Tag Archives: Obituaries

Obituaries – 10-11-2017

Nancy Moore Carson
Nancy Moore Carson of Holmes Beach died Aug. 23 at her summer home in Brevard, North Carolina.

She was born to Robert and Dolly Carson in Belmont, North Carolina, in 1933. She was the youngest of seven children.

She began her undergraduate studies at Brevard College in Brevard and completed her degree at Limestone College in Gaffney, South Carolina. She earned her master’s degree at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.

She moved to Florida in 1957 to teach physical education at Walker Junior High School in Bradenton. She later became dean of girls and then assistant principal at Manatee High School.

In 1978, she was appointed the first principal of the new Martha B. King Middle School, becoming the first female principal of a secondary school in Manatee County. She held that post until she retired in 1995. She was loved and supported by her students, staff and colleagues.

After retirement, she divided her time between her beloved Anna Maria Island residence and her summer home in Brevard. In each location, she found pleasure and fulfillment in her volunteer activities.

She was an active member of Roser Memorial Community Church in Anna Maria, often volunteering in the thrift shop, the food bank and for the service of holiday meals at the church.

In Brevard, she was a member of First United Methodist Church and a faithful volunteer for SAFE, an organization that provides shelter and assistance for victims of domestic and sexual violence, and for Transylvania Regional Hospital.

A supporter of animal welfare, she was a devoted dog owner.

She was also a longtime member of American Association of University Women, Delta Kappa Gamma and Manatee County Retired Educators.

She always loved sports — as a coach, a competitor and a spectator. In her early years of teaching, she coached girls basketball. For several years, she was an avid tennis player, sometimes competing in local tournaments.

As a lifelong member of the Bradenton Runners Club, she finished many 5K, 10K and longer runs, often winning for her age group.

Her love for golf kept her playing regularly with friends in Florida and in a golf league at Connestee Falls in Brevard.

In recent years, she also competed in table tennis and horseshoes in the North Carolina Senior Games.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria. Memorial donations may be made to Southeastern Guide Dogs, 4210 77th St. E., Palmetto FL 34221, or www.guidedogs.org.

She is survived by her sister, Katherine C. Pitts of Raleigh, North Carolina; niece Amy Pitts of Raleigh; nephew Robert Pitts and wife Brenda of Raleigh; niece Mary Jo Wilder of Zebulon, North Carolina; and several grandnieces and grandnephews.

 

William Fred Paulsen
William Fred Paulsen died Sept. 18. He was born Jan. 17, 1919, in Moline, Illinois.

He was the second son born to Agnes Guthrie Johnson and Henry Jacob Paulsen.

After graduating from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1941, he accepted a job with E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. and was immediately called into active duty with the U.S. Navy.

He served in the Navy 1941-1946 and, after the attack by Japan Dec. 7, 1941, was stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He and one other lieutenant junior manned the large dock, evaluated damaged warships from the South Pacific and directed their repair.

While serving in the Navy, he attended Annapolis Naval Academy for a semester. He also earned a second bachelor’s degree in engineering from California Institute of Technology.

Working with DuPont for more than 35 years, he held several patents that enabled the timely manufacture of polyester, Dacron for DuPont. Two of his patents were among the 10 most guarded of the DuPont company. He was awarded the first-ever “Fellow of Fibers.”

He married Frances Winifred Trowbridge Oct. 14, 1944, in Annapolis, Maryland. They had three sons: William Frederick, George Trowbridge and Robert Caldwell. Frances died in 1962.

Mr. Paulsen married Virginia Turley Moseley of Kinston, North Carolina, Aug. 31, 1969. He welcomed Virginia’s three children into his family and heart. They custom-built a home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, where they lived for more than 20 years until retiring to Bradenton, where Mr. Paulsen enjoyed fishing on Anna Maria Island with various members of his family, his caregiver, Debra Hubbard, and the regular pier fishers.

He is survived by wife Virginia; sons William and wife Laura of New York City, George and wife Karen of Oberlin, Ohio, and Robert of St. Paul, Minnesota; step-children Nancy Grainger Moseley Friel and husband Gary of Longs, South Carolina, John Wooten Moseley III of Wilmington, Delaware, and Marian VanLandingham Moseley and husband Frank Killian of Philadelphia; grandchildren Katharine and husband Mark, Caroline, Ryan, Kristen and husband Brandon, Ashley and husband Craig, Blair and husband Michael, Joseph and Sarah; and four great-grandchildren.

