Obituaries: December 24, 2014

Published on: December 23, 2014

Garbet-obitCol. John S. Garbett

John S. Garbett, 94, of Sun City Center, passed away December 19, 2014, surrounded by family.

Born in Canton, Ohio, on June 3, 1920, John grew up in Royal Oak, Mich., and graduated from St. Petersburg (Fla.) High School. He worked as a draftsman in LaPorte, Ind., before enlisting in the Army Air Corps in 1942. Deployed to North Africa in January 1943, he flew P-38s in 50 combat missions, earning a Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters. John instructed in P-38s upon returning to the U.S. before serving in Korea. Transitioning to the Comptroller field in the early days of computers, he retired after 24 years of active service, becoming President of the Richards-Gebaur AFB Federal Credit Union for 20 years.

flag-in-colorJohn and his wife Margaret moved to Sun City Center in 1992 as the first residents of Freedom Plaza. He was involved in Rotary International, barbershop quartet singing, the MOAA, MOWW and the VFW. At Freedom Plaza, John served as a Trustee for Military Support Family Trust and on the ROC Board of Directors for 19 years, performing as President and Chairman of the Board and Treasurer. He also served on the church Vestry at St. John the Divine, and sang in the church choir.

He is survived by wife Margaret Garbett; children William John Garbett, Susan Garbett Lawter and Megan Knapp; grandchildren Angie Garbett, Allison Lawter and David Grandon; and sister Halcyone Watkins. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Janet E. Ramsay, grandson Brian Garbett, and sisters Bernice Miller and Beverly Bowman.

Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 27, at St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, 1015 E. Del Webb Blvd., Sun City Center. In lieu of flowers, donations in John’s memory may be made to the Military Family Support Trust, 1010 American Eagle Blvd., Sun City Center, FL 33573, or the charity of your choice.


Gail Marie Hubbell

Gail Marie Hubbell passed away Sunday, December 14, at her home in Ruskin, Fla. Born September 14, 1955, in Minneapolis, Minn., Gail lived in Ruskin since 1982 and is survived by her loving parents, Don and Margaret Griffin of Fort Myers, Fla., and her beloved husband of 31 years, David J. Hubbell.

Other survivors include sisters Anne Midtgaard of Fort Myers and Barbara Germak of Danbury, Conn.; three nephews, two nieces, a great-nephew and a great-niece.

Gail was a volunteer member of the Board of Directors of Suncoast Community Health Centers for many years and an active member of Ye Royal Krewe of Charlotte DeBerry and various charitable causes, including Deputy Darlings. She owned and operated Hubbell’s Nursery in Ruskin.

A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, Jan. 10, from 1 to 3 p.m. at 830 Bahia Del Sol in Little Harbor.

Arrangements by Zipperer’s Funeral Home.


David Earl Myers

flag-in-colorDavid Earl Myers passed away peacefully Thursday, December 18, at James A  Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, surrounded by his loving family.

Dave was born in Hartford City, Ind., on August 7, 1925, and he spent more than half his life there. He graduated Hartford City High School, then joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served in World War II.

Honorably discharged, he then met the love of his life and wife of 67 years, Dessa Elizabeth Florence. Dave and Dessa started their family and a trucking business in Hartford City.

They moved to Florida in 1977 and continued in the trucking business. Later they downsized to just one truck. Dave and Dessa drove for 10 more years before finally retiring in 2004.Dave was preceded in death by his parents, Herbert Myers and Blanche Myers; brother Burl Myers; sisters Virginia Jones and Joan Myers.

Dave is survived by his spouse, Dessa Florence Myers; sister Martha Sue Hill; son Dennis Herbert Myers; daughter Donetta Sue Myers; grandchildren Angela Jo Howell and Dennis David Myers; and great-grandchildren Steven Quinn Parsons and Donovan Holt Stewart.

A private family memorial service was held at Ruskin Church of Christ on Dec. 20. David Earl Myers will be laid to rest at Sarasota National Cemetery.

Arrangements by Zipperer’s Funeral Home.


Stanlake,JosephJoseph Durward “J.D.” Stanlake

J.D., age 92, of Sun City Center, Fla., formerly of Kalamazoo, passed away December 17, 2014. He was born October 1, 1922, to Joseph and Jane Stanlake and raised in Duluth, Minn.

As a young boy, he enjoyed playing hockey, skiing, working as a golf caddy and delivering newspapers in Duluth. He also spent much of his boyhood years in the northern woods of Minnesota where he, his father and his mother built a family cabin. It was there and growing up on the shores of Lake Superior that he learned to love the lakes and the woods — a love that stayed with him throughout his life.

