Obituaries November 24, 2011

Published on: November 24, 2011

Eileen Handin
Eileen handin, 62,  passed away at her home on Swan Lake in Sun City Center on November 18, surrounded by her family and her beloved kitties after a long battle with cancer. she was an elementary school psychologist in New York State before moving to Florida in 2005. She will be remembered by many on Long Island for her enthusiastic, caring volunteerism with with terminal AIDS patients and Homeless ministries. At the Hillsborough County Correctional institute she served as a volunteer counselor for a women’s group. She was an officer of Swan Lake Co-op Association. Eileen played flute with the South Shore Concert Band and began studying oboe a few years ago. She is survived by her parents Bill and Doris Palmer, of Sun City Center, brother ken of New Jersey, sister Cynthia of Tampa, niece Lila, and nephew Stephen. The family expresses deep gratitude for the compassionate help Eileen recieved from Hospice care. They also thank all of those who visited Eileen, cared for her, sent food, flowers, cards, made phone calls, and showed their love during these past few months. In Eileen’s memory, donations can be made to Lifecare Hospice 3725 Upper Creek Drive, Ruskin, FL 33573.

Gerald I. Simmons
Gerald I. Simmons, 75, of Wimauma, passed away November 15, 2011, while fishing on Wimauma Lake.

Born in Plant City on March 25, 1936, Gerald was raised on Grange Hall Loop in Fort Lonesome, Florida. He attended Wimauma School when it served all grades including high school. As a young man he followed his family’s footsteps as a cowhunter tending the family’s cattle in southern Hillsborough County.

In 1954 he married the love of his life Martha (Lowrey) and they raised their family of three children in Gibsonton until 1974 when they moved to Wimauma. Gerald was employed by the Atlantic Coastline Railroad for the first 18 years of their marriage and during that time he founded Gerald Simmons Tropical Fish Farm, Ruskin, which he oversaw until retiring in 2000.

He was passionate about several things. Topping the list was his family, but most recently was his devotion to the Lord, modeling himself to be an example for the next generation.

Gerald was an avid sportsman who loved to hunt and fish and he passed down his knowledge of the outdoors as a priceless legacy to his children and grandchildren. His passion for the outdoors was eclipsed only by his love for NASCAR. He attended races throughout the southeast and was a dedicated fan.

He also loved to cook and was known for his skill around a deep fryer. He organized many fish fries for community events and fundraisers throughout the years including cookouts held for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department.

The epitome of a southern gentleman, it was rare to find him without mess of fish, a bucket of tomatoes, a bag of homemade jerky, or a bushel of oysters, ready to share with anyone who crossed his path. His generosity was well-known throughout the community.

Gerald leaves behind his wife of 57 years, Martha  Simmons of Wimauma; two sons, Steve (Chere) Simmons, and Rickie (Yvonne) Simmons Sr.; a daughter, Linda Simmons; six grandchildren, Chrissy (Dan) Hartzog, Rickie Simmons Jr., Ty (Jennifer) Simmons, Timmy Simmons, Jared Hodge, Marcus Wilson; four great-grandchildren, Carlie and Asher Simmons, Hannah Simmons, and Emma Hartzog all of Ruskin; a sister, Evelyn Bell, of Live Oak, FL; a very close cousin, June Sumner of Brandon; a beloved sister-in-law and her husband, Harry and Vonda Cunningham, of Gibsonton; a brother-in-law, Donald Lowrey, of Gibsonton; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends too numerous to name.

He was preceeded in death by a brother Kenneth Simmons; and two sisters Elizabeth Bailey and Barbara Hall.

He was an active member of Simmons Loop Baptist Church in Riverivew; an Honorary Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputy; and a member of the Florida Redneck Goatropers Association.

A service was held Nov. 19 at Simmons Loop Baptist Church with Pastor and friend Stacey Bowen officiating. Memorial contributions were made in lieu of flowers to the Simmons Loop Baptist Church building fund.

Arrangements were made by Sun City Center Funeral Home.