 

Sara Elizabeth Walton
Sara Elizabeth Walton, 38, of Holmes Beach, died Aug. 10.

She was born in Elk Horn, Wisconsin, July 25, 1979, and moved to Rising Son, Indiana, where she became a gifted athlete. She played center in basketball for her undefeated high school team. She also played volleyball.

She graduated from the University of Southern Indiana, and her caring heart led her to a degree in social services.

She loved meeting people and, with her infectious laugh and vibrant smile, was quick to make friends. She was a passionate animal lover.

She moved to Holmes Beach four years ago and took a special interest in sea turtles.

A celebration of life will be held 5 p.m.-sunset Saturday, Oct. 14, on the beach near 72nd Street in Holmes Beach.

She is survived by her father, Roger; mother Sharon Robinson; brother Darin; sister Janella Pryce; grandmothers Bula Walton and Eloise Holland; boyfriend Jesse Candish; and her beloved dog, Mr. Biscuit.

 

Patricia Edwards Weingart
Patricia Edwards Weingart, a longtime resident of Holmes Beach, died Oct. 1. She was born in 1924 in Detroit to Charles and Mrytle Edwards.

She married the late George Weingart in 1973 in Chicago. They enjoyed traveling together, as well as spending time with family and friends.

She was a longtime member of the Key Royale Club in Holmes Beach, where she loved to golf, play cards and dine with family and friends. She also volunteered at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton for several years.

A service was held Oct. 7 at the Unity Church in Bradenton, where she was a member for many years.

She is survived by many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Obituaries – 10-04-2017

James ‘Jim’ Edson Mercer

James “Jim” Edson Mercer, 70, formerly of Anna Maria Island, died Sept. 25, 2017, in Hutchinson, Kansas. He was born Jan. 15, 1947, in Salem, Ohio, to Edson and Rose (Costanzo) Mercer.

Mr. Mercer served in the U.S. Army 1966-68. He was the owner and operator for 18 years of Mercer Upholstery in Holmes Beach.

He married Judith Ann Faulkner in Port Jervis, New York, on Dec. 24, 1969. They enjoyed living in their RV and traveling in their retirement.

Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.

Jim is survived by wife Judy; daughters Jodie Lepiscopo and Cynthia Page of Florida; grandchildren Kayla Lepiscopo, Joey Lepiscopo, Kristen Page, Kaitlyn Page, Autumn Hennessey, Davin Gravell and Gillian Hennessey; great-grandchildren Grayson Lepiscopo, Jaelan Page-Morris and Kambrie Rowell; brothers John of New York, Charles of Florida and Gary of Pennsylvania; sisters Lucy Davidson and Alice Ann Davis, both of Ohio; and mother-in-law Myra Faulkner.

Obituaries – 09-27-2017

Anthony ‘Tony’ Manali Sr.

Anthony “Tony” Manali Sr., 93, of Anna Maria, died peacefully at home Sept. 24. He was born the youngest of six siblings in Tampa Nov. 15, 1923, to Charles and Nancy (Sciambra) Manali,.

After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he married the love of his life, Carmen Caltagirone, Oct. 12, 1947. They would have celebrated their 70th anniversary in a few weeks.

As a young man, Mr. Manali worked as a bookkeeper in his family’s grocery store, Charlie’s Market, in Ybor City.

Tony’s love for Anna Maria Island began in the early 1940s, when he was able to pursue his great passion — fishing. He was especially noted for his expertise in catching pompano and, in fact, he was held in high esteem by many pompano fishermen.

The family eventually moved to the Island to reside full-time in 1963. He and Carmen owned and operated the former Anthony’s Restaurant at the corner of Pine Avenue and Gulf Drive.

In his retirement, he enjoyed staying close to home. He was a generous, open-minded, kind, quiet, honest man who had good instincts, a great sense of humor … and a love for mangoes and poker.

Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2 at Brown & Sons Funeral Home, 604 43rd St., Bradenton. The memorial Mass will be at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3 at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach. Condolences may be made online at www.BrownandSonsfuneral.com

Mr. Manali is survived by his wife, Carmen; children Angela Calabro, Nancy Manali Leonardo, Anthony and wife JoAnn; grandchildren Christina and husband Andres, Tolomei Lisa and husband Jason Bennett, Marc, Tony Calabro, Angela Leonardo, Anna Leonardo, Lori; and great grandchildren Isabella, Ella, Sofia, Ashton, Luca and Mila.

