One of the happiest moments in Joseph Gregorzek’s life was meeting Pope John Paul II in Rome in 1983. The meeting was arranged through the efforts of Monsignor John P. Wodarski of Holy Cross Church. Islander Courtesy Photo
Joseph Gregorzek, of Perico Island, died June 22 in Palmetto. He was born in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, July 25, 1936, to the late Peter and Mary (Orzechowski) Gregorzek. He formerly resided in Connecticut, Vermont and New Jersey and moved to Florida in 1999.
Joe attended CCSU in Connecticut and was a veteran of the U.S. Army.
While living in New Britain, Connecticut, he was a state representative for three terms — 1969-75 — and served on the banking, finance, state and urban development committees in the assembly. He also chaired the aeronautics committee.
He was past president of the New Britain Press Club while employed as a manager at the New Britain Herald, chairman of the New Britain Fire Board, member of the board of police commissioners and held positions in political campaigns.
He was a stockbroker with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith and ended his career as national marketing manager for PaineWebber UBS NYC in 2003. In 1983, in Vermont, he helped develop a local ski area and served as general manager at Ascutney Mountain Resort for many years. He founded and chaired the Connecticut River Valley Tourism Board. In 1986, Vermont Gov. Madeleine Kunin appointed him to her advisory council.
Mr. Gregorzek was blessed with an easy-going personality, boundless energy and a zest for life. His positive attitude, strength of character and can-do spirit were admirable and inspiring. He was a “people person.”
He lived a wonderful, adventurous life, whether playing gin rummy, cheering for a favorite team, fishing at Martha’s Vineyard, watching a sunset on Anna Maria Island, sipping a glass of cabernet and listening to Pavarotti or globe-trotting with Gayle Simpson Gregorzek, his wife of 48 years.
His ability to make people smile and feel special, his civic-mindedness and generous heart made our corner of the world a better place.
Brown & Sons Funeral Home in Bradenton was in charge of arrangements. Burial was to be in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford, Connecticut. Memorial Donations may be made to the donor’s choice or to Holy Cross Church, 31 Biruta St., New Britain, CT 06053.
Survivors include wife Gayle; friend of 45 years Joseph J. Grano Jr. of New Vernon, New Jersey; siblings Theodosia and Henry; numerous nephews and godsons Joseph C. Grano, E. Spencer McCoy and Robert J. Colossale.
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 shredoutcancer.org.
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, 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, hri.ouhsc.edu/Contribute.aspx. Condolences for the family may be made online at www.shannonfuneralhomes.com.
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.
Patrick John Flannery, “Mr. Showbiz,” 90, of Bradenton and formerly of Holmes Beach, died June 23.
He was born Aug. 1, 1927, in Hollywood, California, to show business parents. He moved to Anna Maria Island in 1976 after retiring from a long career at IBM. He served in the U.S. Army.
He volunteered for 25-plus years at Island Players, and also volunteered at Manatee Players, as an actor and set designer.
He was a popular figure model at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota.
There is no service planned at this time. Memorial donations may be made to Island Players, P.O. Box 2059, Anna Maria FL 34217.
Mr. Flannery is survived by his spouse, Don Bailey; daughter Eden St. John of Orlando; and son Dirk of Balboa, California.
Roger Nigg, 65, of Anna Maria, died June 23.
He was born Feb. 8, 1952, in Plainwell, Michigan. He lived in Bradenton as a child and young adult, and then Baltimore for 25 years.
He moved to Anna Maria with his wife, Justine Preis, after retiring from his industrial engineering career in August 2015.
He was active here in horseshoes, golf, pickleball and swimming.
A service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 11, with a reception to follow at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach.
Mr. Nigg is survived by wife Justine of Anna Maria; daughter Elizabeth Skees and son Charlie of Palmetto; step-daughters Christina Field-Barnett and Catherine Field; and six grandsons, all of the Baltimore area.
Loretta Jean Hopps of Anna Maria and Bradenton, died June 12.
She was born April 11, 1942, in Harrison, Pennsylvania. She was a longtime island resident and business owner — owning Just Hair, Just Hair 2 and Lor-Ells beauty salons and also Just Tan tanning salon.
She had many friends and customers here and from out of state.
A celebration of life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 8, at the Anna Maria Island Moose Lodge No. 2188, 110 Gulf Drive S., Bradenton Beach. The service is open to all. “Dress comfortable, the way she would want it,” a notice stated.
