Obituaries – 06-13-2018

Doris McCrea Schember

Doris McCrea Schember, 100, formerly of Bradenton Beach, died May 30.

She was born Oct. 3, 1917, in Muskegon, Michigan, and moved to Grand Haven at the age of 3 with her parents, Frederick and Gladys McCrea, and her infant sister, Jane.

In 1935, she graduated from Grand Haven High School, went on to graduate from Hope College and later received a master’s degree in English from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio.

On July 5, 1941, she married George Schember in Grand Haven. Their home was in Dayton. However, in 1952, they returned to Grand Haven and raised their three children in the home they built on a dune overlooking Lake Michigan.

While in Grand Haven, they were very active in community affairs and avid sports fans, with special loyalty to the University of Michigan. In 1955, the citizens of Grand Haven elected Mrs. Schember to a nine-member commission that wrote a new charter for the city. She also taught in Grand Haven Junior High School 1961-64, after which she and Mr. Schember returned to Dayton where she taught high school English and journalism.

After her husband’s death in 1968, Mrs. Schember moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to be near her daughter and two sons. She trained as a remedial reading instructor and taught for nine years, after which she and her second husband, Benjamin Grosse, moved to Florida.

Mrs. Schember spent 25 years on Anna Maria Island. She was very active locally in environmental affairs, served several terms on a state water board and was involved with the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Manasota-88, Save Anna Maria Inc. and so many other activities that she was often encouraged to run for elected office.

She was active at the Episcopal Church of the Annunciation in Holmes Beach.

She also traveled the world.

In 2004, she returned to Grand Haven, became active in St. John’s Episcopal Church and enrolled as a volunteer tutor in the adult literacy program.

In October 2017, one of her granddaughters joined Mayo Brothers of Rochester, Minnesota, and settled in Austin, Minnesota. She asked Mrs.

Schember to join her family, and she did.

There will be no memorial service. Arrangements were by Klaassen Family Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to St. John’s Episcopal Church or the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation. Remembrances may be made at

Mrs. Schember is survived by her children, Jane Schember Robertson of Bradenton Beach, Steven and wife Linda of Sarasota, and Daniel and wife Susan of Bethesda, Maryland; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; step-daughter Barbara and husband John Ruark of Michigan; three step-grandchildren; and a number of nieces, nephews and cousins.


Freida Sclafani Williams

Freida Sclafani Williams of Lakeland and Anna Maria died June 3.

She was born Aug. 10, 1944, in Deland, the only child of Rosie and John Sclafani.

As a young girl, she was a talented dancer, with the skill and dedication to make it her profession. Instead, she forged one of the most successful court reporting careers in Florida. Court reporting piqued her interest at an early age. When she was 9, she placed carbon between sheets of paper to help her mother type transcripts for the court reporting firm then-named Rosie Sclafani and Associates.

After attending the University of South Florida, she became the judicial assistant to former Circuit Judge A. H. Lane. In 1962, she enrolled in the Stenotype Institute of Jacksonville and joined her mother’s firm as a court reporter in 1971.

In 1979, she was appointed a state court reporter and served in that position until 1995. During this time, she also oversaw operations of the Lakeland office. In 1980, the name of the firm was changed to Sclafani Williams Court Reporters.

Five years later, she became president of the company and continued her mother’s legacy. The business was the first in the area to integrate new technologies and, by the end of her career, she had opened six office locations.

Among her many recognitions and achievements, she served as FCRA president 1999-2000 and was awarded with the Florida Court Reporting Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 2002. She was the recipient of the National Association of Women’s Business Owners “Woman of Distinction Award” and Sclafani Williams Court Reporters was listed in 2003 and 2004 in the Tampa Bay Business Journals’ Top 75 women-owned businesses in the state of Florida.

More often than not, she wore black, red and white with a sparkling swan pin, symbolizing her love of Lakeland.

She will be remembered for her commitment to serving both the court reporting and Polk County communities while helping others achieve their dreams.

She was involved with the Florida Court Reporter Association, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the National Court Reporters Association, the National Association of Women Business Owners, the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, the National Network Reporting Company, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and she provided pro bono video-conference services to the Polk Museum of Art.

A Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 16, at St Joseph Catholic Church , 210 W. Lemon St., Lakeland. A private celebration of life was held June 11 in Holmes Beach.

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