The family sends its heartfelt thanks to caregivers Elsa Tello and Sheryl Henken, Pat Webster of St. Bernard Catholic Church, Irv Becker, M.D., of Sarasota, and the nurses and staff of Tidewell Hospice for their kind and thoughtful care during Mr. Manali’s illness.

 

Elaine Grace Newhart

Elaine Grace Newhart, 72, of Holmes Beach, died Sept. 13.

She was born Sept. 22, 1944, in Annville, Pennsylvania, to John and Jayne Salem.

After graduating from East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania, she moved to Sarasota, where she met Barry Newhart, her husband of 52 years, and taught elementary school.

She and her husband settled in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where they raised their son and two daughters.

She sacrificed her needs for the good of her family and loved ones. She was a patient, supportive and encouraging woman and she relished being a mother and grandmother.

She loved learning, gardening, music, reading, playing games, laughing and spending time with her family and friends. Many loved her, and her influence will forever remain in the lives of all who knew her.

She is survived by husband Barry; daughter Torry and husband Carmine Vitolo; son Bryson; daughter Lauren and husband Colin Bourgoing; and granddaughters Zoé and Ella.

Obituaries – 09-13-2017

Loretta Jane Sabin

Loretta Jane Sabin died Aug. 28.

She was born Oct. 14, 1951, in Mattawanna, Pennsylvania, and when she was young, her family moved to Wilmington, Delaware. The family moved again to mid-Michigan, where she stayed until when she relocated to Anna Maria Island in 1997.

She lived the “Gulf life” by enjoying the warm weather, entertaining friends, watching NASCAR and hosting holiday meals.

She loyally and faithfully worked for E.T. MacKenzie Company for nearly 35 years, beginning in Grand Ledge, Michigan, and later opening the Bradenton location. Her work in Bradenton was planned to be for a few months but she was just tickled to be near her sister and moved to the island. Since 1978, she has been a member of the National Association of Women in Construction and in 2002 joined the Anna Maria Moose Lodge.

She enjoyed life and never took the little things for granted. She would say that she’d rather live a full, short life than a long, dull life — and she certainly did.

She never met a stranger and was always there to listen and provide the perspective one needed to hear — like it or not.

A celebration of life will be 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, at the Bradenton Moose Lodge, 310 44th Ave. E.. Bradenton.

Memorial donations can be made to any organization that you know she would love, including the NAWIC #157 Scholarship Fund c/o B. Barbara Strachan Michigan AGC, 2323 N. Larch St. Lansing, MI 48906, or Moose Heart for Children 155 S. International Drive, Mooseheart, IL 60539.

She is survived by her dedicated partner Dan Breton; children Jan K. and wife Rebecca, Jesse and wife Laura and their father Jan H.; Nicole and husband Joe Vinson; Brian Breton; sister Linda and husband John Hare, nieces Holly Hare, Page and husband Mark Howard; and granddaughters Samantha, Katie, Kennedy and Elliott.

 

Gwendolyn ‘Polly Moore’ Senseman

Gwendolyn ‘Polly Moore’ Senseman, 88, of Fairfield, Ohio, died Sept. 7, at West Chester Hospital. She was born May 1, 1929, in Cortez, to John A. and Sally (nee Fulford) Moore.

She was born in the house that her grandparents, Capt. William and Sally (nee Adams) Fulford built in Cortez. She grew up on Anna Maria Island, just across the bay from Cortez.

“I had the most wonderful childhood on Anna Maria. We roamed all over the island barefoot.”

She later returned to live in the house her grandparents built in Cortez and said, “I love living here. I don’t think many people come back to live in the house they were born in.”

She was proud of her four daughters and the women they would grow up to be.

She had an artist’s touch when it came to decorating. Her homes and gardens were beautiful and she always made people feel welcome.

She was married to Kenneth Senseman.

She is survived by her daughters Dr. Susan Eacker, Cindy Rodgers, Robin Torbeck and Sally Rodgers; grandchildren Jeremy Eacker, Amy Rodgers-Dryfoos, Rose Rodgers-Dryfoos, Carey McVey, Jody Howard, Leslie Hundley, Caleb Whisman and Sarah Grace McCarthy-Rodgers; seven great-grandchildren; friend and companion Norbert Maynard; and many family members and friends.

