Obituaries August 18, 2011

Published on: August 18, 2011

Betty S. Johnson
Betty S. Johnson, of Sun City Center, FL, died at the Plaza West Nursing Home Monday, August 8, after a long illness. She was 87.

She was born in Flint, MI, on October 1, 1923, the fourth child of John and Catherine Shayman. She attended Flint Central High School in Flint, MI where she impressed members of the teaching staff who enabled her to win a scholarship to Flint Junior College. One year later, she was awarded a second scholarship to attend Kalamazoo College. Her fellow classmates elected her May Queen during her senior year. She graduated from Kalamazoo College in 1945.

During her sophomore year she met her husband, Robert A. Johnson, at Kalamazoo College. After the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted in the Navy, and they became engaged. They were married on December 29, 1945.

From 1945 until 1960, she and her husband lived in Kalamazoo, where her daughters Melissa and Elaine were born. From 1957 to 1958 she was president of the Kalamazoo chapter of the American Association of University Women. In 1960 she moved with her family to Westchester County, NY, where she gave birth to her son, Douglas, in Tarrytown. In 1961, the family moved to Pleasantville, NY. She was active with her husband in the Presbyterian Church of Pleasantville, NY, where she sang in the choir. She was a stringer for the Patent Trader, of Mount Kisco, and wrote the Thornwood Notes. From 1978 to 1979 she was president of the Westlake High School American Field Service Committee.

She and her husband moved to Sun City Center in 1986. Following her husband’s death in 1998, she married Armand B. Geyer, also of Sun City on September 3, 2000. After he died in 2006, she moved to Freedom Plaza in Sun City.

She is survived by her sister, Phyllis Gallant, three children, Melissa Hancock, Elaine Ayres (Kenneth), and Douglas Johnson (Risa), four grandchildren, Kenneth Ayres, Jr, Bradley Ayres, Jasper Johnson and Jade Johnson, and one great-grandchild, Kyle Ayres.

A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, August 13, 2011 at 2 PM at the United Community Church, 1501 La Jolla Avenue, Sun City Center, FL.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to LifePath Hopsice, 3725 Upper Creek Drive, Ruskin, FL, 33573.

Helen Elizabeth Price
May 26, 1923 – Aug. 8, 2011

Helen Elizabeth Price, 88, of Sun City Center, passed away on Aug. 8, 2011. Helen was born on May 26, 1923 in Pataskala, OH. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University in Dietetics in 1944. She went on to receive her Masters in Home Economics from the University of Wisconsin in 1961. She was a manager for the Residence Halls Food Services at the University of Arkansas in 1953.

Helen was a retired LTC in the U.S. Army, serving from 1953 – 1973. During her years in the U.S. Army, she served in the capacity as a Dietitian at several locations including, Irwin Army Hospital in Ft. Riley, KS, Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington, DC, and Valley Forge General Hospital in Phoenixville, PA, just to name a few. Helen developed and drafted guidelines for the Department of Defense Civilian Personnel office, for all Services, for Hospital Food Service Dietary Assistants in the GS Career Field. She received the Army Commendation Medal in 1963, as well as the Legion of Merit in 1973.

Helen was a part of several professional affiliations of which she was extremely proud. She was a 50 year member of the American Dietetics Association. She was a life member of the Military Order of the World Wars Chapter 226, The Retired Officers Association Chapter 400 in which she served as Director, as well as the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 23. She was also a charter member of the Pensacola Rose Society and the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation. Helen’s other achievements include serving as Membership Committee Chairperson for The Florida Life Care Residents Association Chapter 163, as well as Trustee of The Military Officer’s Benevolent Corporation.

Helen is survived by her life partner, Barbara Gray; sisters, Mrs. M.F. Mitchell of St. Louis, MO and Mrs. H. Skinner of Australia. She is predeceased by her brother, Dr. E.N. Price of LaJolla, CA and sister, Mrs. A.N. Reed of St. Paul, IN. A memorial service is being planned for a later date.

Terry Lee Hinely
Terry Lee Hinely, 62, passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in St. Petersburg. Over the past 45 years Terry was an ardent supporter of Marian’s Subs and a resident of St. Pete, Ruskin and Apollo Beach. He spent much time in and around Camp Bayou in the 1970s where his daughter, Sage, was born in 1974. More recently he shared a home with Sage in Apollo Beach as he worked as a security guard at South Bay Hospital and Mira Bay.

Terry is survived by his daughter, Sage Nettlow, of Houston, Texas, and his extended family. Doni and Craig Doty of Apollo Beach; and Dani Sue and Bonnie Nettlow of Ruskin.

A celebration of Terry’s life will be held in Apollo Beach on Saturday afternoon.

Mary H. Christensen
Mary H. Christensen, a resident of Palm Gardens, Sun City Center, Florida, passed away on Friday, August 12, 2011. She was preceded in death by her husband, Otis E Christensen. She is survived by many nieces, nephews and friends. She will be buried in her home state of Michigan at a later date. Arrangements by Sun City Center Funeral Home, 1851 Rickenbacker Drive, Sun City Center, Fl 33573.

