Natrona Heights, Pa., and Bradenton Beach, died Nov. 6 in Concordia, Pa.. He was born Aug. 18, 1924, in New Kensington, Pa., to the late Harry L. and Cora (Hahn) Freshwater.
Mr. Freshwater lived most of his life in Fawn Township, Pa., and wintered in Florida for 30 years. He was a glasscutter at PPG, Creighton, for more than 41 years and was a part-time police officer in the township for 10 years. He was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Army, a member of the 489th 4th Armored Division that landed in Normandy Beach on D-Day under Gen. George S. Patton.
He was a member of Holy Martyrs Church, Tarentum, , Pa., life member and past commander of Tarentum VFW Post 5758; Brackenridge American Legion Post 226, Moose Lodge of Bradenton Beach, and was the park manager at Pines Trailer Park in Bradenton Beach for nine years. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping.
He and wife Josephine celebrated 70 years of marriage Sept. 28.
Visitation for relatives and friends was to be in Tarentum, Pa., with a memorial Mass celebrated Nov. 9. Interment was in Mount Airy Cemetery, Natrona Heights, Pa., with full military honors by the Tarentum VFW and Brackenridge American Legion. Memorial donations may be made to Good Samaritan Hospice of Concordia online at www.dusterfuneralhomeinc.com.
Mr. Freshwater is survived by wife, Josephine M. (Denis); children Juanita and John Graham of Tarentum, Barbara Dobrowolski of Natrona Heights, Mary Lou and husband Chad Cohen of Natrona Heights, Joseph and wife Mary Myers of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Louise and husband Mark Fiorina of Lower Burrell, Ronald and wife Candis of Leechburg, Joanne and husband Robert Wislie of Natrona Heights, Jeanne Tarpley and husband Tim Pacek of Tarentum, Mark and wife Robin of Cleveland, Paul and wife Tracy of Fawn Township; 30 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren.
Christoforos Gikas, 88, of Bradenton Beach, died Nov. 9. He was born on April 4, 1924, in Doverna, Greece.
Mr. Gikas served with the Army in Greece and immigrated to the United States in 1953. He settled in Cedar Grove, N.J., where he owned and operated several restaurants in Cedar Grove and Livingston, N.J. He moved to Bradenton Beach in 2005.
He was a member of the St. Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church in Sarasota.
Visitation and Trisagion service were held at Shannon Funeral Home Westview Chapel, Bradenton. Services were Nov. 12 at St. Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church. Memorial donations may be made to the church. Condolences for the family may be made online at www.shannonfuneralhomes.com. Shannon Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Gikas is survived by his wife, Katina (Moulkiotis); sons Chris of Woodcliff Lakes, N.J., and Bill of Bradenton Beach; brother Nonda Gikas of Paramus, N.J.; sisters Rita Drivas of Fort Lee, N.J., and Evgania Mihalis of Doverna, Greece; and grandsons Christopher and Stefanos of Woodcliff Lakes, N.J.
Robinson G. “Bob” King Jr., died Nov. 5, at Langdale Hospice House in Valdosta, Ga. He was born May 9, 1924, in Des Moines, Iowa, to the late Robinson G. King Sr. and Gladys Marie Minehart.
During World War II, Mr. King enlisted in the U.S. Navy and, on receiving his wings, became a flight instructor at the age of 20. He retired as a commander after serving 28 years in the Navy Reserve.
His passion for flying continued for more than 50 years. He logged 15,000 hours of flight time and earned the nickname “Sky King.”
After the war, he graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in civil engineering. In 1964, after several years working in the construction industry, he started his own general construction company, King-Bole Inc., in Des Moines.
Mr. King retired in 1994 and, with wife, Nancy, moved to Anna Maria Island, where they enjoyed flying, sailing, golfing, playing cards and traveling.
He was a member of the Order of Daedalians, the National Military Pilots Fraternity, Quiet Birdman and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. He was also a member of the Key Royale Club and was active in many organizations, including Master Builders of Iowa, Za-Ga-Zig Flying Fez, Gulf Coast Shrine Club, American Legion, Meals on Wheels and Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria Island.
A celebration of life will follow at a later date in Bradenton. Memorial donations may be made to the Kiwanis Club of Anna Maria Foundation, P.O. Box 1215, Holmes Beach FL 34218.
Gordon L. Lindstrom
Gordon L. Lindstrom, 88, of Holmes Beach, died Nov. 2. He was born in Minneapolis and moved to Holmes Beach in 1995.
