Obituaries for week of Oct. 3, 2019

Published on: October 3, 2019

Dennis C. Callaway

Dennis Carl Callaway, 88, formerly of Athens, Michigan, went to be with the love of his life, Bobbie, in God’s garden on Friday, September 13, 2019, in Sun City Center, Florida. He was born in Battle Creek, Michigan, on August 27, 1931. He is survived by his children: Norman T. Callaway (Constance) of New Mexico, Lawrence D. Callaway (Denise) of Minnesota and Edward S. Callaway(Sherry) of South Carolina. He leaves behind many loving grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is survived by brother and sister Ronald Callaway (Eldene ) and Marguarite Raymer. He also has three stepchildren: Harold Norton, Patrica Homan and Kirk Norton and their families. There are many nieces, nephews, cousins and loving friends in Sun City Center who will miss him as well. Dennis was preceded in death by son Dennis Callaway Jr., brother James Callaway and sister JoAnn Callaway.

Dennis served in the U.S. Navy and worked at Post Cereal in Battle Creek. He lived with Bobbie on a former dairy farm near Athens, a portion of which was developed into Birchwood Mobile Home Park. His passions were service to the Lord and building and flying airplanes.

The funeral services and burial will take place in Battle Creek, Michigan.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his name to the Sun City Center United Methodist Church, online at or by mail to Sun City Center United Methodist Church, 1210 Del Webb Blvd. W, Sun City Center, FL 33573.

Robert A. Collins

Robert “Bob” Allan Collins, 78, of Melbourne and Apollo Beach, Fla., passed peacefully September 8, 2019, after a short illness, surrounded by family and close friends. Born November 16, 1940, in St. Louis, Mo., to Robert and Jane Collins.

Bob graduated from Westminster College where he was active in Sigma Chi fraternity and ROTC. He earned a Juris Doctor at University of Kansas School of Law. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1993 in addition to other states and Washington, D.C. federal courts. Bob was an officer in the U.S. Army Armor, Ft. Knox, Ky. and later in the Army Reserves as a lieutenant colonel. In 1968 he moved to Melbourne, Fla., joining Harris Corporation for 27 years, during which time he earned an MS degree in Procurement Management at Florida Institute of Technology.

After leaving Florida, he lived in Kansas, Maine and Texas, working at several corporations as vice president and senior legal and business executive experienced in managing global and domestic legal functions, contract management and business development functions at multiple global businesses for Flowserve Corporation, SPX Corporation and Allied Signal/Honeywell. One of his proudest accomplishments was being admitted to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Upon retirement from corporate America, which he so thoroughly enjoyed, he became active in his church and neighborhood community where he served on various boards and offered legal advice to people in need and, even, fried fish for Friday night church fundraisers. Additionally, he was very involved in the lives of his grandchildren – attending activities, being ever so supportive and providing guidance on the way of the world, most importantly how to be a good person.

In addition to his wife, Martha Beaujean Collins, Bob is survived by his daughter, Lisa Peart Loosbrock (Tom); grandchildren Will and Ben Loosbrock, Apollo Beach, Fla.; his sister, Barbara Ramsey (William “Bill”), Yuma, Ariz.; his niece, Alison Ramsey Rutherfurd, grand-nephews, Calum and Levi Rutherfurd, Sebastopol, Calif.; brother-in-law and partner, Don Beaujean, Sena Biruchenko, Willow, Ala.; nephew, Bristol Beaujean and family; and nieces Brittany and Grace Beaujean, Anchorage, Ala.; and former wife, Adrienne Collins, Melbourne, Fla.

Bob’s love of family, quick wit and sense of honor and duty will be remembered by those whose lives he touched. Military honors, services and a celebration of his life were held at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Melbourne, September 28, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the American Cancer Society, where Bob was a former board member.

Mary “Helen” Gierhart

Mary “Helen” Gierhart, age 92, of Sun City Center, Florida, (formerly of Sidney, Ohio,) passed away Tuesday, September 24, 2019, at her home with family by her side. Helen was born in Orange Township, Sidney, Ohio, on April 30, 1927, to the late Harry and Genevieve (Cole) Keiber. She attended Orange Township schools and worked many years at Miller’s Dress Shop, downtown Sidney.

