Obituaries – 10-14-2020

John D. Bacon

John D. Bacon of Bradenton Beach died June 18. He was born March 17, 1926.

He was married for 68 years to Irene.

He was a quartermaster in the U.S. Navy, where he proudly served during World War II on the LSMR 196.

He was the navigator and was in the first wave of Okinawa. He shared his Greatest Generation story with The Islander in 2011.

After leaving the Navy, he served eight years in the Naval Reserves while starting his career at The Flint Journal in Flint, Michigan.

He worked there from 1948-88, retiring as the circulation director and eventually relocating to Bradenton Beach.

He lived life with gusto and never missed going to a party or having one.

He loved barbecuing, boating, motorcycles and tooling around on his golf cart in his later years.

He was devoted to his family and friends, always ready to lend a hand or give some good old-fashioned solid advice.

He will be missed by all for his jokes, his laughter, wisdom and great stories.

A burial service at the Sarasota National Cemetery will take place at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, with a luncheon to follow at a location to be announced. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. Memorial donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice or a Veterans organization of your choice. Condolences to www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.

Mr. Bacon is survived by his daughter, Debbie; son Norman “Butch”; granddaughter Rachelle Goodwin; and two special friends, Gary Niles and Jake Spooner.

 

Marcella Irene Kissick

Marcella Irene (Tryon) Kissick died Sept. 4.

She was born in Cleveland, Ohio, Feb. 8, 1932.

She married her high school sweetheart, had one son and moved to Palmetto in 1957.

Later in life, she remarried to James Kissick, former Bradenton Beach councilman and island activist.

She was an active member of Christ Episcopal Church in Bradenton.

Also, she was an avid photographer and enjoyed the craft of ceramics immensely.

She will be missed by family and friends.

Services will be announced at a future date.

Mrs. Kissick is survived by her son, Tom Tryon and wife Yvonne of Ellenton; brother James “Capt. Zach” Zacharias and wife Donna of Cortez; granddaughter Julie and husband Shane Hebert; great-grandsons Aidan and Kaleb Hebert of Bradenton; nieces, nephews and stepdaughters Peggy Jamison, Ginger McLin, Mary Kay Vanasse and Anita Waters.

 

Michael John Northfield

Michael John Northfield, 81, of Cortez, died Sept. 28.

He was born Sept. 29, 1938, in London, England, and moved to Canada in 1960 with his wife, Caroline Northfield, where they reared four children.

He and his wife spent most of their time in Florida after his retirement.

He was a trained chemist who worked in the nuclear industry in the United Kingdom and enjoyed a successful career at Ontario Hydro, running the environmental division of Ontario Hydro before retirement  in the early 1990s.

He had a varied career outside of that, working in Florida as a real estate agent, investor and property manager in addition to a slew of volunteer activities, including a stint as the president of a local Rotary Club chapter and involvement in the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage in Cortez.

He was a loyal, principled man who worked hard and came through for family, friends and colleagues.

He loved to tinker with everything from cars to solar heaters and took on new challenges, such as obtaining his pilot’s license.

Through all of this, he was a loving husband to his cherished wife and father to his children.

Mr. Northfield is survived by his wife, Caroline; children Chris, Stephen, Kim and Richard; grandchildren Jasmine, Naomi, Madeleine, Jacob and Nate; daughters-in-law June and Ellen; and sister Hillary.

 

Donald Eugene Vitale

Donald Eugene Vitale, 90, of Holmes Beach died Oct. 1.

In 1997, he bought his first house on Anna Maria Island and lived part-time on the island until he moved permanently in 2016 to Holmes Beach.

He was born Feb. 16, 1930, in Chicago to Anne and Sylvester.

In 1950, he was drafted in the Korean War.

In 1956, he worked as a journalist and editor for the Los Angeles Times.

In 1968, he opened a postal printing franchise.

In 1974, he bought a 10-acre avocado grove and soon after purchased a 20-acre grove, which he ran for 10 years.

In 1975, he wrote three one-act plays that were produced and staged in Los Angeles.

In 1980, he purchased and revamped “Who’s Who in California,” a hardcover publication that found its way into the homes of high achievement-minded professionals, libraries and universities all over America.

In 1997, he created a website called Archiving Early America. Millions of people visited his website and it was sold in 2016.

He was an avid reader, intellectual, loving father and husband.

Mr. Vitale is survived by his wife, Cecilia; daughter Olivia; and children from a previous marriage, John, Valerie and Paul.

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