Mr. Lindstrom was a veteran of the U.S. Navy Seabees during World War II. He was a member of the Northwest Baptist Church in Bradenton, and the Key Royale Club in Homes Beach.
Arrangements were by Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel in charge.
Condolences may be made online at www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.
Mr. Lindstrom is survived by his wife of 52 years, Bobbe; son Tom of Chandler of Arizona; daughters, Debbie and husband Tom Welch of Minneapolis and Kristen and husband Steve Nelson of Scottsdale, Ariz.; four grandchildren; and three great grandchildren.
Gloria J. Svec
Gloria J. Svec, 86, a 25-year resident of Holmes Beach, died Oct. 31. She was born in Willoughby, Ohio.
She was employed at General Electric of Jefferson where she was the shop operations coordinator. While living on Anna Maria Island, Gloria worked at Walgreens.
Mrs. Svec was a wonderful cook and always looked forward to gatherings at her home with friends and family. She enjoyed long beach walks. She will be remembered for her love of family, her fierce independence and her willingness to go out of her way to help others. Gloria was a member of St. Bernard Catholic Church.
Mrs. Svec is survived by daughters Linda Hazelton of Geneva, Ohio, and Lana Craig of Bradenton, five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
A memorial Mass was held Nov. 3 at St. Bede the Venerable Catholic Church in Mentor, Ohio. Memorial ccontributions may be made to Hospice of the Western Reserve, 1166 Lake Ave., Ashtabula OH 44004.
James G. ‘Jim’ Davis
James J. “Jim” Davis, 90, of Holmes Beach and a native of Atlanta, died Nov. 3.
He attended Boys High School and Georgia Tech before entering the U.S. Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet in 1942, graduating as a pilot the following year.
He served as a pilot in the China-Burma theater where we was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Air Force medals, presidential citations, China War Memorial Medal and others.
He went on to have a successful career with the Federal Aviation Administration. In 1975, he was awarded the Secretary’s Award for Valor for successfully executing an emergency airlift of FAA and embassy families from Beirut Lebanon when a state of civil war existed, and the city was under fire.
In 1980, he was recruited as an aviation expert for the International Civil Aviation Organization.
He retired at the age of 65 with more than 16,000 flight hours.
Mr. Davis moved to Holmes Beach several years ago and was a member of Roser Memorial Community Church.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, at Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria.
Memorial donations can be made to Roser Church, P.O. Box 247, Anna Maria FL 34216.
Mr. Davis is survived by daughter Mrs. Robert Holman, of Marietta, Ga.; son James G. of Hiawassee, Ga.; three granddaughters and five great-grandchildren..
Jesus Rosario, 51, died Oct. 31. He was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He later lived and worked in Massachusetts before coming to Florida.
Mr. Rosario found his home, however, when he came to Anna Maria Island and specifically to the Anna Maria City Pier, according to pier manager David Sork.
“Jesus will be sadly missed by family and friends,” he said, adding, “His friends were many and cut across economic, social and international barriers. He was a fixture at the pier as a fisherman and then as dockmaster. He would talk to everyone, but he especially loved to teach first-timers to fish. He loved to see the looks on their face when they caught their first fish and, most especially, loved to see kids ‘hooked’ on fishing.
“He was a friend to all and always could be heard laughing on the pier. His laugh was infectious, his manner loud and raucous, and he never missed an opportunity to meet newcomers, especially the ladies.
“He loved his bling, his job, and his grandchildren. His presence is missed, but his spirit will be felt on the Anna Maria City Pier for many years to come,” said Sork.
Visitation was held Nov. 4 at Covell Funeral Home, 4232 26th St. W., Bradenton.
David Maley of Holmes Beach, 72, died Oct. 22. He was born in Altus, OK.
Mr. Maley served in the U.S. Navy and lived most of his life in Texas where he attended Texas Tech University and later was the director of a children’s home.
The family will host a celebration of life for friends at noon Saturday, Nov. 3, at their home Bradenton home.
Mr. Maley is survived by daughter Michelle Ellsworth-Smith, son Rich, and five grandchildren.
Helen J. ”Honey” Gillespie Sosnowski, 90, of Holmes Beach, died Oct. 26. She was born June 5, 1922, in Grand Rapids, Mich.
She graduated with the class of 1940 from Catholic Central High School, Grand Rapids. She worked for Michigan Bell Telephone Co. in Grand Rapids.