Ronald Lee Wissing
Ronald Lee Wissing passed from this life on Sunday, August 7, 2011. He is the son of the late Norman Wissing and is survived by his mother, Marilyn Wissing; his brother, Todd Wissing; his sister-in-law, Jill; his sister, Julia Wissing; his niece, Jennifer Wissing; and nephew, Kyle Wissing; and friends around the world.

Ron was born in Tampa but travelled the world, working and playing in many countries, winding up in Sun City Center, Florida. His passions were creative art, his loving and treasured friendships and his family; his mother was his best friend.

In his youth, Ron was a daredevil, always trying a new and dangerous sport: he rode the unicycle, was the handstand champ of his elementary school, a pioneer in riding skateboards in pools; he surfed, windsurfed and even used a sail parachute to surf. In the second year that his high school fielded a soccer team, Ron led them to the State Championship and garnered the MVP trophy. Once in college, he discovered his great talent and innovative spirit and went to the Ringling School of Art, where he pioneered the emerging field of computer graphics and was honored with the President’s Award. In his career, as an employee, freelancer and business owner, he worked on hundreds of important and internationally-known media projects, winning awards—even an Emmy nomination. Some of his proudest work, however, was art he created just for himself and his friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ron’s honor to Operation Healthy Reunions, website or call 800-969-6642, option 3.

To view Ron’s Memorial blog and share in the online celebration of Ron’s life, please visit

William J. DiRocco
William J. (Bill) DiRocco, 71,  formerly of Lynbrook N.Y., died in Sun City Center, Florida August 4, 2011.

Bill worked for Black Bear Company, Long Island City N.Y. for 34 years before retiring to Florida in 2003.

He was preceded in death by his sister, Mary; his brother-in-law, Paul; and his sister-in-law, Dot.

He is survived by his devoted wife, Elizabeth; son, William (Kristin); step daughter, Denise (Matt); step son, John (Heather); granddaughters, Maria and Nicky; grandson, Colin; brothers, Robert and Richard (Marie); ten nieces and nephews, thirteen great nieces and nephews and many other family friends who will miss him greatly.

In lieu of flowers a memorial donation may be made to C.A.R.E. of Ruskin, Florida, a no-kill Animal Shelter.

A memorial service will be held at the DiRocco home on Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 4 p.m. Friends welcome.

Franklin P. King
Frank King, 83, of Sun City Center formerly of Dayton, Ohio, passed away at Lifepath Hospice House on Friday August 12, 2011. He was born in Galien, Ohio and was a Navy veteran of World War II. He retired as a broker/owner of Realty World King Assoc. and moved to Sun City Center full time in 2004. Frank volunteered at the Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce for many years where he loved to meet and greet visitors and residents alike.

Frank is survived by his loving wife Mary, their children Charles King (Janna), Michael King (Kathy), John Burge (Kathy), Tracy Burge, Lori Wade, Sandee Griffith, Kelly Janus (Glen) and Kara Smith (Winton), also by his sister Jan Shuck. He also leaves behind 21 grandchildren and two great-children.

There will be a celebration of Frank’s wonderful life at the Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Special thanks go to Mary’s sister Katie Bush, Hospice Green Team, Dr. Hafeez and Dr. Chokshi.

Zelda Harrison Hill
Zelda Harrison Hill, a former resident of Sun City, departed her earthly life on Thursday, August 11, at the home of her daughter in Douglasville, Georgia. Zelda was born in Arcadia, Florida, in 1924 and valued her status as a second generation native Floridian. She dearly loved Florida and only departed it in October, 2007, when she left to live with her daughter, Carolyn.

Zelda graduated from Pahokee High School in 1941. She then attended Tampa University and earned a degree in bookkeeping. From there she went to Miami where she spent WWII working as a “Rosie the Riveter” for Volpe Aircraft and met her future husband, Jimmy Hill. Jimmy and Zelda were married in 1944 and continued to live in Miami until 1993, when they moved to Sun City Center.

The Miami years were filled with raising a family, pursuing business interests and developing life-long friendships. Over the years, Zelda and Jimmy were active members of Miami Shores Baptist Church.

Zelda was a lifelong Christian who has now been reunited with her husband of 54 years, James Charles Hill, who pre-deceased her in 1999. She is survived by her loving family of two daughters, two sons-in-law, four grandchildren, three grandsons-in-law and four great grandchildren. They are: Janice and Frank Garcia; Carolyn and Larry Estepa; Kristina Garcia Szurkus and her husband Dennis and their son Alex; Kathryn Garcia Drury and her husband Dan and their daughters, Sarah and Amanda; Brent Estepa; and Hilary Estepa Trottier and her husband Kyle and son Timothy. Other very special people in Zelda’s life included her “daughter” Andrea Blount and her husband Rob.

Memorial Services will be held at Trinity Baptist Church, Sun City Center, FL, on Friday, August 19 at 3 p.m. Friends and family are invited to share a time of fellowship and remembrance immediately following the service in the church’s Fellowship Hall. We know she will continue to live in the memories of her many friends and extensive family.

Gary Lathrop
Gary Lathrop, 55, formerly of Ruskin, passed away on August 11, 2011. He is survived by his son, Patrick; daughter-in-law, Rachel; two grandchildren, Henry and Daisy; and three siblings, Ed, Sandy and Patty. No services are being scheduled at this time.