Obituaries for the week of Jan. 30, 2020

Published on: January 30, 2020

William S. Baldwin

William Scott Baldwin of Apollo Beach, left this earth on his 61st birthday, January 13, 2020. He proudly served in the US Marine Corps. Bill enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, watching sports or playing music. His favorite instruments to play were guitar and harmonica.

The last few years of his life were hard but he fought through it like the tough guy we knew and loved. He is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, Tammie; his children, William and Sarah; his siblings: Linda, Sharon, Michael and Patrick; and his mother and father-in-law, Joan and Walt.


Joan T. Carlton

Joan Dora Tuffley Carlton, 90, of Sun City Center, FL, passed away on January 11, 2020. She was born to Alvaro “Butch” C. Tuffley and Edna Field Tuffley in the Village of Tully, Onondaga County, NY, on November 12, 1929.

She is survived by: sons: Steve (Pat), Doug (Lorri) and Paul (Lisa); grandchildren: Amber, Caitlin, Sara, Cody, Quincy, Cray and Azriel; great grands: Jahzrael and Violet; and numerous nieces/nephews and their families.

She grew up with her parents and sister Joyce Tuffley Boutilier in Tully, NY. A precocious pre-teen and adolescent, she often drove her father’s 1930s standard-transmission delivery trucks, sang in church choirs and school plays, and once scored 28 points in a school basketball game.

As a 1947 graduate of Tully HS, she enrolled in the Syracuse General School of Nursing where she graduated in 1950. In Sept 1950, she began what would become a 66+ year marriage with her high school beau, George Carlton – a newly commissioned US Navy Ensign and aviator. During their 30+ year navy life, she raised three boys and coordinated 24 household moves to/from various Naval air and seaport Stations. In addition, she worked as a licensed nurse in several states: VA, CA, CO and HI, along the way. She always said that “the delivery room was my favorite place to be”.

In 1980, post-Navy life began in Kailua, HI, and continued in Sun City Center (1989) as charter members of Wedgewood. Joan and George lived a vigorous retirement life with fellow Wedgwood “charters,” the security patrol; Joan’s passions included quilting, travel adventures and one month annually for fun and frolic in upstate NY at Tully Lake with family and friends!

Her gracious, kind and caring nature endeared her to us all. In lieu of flowers, please offer donations in her memory to Lifepath SCC Hospice House (813-871-8444).

David Bruce Dibble

David Bruce Dibble passed into God’s loving arms on Wednesday, January 22, 2020, at Hospice House in Ellenton, FL. He was a resident of Sun City Center, FL.

Dave was born April 16, 1931, in Syracuse, NY, the son of Stanley Marcus and Erma Madeline Cornish Dibble.

Dave took his Navy training in 1953 and was an engineering officer on the minesweeper USS Dominant in 1954, serving in the Mediterranean in 1955. He returned on the Cruiser USS Albany and separated from the Navy in Norfolk, VA.

David was a graduate of Central High School and of Syracuse University in 1954, earning an engineering degree. He was a member of the SU band and captain of the rowing crew in 1953. He began work at Carrier Air Conditiong Co. in 1956 where he had several patents on refrigeration. David retired as vice president of Carrier International. In his retirement he was president of Baco Controls of Cazenovia, NY.

David married his sweetheart, Jaqueline Haulenbeek, in 1957. She predeceased him in 2014. Together they had four loving children: Bruce (Kim) Dibble, Susan (Scott) Englert, Carey (David) Reynik, Marilyn (Mark) Schueller; 11 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his loving second wife and 50-year friend, Sally Fay Dibble of Kings Point, Sun City Center; his very dear sister, Doris Powell; and several nieces and nephews. He was an avid golfer and tennis player well into his 80s.

David was treasurer and caring supporter of his Presbyterian Church in Cazenovia, NY.

He will be terribly missed by all who loved him. He will be laid to rest in Cazenovia, where a grave-side service is planned for August 2020.


James C. Milks

James C. Milks, 84, of Sun City Center, went to his heavenly home on Thursday, January 16, 2020.  Jim was born on September 10, 1935, the second son of Dr. Clifford and Mrs. Betty Milks. He spent his childhood in the small New York towns of Newark Valley and then Owego as his father ran his veterinary practice and taught at Cornell University Veterinary College.

After graduating at the top of his high school class, Jim attended Hamilton and Harpur Colleges. He then served his country in the U. S. Navy, service for which he was very proud.

After his service, Jim eventually started working for Cornell University where he stayed for the remainder of his career.  Alongside his full-time employment, Jim and his brother Steve built and ran Rocky Dock Campground on Cayuga Lake in the heart of the Finger Lakes.

Jim and Judy were married in 1998 and continued to live in Central New York State, in the town of Trumansburg, for a number of years as they finished their careers and began retirement.  They enjoyed their local grandchildren: Elrik, Katie and Hannah McCheyne and Emily Horton very much and looked forward to visits from the Pennsylvania gang: Susi, Josiah, Daniel and Malia McKay. One year they took a cross-country trip in their RV to visit their grandchildren Caleb, Bethany and Moriah in Anchorage, AK.

Jim and Judy moved to Sun City Center in 2006, where he was active in the SCC Emergency Squad and SCC Security Patrol. He was also a church usher and a very active domino player.

Jim is survived by his loving wife, Judy; brother and sister-in-law, Ed and Gloria Milks; sister, Janet Kuhns; sister-in-law, Lois Milks; sister-in-law, Kathy and her husband Michael Steele; daughters and sons-in-law: Beth and Gary McCheyne, Becky and Kevin McKay and Amy and Dennis Horton; step-son and daughter-in-law, Matthew and Blanca Abair; 11 grandchildren; one great-grandson, Eoin McCheyne; and several beloved nieces, nephews and great-nieces and -nephews.

Jim was predeceased by his brother, Steve Milks; brother-in-law, Gary Kuhns; and step-son, Stephen Abair.

Gifts in Jim’s name can be made to LifePath Hospice or the United Methodist Church in Sun City Center. Arrangements by Sun City Center Funeral Home, 813-634-9900.


Gene Wheeler

“It’s not the length of life, but the depth of life.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Depth in life is profound and extensive. Gene Wheeler’s life possessed the depth that many of us dream to achieve: a life that had meaning, a legacy to pass on, experience and knowledge that his family and friends were eager to learn.

Gene Wheeler passed away peacefully the early morning of Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at Life Path Hospice in Ruskin, FL. As quickly as his transition out of this life began, his departure was not alone. He is survived by his wife, Donna Wheeler; his stepchildren: Daniel Jr., Jennifer, Shannon, Dennis, and Mark; as well as many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Born in Indianapolis, IN June 12, 1941, Gene proved that a life of service and heroism would provide the legacy his family has today. As the only child of Hazel and Cecil Wheeler, Gene selflessly joined the United States Air Force as soon as he graduated high school. He served his country and remained a proud veteran till his last breath. His heroism and valor continued beyond his time of service when he risked his own life to save the lives of a father and his son from a raging tornado, jumping from his overturned semi-truck to a small truck on its side helplessly in the tornado’s path.

Gene Wheeler was not simply a husband, father or grandfather; he was a hero. He is a man his family looks up to, a man with guidance, a man with depth.

A celebration of life will be held Sunday, February 9, 2020, at 1 p.m. Family and friends will gather in grace and gratitude at the VFW Post #6287, 5120 N. US 41, Ruskin, FL, where they will enjoy live music courtesy of John and Pam Zilba, Wayne Newton, along with Dusty singing “Amazing Grace.”


Peter Wood

Peter Wood, “Farmer Pete,” of Riverview, age 76, passed away on January 16, 2020 from complications from esophageal cancer.

Born in Lancashire, England, in 1943, Pete joined his parents in the circus until he moved to Canada in 1966. “Safari Pete” gradually built his own circus act, with nine years performing with lions and tigers. He traveled throughout North America with several circus’s, including Ringling Brothers.

When it came time to settle down, Safari Pete decided to grow vegetables in Riverview, FL. Thus, “Farmer Pete” began serving local communities from his veggie wagons and tents, while delighting his customers with circus stories of his past.

Peter is survived by daughter Geraldine Antoinette Wood, sons Peter George Wood and Timothy Wood, nine grandchildren and his sister Carina Clough of England.

A celebration of life will be held Thursday, February 6, 2020, from 3 to 5 p.m., with the ceremony at 4 p.m., at the Firehouse Cultural Center, 101 1st Ave. NE, Ruskin, FL 33570.

In lieu of flowers, we ask for donations of fruits and or vegetables (Fresh or Canned) to be “Farmer Pete’s last delivery,” going to a local food pantry.


Robert Wright

It is with great sadness that the family of Robert Wright announces his passing on Monday, January 20, 2020, at the age of 91 years. Robert will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 69 1/2 years, Phyllis, and his children, Robbie and Sandra. Robert will also be fondly remembered by his four grandchildren: Kim (Jim), Trisha (Josh), Ashley and Kyle; his five great grandchildren: James, Amanda, Britton, Hailey, and Ethan; and his sister-in-law, Ruth Ann. Robert was predeceased by his brother, Elmer.

Robert loved spending time with his family; enjoyed traveling, especially cruises; and was an avid golfer who scored three holes-in-one. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Sun City Center Emergency Squad.

Mary Ellen Ziarnik

Mary Ellen Ziarnik, 89, passed on December 25, 2019.

A memorial service will be held at Aston Gardens, 231 Courtyard Blvd., Sun City Center, on February 1, 2020, at 3 p.m.

Arrangements by Brewer & Sons Funeral Homes & Cremation Services, 813-835-4991.