She was a homemaker, gardener, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend to all that knew her.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory-43rd Street Chapel, Bradenton, is in charge of arrangements.
Memorial donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice & Palliative Care, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota FL 34238, or a charity of one’s choice. Condolences may be made online at www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.
Mrs. Sosnowski is survived by her husband of 57 years, Edie C.; children Susan A. and husband Raymond Avado, Bernard E. and wife Vicki, Wally C. and wife Susie, Marcia J. and husband Jack Neumeyer, Mary Lou and husband Jack Avado, Edie, Tom, Sally A., Barbara J. and husband Fritz Spotleson, Robert J., Julia A., Steve M. and Julia A.; 22 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; and many nephews and nieces,
Carol B. Thompson
Carol Betty Beard Krehbiel Thompson, 91, of Clarence Center, N.Y., Anna Maria Island and Bradenton , died Oct. 23 in Bradenton. She was born Dec. 25, 1920.
Mrs. Thompson first visited Anna Maria Island in the early 1960s and purchased a winter residence in the early 1970s. She and her second husband, Charlie Thompson, enjoyed 14 winters on Anna Maria.
Christmas Carol, as she was known, moved to the Windsor Oaks Assisted Living in Bradenton in May 2011. She was a member of Clarence Center United Methodist Church and attended Roser Memorial Community Church in Anna Maria.
A memorial service was to be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, in the Roser Chapel at Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria. Memorial donations may be made to Roser Church, P.O. Box 247, Anna Maria FL 3421, or Tidewell Hospice & Palliative Care, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota FL 34238.
Mrs. Thompson is survived by her children, son Thomas K. Krehbiel and wife Elizabeth of Buffalo, N.Y., and Tucson, Ariz., daughter Karen L. Abell and husband Richard of Venice, Fla., and Travers City, Mich., and Wendy K. Holcomb and husband Jon of Holmes Beach; 11 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; sister Norma Beard of Deland, Fla.; and brother Roland K. Beard Jr. of Maryland.
Nothing to report
Carol P. Jambe
Carol P. Jambe, 77, long-time resident of Huntington, W.Va., and Holmes Beach, died Oct. 7 in Olmsted Falls, Ohio. She was born born Oct. 5, 1935.
Mrs. Jambe was a long-time member of Trinity Episcopal Church, supported the arts, and was a member of the Key Royale Club in Holmes Beach. She enjoyed playing tennis, long walks, being a grandmother and her many grand dogs and cats.
A private service was to be held. Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org or P.O. Box 96011, Washington DC 20090-6011.
Mrs. Jambe is survived by her husband of 55 years, Chuck, children Suzanne, Karen Moore and Chuck and wife Karen; grandchildren Michael Moore, Catherine Andrea, Mae Carol, Isabelle Mary and Emilie Suzanne; sister-in-law Suzanne Mundt; nieces and nephews Jay Canterbury, Chuck Canterbury, Anne Canterbury Craigmyle, Andrea Canterbury Calhoon, Frank Peters III and Ernie Peters.
Richard Carl Kowal
Richard Carl Kowal, 86, of Bradenton and formerly of Holmes Beach, died Oct. 12. He was born Jan. 31, 1926 in Cicero, Ill.
Mr. Kowal served with the U.S. Army during World War II. He retired as a bank officer with Harris Trust and Savings in Chicago with almost 40 years of service. He moved to Holmes Beach in 1985, coming from LaGrange Park and St. Charles, Ill., and was a member of the Westbay Cove Condominium Association for 20 years. Hew as a member of the American Legion Kirby Stewart Post No. 24 of Bradenton, and was an active member of St. Bernard Catholic Church, Holmes Beach, and most recently St. Joseph Catholic Church, Bradenton, having moved to Bradenton in November 2011.
He was an avid golfer and fisherman and taught each of his grandchildren to fish.
Services will be held at a later date in the Chicago area with inurnment at the Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, Ill. Memorial donationss may be made to the charity of one’s choice. Condolences may be made online at www.shannonfuneralhomes.com.
Mr. Kowal Richard is survived by his wife of 62 years Marjorie (Mauck); children William and wife Laura of Arlington Heights, Ill., Peggy and husband Doug Fisher of Westmont, Ill., Mary Kay and husband Mick Callaghan of Chicago, Carol and husband Dale Costantino of Naperville, Ill., Nancy Mikeworth of Woodridge, Ill.; 14 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Nothing to report
Cory C. Cronan, 43, of Anna Maria, died Sept. 18. He was born Sept. 13, 1969, and raised in Ballston Lake, N.Y.
