Obituaries for the week of Nov. 12, 2020

Published on: November 12, 2020

Margaret Hamilton

Margaret “Marge” Hamilton, 84, of Sun City Center, Fla., died peacefully in her sleep on November 2, 2020. Marge was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. The daughter of a NYC policeman, Marge took great pride in being a “New Yorker.” She raised her family in Elmira, N.Y., and, eventually, — with her beloved husband, Don — retired to Apollo Beach, Fla., in 1989. Shortly after her husband’s death in 1999, she became a resident of King’s Point in Sun City Center.

A woman of strong will, Marge overcame many challenges in her lifetime. She was generous with her time, volunteering whenever needed. Most significantly, Marge was known as the “Drum Corps Mom.” Her door was always open to anyone who needed a place to stay, a hot meal or some motherly advice.

She was a lifetime member of the TOPS organization, becoming a motivational speaker and inspiring many to live healthier lives. An avid reader — especially of mysteries — Marge loved working at the King’s Point library. Forget Kindle; Marge preferred a good used bookstore or rummage sale.

The real center of her life was her family. She is predeceased by her sister, Mary Modica; brothers, George and Robert Ahrens; and her husband, Donald E. Hamilton. She is survived by her children, their spouses and grandchildren: Debbie (Irvin) O’Neill and Ken O’Neill; Chuck Irvin, Mary Pierson Irvin and sons, Charlie and Brian Irvin; John Irvin and children: Josephine, Lawrence and Katie Irvin; David Hamilton, Kelley Hamilton and sons, Colin and Foster Hamilton; Mary Hamilton and daughter, Mandy Wasicsko; and nephew, Stephen Modica and wife Tracey Modica.

Marge was wise and funny, strong but vulnerable and one of a kind. There will be no services at this time. Donations in Marge’s memory can be made to the Mary & Martha House in Ruskin, Fla.,


Ellsworth K. Hart

Ellsworth Korb Hart, 83, of Sun City Center, Fla., passed away Friday, October 30, 2020, at Iredell Memorial Hospital in Statesville, N.C.

Ellsworth was born April 22, 1937, in Albany, N.Y., and was the son of the late Herman and Mary Korobeckhine Hart. He was a graduate of Union College and served in the US Air Force. Ellsworth wore many different hats during his career. He began as a scout executive for Boy Scouts of America and then went into the computer business at Casco Bank. He relocated to Boston and managed computer services at Honeywell in Waltham, Mass., and served as director of Administrative Services/Veterans Agent for the Town of Tewksbury,Mass., before retiring. He served for 30 years in the US Air Force Reserves and retired as Lt. Col. in support of the 439th Airlift Wing C5A Unit at Westover Air Force Base.

He is survived by his wife Dolores; and his loving family: Jeffrey Schofield (Maryann) of Plainville, Mass.; Pam Caverly (Glen) of Statesville, N.C.; Douglas Schofield (Gerald Bennett) of Franklin, N.H.; Cheryl Schofield; Justin and Alexis Schofield; Tyler and Kevin Caverly; and Leeann Hollis, Torian and Kaydri Bennett. He was preceded in death by Eric Schofield.

A memorial service was held Friday, Nov. 6, at Troutman Funeral Home at 11 a.m.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any charity of your choice.


George Ruggiero Jr.

George Ruggiero Jr., 73, formerly of Bristol, R.I., passed away on October 15, 2020, at home. His wife of 52 years, Elaine (Cardoza) Ruggiero, was by his side. George was the son of George Sr. and Angeline (Tarascio) Ruggiero. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sister, Joanna Silvia; nephew, Michael Silvia; and niece, Melissa Hueras; and their families, all of Massachusetts. He also leaves his brother John’s daughters, Jennifer (Christopher) Hansen and Rebecca (BJ) Sullivan; great nephew, Alexander John Sullivan; and sister-in-law, Patti Ruggiero, all of Florida.

He was predeceased by his parents; brother John of Florida; and nephew, Robert Silvia Jr. of Massachusetts.

George graduated from Colt Memorial HS and Bryant (College) University. He was employed by United Technologies in Winsor Locks, Conn., and General Photo Corp. in Williamstown, Mass.

He decided to leave the business world and return to Rhode Island to get his teacher’s credentials.

He graduated from URI and taught three years at Rogers High School in Newport, R.I. He joined the faculty at Community College of Rhode Island in 1975 and taught 30 years at the Providence, Warwick and Lincoln campuses. As a professor, he wrote study guides for McGraw Hill. He was appointed CCRI’s first Technology Faculty Mentor.

George and Elaine were active in Marriage Encounter and were Marriage Preparation Coordinators for St. Patrick’s Church in Providence.

His funeral Mass was November 6, 2020, at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in SCC, Fla.

Burial will be at a later date in Bristol.

Donations in his memory can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or Samaritan’s Purse, PO Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607.


Jessie Lee Vail

On November 1, 2020, Jessie Lee Vail went home to be with his Savior, Jesus Christ.

Jessie was born in Harrisburg, Arkansas, on July 28, 1935, and his incredible life story, molded by the hands of God, was only just beginning.

In 1954, Jessie joined the United States Navy and served as an Electrician’s Mate First Class as part of the USS Triton Submerged Circumnavigation Crew during Operation Sandblast. Jessie served in the Navy for 20 years,- and it was during his time of service that he met his sweetheart of 62 years, Muriel.

In 1963, the course of Jessie’s life changed forever when he attended a church service, met Christ, and became a born-again Christian. After that he was always excited for any opportunity to tell the story of this precious encounter.

After accepting Jesus as his Savior, Jessie joined the ministry, put himself through seminary and gained a masters in theology. He then became a pastor, serving as the founding pastor of Hood Canal Chapel in Belfair, Washington. Jessie also served as interim pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Niskayuna, New York.

Following his time in the ministry, Jessie used the skills he had learned in the Navy to become a nuclear engineer, working at power plants such as Vermont Yankee. It is without question that Jessie is a testament that through Christ, all things truly are possible.

The undying love Jessie had for his family was exemplified by his fervent prayers that they, too, accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and God answered those prayers. His wife, all of his children, and all of his grandchildren will one day join him in heaven. Jessie’s wish was not for a funeral or memorial service but for his family to honor him through glorifying God in all that they do.

Jessie will be lovingly remembered by his “sweetie,” Muriel; children: Debbie (Harold) Schneiderwind; Bodie (Theresa) Vail; Karen (Scott) Johnson; Tom (Jenny) Vail; his 12 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. Jessie was predeceased by his parents, William and Vera Vail of Harrisburg, Arkansas, and by his sister, Barbara Ellen Hogan of Champaign, Illinois.

Thank you, Sweetie/Jessie/Daddy/Pop for what you have taught us through your example. We will miss you terribly but are so grateful that we will be reunited with you in heaven someday. And, oh, what a glorious day that will be!


Barbara A. Wortner

Barbara Ann Wortner, a resident of Apollo Beach, Fla., passed away at home on October 29, 2020, while surrounded by her loving children after a short battle with cancer. She was 84.

Until her recent health condition made it impossible, Barbara was very active in life, keeping fit, enjoying her daily walks and swims, focusing on eating healthy as well as attending numerous yoga and exercise classes. She also enjoyed playing the piano (which appeared effortless to us) and loved having a beautiful yard around her, continually tending to her flowers, trees and shrubs.

Originally from New Rochelle, New York, Barbara delighted in the change of seasons (especially the fall) but once relocating to Apollo Beach in 1996, she truly cherished watching the beautiful Florida sunsets from her lanai with a glass of wine in hand and a good conversation or book to read.

Predeceased by her husband Bill (2013), Barbara is survived by her three children: Bill Jr., Wendy and Jeff (who all considered her one of their best friends) and their respective spouses: Hilde, Al and Lisa. Barbara took great joy in her 5 grandchildren: Laurie, Billy, Anna, Cassie and Brianna; and 5 great-granddaughters: Laurel, Adalind, Paisley, Joelle and Reagan. She is also survived by her sister, Bette Kelly; her brother, Jack Rohrs; and several dear friends. She will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts.

There will be a private family service. She will be interred at Sarasota National Cemetery beside her beloved husband.