Preceded in death by her parents; husband of 58 years, Richard Gierhart, in 2001, and sisters, Clara Woodruff and Ruth Keiber, Helen is survived by her children, Gary Gierhart and Earnest Mackey of Lakeland, Fla.; Barbara and Mike Kinstle, Wapakoneta, Ohio; Linda Bristow, Sun City Center, Fla.; Dennis Gierhart, Sun City Center, Fla.; Karen and Perry Connor, Apollo Beach, Fla.; Ronald Gierhart and George Sargent, Covington, Ohio; David and Donna Gierhart, Acworth, Ga., and Sandy Smith, Sun City Center, Fla.; 14 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews and great friends, along with her loving companion, Sophie.

Helen was an avid fan of John Wayne and in her later years got to sing and dance with “Elvis.” She will be greatly missed. Arrangements by Sun City Center Funeral Home, 813-634-9900.

William McCracken

William “Bill” McCracken, 84, of Sun City Center, Florida, passed away Sept. 26 at home.

A retiree of the United States Army, Bill is survived by his wife of 48 years, Suzie Vong McCracken; children: Patti McCracken Kubin (Leonard), Suzanne McCracken Poier (Tom), Ret. Col. Harrold McCracken (Laura), Linda McCracken Charbeneau (David) and Kimberly McCracken Snodgrass (Jay); grandchildren: Katherine Nakamoto, Alexandra Kubin, Zachary Kubin, Robert Poier, Grace McCracken, Mason Charbeneau, Samuel McCracken and Bryan Charbeneau; great granddaughters: Elise Nakamoto and Ivy Nakamoto; and his siblings: Frank McCracken, Lizzie Fowler (Gene), Anna DuFour and Mary Jane McKinney.

Bill’s life will be celebrated Friday, Oct. 4, at St. Anne Catholic Church, where visitation will begin at 9 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. with Military Honors immediately following. Bill will be laid to rest in Sarasota National Cemetery at 1:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Bill’s name may be directed to the D.A.V. Chapter 110 Sun City Center, 1002 Cherry Hills Drive, Sun City Center 33573. Arrangements by Sun City Center Funeral Home, 813-634-9900.

Barry Myers

On Saturday, September 14, 2019, Barry Myers tragically passed away at the age of 87. Barry was born on November 26, 1931, in Merrill, Wisconsin, and grew up in the town of Tomahawk, Wisconsin. He is preceded in death by his father and mother, Guy and Clara Myers.

On May 3, 1952, he married the first love of his life, Norma Keyes. Together, he and Norma raised five amazing children: Michael, Bruce, Vicki, Paula and Sandra (Sandy). Barry spent the majority of his life as a building contractor – he had an amazing work ethic and made sure his family was well taken care of. Norma sadly passed away November 10, 1997. He was blessed with four grandsons and one great-grandson. He is survived by one sister, Dorothy Robarge of Bellevue, Nebraska.

Barry met the second love of his life, Dorothy, and they were married March 23, 2001. She brought her two children, Richard and Lynda and their families into Barry’s life, and he took amazing care of their mother.

Barry enlisted in the United States Navy January 4, 1951. After completing boot camp at U.S. Naval Training Center Great Lakes, Illinois, he was attached to the Field Medical Training Battalion, Supporting Arms Training Regiment, Marine Barracks, Camp Pendleton, California. He was then stationed with the 1st Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force as a combat corpsman during the Korean War. Barry was discharged on November 1, 1954, while at Sub Group One, San Diego Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet, U.S. Naval Station San Diego, Calif.

Barry became involved with the Masons at a young age. He was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason on May 29, 1957, became a Past Master at the age of 32, and was awarded the 50-year certificate and pin by the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin F&AM in 2007. He joined the Scottish Rite Masons and Zor Shriners of Madison, Wisconsin, in 1963. He also belonged to the Valley of Eau Claire, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. After moving to Sun City Center, Barry became actively involved in the DeSoto Lodge #105 F&AM, Egypt Shriners in Tampa, and the Sun City Center Shrine Club. Barry was very humbled by his acceptance into the Sun City Center Leathernecks because of his assistance to fellow service members in the Marine Corps during the Korean War.