Donations may be made to the Cortez Village Historical Society, PO Box 663, Cortez, FL 34215. Remembrances at muellerfunerals.com.

Obituaries – 09-06-2017

David Forrest Cannon

David “Bash” Forrest Cannon of Bradenton and formerly of Anna Maria Island, died Aug. 13.

He was born May 3, 1949, to Bruce and Millie in Patterson, New Jersey.

The youngest of five, he grew up in Smithville, Georgia, with his parents and four sisters.

He was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in the Vietnam War.

He raised three children in Bradenton, teaching them the importance of hard work, family involvement, a sense of humor and defensive driving.

He shared his love of fishing, camping, cooking, competition, singing and playing country music on his guitar with many. He will be remembered as a teacher of the important things in life.

 

Lee R. Liskey

Lee R. Liskey, 90, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, died Aug. 23, in Anna Maria Island, surrounded by his family.

He was born in Harrisonburg, Virginia, July 12, 1927, was educated in Washington, D.C., and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as an aerial photographer.

He moved to Virginia Beach in 1950, met and married the love of his life, Anne, Feb. 15, 1953.

Mr. Liskey owned Liskey Lithograph, a premier printing and publishing business that he operated for more than 30 years. He was recognized as being the first to introduce full-color printing to the Hampton Roads area.

After retirement, he enjoyed many years on his Paradise Farm in Mount Jackson, Virginia, and, in the last 15 years, he enjoyed life on Anna Maria Island, living in his dream home overlooking Tampa Bay.

He never knew a stranger, loved people and had a most engaging personality. He was generous to others and especially kind to children, elderly people and those in need.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel in Bradenton and H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments in Virginia Beach. Condolences may be made online at www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Anne Vakos; children Cynthia Barbarito and husband Jim, Victoria Duncan and husband Richard, Candice Fielding and husband Wayne, Lee R. Jr., Kathleen Quarles and husband William, David, Jeffrey and wife Michelle, Guy and wife Terri, Melodi and Melisa; 17 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

 

Louise Richards

Louise Richards, 75, of Bradenton, died Sept. 1. She was born March 12, 1942, in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. She was the youngest of Manuel and Florence Mello’s four children.

She moved to Anna Maria in 1979 and became active as a volunteer at the Island Youth Center. There she saw her children grow and helped keep the books and the peace. She enjoyed walking to the Rod & Reel Pier for breakfasts and watching her favorite pelicans hunt for their meals.

She was a great fan of the Gators, Bucs, Bolts and Rays.

She always was up for a good adventure and those who encountered her were soon her friends. And, most of all,  she enjoyed loving her family and showing them firsthand how to love unconditionally.

She was married to Capt. Jim Richards.

A celebration of life will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria. Memorial donations may be made to MAYSO/Manatee Area Youth Soccer Organization, P.O. Box 1333 Bradenton Fl 34206.

She is survived by sons Jim of Tampa and Ken and wife Lou of Bradenton; grandchildren James and Lilly of Bradenton; sisters Bernice Duarte of Tiverton, Rhode Island, and Florence Rebello of St. Petersburg; brother Raymond Mello of Exeter, New Hampshire; and many extended family members and friends.

 

Andrew Gray Torgeson

Andrew Gray Torgeson of Palmetto and Anna Maria Island died Aug. 26. He was born April 9, 1949, to Norma and Earl Torgeson.

Mr. Torgeson didn’t have degrees or letters after his name. He was never the president of any club. But chapters of his life told a story many would envy. He was independent, adventurous and free-spirited.

He was born into a baseball family. His father played in the big leagues and from the time he was a toddler he had his own baseball uniform and he dressed out and went to batting practice with his dad every day in the summer. When he was older, he sat in the dugout during games with some of the best of Major League Baseball.

He grew up on Anna Maria Island and always loved the water. He skied, surfed, sailed and just messed about in boats. He regularly fished at the island piers. Then he started diving and spear-fishing.