Mr. Cronan served in the U.S. Army National Guard 1991-97. He was an avid golfer and and attended Professional Golfers Career College 2005-06. He was employed by several island restaurants over the years, including the Sandbar and Beach Bistro.
His mother described him as a “wonderful man with a warm personality, big smile and loved by all who knew him.”
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach, immediately followed by a luncheon and celebration of life at the Sandbar Restaurant pavilion, 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria. Memorial donations may be made to Gerald B.H. Solomon, Saratoga National Cemetery, 200 Duell Road, Schuylerville, N.Y. 12871-1721.
Mr. Cronan is survived by mother Barbara and stepfather Gary Taylor; sister Tammy; and nephews Tyler Heineman and Christopher Hamilton.
Doug Newcomer, 65, of Anna Maria, formerly of the greater Kansas City area, died Sept. 15. He came to Anna Maria Island in 1997.
Mr. Newcomer was a descendant of Presidents William H. Harrison and Benjamin Harrison. He was a 1969 graduate of Stanford University. He loved to travel and was passionate about sports. He was an avid skier. He also once owned a registered Black Angus herd and operated a 160-acre ranch in Grain Valley, Mo.
He continued a successful real estate career with Coldwell Banker when he came to Anna Maria Island. He also was a friend of Bill W at “The friends of the Pelican.”
The family welcomes friends to join them in a celebration of life from 5:30 p.m. to dusk Friday, Oct. 5, at Bayfront Park on North Bay Boulevard in Anna Maria.
Mr. Newcomer is survived by his wife of 40 years, Monica, and son Mark.
Jacqueline “Jaci” Marshall Corrigan Prieto, 83, of Bradenton and formerly of Anna Maria Island, died Sept. 7.
She was born in Tampa and was raised in Bradenton by her grandmother, Grey Warner Marshall of the J.H. Warner family of Chattanooga, Tenn. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Anderson College, S.C. She spent much of her life and raised her children on Anna Maria Island.
She was a devoted wife and mother and a true humanitarian.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at CrossPointe Fellowship, 8605 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria.
Mrs. Prieto is survived by her children, Lisa Corrigan of Atlanta, Ga. and Chris Corrigan of Bradenton; and grandson Shae Warner Corrigan of Hilton Head, S.C.
Rich Salick, 62, died July 2 from complications associated with kidney disease.
His life will be celebrated Oct. 6 on Anna Maria Island, almost where he began, at the Manatee Public Beach in Holmes Beach.
The family, including sister Joanie Mills of Holmes Beach, plans to host a celebration of life at 3 p.m. and paddle out before sunset at 6 p.m. They welcome all of their extended family and friends to participate. Any sort of surf or paddle board, raft or craft will suffice, or partake from shore.
The celebration party will be for sharing memories on the beach, fittingly on Rich and twin Phil’s birthday.
The Salick twins grew up on the smooth, glassy waves of the Manatee Public Beach on Anna Maria Island.
Rich went on to greatness, induction in 2000 to the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame and founder with Phil of the National Kidney Foundation Pro Am Surf Festival.
Rich received three kidney transplants from siblings, including the first from Phil.
His legacy as a surfer — No. 1 ranked surfer on the East Coast in the 24-35 age group in 1980 — and as an inspiration to people affected by kidney disease will live on.
He and Phil began their legacy with a surfing competition in Cocoa Beach, where they had moved to pursue the perfect wave. They opened a surf shop, created a brand of boards and from that was born the world’s largest charitable surfing competition — drawing tens of thousands of spectators to Cocoa Beach on Labor Day weekend. This year was the 27th tournament and was expected to raise some $125,000 for the NKF Orlando chapter.
The twins also opened a highway for surfers trekking from Anna Maria to Cocoa Beach to catch a wave and learn from the best of the best, and to purchase a coveted Salick surfboard. Their surf shop and board-making enterprise operated from the 1970s-80s.
Over the course of 38 years, Rich received transplants from twin Phil in 1974, older brother Channing Salick in 1986 and younger brother Wilson Shymanski in 1999.
“He was the heart and soul of the National Kidney Foundation. He personified who we are and what we do,” Stephanie Hutchinson, chief executive officer of the organization’s Orlando-based Florida chapter told Florida Today on his death.
