Doris Jean Athans
Doris Jean (Biddle) Athans, 92, of Bradenton Beach, died April 27 at Serenity Gardens of Bradenton Assisted Living Residence.
She died peacefully of natural causes in the loving company of family and friends. A 35-year resident of Bradenton Beach, she enjoyed the beautiful Gulf of Mexico views and the friendly and caring community that she said was unique to Anna Maria Island.
She was born June 30, 1927, in the rural outskirts of Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she spent her childhood with younger sister, Janet, and older step-brothers, Wayne and Red.
She later attended the University of Michigan, earning a degree in physical education, where she also met her husband, George Peter Athans, who played football for the Michigan Wolverines.
She remained a lifelong fan of Michigan football even after graduating and moving to Mount Kisco, New York, where she taught at the local elementary school while also receiving her master’s degree in teaching from Columbia University.
Shortly afterward, she joined the faculty of the local Boys and Girls Club and the park and recreation commission to provide recreational programming and instruction in children’s activities, pre-school education and summer camping recreation for more than 30 years.
From 1968 onward, she spent her summers in Bennington, New Hampshire, with her husband, and for more than 20 joyful years they ran Camp Winamac, a horseback riding and water sports camp. She always felt fortunate for her rich and adventurous life.
A family service will be announced at a later date.
Mrs. Athans is survived by two daughters and a son, as well as four grandchildren, who also revere her memory.
Joan Hampton Peery
Joan “Joann” Hampton Peery of Anna Maria died May 8. She was born Sept. 2, 1928, to the Revs. Joseph Hampton and Anna Hopper.
Her father, as well as her grandfather the Rev. Seaborn Hopper, were Methodist ministers.
She graduated from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in education on a Methodist Missionary scholarship.
Before public kindergartens existed, she helped establish private kindergartens at Methodist churches in Tennessee and Georgia. She surveyed the new “government city” of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for the Methodist Church, where three Methodist churches and a Methodist hospital were ultimately built. She was a popular Methodist church camp counselor and director of both senior and children’s choirs.
In 1951, she married William Whitley Peery Sr., a physicist with the Atomic Energy Commission. They moved from Tennessee to Atlanta and raised two sons after Mr. Peery was selected to help open the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s new regional office.
Mrs. Peery was a teacher and educator in Tennessee and then in Georgia for many years until retirement at age 70.
The couple retired to Anna Maria Island.
She will be buried in a private service at the Peery plot in Maplewood Cemetery in Tazewell, Virginia. Memorial contributions may be made to the Anna Maria Island Garden Club, P.O. Box 4131, Anna Maria, FL 34216, or Roser Memorial Church, P.O. Box 247, Anna Maria, FL 34216.
Mrs. Peery is survived by two sons, William Whitley II and wife Deborah Curtis, and Joseph Hampton and wife Janet Brockus; grandchildren Jennifer Peery Logue, Clinton Curtis and Tammy Perryman; and great-grandchildren Vincent, Gabriella Guerra, Alex and Karissa Ibarra and Layla and Myah Guzman.
Robert L. Wampler
Robert L. Wampler, 64, of Holmes Beach, died April 28 at Tidewell Hospice.
He was born Dec. 27, 1955, in Harlingen, Texas to John and Sara Hendrix.
He met and married Debbie in Atlanta in 1978 and they moved to Anna Maria Island in 1979.
He was the owner of Bluewater Tile Installation for more than 30 years.
He was a kind and gentle soul who never met a stranger. He loved boating and fishing and taught many island visitors how to catch the big one.
He was an organic gardener and loved helping neighbors with their gardens. He was a loving and giving friend to all.
He will be missed by all who knew him.
Donations in his memory may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital online at www.stjude.org.
Mr. Wampler is survived by his wife, Debbie; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Randy and Brenda Evans; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Don and Sandy Greer; nephew Jon Ryan Taylor, niece Krista Butler; and his good friend since high school, Jim Redman.