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Obituaries for the week of May 21, 2020

Published on: May 20, 2020

John David Higdon

Sept. 16, 1952 – May 6, 2020

John David Higdon, age 67, of Sun City Center, Florida, passed away peacefully on May 6, 2020. His wife of 43 years, Nancy, was at his side.

John was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Dorothy (Coleman) Higdon and Elvin Higdon on September 16, 1952. He was the youngest of their three children. He enjoyed a fun childhood in Indianapolis. At age 9, the family moved to Caldwell, New Jersey, and then to Silver Spring, Maryland, when John was 13. John graduated from Springbrook High School in 1971. Subsequently, he attended the University of Maryland. He met his future wife Nancy in the hallway of ADP in 1975, and they married in October of 1976. Their union gave them the best son in the world, Danny, who was born in March of 1983.

John’s working career was primarily in the payroll business, in various roles with several different companies. John’s strong work ethic and attention to detail made him well respected by his superiors and peers and loved by his clients.

John was very passionate about everything he endeavored in. His favorite passions were brewing his own beer, barbequing, baking his own bread and playing board games, especially the old classic ones. He enjoyed all sorts of music, and his themed playlists were always going at home. He loved to travel, and his travels with Nancy and Danny led to interests in many different cuisines, resulting in a love of cooking. He was a true sports fan, enjoying the NFL, NHL, major league baseball and college football and basketball.

John and his family spent most of their lives in Maryland. Due to Nancy’s job, Nancy and John moved to San Antonio, Texas, in 2009 and spent over four years there. John loved living in Texas and fully embraced the culture there.

John retired at age 59, and when Nancy retired the following year, they moved to Florida, so that John could be near his mother and assist with her care. He was a very devoted son.

As retirees, John and Nancy enjoyed numerous wonderful trips together, including a river cruise in Europe, driving to Key West, and a week in Maui, Hawaii.

John was a man of great faith, a loving husband and father, and a great friend to many. John will be remembered by all for his passion, his sense of humor and his beer glass collection.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy; their son, Danny; his dog, Snickers; his brother, Jim; his sister, Trudy, and her husband, Jim; his niece, Kelly; his nephew, Greg; their spouses and children. A private service for the immediate family only will be held on Saturday, May 30, 2020, at 1 p.m. at Sylvan Abbey Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the American Cancer Society or the American Heart Association.


David W. Jordan

David W. Jordan, loving husband and stepfather to four, passed away on Saturday, April 11, 2020, at the age of 81 after a long illness.

David was born on Jan. 8th, 1939, in Gorham, New Hampshire, and was raised in the area. He attended school in Gorham and graduated from Gorham High School in 1957.

After graduation David joined the U.S. Army, where he earned military recognition for his service during his two tours in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged in 1966. After serving in the military David was employed for a time at Wildcat Ski Area, then started working in the beater room as a sizeman at the paper mill in Groveton. He remained there for many years until becoming unable to work after a car accident.

David married Marjorie (Curtis) McCormack in 1984 and settled in Groveton, New Hampshire. He and his wife enjoyed winters in Sun City Center, Florida, for several years before becoming full-time residents. He enjoyed the many activities available for retirees and made many of them. He enjoyed a full and active retirement, enjoying camping and spending time with extended family members and frequent visitors from New Hampshire. David enjoyed several hobbies, including bowling, golfing, coin and model truck collecting and finding objects with his metal detector.

He was an avid Red Sox fan but enjoyed all types of sports. He loved his morning newspaper (to check the baseball scores), his coffee and his cat.

David enjoyed driving and generously used his time to shuttle friends, neighbors or relatives wherever they needed to go and could “drive to the airport in Tampa blindfolded” because he had made the trip so many times.

David will always be remembered as a loving husband and caregiver to his wife. He was kind and helpful to all and will be greatly missed.

David was predeased by his wife of over thirty years, Marjorie; his mother, Marion; and brothers, Henry and James. He is survived by his brother, Franklin; nephew, Steven Jordan, of Gorham; and four stepdaughters: Linda Demers of Gorham; Pamela Wall of Concord, New Hampshire; Nancy Tracey of Sun City Center, Florida; Sally Lafferty of Flowery Branch, Georgia; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date. Burial will be in Center Cemetery in North Stratford, New Hampshire.


Betty Martinich

Betty Martinich, 89, died on May 13. She was a resident of Sun City Center for 32 years, first in Kings Point, then at Aston Gardens and, finally, at Sun Towers. Formerly an avid tennis player and golfer, Betty took great pride in achieving a hole-in-one, twice! She is survived by her husband, Frank Martinich. They were married for 71 years, and raised five children in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Betty is also survived by those five children and their spouses: Judy Lutzenberger (Tom), Jim Martinich (Linda), Greg Martinich, Mark Martinich, and Jeff Martinich (Gina). They gave her eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, who all continue to hold her in their hearts. She will be forever loved and missed by her family and friends.

Due to the pandemic, there will not be a funeral or memorial service. Those who knew Betty know she was much more than what is described here. Please share your memories of her with others who remember her, too.


Joan C. McFayden

Joan C. McFayden died peacefully May 11, 2020.

Detailed information at


James Spencer Jr.

August 6,1935 – May 14, 2020

James Spencer Jr. is survived by his adoring wife of 27 years, Nancy Spencer; his daughter, Sylvia; her husband, Robert; and their children: Anthony (Rebekah), Ericka, Joseph, Thomas, Andrea Ricciutti: his daughter Christine, her husband John; and their children: John, Alexandra, Katherine, Jennifer Wright; stepdaughter Jody Therien and her son, Bryson Friess; step-daughter Lee Bell (Michael); his brother, Robert Spencer ( Maeve); and nieces and nephew. He is preceded in death by his daughter, Diane Spencer.

He was born on August 6, 1935, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, to James and Alice Spencer. He spent his early years in Greenville, New Hampshire., before moving to Warwick, Rhode Island. After graduating from Lockwood High School, he served in the United States Coast Guard, and later, USCG Reserves. He returned to Warwick, Rhode Island, and joined the Warwick Police Department, serving for 20 years as patrolman, school safety officer, and, later, as communications officer. During his time on the force, he was commended for rescuing a young woman in the water while commanding the Warwick Police boat. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant.

After leaving the Warwick PD, he was employed by the Rhode Island State Police as a communications officer. He was a skilled sailor and enjoyed sailing on Greenwich Bay and participating in sailboat races in the summer. In his retirement, he enjoyed many hobbies, including hand crafting clocks, playing the banjo with the Stone Street Strummers in New England and, later, playing the banjo and tuba with his own band, The Polk County Plunkers, in Lakeland, Florida. He moved to Sun City Center, Florida, in 2003 and joined the Front Porch Pickers. He died peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving wife Nancy and family in Sun City Center, Florida.

A memorial service will be held in Rhode Island at a date and time to be determined.