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Obituaries for week of June 6, 2019

Published on: June 5, 2019

Ray W. Burney Jr.

Ray W. Burney Jr., age 73, passed away in Sun City Center, Fla., on May 18, 2019. Originally from Memphis, Tenn., Ray was best known as the founder and bandleader of RB and the Gang, a 13-member rock and roll band that he founded in 1978 in Memphis and continued after he retired and moved to Sun City Center. The original band toured the country and played in concerts with many big names in the music world. The local band played often at Valencia Lakes, Kings Point and Sun City Center. Ray was a veteran who served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam war.
He is survived by his children, Christopher Burney and his wife, Trang Burney, of Bonita Springs, Fla., and Brian Burney and his partner, Erin Perez, of Bonita Springs, Fla.; his brother, Randall Burney, of Sun City Center, Fla., and his partner, Betty Dorn, of Sun City Center, Fla. He was buried on May 27, 2019, at Sarasota National Cemetery in Sarasota, Fla.
Donations can be made in his memory to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Pl, Memphis, TN 38105.

 

Gary Gefke

Gary Gefke, 89, was born in 1930 in Hawarden, Iowa, and died on May 18, 2019. At age 10 his family moved to Sioux Falls, S.D. He graduated from Longfellow Elementary School and Washington High School. He attended Augustana College, served in the U.S. Air Force and graduated SD State College with a B.S. in Business Administration. He was in business in Rock Rapids, Iowa, and Luverne, Minn. Along with his future wife Charlette, he attended the Aspen Summer Music Festival, where he studied voice with Leslie Chaby. After marriage, the couple moved to St. Louis where he pursued his Master of Music Education degree at Washington University. For 15 years he taught vocal music, English and debate in Webster Groves, Mo., Clayton, Mo., Tripp, S.D., Madison, S.D. and Tyler, Minn. Returning to Sioux Falls, he became a Real Estate Broker. Gary was a Boy Scout leader and a church choir director for many years. He sang with the Sioux Falls Master Singers. He was a Mason and a Shriner (director of the Chanter’s Choir); also belonged to the following clubs: Toastmasters, Kiwanis, Rotary, J.C.s, Board of Realtors; and was on the board of directors of the Sioux Empire Federal Credit Union.
The couple lived in Des Moines, Iowa, and retired in Brandon, Fla. He belonged to the Florida Cactus & Succulent Society, AARP, and was an HOA president. His interests were gardening and the computer. Gary will be remembered for his wonderful personality and great sense of humor. He exuded joy when he entered a room.
Gary is survived by his wife of 60 years, Charlette (Mitchell) Gefke; his sister, Marlee Grebin, Sioux Falls, S.D.; four children: Gardell (Elizabeth Pyke) Gefke, Bethesda, Md.; Brad (Lisa) Gefke, Erie, Colo.; Camille (Jan) Lomenzo, Brandon, Fla.; and Darin (Daniela) Gefke, Sioux Falls, S.D.; plus 10 grandchildren, five stepgrandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Fred (Madeleine) Gefke; sister Madeleine Anderson and brother Norman Gefke.
His ashes will be laid to rest at Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Fla.

 

Thomas M. Guinn

Thomas Mathew Guinn, 57, of Ruskin, Florida, passed away on May 24, 2019 at Manatee Springs in Bradenton. He was born in Dearborn, Michigan, and raised in Ruskin, Fla. Thomas was a jokester who enjoyed fishing, painting, NASCAR and barbecuing. He loved the outdoors and sunsets.
Thomas is survived by his mother, Barbara Siegle Guinn, of Ruskin; two sisters, Deborah Judd of Riverview and Cynthia Bohlander of Ruskin; son Clifford and grandson, Clifford Bland; four nieces and nephews and six great-nieces and nephews.
Arrangements by Sun City Center Funeral Home, 813-634-9900.

 

Donnis C. Reynolds

Donnis C. (Don) Reynolds, 84, of Sun City Center, FL, loving husband of Carol Reynolds, passed away at his home on May 26, 2019.
He was born in Clearmont, Missouri, the only child of Adrian and Iola Reynolds. Besides his wife, he is survived by two children: Phillip Reynolds and Sandra Steadward; two stepchildren: Jeffrey Brown and Alisha Brown; also his five grandchildren: Mark, Jennie, Robert, Christina and Ashley.
He and his wife owned and operated a beauty supply business for 37 years before retiring.
He was a member of Trinity Baptist Church. Don was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and loved the many reunions he had with his shipmates.
He will be missed dearly. Memorial services are pending.

 

Phillip Ross Smith

Phillip Ross Smith died peacefully at age 93 in hospice care on May 23, 2019, in Brandon, Fla. Born in Shreve, Ohio, on April 11, 1926, he was known as Ross his entire life. He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Phyllis Margaret Speelman Smith; his parents, Adeline Hughes Smith and Donald Clinton Smith; and two brothers, John “Jack” Smith and Donald Smith. He grew up in Millersburg, Ohio, and attended schools there. A sportswriter called him “a diminutive but speedy halfback” in a football game where he starred. He entered the U.S. Navy Air Corps and served his country in 1944-45 as Seaman First Class, Combat Aircrewman, in charge of Ordinance.
He and Phyllis were married on August 22,1946, in Covington, KY, after his discharge from the U.S. Navy and lived in Columbus, Ohio, while he attended Ohio State University. He studied mathematics and physical education with intent to coach and earned a B.Ed. He later earned his Master’s degree, an M.Ed., from Kent State University.
He leaves the following to mourn his passing: children, Dr. Rebecca “Becky” Green (Dr. Alan Green); Deborah Smith; Terry Smith (Jeanne Smith); grandchildren: Shoshana Green; Zachary Green (Patricia Lomando); Ariella Green; Laura Smith and Hannah Smith; also, stepgranddaughters: Erica Green Goodman and Dr. Nieta Green Shapiro; and five stepgreat-grandsons. He is survived by his two sisters: Shirley “Sally” Smith Oare and Virginia “Ginny” Smith Rozsa (Gabe Rozsa); nephews and nieces; also, his beloved second wife, Shirley Ann Lutz Smith; four stepchildren: Leslie Reuter (Philip Davis); John Reuter (Linda McGill); Alison Reuter McCue (William “Billy” McCue); Andrea Reuter (Ron Loewe); eight stepgrandchildren and a stepgreat-granddaughter.
Ross taught mathematics and coached football and baseball at many secondary schools during his career. After his retirement he continued to teach math at colleges in Myrtle Beach and Tampa. He was an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida and the University of Tampa. His longest secondary school tenure of 15 years was at University School in Shaker Heights and, then, Hunting Valley, Ohio, where he was head of the mathematics department, computer specialist, and head football coach. During those years, he was chosen Independent Coach of the Year in Ohio four times. The joy of his life was teaching and helping young men and women. He influenced many lives, and he remembered his former students.
He had an amazing memory, especially for mathematics and history.
He enjoyed camping and traveling with Phyllis over the years. After his retirement, they settled in Myrtle Beach, SC, and then in Sun City Center, Fla. For the past 20 years, he has lived in Sun City Center with his devoted second wife, Shirley. They travelled and spent summers in Maine. He loved golf, fishing, and living in the sunshine.
Ross was an affable, honorable man who influenced many lives, loved life, never met a stranger, and was immensely proud of his children and grandchildren.
He will be buried in the Fryburg Cemetery in Holmes County, Ohio, beside his beloved wife, Phyllis Speelman Smith. Graveside services were held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 1, 2019. Donations can be made to LifePath Hospice of Tampa at 11150 N. 53rd St., Temple Terrace, FL 33617.

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