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Obituaries November 9, 2017

Published on: November 9, 2017

Frank M. Watkins

Frank M. Watkins, age 84, of Sun City Center, died on November 1, 2017. He was born on June 28, 1933, in Athens, Ohio. Frank loved travelling, photography, as well as pinochle, shuffle board and lawn bowling. He was also Treasurer of the First Christian Church of Sun City Center.

He is survived by his wife Susie Watkins; brother Daryl W. Watkins, and daughters Lisa L. Perew (Bob), Angela K Seabaugh, and Heidi E. Barker; three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Memorial donations may be made to First Christian Church of Sun City Center, 1707 33rd St. S.E., Ruskin, FL 33570.

Arrangements entrusted to the National Cremation and Burial Society, 308 E. College Ave., Ruskin, Florida 33570, 813-645-3231.

Montrue Mattern

It is with sadness that I announce the passing of Montrue (Jacobson) Mattern on October 27, 2017, at the age of 102.  Born on April 5, 1915, to Charles and Eva Jacobson in Philadelphia, Pa. She lived most of her life in Philadelphia and moved to Florida in 2001, first residing in Bradenton and eventually Sun City Center.

Monte, as she was known by her friends and relatives, married Harry Mattern on September 19, 1934. Mrs. Mattern was preceded in death by her husband, a sister Naomi (Jacobson) Stadtler and a brother Charles. She is survived by daughters Marion Mattern and Naomi (Mattern) Tieder; son-in-law William Tieder; grandchildren Chip Tieder and wife Rebecca, Jeffery Tieder and wife Sonya, Laura (Tieder) Adams and husband Chris;  great-grandchildren Luke, David, Daniel, Jonathan, Nathanial, Liam and Jackson Tieder, Derrick and Alexandria Adams.

Mrs. Mattern chose to be cremated and have her ashes interred in the family plot at North Ceder Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pa. Services entrusted to Serenity Meadows Funeral Home, Riverview, Florida.

Lou Dixon

“Teacher says, when you hear a bell, an angel gets its wings.” — It’s a Wonderful Life

If you heard a bell ring a week ago Sunday, it was most likely Lou Dixon getting her wings. She lived all 98 years to the fullest and left this world peacefully with no regrets. Recently, Lou resided near her daughters in Texas, but previously had been in Kings Point for many years. Lou was loved by many and will be missed by all.

Phillip Roger Lewers

Phillip Roger Lewers, 85, of Valrico, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday, October 31, 2017, at the Sun City Center Hospice House.

He was born June 13, 1932, In Sweetwater, Texas, and moved to Florida at the age of 14.  A 1949 graduate of Manatee High School, Mr. Lewers served his apprenticeship as a funeral director for Edwards Funeral Home in Palmetto.  It was there that he met the “love of his life,” Bettylou Quilhot.  The couple married in 1950 and Bettylou and Phillip moved to Detroit where he graduated from Wayne State University Department of Mortuary Science in 1954.

The couple eventually settled in Ruskin, FL, where they opened Lewers & Shannon Funeral Home in 1960, the first funeral home and 24-hour ambulance service in South Hillsborough County and Lewers Funeral Home in 1966.

Mr. Lewers remained active in the community serving with the Palmetto Fire & Rescue Department as a fire fighter/ rescue diver and as a fire fighter with the Ruskin Volunteer Fire Department.  He was a Charter Member of the Ruskin-Sun City Rotary Club; past president of the South Hillsborough Lions Club; past president of the Ruskin Chamber of Commerce; secretary of the South Hillsborough Chamber of Commerce; a Mason; and member of the Ruskin Methodist Church. He was instrumental in planning the lighting for downtown Ruskin and its side streets; continuing support of Tampa Philharmonic Concerts at the Ruskin Amphitheater; establishing a Merchants’ Association; and renumbering Ruskin streets and houses. He also donated the first ambulance to Sun City Center’s Rescue organization.

In 1999, Mr. and Mrs. Lewers retired to Lake Wales where they built their dream home on Lake Tiger.

Mr. Lewers is survived by daughters Terry Sollazzo (Paul) of Valrico and Tracy Penaloza (Richard) of Ruskin as well as 10 grandchildren:  Ryan, Adam and Scott Sollazzo; Betty, Phillip, Rey, and Richie Penaloza; Joseph Sumner III, Jennifer Medina and Elizabeth Barfield; 13 great-grandchildren; as well as sister Juan Dean Graham of Odessa, Texas, and Marjorie Kastick of Daytona Beach.

He was preceded in death by his bride of 62 years, Bettylou Quilhot Lewers; daughter, Toni Sumner; parents, Joe Desmond and Lula Viola (Horton) Lewers; sister, Eddie Jo Lewers; two brothers Jerry Don Lewers and Bennie Carl Lankford.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at:

Joseph A. Vitolo

Joseph A. Vitolo, 92, of Sun City Center, Fla. passed away on November 3, 2017, with his wife of 44 years, Lina Vitolo, by his side.

Joseph was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1925, the son of John Vitolo and Lucy Guadagno Vitolo. Joseph was a decorated World War II veteran, having served with the 10th Mountain Division of the U. S. Army in Italy. He received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart for his actions in the battle near Castel d’Aiano, Italy. A Funeral service took place on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 11 a.m. at Serenity Meadows Funeral Home, 6919 Providence Road, Riverview, FL 33578.

Robert M. Sielaty

Robert M. Sielaty beloved husband of 34 years of Ann M. Sielaty.  Loving father of David (Wendy) Sielaty, Suzanne (Chris) Bowers, Melissa Sielaty and Stephanie Sielaty. Grandfather of seven wonderful grandchildren, Cameron, Justin, Mitchell, Austin, Rachel, Lynsey, and Meghan.

Robert (Bob) was born in Cleveland, Ohio.  He attended The Ohio State University and received his Juris Doctor from George Washington University Law School.  He was an accomplished skier, determined golfer, and an adventurous world traveler. He lived life to the fullest, especially throughout the past three years in a retirement community in Sun City Center, Florida.  He touched many lives, but cherished his family and friends with all of his heart, and will be dearly missed.

Services were held in Fairfax, Va. on Monday, November 6, 2017.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the American Cancer Society.

Josephine Visicaro

Josephine Visicaro (nee Zappulla), 88, of Sun City Center, Florida and formerly of Florham Park, N.J., passed away on October 30, 2017, surrounded by her caring family. She was the loving wife of Frank Visicaro for 72 years, and a devoted mother to seven children, Thomas Visicaro (deceased), Cecelia Pacifico, Gaetana (Joseph) Cicarone, RoseMary Buch, Frank S. (Debbie) Visicaro, John (Johanna) Visicaro, Philip Visicaro and 20 grandchildren, plus numerous great-grandchildren. Josephine was a former employee of Merrill Lynch.  In lieu of memorials, contributions may be made to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital.