Obituaries November 2, 2017

Justin Nicholas Johnson

Justin Nicholas Johnson (JR Star) was born October 31, 1986, in Brandon, Florida to Lawrence and Patty (Lennard) Johnson. He passed from this life on October 18, 2017.

Justin was a free spirit who danced to the beat of his own drum. He lived his life on his own terms. he was a dreamer, he was a leader, he could enter a room and brighten it with his beautiful infectious smile, his attitude, or just his presence. Justin was extremely passionate about his family, especially his children, and his music. Anyone who knew Justin had no doubt where they stood with him because he always, always spoke exactly what was on his mind. He was true to his family and friends. He supported them, guided them, and made them happy.

Along with his parents, Justin leaves to cherish his memory, his daughter Jamison (Baby Justynn) and her mother Stephanie; his son Cassius and his mother Franzua; his brothers, sister, nieces and nephews, Lawrence Jr.; John and Tracey, Kalysta, and Kaleb; Larry and Roslyn, Taylor, Tamia, and Tamera; Jeff and Renee, Emmanuel, DiMadelyn. Harmony and Liberty; Danielle, Brey, and Jostin; Josh and Chantel, Jeremiah, Olivia, and Jett; his many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Robert E. Connine

Robert E. (Bob) Connine took the hand of his precious Lord and was led home on October 16, 2017, in Tampa, Florida, surrounded by his loving family. Born in Cobleskill, New York on June 14, 1928, he was the son of John C. and Ruth Moyer Connine. He married his wife of 65 years, Lillian Groff, in Norwich, New York on June 14, 1952.

Bob graduated from Norwich High School, in Norwich, New York, with the class of 1946. He enlisted in the U.S. Army shortly thereafter, assigned to the 7th Division and was sent to Korea. Upon his return to New York, he was employed at Chenango and Unadilla (C&U) Telephone Company. He was recalled by the U.S. Army to serve in Korea, in the 101st Airborne. After his second tour, he returned to the C&U Telephone Company, attending Broome Tech (now Binghamton University) during the evenings in Binghamton, New York, and received an Associates Degree in Engineering. He also took several communications courses and became District Manager for C&U Telephone Company in Hamilton, New York, where he was employed for 22 years.

In 1970 he was offered a position with GTE (now Verizon) in Tampa, Florida and made his family’s home in Brandon, Florida, retiring from GTE in 1988.

Bob was a Deacon at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Sun City Center, Florida, as well as a member of the Norwich Masonic Lodge #302, Scottish Rite and Egypt Shriners in Tampa, Florida. He volunteered at South Bay Hospital for several years and was awarded the 2007 Male Outstanding Volunteer of the Year. He volunteered on the Sun City Center Security Patrol for 10 years and served on the committee for the Good Samaritan Charity Ball for  years. While he was always willing to help others and devoted much of his time in this capacity, his focus was always family first.

Bob and his wife Lillian traveled extensively across the U.S., Europe, Israel and Hawaii, and took several cruises with family and friends. He also enjoyed golfing, fishing, boating, and spending time with his family at their summer place on the St. Lawrence River in Alexandria Bay, New York. Bob lit up every room he entered, never met a stranger and was a playful soul with all ages.

He is survived by his faithful wife Lillian, of Sun City Center, Florida and their three loving children:  Callie and her husband James Henicke of Arlington, Texas; Barbra Anderson, M.A., of St. Petersburg, Florida; and Tad R. Connine, M.D., P.A. of Florida. Also surviving are six adoring grandchildren:  Tanner Jenkins and wife Sara of Lithia, Florida; Tara Cole and her husband Nathan of Valrico, Florida; Hanna Jo Anderson of Minot, North Dakota; Reese Anderson of Irving, Texas; Tyler Connine of Richmond, Virginia; Sydney Connine of Odenton, Maryland; and two great-grandchildren, Brody and Parker Cole, in Valrico, Florida. Other survivors are several nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents, and three brothers and three sisters: John, Richard and Charles Connine; and sisters Ruth (Vincent) Masick, Helen (John) Larney and Shirley (Robert) Porter.

Services were held in Norwich, New York and Sun City Center, Florida.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to support the wonderful professionals at Tampa General Hospital, specifically to grow the Palliative Care pastoral care services. To do so, designate the gift to the Palliative Care Program in honor of Robert Connine, at https://tghsecureforms.org/make-gift. Arrangements by Sun City Center Funeral Home, Sun City Center, Fla.

Rita Marie McClain

Rita Marie McClain, age 90, of Sun City Center, Fla. passed away on Wednesday, October 25, 2017. Beloved wife of the late Dale McClain; devoted mother of Terry McClain and loving sister of Gloria Wormus; also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Rita was an active member of the Art League as well as the Dog Park.

In Rita’s memory, memorial contributions may be made to Mary Martha House, 100 Shell Point Road E., Ruskin, FL 33570; American Parkinson Disease Assoc, 700 west Hillsboro Blvd., 3-110, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441, or ALS Assoc., 3242 Parkside Center Cir., Tampa, FL 33619.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.nationalcremation.com/location/ruskin.

James P. Torpey II

James P. Torpey II “Jim,” 80, of Sun City Center Fla., passed away on October 16,2017, after an extended illness.

Jim was born in Worcester, Mass., to Richard J. and Katherine (Haggerty) Torpey. He served in the U.S. Air Force after graduating from high school, then went on to work at Lombard Industries where he met his wife of 53 years, Rita. He worked at Dennison Manufacturing as a computer room supervisor and a programmer/analyst until 1986, when he and Rita moved to Florida. Jim worked as an activities director at several nursing homes in Venice, Fla. He was director of an Alzheimer’s unit when he retired in 2000 and moved to Sun City Center.

During his 17 years in Sun City Center, Jim worked at Winn Dixie and as a security guard at Kings Point. He was a member of the SCC Men’s Club and the Winn Dixie coffee group. Jim is survived by his wife Rita (Perry); his daughter Susan; his brother William; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his father and mother, his sister Nancy Torpey Bucchieri; and his brothers Richard J. Torpey Jr. and John Owen Torpey.

A memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on November 6, 2017, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Wimauma. Burial will be in Worcester, Mass. at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in honor of Jim to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or the American Cancer Society.

Glenn W. Colding

Glenn W. “Cuz” Colding, 91, of Ruskin, Florida passed away Friday, October 27, 2017 at Grand Villa Assisted Living in Pinellas Park surrounded by his loving family.

Glenn is survived by his daughter, Tisa Colding Frick; brothers Elton and Elwin Colding; and sister Annie Pryor.

There will be a Memorial Service held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at Sun City Center Funeral Home. The family will receive friends from 1 to 2 p.m. prior to the service. Interment will follow at Fellowship Cemetery in Lithia. Arrangements by Sun City Center Funeral Home, 1851 Rickenbacker Dr., Sun City Center, FL 33573, www.suncitycenterfuneralhome.com.

David Laughlin Groetzinger

David Laughlin Groetzinger, 89, of Sun City Center, Florida, passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at the Brandon Medical Center. David was born to Howard and Thelma Groetzinger in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He served a tour of duty in the U.S. Army in Korea, and returned home to marry the love of his life, Bunny Parker. They raised four children and remained in Pittsburgh until 1995 when they retired to Florida.

David was a kind and friendly man who had weekly routines which included going to the pool daily (weather permitting) and driving to a favorite restaurant for lunch every Wednesday afternoon. He was known by his friends as “2 o’clock Dave” since he always left the pool within a few minutes of 2 p.m.

He enjoyed frequent visits with his sister Sally and her husband Rod Sechler, who lived right around the corner, and enjoyed spending time with his son Ken, of Brandon, Florida, and hearing from his daughter-in-law Susan (Anderson Groetzinger), of Pittsburgh. He looked forward to visits from his daughter, Gail and her husband Maitland (Peet) of Port Angeles, Wash., and his son John and wife Deborah (Groetzinger) of LaVale, Md. He also enjoyed reading the newspaper and watching TV, (especially Judge Judy). He is preceded in death by his wife Bunny and son David Jerome.  In addition to his three children and sister, David is survived by his brother, Howard and wife Betty Groetzinger, many loving grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and great-grandchildren.

He was a devoted husband, loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, and was a friend to all. Arrangements by Zipperer’s Funeral Home.

Delores J. Schmidt

Delores Jean Bienkowski Schmidt died peacefully at her home on Monday, October 23, 2017, in Ruskin, Florida at the age of 75.

Delores is survived by her children, Erick William Schmidt of Brandon, Fla., William Leopold Schmidt II of Land O’Lakes, Fla., Stefanie Michelle Schmidt of Ruskin, Fla., Cassie Anne Schmidt of Gibsonton, Fla., and her only grandchild, William Leopold “Trey” Schmidt III. She is preceded in death by her husband, William Leopold Schmidt of Wimauma, Fla.

Delores was born on July 3, 1942, in Cleveland, Ohio to Stephen and Victoria Bienkowski. Delores and her husband were introduced while she worked at a print shop owned by Bill’s brother-in-law in Cleveland, Ohio and it was love at first sight. They moved from Cleveland, Ohio to Florida to pursue job opportunities and to start their family. Her only grandchild remembers her as Nana, who would always take him toy shopping when he spent time with her and her delicious famous chocolate-chip brownies. Her cousins Nancy, Jerry, Tammi and Samantha Bieda of Cleveland, Ohio remember her as a loving cousin and dear friend.

Delores will always be remembered as a loving mother, grandmother and cherished friend to many.

In lieu of flowers and condolences, donations may be sent to St. Jude Children’s Hospital at www.stjude.org.

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