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Obituaries September 27, 2012

Published on: September 27, 2012

Glenn “Jeannette”  Spisak

Glenn “Jean“ Spisak of Ruskin passed away at Tampa Bay Hospital under the care of LifePath Hospice on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012.  Jean was  born in Knoxville, TN,  Jan. 13, 1930, and lived in Redford and Southfield  Michigan until moving to Florida in 1970.

She is survived by her children Diana Lynn (Mike) Lovchuk of Apollo Beach,  Cathy Lee (Art) Hoffmeyer of Wolverine Lake, MI, and Douglas Edward McNear of Ruskin.

She is also survived by grandchildren Scotty W. Walker and great-grandchildren Brianna, Becky and Tyler of Sullivan, MO; Todd Coughlin and great-grandchildren Devan and Madison of Wixon, MI; Trace Coughlin of Indianapollis; Danny Coughlin of Redford, MI; and Kimberly Coughlin and  great-grandchildren Elxis & Calista of Wixon, MI.

Nieces are Laura Edge, Ellen Witt-Bett, Ruth Webber, Stormy McGuire, Cindy Moss and Jennifer Gonterman,   all of Michigan. Nephew is George Korby.
Extended family includes Michael Lovchuk and his children Kendall & Alex of Panama City;  Katie Nehls and her children Mikey and Matthew of Palm Harbor;  and Sherry Lail  and her children Brandon, Dena, Kate, Diana and Edgar of West Palm Beach. 

Jean was a longtime member of Ruskin Women of the Moose Lodge  #813, holding all chairs possible up to Senior Regent. She was in several Christmas shows portraying Brenda Lee or playing the piano.

She fostered several German Shepherds for the Southeastern Guide Dog School in Ellenton, FL. She later adopted two greyhounds, Sherry and Beth.
Jean worked at The Shopper Observer News, starting in 1978 as a typesetter until her retirement Oct. 12, 2007. She loved her job and the “family” that she worked with. Jean was clever, quick-wittted and comical and always worked hard. The Shopper Observer News was her life.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012 from 5 to 7 p.m. at National Cremation & Burial Society of Ruskin. Funeral will be Friday, Sept. 28, at 11:00 a.m. at National Cremation & Burial Society of Ruskin. Internment will be at Ruskin Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Southeastern Guide Dog School or LifePath Hospice.


Bettylou Lewers

Mrs. Bettylou Quilhot Lewers, 79, of Lake Wales, died on Sunday, September 23, 2012, at Lake Wales Medical Center, of heart failure.

She was born October 20, 1932 in Highland Park, Michigan, and moved to Lake Wales 13 years ago from Ruskin. Alongside her husband Phillip she was the retired owner of the Lewers Funeral Home. She was a graduate of Manatee High School. Even with her busy career, she maintained a life of service and charity. She served in many offices for the Cancer Board, March of Dimes, American Foreign Student Exchange, PTA, Ruskin Junior Womans Club, the South Hillsborough Chamber of Commerce, Ruskin Fire Department and Civil Defense, the Order of the Eastern Star DeSoto Chapter #201, and the Ruskin United Methodist Church. She was honored in 1966 as the Ruskin Woman of the Year and the Outstanding Young Woman of America.

Bettylou is survived by her high school sweetheart and beloved husband of 62 years Phillip, daughters Terry Sollazzo of Valrico and Tracy Penaloza of Ruskin, ten grandchildren, six great grandchildren, her twin brother Arthur Quilhot of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and her sister Roberta Hurdle of Fullerton, California. She was preceded in death by her daughter Toni Sumner, a sister Janet Potter, and her parents G.R. Quilhot and Josephine Jones.

Visitation will be Wednesday, September 26, 2012, from 6:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. at the Johnson Funeral Home in Lake Wales. A graveside service will be held Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 2:00 P.M. at Ruskin Memorial Park.


Joseph “Jack” McDonald

Joseph “Jack” McDonald, 91, of Tampa, passed away on September 13, 2012.

Born and raised near the shores of Tampa Bay, he was a true Florida Cracker and Southern maverick who built his own fishing cabins and blue crab traps, and who could smoke a mullet so moist the neighbors would line up for a stack. To those in the criminal justice system, he was known as a savvy Tampa Police Detective who helped bust some of the city’s biggest mafia rackets.

Jack’s exuberance for life and investigation moved him to join the U.S. Air Corps in 1942 and, as a radar instructor, he taught pilots how to navigate over precarious international waters. Returning home in 1946, he earned a badge at the Tampa Police Department and started walking a beat on downtown streets, including then-infamous Skid Row. As he swiftly climbed ranks to Patrolman and ultimately Sergeant-Detective, he met and married beautiful Tampa native Marguerite Olivia. Like Jack, Marguerite loved to fish and hunt, and in 1970 they joined a deer-hunting expedition in Colorado. There in deep snow banks, Marguerite – the lone woman on the hunt – bagged two hefty 8-point bucks. Jack couldn’t have been happier.

Ultimately, Jack was drawn to the waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. In tiny, backwoods Aripeka, 50 miles north of Tampa, he and his brother, James, built a two-story Cracker cabin at land’s end that became an enchanting retreat for generations of family and friends. At low tide, they could wade to a piece of land Jack named “Arrowhead Island” for the perfectly-preserved arrowheads left by 19th-century American Indians. His children and grandchildren thrilled to join Jack on arrowhead hunts while chasing fiddler crabs down their muddy holes. At night, Jack led flounder-gigging trips in his aluminum skiff, then everyone would play poker beside star-lit waters. Players had to return any winnings at the end of the game because, after all, that was the law.

In 1997, he and Marguerite moved to Sun City Center and began what Jack called “the high life.” He loved sunset dinners with the neighbors, who swear his “sweetheart disposition” gave no clue of a man who once hunted hardened criminals for a living. No, in Sun City Center, “every day is Saturday and Sunday,” Jack would say.

Jack is preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Marguerite; and his brother James McDonald. He is survived by two daughters, Duane Landers of Tampa, and Tommie (Larry) Thompson of Tennessee; sister-in-law Lois McDonald of Tampa and her two daughters, Ann (Raymond) of Tampa, and Aline of Texas; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be in October on the bridge at Norfleet Fish Camp in Aripeka.