One of Barry’s greatest joys during his life was flying his twin-engine Cessna 310. He was also an avid outdoorsman, who liked all winter sports, golf, fishing, hunting and relaxing with his family. Another great love he had was for his church – Barry loved his church family at Trinity Baptist Church in Sun City Center, and they loved him.

A “Celebration of Life” service will be held at Trinity Baptist Church, 702 Dell Webb Blvd. W, Sun City Center, FL 33573 on Saturday, October 12, 2019, at 4 pm. In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be made to Shriners Hospital for Children – Tampa or Trinity Baptist Church, Sun City Center. Arrangements by Sun City Center Funeral Home, 813-634-9900.

Elyse Oddo

Elyse (Sutter) Oddo, 95, passed away peacefully the evening of September 16, 2019, in her home at Sun Towers Retirement Community in Sun City Center, Fla. She was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Vincent (Tony) Oddo, in 2015, and son, Robert Oddo, in 2017. She is survived by her daughter, Elysa Hendricks; son-in-law Vern Hendricks; and two grandchildren: Todd Hendricks and his wife Sarah and Christopher Hendricks.

Elyse was born on July 26, 1924, in Milwaukee, Wis., to Swiss immigrants John and Elsie Sutter as the oldest of three children. After graduating from West Division High School in 1942, she worked for the Allis-Chalmers Corporation. On July 13, 1944, she was selected as Miss Milwaukee at the Palace Theatre. Then on September 20, 1944, in Racine, Wis., she was crowned Miss Wisconsin 1944 in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 20th anniversary celebration and went on to take seventh place in the national competition. As part of her pageant prize, she was an extra in the Esther Williams movie This Time For Keeps, filmed in Mackinac Island, Mich. If you blink, you’ll miss her.

During her 64 years of marriage, she lived in Chicago, Ill.; Des Plaines, Ill.; Milwaukee, Wis.; McFarland, Wis.; Glendale Heights, Ill.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Seattle, Wash.; and Ellenton, Fla.

Spanning her 95, years Elyse committed her life to giving back to the community by helping others. She worked in a Maddison, Wis., beauty culture school, teaching self-confidence and comportment to young women. Once she retired and relocated to Ellenton, Fla., in 1992, she volunteered at the Ellenton United Methodist Church as well as being a driver for a blind group called the Poke-A-Dots. She was a wonderful mother and friend. She touched many lives and will be greatly missed.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that you make a donation in Elyse Oddo’s name to your charity of choice. A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, October 6, 2019, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Security Patrol Building Community Room, 1225 N. Pebble Beach Blvd., Sun City Center, FL 33573.

Juanita Wadsworth

At 93 years young, Juanita Langford Wadsworth passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on September 17, 2019. She was born on March 11, 1926, in Fort Pierce, Florida. She was the only child of Susie (Jenkins) and Thomas Leslie Langford. Nanny, as she was affectionately called, felt her greatest accomplishments were being a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, James Raleigh Wadsworth Jr., in 1997. She is survived by her daughters, Susan Wadsworth Isaac (Michael) and Debra Wadsworth Mendez; granddaughter, Ashley Arnold Rogalinski (Rich); grandson, Alex Mendez; and the newest member of the family, great-grandson Raleigh Rogalinski. She was a lifelong resident of Tampa and graduate of Plant High School Class of 1944.

Funeral service was held at 11 a.m. at Sun City Center Funeral Home on Friday, September 27, 2019, with Pastor Stacey Bowen of Simmons Loop Baptist Church officiating. Interment followed at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Fla., with her husband.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her honor to Simmons Loop Baptist Church, c/o Senior Ministry, 6610 Simmons Loop Road, Riverview, FL 33578; online at (memo to Senior Ministry), Text (SLBC Senior Ministry “amount” to 73256) or mail (check payable to church as above). For more details, visit: