Obituaries August 25, 2011

Published on: August 25, 2011

Pat Fleming
Pat Fleming, wife of Phil Fleming of Sun City Center, Fla., went home to Jesus Aug. 11, 2011 after a long battle with cancer. She was born on Nov. 20, 1935.

Pat is survived by her five children, Kathy Fleming of Elsie, Michigan; Jean George (Gary) of Beavercreek, Ohio; Julie Denton (Robert) of Vacaville, Calif.; Stephanie Martines (Victor) of Las Cresenta, Calif.; and Philip Fleming, Jr. (Sheila) of Osceola, Ind.; and 16 grandchildren.

Pat graduated from Detroit’s Mt. Carmel Mercy Hospital School of Nursing as a Registered Nurse. She received her BSN from St. Joseph’s College in Windham, Maine. Pat was one of the founders of the Hospice of Hillsdale, and was instrumental in establishing the Volunteer Center of Hillsdale. She also served as a nurse with the Christian Medical Society in Central America and was a presenter for the Retrouvaille program of Southwest Ohio.

A memorial service will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 9 a.m.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Hospice of HIllsborough.

Michael E. Newman
Michael E. Newman, age 60 of Ruskin Fla., formerly of Big Rapids, passed away unexpectedly with his wife Karen while enjoying a morning motorcycle ride July 25, 2011.

Michael was born February 19, 1951 in Lansing Mich., to Ernest Jr. and Helen (Darling) Newman. As a child Mike’s family built a cottage at Chippewa Lake and that drew him to this area as an adult. Mike was employed at MichCon for over 34 years, retiring to Ruskin Florida in 2006. Mike was a member of Eagles Aerie #2535 and AmVets Post #1941 both of Big Rapids, as well as Eagles Aerie #4351, Eagle Riders, the Moose Lodge #813 and Moose Riders all of Ruskin, Fla, and the American Legion Post #309 in Palmetto, Fla.

Michael will be forever missed by his loving family and friends. Although his passing was too soon, they do take comfort in knowing he passed while doing what he loved and with the one he loved.

He is survived by two sons; Sean (Kimberly) Newman and Joel Newman all of Big Rapids; a grandson, Ryder Newman; granddaughter, Gracie Mehlhorn; step-daughters, Katherine (Noel) Creel of Antioch, TN; Rebecca (Michael) Bowyer of Battle Creek; step-son, Darrell Pollaski of Big Rapids; his parents, Ernest “Ike” and Delores Newman of Chippewa Lake; two sisters, Pamela Rock of Ruskin, FL, and Cindy Mikula of Mt. Pleasant along with several nieces and nephews.

Mike was preceded in death by wife, Victoria (DeCraene) Newman; wife, Jana (Wineger) Newman; grandson, Seth Michael Newman; granddaughter, Autumn Leigh Newman; brother-in-law, Robert Rock.

A memorial service for Mike took place at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids. Memorial contributions in Mikes name may be made to The Eagles Club # 2535 of Big Rapids or to the Mecosta County Animal Shelter.

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Karen E. (Wilbert) Neal
Karen E. (Wilbert) Neal, age 59, of Ruskin, Fla., formerly of Big Rapids, Mich., passed away July 25 unexpectedly with her husband Michael while out enjoying a morning motorcycle ride.

Karen was born January 28, 1952 in Cleveland, OH daughter of Robert and Helen (Wiemels) Wilbert. Karen and her large family of brothers and sisters grew up in Cleveland Ohio and relocated to Central Michigan in the 1960’s. Karen was employed by the Big Rapids School System for many years and was also very involved with many community organizations. Karen was a member of the Eagles Aerie #2535 and the AmVets Post #1941, both of Big Rapids. Karen retired with husband Mike to Ruskin Fla., in 2006, where they joined the Moose Lodge #813 and the Eagles Aerie #4351. They were both active members of the Eagle Riders and the Moose Riders motorcycle clubs.