After graduation from Duluth Central High School in 1940, J.D. (or Durward, as his parents called him) attended college for a couple of years before joining the U.S. Naval Air Corps.  Aviation had intrigued him as a boy and his dream of flying came to fruition during World War II.  He was trained as a pilot and flight instructor. He flew a number of planes but during the war, he primarily flew the Curtiss SB2C Dive Bomber off the aircraft carrier Essex in the South Pacific. After active duty, J.D. remained in the Naval Reserve, flying transport planes until 1964.

flag-in-colorIn November 1945 he was united in marriage to Dorothy Jean Johnson in Hastings, Mich.  In 1952, the Stanlakes moved to Kalamazoo, where he worked as a self-employed building contractor. Kalamazoo was their home for many years and where they raised their three daughters. In the mid-’60s he was hired by the City of Kalamazoo Building Department as an inspector and later, supervisor. He retired from the City of Kalamazoo in 1980.

While maintaining a summer home in Lake County, he spent many summers volunteering at Habitat for Humanity and other organizations in that area. However, in 1981, J.D. and Dorothy made Sebring, Fla., their permanent residence. There they enjoyed many years of retirement, playing golf and participating in volunteer activities. They also enjoyed traveling and taking grandchildren to the theme parks and attractions in Florida. The Stanlakes were charter members of the Emmanuel Church of Christ in Sebring.  While in Kalamazoo, the First Congregational Church of Kalamazoo was his church home. In 2010, J.D. moved to Sun City Center, where he enjoyed exercising, riding his bike and various activities in that community and attending the United Community Church.

Throughout his life, he was a hero to his girls; he could build anything, fix anything and was a wealth of knowledge in many areas. He loved to learn and eagerly jumped into the electronic age, becoming very computer-savvy.  He was always eager to help with any projects his family had going on and generously gave his time and energy. He was loved by all the family pets and he loved them as well.

J.D. was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Dorothy Stanlake in 2006, and his half-brother, Charles Turcott in 1999. Surviving are his daughters Candace Stanlake (Alan Beth) of Sun City Center, Rene (Richard) Bush, Teresa (Marvin) Simon, and “child of the heart” Carole Sweet, all of Kalamazoo.  He is also survived by grandchildren Joseph Beth, Bridgett Bush, Benjamin (Stephanie) Bush, Nicholas (Jody) Simon, Traci (Kelly) Krepps, Matthew Sweet; great-grandchildren Gracie and Leyton Eagle, Nicky and Jenna Simon, Graham Krepps, Layla Rose Bush, Nicolette, Katelyn and Emery Sweet; sister-in-law Marcia (Kenneth) Lane and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 8, at First Congregational Church of UCC, 345 W. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo,  followed by a committal service with military honors at Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, Mich. Visitation will be Thursday morning from 10 to 11 a.m. at the church.

Memorial contributions may be made to LifePath Hospice (Hillsborough County, Fla.), Kalamazoo County Humane Society (Kalamazoo, Mich.) or C.A.R.E. Animal Shelter (Ruskin, Fla.). Arrangements were entrusted to Langeland Family Funeral Homes. Please visit J.D.’s personalized webpage for directions, his online guestbook or to leave a condolence to his family at



James Frederick Wohlrabe

James Frederick Wohlrabe, 91, was born to eternal life at the Aristrocrat Nursing Center in Naples, Fla., on December 18, 2014.

He leaves his dear wife of 67 years, Joan; loving children Mary (Thomas) Domer and Judy (Timothy) Knurr of  Milwaukee, Wis., Bo (Ethel) Wohlrabe of Nashville, Tenn., Robert Wohlrabe of  Naples, Jeannie (Jack) Iannello of Maple Grove, Minn.; and sister-in law Virginia Merck of Little Rock, Ark. He will be remembered fondly by his many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

James was preceded in death by sons James and Thomas; brother Thomas and wife Charlene of Des Moines; and brother-in law John Merck of Little Rock.

Born in Oconomowoc, Wis., he met his bride Joan during World War II at a USO dance in Little Rock. James attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and began his engineering career as a plastics tool and die designer in Milwaukee. Among other designs, Jim fashioned one of the first automotive battery cases and a plastic mold for the electric carving knife. He retired as Chief Operations Officer from Tulip Corporation at age 68.

Jim and Joan lived happily for many years in Shorewood, Wis., active in St. Robert Parish and School activities.

While golf, travel, bowling, the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers were near and dear to Jim’s heart, he and Joan loved dancing — so much so that they sold their snow blower and gleefully shuffled off to retirement in Sun City Center and Naples.

During retirement years, Jim was also an active member in the Knights of Columbus with Prince of Peace Parish in Sun City Center.

As devoted family and friends will attest, his was a life well lived.

The family held a private service.  Memorial contributions are welcomed to St. Robert Parish and School at 4019 N. Farwell Ave., Shorewood, WI 53211.