Mrs. Hopps is survived by husband Larry; daughter Winnie; grandson Gared and wife Ashley; step-sons Derek and Marcus Yearwood; and three great-grandchildren. Her son Craig died June 18.
Craig Allan Nicks
Craig Allan Nicks, 55, of Bradenton, having lived most of his life on Anna Maria Island, died June 18.
He was a commercial fisherman and a veteran of the U.S. Army.
A visitation and service were held June 23 at Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel, Bradenton. Condolences may be made online at www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.
Mr. Nicks is survived by his son, Jared; wife Ashli Steiner of Sutton, West Virginia; father Allan; step-brothers Bobby of Paducah, Kentucky, and Marcus Yearwood of Bradenton; sister Wendy Quin of Bradenton; and three grandchildren.
Craig Allan Nicks, 55, of Bradenton, having lived most of his life on Anna Maria Island, died June 18.
He he was a commercial fisherman and a veteran of the U.S. Army.
A visitation will be held at 5 p.m. with service to follow at 6 p.m. Friday, June 23, at Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel, 604 43rd St. W., Bradenton. Condolences may be made online at www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.
Mr. Nicks is survived by his son, Jared and wife Ashli Steiner of Sutton, West Virginia; father, Allan; step-brothers Bobby of Paducah, Kentucky, and Marcus Yearwood of Bradenton; sister Wendy Quin of Bradenton; and 3 grandchildren.
Bernard ‘Rex’ Hagen
Sean Murphy, left, and Rex Hagen in January 2016 at the Beach Bistro in Holmes Beach. Islander Photo: Bonner Joy
Bernard “Rex” Hagen, 89, died June 17 at his home on Anna Maria Island.
He was born June 28, 1927, in Morocco, Indiana, to Ross and Elizabeth Hagen.
There he married Helen Stone on May 13, 1951.
He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.
A self-made business owner, he started Superior Sample Company in 1957 in Ligonier, Indiana.
He enjoyed traveling the world, playing and watching tennis, golf, motorcycles and fast cars. A remembrance for Mr. Hagen included this quote from gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a ride!’”
He was a graduate and life-long supporter of Purdue University and a member of many fraternal organizations, including the Moose, Elks, Shriners, VFW and American Legion.
A graveside service will be held in Indiana at a date yet to be determined. Memorial donations may be made to the Center of Anna Maria Island, P.O. Box 253, Anna Maria FL 34216.
He is survived by daughter Nancy and husband Rich Stage of Big Sky, Montana, and son Mark and wife Jeanna of Cromwell, Indiana, along with five grandchildren, and many, many friends.
Doris Della Hudson
Doris Della Hudson, 75, of Anna Maria Island, died June 12.
She was born in Duluth, Minnesota, and moved to Bradenton in 2014 from Waynesville, North Carolina.
She was a retired social worker and an active member of Roser Memorial Community Church.
Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel is in charge of arrangements. Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the American Heart Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation or Roser Memorial Community Church. Condolences may be made online at brownandsonsfuneral.com.
She is survived by daughters Sheila Ann and wife Catherine Massey Kazar of Pennsylvania, Sheryl Freed of Tampa, Stacey and husband Kevin Van Voorhis of North Carolina and Sonya Hudson of Tampa; brothers Fred Gilbertson of Tampa and Mickey Gilbertson of Georgia; grandchildren Kayla, Luke, Jordan, Sarah and Anna; and her dog Daisy.
Janet L. FitzGerald of Holmes Beach died June 4. She was born in Ohio, the daughter of Esther Cain and Richard Murdock.
The family moved to the Tampa area in the 1970s.
Upon graduating high school, she attended Hillsborough Community College. She worked in the insurance field for almost 25 years and obtained the title of chartered property casualty underwriter.
After leaving the insurance profession, she worked as a data research analyst at Nielsen Media for several years in both the Sarasota and Tampa area.
She was an active member of Christ Church of Longboat Key and was involved in many of their committees and outreach programs.
A Mass will be held at Christ Church of Longboat Key at a future date. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel is in charge of arrangements. Memorial donations may be made to Christ Church of Longboat Key, 6400 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key FL 34228. Condolences may be made online to brownandsonsfuneral.com.
She is survived by her husband of 25 years, Kevin; mother Esther Cain of Temple Terrace; Robert “Bobbie” Scott, her mother’s life partner; father Richard of Savannah, Georgia; and brother David of Tampa
Ruth Elizabeth Parrish Myrick
Ruth Elizabeth Parrish Myrick, 100, of Holmes Beach, died June 4.