Karen’s family and friends will remember her most for her fun-loving carefree attitude towards love and life. She was a free spirit who lived her life to the fullest and passed doing what she loved with the man she loved. She is survived by her two daughters Katherine (Noel) Creel and Rebecca (Michael) Bowyer, stepsons Sean (Kimberly) Newman and Joel Newman, all of Big Rapids; a grandson, Ryder Newman and a granddaughter, Gracie Mehlhorn; five brothers Donald (June) Wilbert, James (Nancy) Wilbert, Kenneth Wilbert, Edward (Shannon) Wilbert, and Raymond Wilbert; her sister, Joan Neal; along with many nieces, nephews and cousins. Karen was preceded in death by her father Robert Wilbert and mother Helen Wilbert. Karen’s chose her final resting place as Mount Mckinley, Alaska, which is home to her twin brother Ken, may she be close to him always.

A memorial service was held at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.

Memorial contributions may be made in Karen’s name to the Mecosta County Animal Shelter or the Eagles Club #2535 of Big Rapids, MI.

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Robert J. Graves
Robert J. Graves, Sr., 82, died Aug. 19 and is now at rest in the hands of the Lord. He was born in Adamsville, Fla. on April 14, 1928. He is survived by his wife Sylvia, two sons: Robert, Jr. (Marcey) and Richard (Lori) and daughter Susan (Rich). He is also survived by seven grandchildren: Robert III, David (Carrie), Candice, Richard Jr., Melody, Tyler and Patrick; one brother-in-law: Dan Suggs (Rhonda) and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral service was held 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011 at Sun City Center Funeral Home, Sun City Center.

Sandy Blodgett
Sandy Blodgett, 65, died Aug. 18, 2011.

She is survived by her husband, Clarence Ray Blodgett, Jr., two children, Lisa Blodgett Warden (Robert) and Douglas R. Blodgett, II (Kathleen) four grandchildren, Logan Blodgett, Samuel Warden, Chase Blodgett, Grace Warden; one brother, Kenneth Dotson (Judy); and one sister, Carol Franklin (Darrell) .

Her memorial service is scheduled for August 25, 2011 at 1 p.m. at the National Cremation & Burial Society, 308 E. College Avenue, Ruskin, FL 33570.

Donations can be made to American Cancer Society.

 David W. Oliver
Dr. Oliver started his career at the research center studying material sciences and process development with a focus on identifying materials which could be used in the production of semiconductors. He also conducted research into microwave acoustic materials which were developed for radar jamming and used to develop microwave ovens. He also developed new high temperature crystal growing techniques and control systems for crystal growing and evaluated new crystal types for the ultrasonic propagation characteristics. He holds over 20 patents, published twenty two papers on systems engineering and authored a book entitled Engineering Complex Systems with Models and Objects, McGraw Hill 1997.

Later in his career, Oliver left research and took on a number of management positions at the GE CRD. He managed the initial development of the Cross-Omega Machine, a massively parallel SIMD computer sponsored by DARPA. Dr. Oliver managed over one hundred scientists and engineers in the Automation and Control Laboratory with a focus on factory automation. At GE he led the development of Systems Engineering tools and processes, the Teamwork Ada software tool sold by Cadre Technologies, and an X-Ray tomographic inspection system for turbine blades. He has contributed to medical and quality real-time diagnostic systems, high temperature crystal growth and materials processing. He managed the Quality Branch for quality inspection, the CRD Microwave Branch, the CRD Computer Science Branch and the GE-CRD Liaison Group for technical transition and liaison to all the GE businesses. He performed liaison to the Aircraft Engine Business establishing new programs, and evaluated the annual strategic plans for many GE businesses.

