Obituaries – 06-27-2012

William M. Church

William M. Church, 87, of Holmes Beach, died June 19.

Arrangements were by Griffith-Cline Funeral Home.

Survivors include wife Verdella; son William; daughter Verdella; sister Elizabeth; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.


Michael E. Culhane

Michael E. Culhane, 61, of Bradenton, died June 19.

He was born in Paterson, N.J., and moved in 1980 to Anna Maria from Hawthorne, N.J.

He enjoyed sailing and fishing and was a longtime member of the Anna Maria Island Privateers.

Service will be private for the family. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel was in charge of arrangements. Memorial donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice & Palliative Care, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota FL 34238. Condolences may be made online at

Mr. Culhane is survived by sons Christopher of Bradenton, and Jared and wife Katrina of Orlando; daughter Lorin and husband Rob Newingham of Bradenton; brothers Paul of Port Charlotte, Fla., Edward of Totowa, N.J., and Timothy of Hawthorne, N.J.; sister Kathy and husband Robert Kelley of Sarasota; seven grandchildren; and 10 nieces and nephews.


Robert B.N. Peck

Robert B.N. Peck, 94, longtime Holmes Beach resident, died June 23. He was born a U.S. citizen December 14, 1917, in London.

Mr. Peck spent his early childhood in France and England. His family relocated to the United States when he was a young boy, and he received his bachelor of arts degree in history from the University of Arizona at Tempe, and later a master’s Degree in education from Colorado College.

He served during World War II as an intelligence officer with the U.S. Air Force in North Africa and Italy. He joined the Air Force reserves and retired as a lieutenant colonel.

Mr. Peck married his wife of 62 years, Miriam N., in Evanston, Ill., where he worked in the family business, Bowman Dairy. He then enjoyed three distinct and diverse careers: first as an entrepreneur with his own hardware and nursery businesses in Colorado, then in the insurance industry, and finally as a high school history teacher in Colorado Springs, where he retired.

He retired to Florida more than 32 years ago, and lived in Holmes Beach, where he was an active member and past officer in the local Power Boat Squadron. He enjoyed a lifetime passion for travel, reading, tennis, bridge and walking. He was especially proud to be recognized as a Son of the American Revolution.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, July 2, in the chapel at Freedom Village, Bradenton, 6501 17th Ave. W., third floor, Phase 1, Liberty Wing. Memorial contributions be made to Tidewell Hospice, 5955 Rand Boulevard, Sarasota FL 34238.

Mr. Peck is survived by wife Miriam; daughters Barbara, Joanne and husband John, Nancy and husband Richard; son Ronald; and grandsons Christopher and Zachary.


Thelma Grace Savage

Thelma Grace Savage, 94, of Bradenton, died June 15.

Mrs. Savage played with the Venice Symphony, the Sarasota Pop Symphony and the Anna Maria Island Community Orchestra. She attended Harvey Memorial Church of Bradenton Beach and enjoyed going to the beach.

There will be no services. Brown & sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 26th Street Chapel, Bradenton, was in charge of arrangements. Memorial donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice & Palliative Care, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota FL 34238. Condolences may be made online at

Mrs. Savage is survived by son Mark of Shelbyville, Ind.; daughter Lynne Ellen Dossey of Colleyville, Texas; four grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and nephew Don Griesbach of Bradenton.


Jean R. Thobe

Jean R. Thobe released her spirit to God on Monday morning, June 18. Her life on Bradenton Beach was an example of how to live gloriously. Her mother, Helen Ramsey, moved to Bradenton Beach in 1952. In 1963, Jean and Ralph Thobe moved their family to the same property, where they built a home facing the Gulf of Mexico. The house was razed in 1982 in order to construct Summer Sands condominium, where they lived for the remainder of their lives. Jean loved crafts, which included shell work, knitting, sewing, quilting and macrame. She was accomplished at all of them and loved learning something new. She was very involved in Roser Church on Anna Maria Island, and volunteered her time to its Migrant Mission, Roser Guild and Thrift Store. Jean lived by the Golden Rule and was a cherished member of her family. Her memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 28, at the Roser Memorial Community Church Chapel with a reception to follow in the fellowship hall. Please, join us in celebrating her life!

In memory of Jean Thobe, donations may be made to Roser Memorial Community Church.


Donald ‘Danny’ Williams Jr.

Donald “Danny” Williams Jr. of Anna Maria died June 17. He was born in 1923 in Westfield, N.J., and spent most of his professional life in the state of New Jersey.

Mr. Williams served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. He was a life member of the Professional Golfers Association for 64 years.

“Danny,” as he was known professionally, began his golf career in 1946 at the Knoll Golf Club, Boonton, N.J., as assistant to the head golf professional, who was his father. In 1952, he became the head pro at Rockaway River Country Club. He returned to the Knoll in 1955 to help his father for five years. He then served as head pro at Glens Falls Country Club in New York. It was there in 1963 he became Northeastern New York PGA Champion and qualified for the National PGA Championship. Mr. Williams returned to New Jersey to become head pro at Mendham Golf and Tennis Club, where he set the course record of 67 and remained for 28 years. He also set records at four other clubs.

Mr. Williams amassed 11 New Jersey professional titles. He won his first tournament as a New Jersey PGA Super Senior. He retired to Florida in 1966. He earned the title of Super Senior Open Champion in 1993 and 1995 as a member of PGA North Florida Section, Southwest Chapter. He had eight holes in one and two double eagles during his career.

Mr. Williams most recently served as the pro and golf director at the Key Royale Club, Anna Maria Island, where he also served on the golf, greens and long-range planning committees. He was “committed to keeping the members happy and enjoying golf.”

Mr. Williams was an all-around athlete and excelled in many sports, including bowling and running. He was particularly proud to have run with hundreds of others over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge before its opening. He was most renowned for his teaching abilities, and had success teaching young players. Many titles were won by his pupils.

The family plans to hold a celebration of life at a later date in New Jersey.

Mr. Williams is survived by his wife of 22 years, Penelope; children Donna and husband Steve Matlaga of Cedar Knolls, N.J.; Nancy and husband Mark Goebel of Stanhope, N.J.; Dan III of Mendham, N.J.; and John P. of Bradenton; four grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and sisters Dorothy Blews of Mt. Airy, N.C., Betty Kuhar of Los Gatos, Calif., and Nicola and husband Pat Stickle of Bradenton.

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