Obituaries for the week of Jan. 28, 2021

Published on: January 27, 2021

Georgia Condon

Georgia (Jan) Condon passed away on Dec. 15, at the age of 74.

Born in Millinocket, Maine, she retired to Sun City Center from Ocala, Fla., with her loving husband, Robert (Bob), of 51 years.

Jan had an adventurous spirit and loved to travel, write, spend time at the beach and most of all spend time with her family.

Surviving, in addition to her husband, Bob Condon, are her sister, Mary Lou Rosheim of Florida; son, Manny Condon (Kelly) of New York; daughters, Crissa Farr of Maine and Kelly Sellers (Michael) of West Virginia; five grandchildren: Jessica, Ryan, Amanda, Lindsey and Julia; and three great-grandchildren: Katelyn, Camden and Jacob.


Mary Ann Davis

Mary Ann (Anderson) Davis, age 98, of Bradenton, Fla., peacefully passed away on Jan. 12, 2021. She was born in Barnwell County, S.C., on April 25, 1922, to the late Eli Anderson Sr. and the late Mary Ann Anderson. She was the youngest and last living of seven children (Eli Jr., Horace, William, Mann, Hiram and Lizzie Mae).

Mary Ann moved to Boston, Mass., and lived there for many years after marrying the late Mitchell Davis Sr. She relocated to Florida to join her youngest son and his family in 2002. She was preceded in death by her oldest son, Mitchell Davis Jr.

She is survived by her youngest son, Albert Davis and her beloved daughter-in-la Bonita of Ruskin Fla.; granddaughters, Yvette Benton (Gerald), of Kennesaw, Ga., Chenel Giudice (Matthew) of Midwest City, Okla.; and grandsons: Shannon Blair and Damon Sadberry (Julie) of Boston, Mass., and Jason Sadberry (Sana) Westley Chapel, Fla.; and was affectionately Granny to 14 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson. She also leaves to cherish her memories a special niece, Sally (Darrell) Holder, and great-nephew of Lawnside N.J.; sister-in-law, Lena Anderson of Philadelphia, Pa.; and niece, Sadie (Frank) Boler of Columbia, S.C.

Mary Ann was an active and vibrant woman who loved the Lord. She adored seeing her family enjoy eating, so she became an amazing cook. She loved to sing gospel songs and did so at the “drop of a hat.” She was always the center of attention. Although a strong disciplinarian, she did so with lots of love. She enjoyed family gatherings and would remind her children to always be good to one another.

She was a faithful member of her church in Boston, Mass., and in Palmetto, Fla. One of Mary Ann’s fondest accomplishments was her many years as a foster grandparent for the Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD). She loved caring for the children so much so that she walked to the center in sun, rain, sleet, snow, and they loved their “Grandma”.

Mary Ann lived a long and vibrant life. She loved bowling, fishing, gardening and could be seen dancing (including her famous leg kicks) and going for walks, including places others told her she could not go. She was not fond of restrictions and made sure everyone knew. She was truly loved and will be greatly missed by many.


Mary Heffentrager

Mary Heffentrager, 84, of Sun City Center, Fla., formerly of Syracuse, N.Y., went to be with her Lord on Jan. 8, 2021. She was born on May 13, 1936, in Syracuse, NY, to John and Ella Mae Colabufo.

Mary was predeceased by her husband of 50 years, John R. Heffentrager Sr.; and two brothers, John Colabufo of Syracuse and Thomas F. Colabufo Sr. of Fayetteville, N.Y.; and nephew, Joseph D. Colabufo, Lafayette, N.Y.

Mary is survived by three brothers: Frank D. Colabufo of Marrieta, N.Y., Brian (Nancy) Carroll of Sherrill, N.Y., and Evan Carroll of Bridgeport, N.Y.; her five children: Bruce (Debbie) Heffentrager of Greenbrier, Ark., Sarah (Roger) Ackley of Sun City Center, Fla., Mary Lipphardt of Riverview, Fla., JoAnne R. Harvey of Hallstead, Pa., and John (Debra) Heffentrager of Gibsonton, Fla.; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.

A celebration of life was held at First Baptist Church of Ruskin on Jan. 23.


Douglas E. Meeks

Douglas Eugene Meeks, 67, of Apollo Beach, Fla., passed away unexpectedly at South Bay Hospital on January 20, 2021.

Born in Bowling Green, Ohio, he was an industrial machinist. He loved his Harley and all animals.

He is survived by spouse, Kathleen Fox; children: Richard (Amy) Meek, Christina (Aaron) Knoll, Michael (Tara Newman) Meek; stepdaughter, Heather (Paul) Escher; 11 grandchildren; and siblings: Debra (Ronald) Thaxton, Dennis (Linda) Meek and Duane Meek.

He was proceeded in death by parents, Richard and Virginia Meek, and brother, Darryl Meek.

Visitation will be held at National Cremation & Burial Society, 308 E College Ave, Ruskin, FL, on January 28, 2021, from 10 to 11 a.m. with services following. In remembrance of Doug’s life, the family asks that charitable donations be made to the ASPCA or the Humane Society.


Gaetane Ouellette

On Wednesday Jan. 20, 2021, Gaetane Adrienne Ouellette, loving wife and mother, passed away at the age of 74. She lived in Sundance, Wimauma, Fla. She was born Jan. 18, 1947, in Lake Megantic, Quebec, Canada. Gaetane was the daughter of Roland and Ida (Fredette) Bedard. She enjoyed gardening and had a love for flowers and plants. Her positive attitude and infectious laugh were hard to ignore. She worked for Dr. Isbell, Dr. Jacobs and Dr. Thacker Dentistry in Sun City Center, Fla.