Memorial donations may be made by mail to the National Kidney Foundation of Florida, Patient Services Program, 1040 Woodcock Road, Suite 119, Orlando FL 32803 or by calling 800-927-9659.
Salick is survived by Phil, sister Joanie and husband Tony Mills and their son Brandon of Holmes Beach, brother Rosser Shymanski, son Philip, stepson David Morgan, and ex-wife Michele Brenner Salick.
Audrey Lorraine Ellens
Audrey Lorraine Ellens, 83, of Bradenton, died Sept. 17. She was born March 28, 1928, in Falmouth, Mich.
Mrs. Ellens owned and operated a restaurant in Bradenton for several years with her husband and also operated the Palm Cove Resort in Bradenton Beach for many years.
She was member of Kirkwood Presbyterian Church, Bradenton.
Private family services are planned at a later date at Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Fla. Memorial donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice & Palliative Care, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota FL 34238. Condolences may be made online at www.shanonfuneralhomes.com. Shannon Funeral Home Westview Chapel, Bradenton, is in charge of arrangements.
Mrs. Ellens is survived by son Michael; daughter Marcia; grandchildren Christine Huggins, David, Diane and Daniel Cass; great-grandchildren Trace Avery Huggins and Austin David Huggins; and niece Beverly Waltz.
Russell Lee Cripe
Russell Lee Cripe, 63, of Holmes Beach, died Sept. 8. He was born Aug. 31, 1949, in Mansfield, Ohio.
He started a family in Pennsylvania, and eventually moved with his family to Holmes Beach. He was a long-time restaurateur, known locally for his cooking skills, especially his potato leek soup and chicken salad.
A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witness, 3915 26th St. W., Bradenton. Memorials may be made to the Kingdom Hall. Condolences may be made online at www.shannonfuneralhomes.com.
Mr. Cripe is survived by his children, Marc, Matthew, Meagen Jones, Seth and Micolaus; sisters Lynda Stricker and Jennifer Little; and five grandchildren.
Robert E. “Bob” Van Wagoner, 89, of Sarasota, former mayor of Holmes Beach, died Wednesday, Sept. 12, after a brief illness. He was born Oct. 24, 1922, in Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Mayor Rich Bohnenberger commented on Van Wagoner’s time in office, saying, “Bob served as mayor from March 1996 to March 1998. It was a time of much controversy, as the cell tower was coming. The population was divided, was it a good thing or would ruin our community? Time has passed and the tower has been accepted, not only by our residents, but also by nesting ospreys.”
Mr. Van Wagoner grew up in Niagara Falls, spending summers on Lake Ontario. He loved living near water, was an avid swimmer, and relished the sunsets over Sarasota Bay. He was an avid runner, and completed the New York marathon on his 60th birthday.
He was a 1940 honor graduate of DeVeaux Military School in Niagara Falls, and a political science honor graduate in 1944 from Princeton University. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps 1942-45.
He was a newspaper reporter in New York City for almost 30 years, representing press and public relations for numerous private and public businesses. He had a column on the joys and challenges of aging in the Sarasota Herald- Tribune, and frequently had opinion letters published in other newspapers, including the New York Times.
He managed political campaigns, ran for several offices successfully, negotiated labor contracts as a newspaper union leader, and headed a number of civic campaigns.
He moved in the early 1990s to Longboat Key and became active in community affairs. He served as mayor of Holmes Beach 1996-98 and worked diligently to protect the integrity and charm of the island.
He was instrumental in the fight to block the proposed Anna Maria high-bridge, as well as other environmental issues, including hurricane preparedness.
Bob lived 2003-06 in Morehead City, N.C., and then Yorktown, VA., to be close to his children and then returned to Sarasota.
His daughter said he will be remembered for his love of jazz, the ocean, and writing, but most importantly for the impact he had on so many lives.
The family plans to hold a private memorial ceremony on Oct. 27 to honor Mr. Van Wagoner’s 90th birthday. Memorial donations may be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Mr. Van Wagoner is survived by his children, John and wife Wendy of Bluffton, S.C., Lauren and husband Frank Rotella of Bluffton, S.C., and David and wife Theresa Lally of Yorktown, Va.; grandchildren Kenny, Paul, Amy, David, Carolyn, and Jenny; and great-grandchildren Aiden, Emily, Kaitlin, and Ellie..