He was the best all-around athlete in Manatee High School’s history. He graduated in 1967 as a four-letter athlete: football, basketball, baseball and track. He was a constant irritation to the football coaches because he hated August practice. It was too hot, so he went to the water instead. For more than 40 years, he held the record for most passing yards in a single game (335) and most completed passes in a single game.

He had a football scholarship with Florida State University, but, before season started, he decided not to play football. He played basketball at Edison Junior College before playing for the New York Yankees minor league teams for several years.

“Playing baseball was someone else’s dream, but not mine,” he later said.

He worked construction, crisscrossed the country countless times between Florida and Washington state, and stopped to gamble during an annual week with friends at Lake Tahoe. He loved to gamble. He lived on and off at Lands End on north Longboat Key, working and building boats with Tom Mayers.

For years, he struggled with pain that had no apparent diagnosis until he was in his early 40s. He then discovered he had cystic fibrosis, which was rarely diagnosed in adults. He still continued to find ways to enjoy his life.

About 20 years ago, he fell in love with Mary Jo Fitzgerald. They sailed extensively and often anchored overnight. They explored some of Florida’s rivers in the skiff he built. They bought a pop-top camper and drove around the country, taking roads less traveled. If he saw a golf course he liked, they would stop for the night and play the next day. She died in December 2016.

A private family service is planned. Memorial donations may be made to the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage, P.O. Box 606, Cortez FL 34215.

Mr. Torgeson is survived by sister Christine van Zandt and husband John; niece Ana Cross and husband Nate and their two children, Will and Sophia; many members of his extended family in Washington state and Minnesota, and some really good friends.

 

Robert W. ‘Rob’ Velardi

Robert W. “Rob” Velardi, 56, of Bradenton, died Aug. 29. He was born March 5, 1961, to Otello and Marie in White Plains, New York. He relocated to Florida, making Bradenton his home in 1980.

He was a veteran of the Holmes Beach Police Department for 30 years, including two years serving as resource officer at Anna Maria Elementary. He was loved by the island community, his students and the faculty.

He loved sports and was an avid New York Yankees fan.

Among his many interests were traveling and spending time with family and friends. He volunteered as a coach for youth soccer, basketball and softball and played adult league softball for many years.

He was a devoted husband, father and brother, and also a loyal friend who always made time to help others.

Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel in Bradenton was handling arrangements. Condolences may be made online to www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.

Memorial donations may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, woundedwarriorproject.org or P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675-8517, or Shriners Hospitals for Children-Tampa, 12502 USF Pine Drive, Tampa FL 33612-9411.

Officer Velardi is survived by his wife of 36 years, Angela (Council); daughters, Adriane of Bradenton, Alise Herschel and husband Cliff of Bradenton, and Amelia of Tampa; sisters Linda Brown and husband Jeff of Bradenton and Patricia Suarez and husband Basil of Ossining, New York; brothers Arthur of Fishkill, New York, and John of New York City; grandsons Nolan Pecora, Grant Pecora and Easton Herschel; and many nieces and nephews.

Obituaries – 08-30-2017

David Forrest Cannon

David “Bash” Forrest Cannon died Aug. 13.

He was born May 3, 1949, to Bruce and Millie in Patterson, New Jersey.

The youngest of five, he grew up in Smithville, Georgia, with his parents and four sisters.

He was drafted into the U.S. Army to serve in the Vietnam War.

He raised three children in Bradenton, teaching them the importance of hard work, family involvement, a sense of humor and defensive driving.

He shared his love of fishing, camping, cooking, competition, singing and playing country music on his guitar with many. He will be remembered as a teacher of the important things in life.

 

Community activist, former commissioner Billie Martini dies

Former Holmes Beach commissioner and community activist Billie Martini died Aug. 20.

Martini, named the Islander of the year in 2002, came to Anna Maria Island in 1944 and resided in Bradenton Beach for 16 years.

After college, she married and, with her husband, opened the first motor court on the island.

She resided in Holmes Beach for many years and held various jobs, including clerk in charge of the city’s post office, bookkeeper of the Karel Water Company, as well as billing clerk and teacher’s aide at Anna Maria Elementary.

She also was a member of Save Anna Maria Inc. and helped lead SAM’s crusade against a “megabridge” replacement on Anna Maria Island.

And she served on the Holmes Beach City Commission, winning election to a two-year term in 1993.

She promised to be a voice for the people: “I believe the present commission has done an admirable job but, as happens so often, when the citizens do not take active participation, the commission will vote their own way.”