She was a direct descendent of the historic Parrish family for which the town is named.
She was born in Parrish March 1, 1917, to the late Fred and Lenna Cecil Parrish.
She attended school in Parrish and Palmetto, graduating from Palmetto High School in 1935. After graduation, she moved to Tampa and attended Brewster’s Business School.
In 1941, she married Whitt Clifton Myrick. They lived in Tampa until his death in 1972.
Soon after, she retired from Southwest Water Management, where she had worked for 35 years and moved to Holmes Beach.
She was a lifelong member of the Parrish United Methodist Church, where her family was one of the founding families. She volunteered for many years with the Thrift Cottage at the church.
A celebration of life was held at Parrish United Methodist Church in Parrish. Private interment was at Fortner Cemetery in Parrish. Memorial donations may be made to the Parrish United Methodist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 375, Parrish FL 34219. Condolences may be made online at shannonfuneralhomes.
Mrs. Myrick was the last of her immediate family of eight siblings, all having preceded her in death. She opened her home to her family, especially nieces and nephews.
William C. Seward
William C. Seward, 71, of Holmes Beach, died June 2.
Griffith Cline Funeral Home in Bradenton is in charge of arrangements. Memorial donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice of Bradenton. Condolences may be made online at griffithcline.com.
Gregory LeNoir Allman, born Dec. 8, 1947, died May 27.
Allman, a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, died at his home in Savannah, Georgia. He lived for a time in Holmes Beach.
A statement on the musician’s website said, “Gregg struggled with many health issues over the past several years. During that time, Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans, essential medicine for his soul. Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times.”
Mr. Allman’s longtime manager and friend, Michael Lehman, said in a statement, “I have lost a dear friend and the world has lost a brilliant pioneer in music. He was a kind and gentle soul with the best laugh I ever heard. His love for his family and bandmates was passionate as was the love he had for his extraordinary fans. Gregg was an incredible partner and an even better friend. We will all miss him.”
Mr. Allman is survived by wife Shannon Allman; children Devon, Elijah Blue, Delilah Island Kurtom and Layla Brooklyn; three grandchildren; niece Galadrielle, lifelong friend Chank Middleton and a large extended family.
Memorial donations may be made to the Gregg Allman Scholarship Fund at the University of Georgia or the Allman/Lehman Endowed Scholarship at Syracuse University.
Alfred C. Art
Alfred C. Art, 90, of Bradenton and formerly of Anna Maria Island, died May 21.
He was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Richard and Lillian Pitz and moved to Bradenton in 1956.
He was a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, a Baptist and the owner of American Window in Nokomis and Art Aluminum in Whitfield.
There will be no local service at this time. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be made at brownandsonsfuneral.com.
He is survived by son Greg and wife Joy of Bradenton; sisters Lillian Offenberg of St. Petersburg and Arlene Mills of Connecticut; four grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
Paul Howard Cashman
Paul Cashman, 55, of Bradenton and formerly of Holmes Beach, died May 16.
He was born Sept. 3, 1961, in Waltham, Massachusetts, to Howard Vincent and Jeanette MacInnis.
He grew up in Hillsborough, California, and Hinsdale, Illinois, and then spent most of his adult years in Florida.
He ran an information technology consulting firm in Holmes Beach for many years. Over the past decade or more, he was a caregiver for both his parents until their passing.
A memorial will be held in his honor this summer on Anna Maria Island.
He is survived by siblings Nancy Edith and husband Joe Branka, Stephen John and wife Mary Jane Laase, sister-in-law Suzanne Perron and husband Peter; nephews and nieces Charles Stephen, Andrew Cashman Branka, Stella Jane, Jane Campbell and Alex Cashman Branka.
Richard Alan Jenkins
Dr. Richard Alan Jenkins, physician/anesthesiologist, of Holmes Beach, died May 22.
He was born Jan. 15, 1952 in Dover, New Jersey.
He attended Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, went to medical school at the University of Virginia, served his pediatrics residency in Pensacola, and his anesthesia residency in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Dr. Jenkins came to the Bradenton area in July of 1983 from Charlottesville and began his anesthesia practice with West Florida Anesthesia Consultants.
He also was an avid scuba diver.
Arrangements are by Griffith-Cline Funeral Home in Bradenton. Memorial donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project at woundedwarriorproject.org.
