Cassandria Alvina Blake, (nee Vincent) Cassandria, known to her friends in Florida as Sandi, was born at Cape Island, Newfoundland, on September 22, 1909, the eldest daughter of Edwin Thomas Vincent and Amelia Beatrice Hunt. She passed peacefully away about 2:30 a.m. on Monday morning, April 19, 2010, at Cypress Creek Assisted Living Residence, Sun City Center, Florida, just three days short of 100 years and seven months. She was predeceased by her parents and her two husbands, Charles Reitz and Albert Blake, as well as four sisters and one brother, Jean Bishop, Randolph Vincent, Greta Andrews, Dorothy Bell, and Betty Shuman. Left to mourn her death and celebrate her life are many nieces, nephews and cousins throughout Canada and the United States, as well as many friends in Sun City Center, Florida, where she lived since 1965.
In 1928, shortly before her 19th birthday, Cassandria accompanied her father’s sister, Aunt Sophia, to Hoboken, New Jersey, where Sophia worked in the medical system and had arranged for her to go into nursing training that September at the Fairmont Hospital. After graduation as a nurse, she worked at the hospital and progressed to Operating Room Head Nurse. Subsequently, she worked in the office of Dr. Harold Franklyn as office manager / head nurse for 23 years. During this period, she became interested in music and singing, and took training in both. As a result, she met Charles Reitz, a professional violinist in the Jersey City orchestra; drawn together by their mutual interests, they fell in love and married in 1941.
In 1965, Cassandria and Charles moved from New Jersey to Florida, and settled at Sun City Center, where they both became very involved in music and singing and various volunteer organizations. Charles was by now 64 and looking forward to enjoying a Florida retirement, when he lost a battle with cancer in 1969. As a young widow, Cassandria worked at various jobs until, one day, she received a call to work in the office of Dr. Wentzell in a job similar to the one she had had in New Jersey with Dr. Franklyn. She continued in that job until, into her 70s, she retired at about 72. She then became even more involved in volunteering, especially with the Sun City Center Samaritan Services.
Meanwhile, after several years as a widow, she fell in love with a dashing retiree widower at Sun City Center named Albert Blake and they married about 1974. From October, 1977, to October, 1979, Al Blake served as the 5th volunteer Chief of the Sun City Center Emergency Squad. They had an enjoyable and active life together, both of them continuing their volunteering, until Al got struck down by heart failure in 1988. She used to say, I have sung in almost every choir in almost every church in Sun City Center.
Cassandria (Sandi Blake to her Florida friends) continued her very active life in the Sun City Center community, and lived independently in her home there until 2008, when she required assisted living, and Cypress Creek Assisted Living Residence became her home for the last year and a half of her life. She will be missed by her friends there, especially her personal aide, Lupita. Two of her special friends in Sun City Center who will really miss her are Doris (Healey) Ragland, a colleague working with Dr. Wentzell as well as with Samaritan Services, and Jane Behr, her next-door neighbor on Cherry Hills Court, who was always there to provide the rides to the store, the hairdresser and anywhere else she might need to go.
After immigrating to the United States, Cassandria had occasionally been able to return home to Newfoundland to visit her roots and her relatives. In 1989, she was there for a reunion at her home town of Cape Island, which had been re-settled in 1952. Her parents and family had moved to the capital city of St. John’s, and two of her sisters had followed her to the United States, Betty settling in Kentucky and Jean in Jacksonville, Florida.
Anna Gartner was born December 20, 1918 in Staten Island, New York and died April 25, 2010 in Sun City Center.
Anna had two children, Thomas and Joe Trabosci. Thomas predeceased Anna in death in 2008. Joe lives in Irvine, CA. Anna had five grandchildren – Lisa Blumer (Robert) from Staten Island, Joseph Trabosci from Staten Island, Todd Trabosci (Ivana) from Staten Island, Thomas Trabosci (Christine) from Pennsylvania and Troy Trabosci (predeceased). Anna had 8 greatgrandchildren.
Anna worked as an executive secretary for Honeywell in Morristown, New Jersey until her retirement in 1977.
Anna and Walter Gartner married on December 31, 1985 in Staten Island, They relocated to St. Petersburg where they lived for many years and ultimately relocated to Kings Point in Sun City Center where they have lived since November 1992. They have enjoyed their retirement and their lives here in Sun City Center. Anna and Walter loved to travel, and spent well over a decade in their RV, traveling throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Anna also greatly enjoyed sewing and loved to dress up. She also enjoyed dancing, playing bingo and attending community functions including lectures and shows.
Anna was very involved with volunteer work over the years with South Bay Hospital and Senior Friends.
Anna suffered a cerebral hemorrhage on April 25th and died within hours.
Anna was a good neighbor in Kings Point. She is best remembered as a loving wife and a wonderful mother and grandmother. She will be sadly missed by all who knew her.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Sun City Center Rescue Squad.
MERZ, Eugene W.
Eugene (Gene) Merz, of Leland, MI, formerly of Birmingham, MI, and Sun City Center, FL, passed away peacefully April 13, 2010 at the age of 91.
His interests included automobiles and music – especially the Big Band Era. He enjoyed woodworking, wine making, golf, swimming, travel, and spending time with family. He and his wife, Dawn, were active in the Presbyterian Church throughout their marriage. He was a loving husband and wonderful father. He set a great example for his family by loving and providing for them. He was well-loved and will be missed by many friends and family.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 57 years, Dawn, and his brother, William. He is survived by his sons, Steven (Sylvia) of Leland, MI and John (Jan) of Clarkston, MI. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Travis (Angela), Tyler (Kari), Todd, and Kelsey. He was the proud great-grandfather of Cameron.
A memorial service and interment will take place at Acacia Park Cemetery, Beverly Hills, MI. Memorial donations can be sent to Leland Community United Methodist Church, PO Box 602, Leland, MI 49654.