The programs he contributed to and managed, led to the development of unprecedented materials, factory automation systems and products as well as the deployment of a number of significant new technologies. His work resulted in the development of medical ultrasonic imaging systems for real-time cardiac imaging, the development of an ultrasonic microscopy system for the inspection of powder metallurgy alloys for turbine disks and the development of a computer tomographic X-ray inspection system for turbine blade inspection for GE aircraft engine division. Some of his research directly made possible materials used for microwave ovens, stealth fighter technology, radar jamming equipment, stealth submarine technology and non-destructive testing equipment that lead to safer more reliable jet engines.

While he managed the Computer Science Branch at GE CRD, members of this organization won the 1993 Turing Award for creating complexity theory. He was a charter member of the GE Aerospace Systems Engineering and Software Engineering Sub-councils of engineering Productivity Improvements which is now pervasive through Lockheed-Martin.

Dr. Oliver retired from GE in June 1994 but continued to consult and write extensively on systems engineering. Oliver provided consulting and training in the model based development of complex systems – products, processes, and organizations. He was the INCOSE liaison to the ISO/SC4 AP233 standards body generating an international standard information model for the automated exchange of systems engineering information among tools. He was acting liaison from INCOSE to the Object Management Group that develops UML as a standard for software engineering. In 2001 International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) named Dr. Oliver a fellow for his contributions to the art and practice of Systems Engineering.

Outside of the Lab, Oliver loved the outdoors and loved camping, hiking and canoeing in the Adirondacks with his family and friends. One of Oliver’s grandson’s, William Oliver, said his grandfather instilled in him a love and respect for the outdoors and for the need to protect the ecosystems which comprise our planet. Dr. Oliver was passionate and outspoken about the effects of global warming on the planet, gave numerous lectures on the topic and worked on a local political level to encourage the adoption of planet friendly policies. He loved poetry and belonged to a number of poetry groups. Dr. Oliver was also very involved in Interfaith Power and Light in both Rhode Island and Florida. He spoke most recently on the topics of Global Climate Change and on Divisions in the Islamic World and Approaches to Islam.

Oliver was born in the kitchen of his grandparent’s home in Falls Church, Virginia in 1932 and lived in a small log cabin built by his father during the great depression. He attended Roanoke College in Salem Virginia and then attended the United States Naval Academy. He served as a midshipman on the USS weeks, Aircraft carrier Ticonderoga and the Battleship Missouri. He received a Master’s Degree in physics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1956 and his PhD in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1961.

Dave and his second wife Diane lived for many years in Ballston Lake New York and relocated to Wakefield, RI and Sun City, Florida. He is survived by his wife Diane and her two sons, Corey and Jason Lexell; and four grandchildren; Ava Lexell, John Lexell, Ethan Lexell, Chase Lexell.

In addition, Oliver is survived by his first wife Anne Oliver Webb and his children, David Oliver, James Oliver, Barbara Oliver Forth and Carol Oliver; and seven grandchildren; Laura Forth, Andrew Forth, William Oliver, Grace Oliver, Michael Oliver, Elizabeth Oliver, Margaret Oliver.

There will be two memorial serv­ices to honor David’s memory. The first service will be held on Aug. 27 at 11 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Creason Hall 1210 Del Webb Blvd.W, Sun City Center, FL 33573. The second serv­ice will be held on Sept. 10 at 11 a.m. at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, East Beach Rd., Charlestown, RI 02813.

Donations in Dave’s name may be made to either of these churches or to Sunshine State Interfaith Power and Light, attention: Andy Bell, 5995 Dr. Martin Luther King South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705. The Interfaith Power and Light’s mission is to be faithful stewards of Creation by responding to global warming through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy. This campaign intends to protect the earth’s ecosystems, safeguard the health of a Creation, and ensure sufficient, sustainable energy for all.

Leon Humphrey
Leon Humphrey, 42, of Ruskin, FL, was embraced by the arms of Jesus August 21, 2011. He will be deeply missed. Survivors include his mother, Betty Bortell, step father James Bortell, brother Jacob, and sister Gina.