He is survived by wife Ann; mother Betty Jenkins; children Richard Alan Jenkins Jr. and wife Katherine Dunatov, Angela and husband Joseph DeJongh, Katie and husband Ronald Guillen, and Lisa and husband Jonathan DeGroat; brother Kevin Jenkins; sister Kathy Paxton; and grandchildren Parker, Maggie, Samantha, Harmsen and Frank Henry.
Bobby J. Jones
Bobby J. Jones, 71, of Bradenton, died May 23.
A lifelong resident of Bradenton, he was a commercial fisherman and employed by Tropicana for 33 years.
He attended Church of Christ of Palmetto.
Arrangements are by Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel. Memorial donations may be made to the Florida College Scholarship Fund. Condolences may be made to brownandsonsfuneral.com.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Stella; sons, Michael and Brad and wife Deena of Bradenton; sisters Wanda Fulford of Cortez and Shirley Brinn of Oneco; and grandchildren Ty and Colin.
Beverly Miles, 87, of Bradenton, died May 24 to Aline and Clifford.
Beverly will be remembered for her giving and loving spirit and her beautiful pieces of hand painted china — found in homes throughout the United States — her quilts and her hospitality to all. She was a nurse. She was in the Roser Church choir and played the hand bells for many years.
A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 3, at Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria.
Memorial donations may made to Roser Memorial Community Church Music Fund, P.O. Box 247, Anna Maria, FL 34216, or Tidewell Hospice, 3355 26th St. W., Bradenton, FL 34205.
She is survived by her husband of 66 years, David; children Sandy, David (Duke) and Sharon O’Connor; granddaughter Katie O’Neill; great-grandchildren Alexis, Jordan and Madison; as well as an extended family, her “adopted children and good friends.
George Pete Patellis
George Pete Patellis, 87, of Holmes Beach, died May 19.
He was born in Clairton, Pennsylvania, and moved to Holmes Beach in 1989 from Great Falls, Virginia.
He attended California State College in Pennsylvania and Lewis Food & Hospitality Vocational School.
He was an entrepreneur in dry cleaning/tailoring and the food business. He was a member of St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, former president of the parish council and chairman of the Glendi.
Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel in Bradenton is in charge of arrangements. Memorial donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice Inc. 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota FL 34238. Condolences may be made to brownandsonsfuneral.com.
He is survived by wife Jennie; daughters Sophia and and husband Wayne Dunn, Alexandria and husband Neil Winsten and Irene and husband Bruce Klores; grandchildren Jennifer and husband Greg, George and wife Christin, Megan and husband Nick, Jason and wife Catherine, Molly and Steven; and great-grandchildren Davis Dunn and Marlow Winsten.
William “Bill” Hard, 65, of Ellenton and formerly of Holmes Beach, died May 12.
He was born in Indiana to William and Joyce Basley Hard and grew up in Verplanck and Buchanan, New York.
He was an avid golfer and was blessed to have been able to fulfill his bucket list by going on a trip to Scotland, thanks to Jason Suzor and wife Leah, owners of the Waterfront Restaurant.
He also was a wine enthusiast and master entertainer and dearly loved orchestrating the wine tastings at The Waterfront in Anna Maria and the members of his Waterfront family.
Mr. Hard requested no service. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Tidewell Hospice.
He is survived by fiancée Karen Breeding Robinson of Ellenton, with whom he enjoyed 25 years; “adopted” son¨ Eric Holderby of Columbus, Ohio; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
Robert J. McClannan Jr.
Robert J. McClannan Jr., age 70, of Bradenton Beach and Piqua, Ohio, died May 8 in Ohio.
He was born in Nurnberg, Germany, Aug. 31, 1946, to the late Robert J. and Pat I. Dills.
He graduated high school in Bradenton. He served his country as a member of the U.S. Air Force. He worked in industrial maintenance and as a truck driver.
A graveside service was to be held May 16 at Forest Hill Cemetery in Piqua. Arrangements are by Melcher-Sowers Funeral Home of Piqua. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Miami County, P.O. Box 502, Troy OH 45373, or the charity of the donor’s choice Condolences may be made at www.melcher-sowers.com.
He is survived by brother Herbert of La Vista, Nebraska; and one grandchild.
Barbara Rodocker, a leader in the business community in Bradenton Beach, has died.
No notice was available as The Islander went to press May 15. The Islander learned of her death May 11 from Bradenton Beach Mayor Bill Shearon.
She was the owner of the BridgeWalk and Silver Surf motels in Bradenton Beach, a founder of the Bridge Street Merchants group, and formerly served on the city’s Scenic WAVES and charter review committees and the county Tourist Development Council.
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