Obituaries: February 23, 2017

Published on: February 22, 2017

Dorothy J. Alford

Dorothy J. Alford passed away Feb. 14, 2017. She was born July 2, 1928 to Henry E. Corwin and Claire Hazel Nix in Gardenville, Fla. Her life was filled with many challenges and yet she remained faithful throughout her sojourn here on earth. Three of her sons joined the military, Butch and Gene both in the Marines and Mike in the Navy, all of them serving during the Vietnam Conflict. She served in many callings in her church, often working in the youth programs and music, as she was an accomplished pianist.

In her youth, she had been an excellent student in school, even skipping two grade levels. These talents helped her to rise in the phosphate industry in transporting phosphate all over the world by trains, ships and trucks. During her career, she was in charge of the billing and tracking of tons of product for U.S. Phosphoric, which changed hands many times, with her ending her career with Cargill. Her employment relationships led her to join the church and embrace the gospel all of the rest of her life. After the tragic loss of her son, George, which saddened her greatly, she helped raise his three children, James, Tabitha and Johnny.

Dorothy loved to draw and spent time creating landscapes and portraits as a hobby. Other interests included her love of animals, and she raised many different kinds from dogs and cats to rabbits, chickens and pigs. She had a gift of compassion and natural healing of their wounds.

In her retirement, her health declined, and it impaired her ability to participate socially, but she appreciated visits from her friends and family. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest Shepherd Alford and by her son, George Wesley Alford. Survivors include her four children, Ernest “Butch” Shepherd Alford, III, Richard Eugene “Gene” Alford, Sheila Lynn “She” Alford, James Michael “Mike” Alford; 15 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren.

Funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 at Sun City Center Funeral Home, 1851 Rickenbacker Drive, Sun City Center, Fla. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Missionary Fund, 1008 Apollo Beach Blvd., # 108, Apollo Beach, FL 33572. Arrangements by Sun City Center Funeral Home, 813-634-9900.

Diane K. Ernst

Diane K. Ernst, 68, of Apollo Beach, Fla. passed away Feb. 16, 2017.  She was the owner of Almost New Bookstore for 23 years in Tampa, Fla.

She is survived by her husband of over 39 years, Donald “Mickey” Ernst and three nephews, Tommy Ernst, Rusty Snyder, and Jamin Snyder. She is also survived by her niece Carrie Dean;  brother-in-law Fred Ernst; two sisters-in-law Barbie Ernst and Michaella Snyder.

Arrangements by Zipperer’s Funeral Home.

Freda May Hobart

Freda May Hobart, age 84, passed away on February 13, 2017 at her home.

She was born in Perry County, Kentucky, on February 6, 1933, and moved to the area over 50 years ago. Freda is predeceased by her husband John H. Stout, Jr. and two daughters, Brenda Wheeler and Joyce Bird.

She is survived by her four children: Judy Sikes, Shelby Whiteleather, Stanley Stout and Larry Stout; 14 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great-grandchildren; and many other loving family members.

Services will be in Tennessee and a Celebration of her Life will be held in Florida at a later date. Arrangements by Groover Funeral Home at Mansion Memorial Park, Ellenton, Fla.

Veronica M. Reeder

Veronica M. Reeder, 81, of Sun City Center, Fla., passed away on February 5, 2017. Ronnie and Anne moved to SCC in 1999 from Ossining, N.Y.

She has always been active in her community; she worked as a paramedic for the Long Grove, Ill. Fire Department. She was a Special Education HS assistant teacher for 12 years through BOCES, and when she retired went on to volunteer for 16 years with the Sun City Center Emergency Squad. She was also involved with the Art Club, Ceramics Club, Lawn Bowling Club, a member of the Caloosa Creek Ladies Golf Association, and the secretary for the Sun City Center 9 Hole Ladies Golf Club.

Ronnie is survived by her life companion, Anne C. McGuire and her loving family; her children, Neil, Nancy (Greg), Janice (Aaron), Eileen (Ron), Linda (Bill), and Terrence (Kristen); brother, Fr. Peter Fink S.J.; and grandchildren, Nick, Alexa, Megan, Ryan, Jordan, Justin, and Evan.

There will be a memorial Mass on Saturday, March 4, 2017, at 10 a.m. at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Ruskin.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Sun City Center Emergency Squad at or to C.A.R.E. Animal Rescue in Ruskin at We shall always keep Ronnie in our hearts as the caring person she was.

Elizabeth F. Salmon

Elizabeth F. Salmon (Bette), our “Nana,” died peacefully after a brief illness at the Hospice House in Sun City Center, Fla., on February 9, 2017. She was the life of the party and dearly loved by family and friends. She made sure to celebrate 97 years just five days before developing pneumonia. That should be no surprise to those who knew her since she would never have passed up a party. She always had a joke to crack, new friends to make, and laughter seemed to follow her everywhere. She will always be remembered for teaching her family and friends to keep a good sense of humor and to embrace a sense of community everywhere you go. She had a way of bringing sparkle to those around her, and now continues to sparkle in Heaven dancing and laughing with her husband, Milton Salmon, the love of her life.

Bette loved many things including animals, collecting quarters, children, acting, happy hour, travel, playing cards and games and telling jokes. She always had a treat for furry animal friends wherever she lived. She was born in Sussex, N.J. on January 14, 1920, to Cleta Kernick Fergerson and Emmett Edgar Fergerson. As an only child, she found companionship with animals, and Lobo was her first pet of many throughout her life. She lit up at the sight of dogs and little children.

She attended Sussex High School and Centenary College in Hacketstown, N.J. and spent most of her life caring for her family, working briefly in the post office in Liberty Corner, N.J. and as a preschool teacher in Durham, N.C. She loved to tell everyone that actress Meryl Streep was in her Brownie Troop in Liberty Corner.

She is survived by three children: William Donald Salmon of Spokane, Wash., Mark Emmet Salmon and daughter-in-law Dee of Sun City Center, Fla., and Lynne Salmon Whitaker of Patchogue, N.Y.; five grandchildren, Tracy Salmon of Vermont, Heather W. Clark (Andrew) of Merrimack, N.H., Glen E. “Tripp” Whitaker lll (Doriana) of Schenksville, P.A., Tiffany E. Seda (Christopher) of West Islip, N.Y., and Marlana E. Salmon-Letelier (Matias) of NYC, N.Y.; 11 great-grandchildren, two nieces, one nephew and several great-nieces and great-nephews.

St. Andrew Presbyterian in Sun City Center was her church home since 1983. She served as deacon, on the drama team, and most recently coordinating monthly communion for members living at Sun Towers, where she resided as an active socialite for three and one-half years. We all fondly remember her practicing the part of the Witch of Endor (1 Samuel) for a play she was performing at St. Andrew.

Prior to Sun Towers she lived in Kings Point (Glouster Association) in Sun City Center for 32 years, and she and her husband Milton lived in eight states during his career in VA Management: District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York and South Carolina. Her ashes will be buried at Bay Pines National Cemetery, St. Petersburg, Fla. with her beloved “Milt,” who preceded her in death in 1986. She was also preceded in death by her parents and grandparents.

The family wishes to thank all those who cared for her during her last weeks of life and for the time at Sun Towers. A special thank you to the many friends who sat with Bette during this trying time and to the doctors, nurses and staff at South Bay Hospital, Sun Terrace Rehabilitation Center and Life Path Hospice House. We are eternally grateful.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, March 3, at 10 a.m. at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Sun City Center, Fla., officiated by her son Rev. Mark E. Salmon and Rev. Robert Schmeiser.

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials to St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 1239 Del Webb Blvd. W., Sun City Center, FL 33573. Arrangements by Sun City Center Funeral Home.