Obituaries March 18, 2010

Published on: March 12, 2010

WOOD, Ray Allen, Jr.

Ray Allen Wood, Jr., 83,  of Ruskin died February 28, 2010. He was predeceased by his son, Robert.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years Wilma; daughter, Wendy (David); grandchildren, David and Jennifer of Kansas; daughter-in-law, Pam; and grandson, Jordan of Virginia.

Ray served in the Merchant Marines and U.S. Army during World War II. He was a member of the South Hillsborough Elks, Eagles and Moose lodges.

Memorial donations may be made to LifePath Hospice in Sun City Center. A memorial service will take place at 4 p.m., March 14, at the Elks Lodge.

BENDA, Raymond


Raymond Benda, 70,  born in Lansing, MI, May 25, 1940  went to be with God March 2, 2010.  He is survived by wife Judy; daughters Laurie Bell, Dana McKee, and Debbie Banner; five grandchildren Kristen and Nicole Bell, Jessica banner, Kyle and Austin McKee, and one great granddaughter.
In lieu of flowers make donations to the American Cancer Society.

COOL, Alfred A.


Alfred A. Cool, 89, of Ruskin, Florida died peacefully in Hospice Care at Sun City Center, Florida on February 9, 2010.

Al was born in Genesee, Pa on December 30, 1921.  Al married Evy Lou Leavine (deceased) in 1978.  They both were active members of Ruskin United Methodist Church.  Al sang in “His Echoes,” a men’s quartet for many years.

He is survived by a son, Wayne Cool; stepson William Robert (Sharon) Leavine; stepdaughter Jo Ann (Max) Lee; granddaughters Rena (Curt) Skeens, Melynda (Eric) Hensley, Cher Davis, Debbie Lee Sweeting; and nine great-grandchildren.  He is also survived by his sisters Beth C. Lenox, Marilyn (Robert) McCleary and many loving nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, March 17, 2010, 1:00 PM at Sun City Center Funeral Home in Sun City Center, Florida.  Rev. David Looney, a friend of the family, will be presiding at the service with Rev. John Bartha, RUMC.

Friends are invited to join the family for the memorial service and lunch.

OAKLEY, Arlene Rockelman


Arlene Rockelman Oakley, 96, of Sun City Center passed away Wednesday, February 24, in Ocean City, New Jersey.

Arlene was born to Amil and Ida Rockelman on May 21, 1913, in Lakeview, Michigan.  She married Harry M. Oakley in 1934.  The couple moved to Charlevoix, Michigan, where their first daughter, Marisue, was born in 1937.  Their younger daughter, Linda, was born in 1941 in Bloomington, Indiana.

In 1950 after moving back to Michigan, Arlene received her   bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and her master’s degree from Wayne State University.  She taught in Redford Union, a suburb of Detroit, and then was the principal of Westland School in Redford Union until her retirement in 1973.  She founded an alumnae sorority, Kappa Kappa Alpha, at Western Michigan.  She was the organization’s first president. Arlene was on the Detroit lecture circuit; she  inspired other women to pursue their educations and gain independence through a career. She is listed in Who’s Who of American Women.

Arlene and Harry retired to Sun City Center in 1977.  For  many years,  Arlene was active in Armchair Travelers and two bridge groups .  She served on the boards of Mary and Martha House in Ruskin and the Community Foundation of  Sun City Center.  She was an active member of the American Association of University Women.  She traveled to more than 70 countries on all seven continents, visiting many several times.  Arlene loved the theater, was an avid reader, took great joy in her needlework, and supported numerous charitable organizations.

Arlene was preceded in death by her husband Harry and her  daughter,  Linda Brenn.  She is survived by her daughter Marisue Besse, five grandchildren, Jennifer Heist, Jeff Avagian, Rob Jillson, Susan Boulden, Carolyn Jillson; and eleven great-grandchildren.

Contributions in her memory may be made to Mary and Martha House,  P.O. Box 1251, Ruskin, FL 33575-1251.

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SHENEFIELD, George Ernest


George Ernest Shenefield, 86,  USAF Retired 20 Years M/Sgt,  passed away on Sunday, February 28, 2010. George was born in St. Cloud, FL and was a lifelong resident of Ruskin, FL. George was a life member and past Commander of VFW Post 6287, Ruskin, FL; and a member of The American Legion, Riverview, FL. During WWII he was assigned to the 489th Bomb Group as a gunner on a B17. He received a Distinguished Flying Cross (and Air Medal with numerous oak leaf clusters.)

He was predeceased by his loving wife of 59 years Viola. Survivors include five children: sons, Greg (Jackie); Jim (Jean); Mike; Rick(Jan); daughter, Pat (Roger) Stone; one sister: Mary Everett; one brother: David Shenefield of St. Cloud, FL; 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

A graveside service was held  Wednesday, March 3 at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL with Reverend Preston Vinson officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to LifePath Hospice in his memory.

Wells Memorial Funeral Home

WEST, Carl


Carl “Herb” West, 84, passed away in Ruskin on February 25, 2010.
He graduated in 1943 from Niagara High School and  joined the Navy and was stationed in the South Pacific as a parachute rigger. He volunteered at the VA hospital at Iron Mountain for many years, and was a life member of the American Legion. He worked at the paper mill and retired in 1985. His hobbies were wood working and crafts.
He is survived by his wife Anne of 62 years and a few nephews and nieces.
Memorial services will be held in the spring in Niagara, Wisconsin. He will be greatly missed and warmly remembered by all who knew and loved him.