In her strong voice, she stood firmly in favor of consolidation of the municipal government services on the island and encouraged cooperation between the cities.

She also led island recreation and conservative campaigns, including a call for a public community swimming pool, which didn’t materialize, and the establishment of the nature preserve that became Grassy Point.

This effort led to the preservation of 37 acres of mangroves.

Martini once told The Islander, “It had been in my mind for several years” that development should be prevented in the area, which is the last large undeveloped waterfront parcel in the city.

 

Robert W. ‘Rob’ Velardi

Robert W. “Rob” Velardi, 56, of Bradenton, died Aug. 29.

He was born March 5, 1961, to Otello and Marie in White Plains, New York. He relocated to Florida, making Bradenton his home in 1980.

He was a veteran of the Holmes Beach Police Department for 30 years, including two years serving as resource officer at Anna Maria Elementary School. He was loved and respected by the island community, his students and the faculty.

He loved sports and was an avid New York Yankees fan.

Among his many interests were traveling and spending time with family and friends. He volunteered as a coach for youth soccer, basketball and softball and played adult league softball for many years.

He was a devoted husband, father and brother, and also a loyal friend who always made time to help others.

Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, with a celebration of life at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 2, at Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel, 604 43rd St. W., Bradenton. Condolences may be made online to www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.

He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Angela (Council); daughters, Adriane of Bradenton, Alise Herschel and husband Cliff of Bradenton, and Amelia of Tampa; sisters Linda Brown and husband Jeff of Bradenton and Patricia Suarez and husband Basil of Ossining, New York; brothers Arthur of Fishkill, New York, and John of New York City; grandsons Nolan Pecora, Grant Pecora and Easton Herschel; and many nieces and nephews.

 

Sara Elizabeth Walton

Sara Elizabeth Walton, 38, of Holmes Beach, died Aug. 10.

She was born in Elk Horn, Wisconsin, July 25, 1979, and moved to Rising Son, Indiana, where she became a gifted athlete. She played center in basketball for her undefeated high school time. She also played volleyball.

She graduated from the University of Southern Indiana, and her caring heart led her to a degree in social services.

She loved meeting people and, with her infectious laugh and vibrant smile, was quick to make friends. She was a passionate animal lover.

She moved to Holmes Beach four years ago and took a special interest in sea turtles.

She is survived by parents Roger Walton and Sharon Robinson; brother Darin; sister Janella Pryce; grandmothers Bula Walton and Eloise Holland; boyfriend Jesse Candish; and her beloved dog, Mr. Biscuit.

Obituaries – 08-23-2017

In October 2012, then-Holmes Beach Commissioner Sandy Haas-Martens, left, former Commissioner Billie Martini and then-Mayor Rich Bohnenberger opened Grassy Point Preserve to the public.

Billie Martini

Former Holmes Beach Commissioner Billie Greenwell Martini, 90, died Aug. 20.

She was Islander of the Year for 2002.

Martini came to the Island in 1944 and resided in Bradenton Beach and later Holmes Beach. After college, she married and, with husband Bob, opened the first motor court on the Island alongside the old wooden bridge in Bradenton Beach.

She had been a Holmes Beach resident for 47 years and a commissioner 1992-93. She donated funding for the original outdoor play pavilion at AME. She was an officer of Save Anna Maria Inc.

Her finest achievement and lasting legacy is Grassy Point Preserve in Holmes Beach. Martini first eyed the undeveloped area for a preserve as a commissioner and fought to see it to fruition, attending the grand opening in 2012.

The flag at Holmes Beach City Hall will be lowered to half-staff in her honor one day this week.

 

Sara Elizabeth Walton

Sara Elizabeth Walton of Holmes Beach died Aug. 10.

She was born in Elk Horn, Wisconsin, July 25, 1979, and moved to Rising Son, Indiana, where she became a gifted athlete. She played center in basketball for her undefeated high school time. She also played volleyball.

She graduated from the University of Southern Indiana, and her caring heart led her to a degree in social services.

She loved meeting people and, with her infectious laugh and vibrant smile, was quick to make friends.

She moved to Holmes Beach four years ago and was a passionate animal lover, taking a special interest in sea turtles.