Ludd R. Farr
Ludd R. Farr, retired Federal Administrative Law Judge, of Sun CityCenter, Florida, formerly of Versailles, Kentucky and Baltimore, Maryland; Husband of Lois Fitzhugh Farr, passed away on Sunday, November 13, 2011, following a very lengthy and debilitating illness. Born in Ansted, West Virginia, he was the son of the late Ludd R. Farr, Sr. and the late Faye Hawver Farr. In addition to his wife he is also survived by his son Daniel T. Farr (Wendi K. Reich) and his granddaughter, Mia Simone Farr, all of Indianapolis, Indiana. There will be a service to celebrate his life on Saturday, November 26, 2011, at 11:00am in the chapel of Sun Towers, Sun City Center, Florida. A memorial service will be celebrated in the spring in Versailles, Kentucky. Memorials may be sent to Lifepath Hospice of Sun City Center, FL., 3010 W. Azeele Street, Tampa, FL. 33609 or to the Sun City Center Emergency Squad, 720 Ray Watson Drive, Sun City Center, FL. 33573

Stephen Austin Phillips
Stephen Austin Phillips, 90, of Sun City Center, passed away Monday, November 14, 2011, at LifePath Hospice. Born Sept. 6, 1921 in Pittsfield, MA. he attended Bluefield College, W. VA. from 1939-1941 and VA. Polytechnic Institute in 1942-1943. He earned his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and was a member of Pi Tau Sigma fraternity.

He saw active duty in the Pacific theater for two years in the Hydropropulsion Branch of the U.S. Navy and Reserves until 1954.

He returned to civilian life as an Asst. Prof of Mech. Engr. at V.P.I. and taught Internal Combustion engine courses and allied subjects.

In 1965, Mr. Phillips assumed the postion of Mechanical Engr. at the Univ. of Virginia. His duties included planning and development, new construction sites, and utilities installation.

He resigned his position to establish a consulting engineer office. his clients included land surveyors and subdivision developers. When he had free time, he engaged in farming, raising black angus, and constructing a home.

Lt. Stephen A. Phillips held a pilot’s license and was a member of Civil Air Patrol. In 1972, the Monticello Squadron received a Unit Citation Award for exceptional meritorious service during Hurricane Agnes for working long hours to man radio stations, search and rescue missions and evacuations.

A loving and devoted husband, he is  survived by his wife Helen; daughter Carolinda Brooks; sisters Beverly Jarrett and Shirley Hanken; grandchildren, nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be directed to LifePath Hospice, 3723 Upper Creek Drive.

Joseph Pliska
Joseph Pliska, 98 of Willoughby Hills, died November 19, 2011. Loving husband of Mary (neeBurtick) for 73 years; father of Joseph (Margaret), Caroline and Eugene (Carol); grandfather of 4; great-grandfather of 6. Funeral Mass Wednesday 10 a.m. at St. Mary Magdalene Church. Visitation Tuesday 4 – 8 p.m. at Jack Monreal – Laumer Funeral Home in Willowick, Ohio. Burial at Whitehaven Cemetery. Contributions to Cleveland Society of the Blind.

Leslie Gordon Kilpatrick
Leslie Gordon Kilpatrick, 90, of Sun City Center, died, November 20, 2011. He was born in Devonshire, Britain, to Daniel and Winifred Kilpatrick on September 12, 1921. Leslie was educated at Sherborne School and New College, Oxford and graduated BA (1942), BM. Bch (1942), MA (1947) from Oxford University. He served as a medical Officer in the British Army in Libya, Palestine and Greece (1945-48) and on returning to Britain completed a residency in Anesthesiology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison until his retirement in 1983. Dr. Kilpatrick is preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth (nee Bickerton). He is survived by his three daughters, Julia Fiechter (Jonathan), Linda Livermore (Bruce) and Marie Kaczor (Ralph), and five grandchildren. His hobbies wre painting, sailing and classical piano. He requests there be no funeral or visitation.