She is survived by parents Roger Walton and Sharon Robinson; brother Darin; sister Janella Pryce; grandmothers Bula Walton and Eloise Holland, boyfriend Jesse Candish, and her beloved dog, Mr. Biscuit.

 

In May 2010, Anna Maria Island Historical Society director Betty Yanger, left, presents Thea Kelley with a silver serving tray for her years of service as AMIHS board president. Islander File Photo

Betty Helwig Yanger

Betty “Betty Lu” Helwig Yanger, 79, a native and longtime resident of Tampa and later Anna Maria, died Aug. 10.

She was a graduate of Plant High School and the University of Tampa. She was an educator in Hillsborough County for more than 30 years, retiring in 2000 after serving as principal of Broward Elementary School. She lived the truth that “a teacher affects eternity” by bringing the spirit and the wondrous revelations of learning to thousands of young minds in the course of her career with enthusiasm and her characteristic grace.

To Mrs. Yanger, retirement meant bringing her new blue Volkswagen Beetle and love of learning full-time to Anna Maria Island with husband Bill, after spending 40 years of summers and holidays under the banyan trees, in the gardens and on the sand of the island.

She was a director emeritus of the Anna Maria Island Historical Society, serving on the board from 2003, and for a time as the director of the museum on Pine Avenue in Anna Maria.

She was passionate about protecting the historical significance of Anna Maria and was a champion of identifying, preserving and celebrating the unique character and charm of many of its original homes and buildings.

Her open invitation to islanders and visitors alike to share cool breezy evenings in her “secret garden” was a cherished ritual for many.

The cliché seems written with Mrs. Yanger in mind: she truly never met a stranger. Her smile was ever-present, her snappy wit was searing and timely and her tenacity was renowned, particularly in recent years, as she battled Multiple System Atrophy, defying all medical expectations and prognoses.

Above all else, her husband and her family were everything to her and she never shied from giving a simple and warm “I love you” to all.

A memorial service was held Aug. 19 in Tampa. Memorial donations may be made to the Multiple System Atrophy Coalition in Memory of Betty Yanger at multiplesystematrophy.org or 9935-D Rea Road, No. 212, Charlotte NC 28277.

Survivors include her husband of 59 years, Bill; brother Griffin and wife Pat; daughter Shay and husband Bill Rustam; son Bill and wife Sherry McDonaugh; grandsons Zachary and Martin McDonaugh; granddaughters Rachel Yanger Munch and husband Joshua Munch, Madeline and Sophie Rustam and Kelli McDonaugh; along with numerous cousins and extended family.

 

Sara Elizabeth Walton

Sara Elizabeth Walton of Holmes Beach died Aug. 10.

She was born in Elk Horn, Wisconsin, July 25, 1979, and moved to Rising Son, Indiana, where she became a gifted athlete. She played center in basketball for her undefeated high school time. She also played volleyball.

She graduated from the University of Southern Indiana, and her caring heart led her to a degree in social services.

She loved meeting people and, with her infectious laugh and vibrant smile, was quick to make friends.

She moved to Holmes Beach four years ago and was a passionate animal lover, taking a special interest in sea turtles.

She is survived by parents Roger Walton and Sharon Robinson; brother Darin; sister Janella Pryce; grandmothers Bula Walton and Eloise Holland, boyfriend Jesse Candish, and her beloved dog, Mr. Biscuit.

Obituaries – 08-16-2017

Robert Charles Duvall

Robert Charles Duvall, 74, of Anna Maria, died July 7. He was born Dec. 9, 1942, in Flint, Michigan, to Robert and Frieda (Ruppel).

Mr. Duvall received his MBA from Michigan State University and worked as a CPA in the Detroit area. He was affiliated with Wampum Hardware Co. in New Galilee, Pennsylvania, before his retirement to Tampa and Anna Maria.

He was an avid golfer for many years and more recently enjoyed woodworking with friends in the Bradenton/Sarasota area.

A private family service will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the Florida Chapter of the ALS Association and Tidewell Hospice in Bradenton.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Judith (Davis); children Christopher of Anna Maria, Matthew and wife Margret of Evanston, Illinois, Andrew of New York City and Francisco Becerril of Tehucan, Mexico; grandchildren Eva and Julian of Evanston; sisters Sharon Brewer of Bad Axe Michigan, Mary Brinkman and husband William of Decatur, Alabama, and Barbara Duvall of Largo; and many extended family members and friends.