She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Roger Ouellette; children: Jeffrey Ouellette, Daron Ouellette and Christi Austin; her brother, Roger Bedard; sisters, Claire Ziolkowski and Theresa Mohrlein; and grandchildren, Jeffrey and Austin Ouellette, Kathrine and Lane Austin; and great-grandchildren, Leighton and Lexington Guinnip.


Mary Ellen Thomas

Mary Ellen Demarest Thomas, 90, of Freedom Plaza, Sun City Center, Fla., died on Jan. 6, 2021, at Freedom Plaza Assisted Living after a short illness. She was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Sept. 3, 1930, the daughter of Frederick and Claire (Grace) Demarest.

A graduate of Our Lady of Mercy Academy, Syosset, N.Y., she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Manhattanville College and later a master’s degree in Spanish. She professed as a nun, joining the Sisters of Mercy and spent considerable time teaching in Panama. After leaving the order, she married Frank P. Thomas in 1970 and taught at St. John the Baptist School on Long Island before moving with her husband to Sun City Center, Fla., where she taught elementary school at Ruskin and Apollo Beach well into her 70s.

Throughout her life, Mary Ellen was a committed teacher, educating generations of Floridians in local schools as well as teaching catechism at the Prince of Peace Roman Catholic Church in Sun City into her 80s. She and her husband were avid travelers, exploring the United States and Canada in their camper van, as well as making many overseas trips to Spain, France, England and Ireland. She was a longtime member of the AAUW, served on its college scholarship committee (which she continued at Freedom Plaza) and its book club and volunteered in Sun City’s public library as well as on numerous clubs in Sun City, including the Art Club and the ‘Pink Ladies’ tennis club. An accomplished pianist and watercolor artist, Mary Ellen was a season ticket holder of the Florida Symphony Orchestra’s Coffee Concerts series.

Mary Ellen’s surviving family includes her nephew, Ralph Thomas of Huntington, N.Y, and his wife Kathy and daughter Jessica; her nephew, James Demarest of Naples, Fla., and his wife, Karysia and children, Gabriela and Chad; her nephew, Patrick Cushing of Asheville, N.C. and his wife Jacky and daughters Erin, Jennifer and Tara; her nephew, George Demarest of Capitola, Calif.; her niece, Diana Cazaudumec of East Haven, Vt., and children Giselle and Olivier; and her niece, Kathleen Cushing of Keele, Staffordshire (UK), and her daughter Elena; along with many cousins and second cousins.

A Memorial Service will be held at the National Cremation and Burial Society in Ruskin, Fla., at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Mary Ellen’s name to Prince of Peace Roman Catholic Church.


Peggy Lynn Trout

Peggy Lynn Trout of Ruskin, Fla., passed away peacefully on January 15, 2021. Her family was by her side. A fifth generation Conch, Peggy was born in Key West on October 2, 1949, to Helio Lopez and Marjorie Atwell Lopez. She attended public schools and was a 1967 graduate of Key West High School. In 1974 she graduated from Florida Keys Community College with a degree in nursing. She soon took and passed the Florida State Nursing board exams and became a registered nurse. She worked briefly at Florida Keys Hospital before moving to Miami, Fla., to accept a nursing position at South Miami Hospital, a position she would hold for 16 years. She retired from nursing in 1992 while employed as Assistant Director of Health South Rehabilitation Center in Cutler Ridge, Fla.

In 1978 Peggy Married Bill Trout, also of Key West, Fla. In 1992 they relocated to Ruskin, Fla.

Peggy was a Christian lady of great faith and a quiet, gentle and loving nature. She was totally devoted to her family and friends. She had a great love for animals, rescuing many dogs and cats and provided a loving home for them. She supported many animal rescue groups and was a benefactor of Southeastern Guide Dogs of Palmetto, Fla.

Peggy was predeceased by her parents and sister, Carole Favors; uncles: John, Joe and George Lewis and John McKillip; aunts Thelma Atwell Ward and Myrna Lewis McKillip. She is survived by her husband, Bill Trout, of Ruskin, Fla.; aunt, Joyce Lewis, of Orlando, Fla.; cousins, Alan McKillip (Leah), of Fayetteville, Ga., and Julie McKillip Kennedy (John) of Ocoee, Fla.; numerous nieces and nephews; and dear and special friends, Davis and Cookie Yates of Sebring, Fla.; Alison Lake (John) of Norfolk, England; and Wanda Santana (Mario) of Branford, Fla.

Because of the current crisis, Peggy’s cremated remains will be entombed during a private ceremony in the family plot in Key West Cemetery at a later date.

Those wishing to honor her memory may do so by making a donation in her name to LifePath Hospice of Sun City Center, 3723 Upper Creek Drive, Ruskin, FL, 33573, (813) 642-1900. Arrangements by Sun City Center Funeral Home, 813-634-9900.


Carrie Taylor Van Gelder

With profound sadness we announce Carrie Taylor Van Gelder, of Sun City Center, passed peacefully on January 17, 2021. She was a devoted and loving wife, mother and grandmother. Survived by her husband, Don Van Gelder; and three children: Harry Van Gelder (Cheri), Catharine Van Gelder – Poethke (James), William Van Gelder (Terry); eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

She was born in Washington, D.C. She also lived in New York; Rochester, Minn.; and Boca Raton, Fla. She attended Adelphi University and received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

Carrie met Donald Van Gelder while attending university, and they were married in 1956, after he returned from serving in the US Army.

She lived in Boca Raton, Fla., and Rochester, Minn., and moved to Middle Lake in Sun City Center in 1993.

Carrie was a treasurer for Good Samaritans and St. John Divine Church for many years. She also volunteered for the Security Patrol and many other Sun City Center organizations.

Carrie loved playing tennis, doing needlepoint and crossword puzzles, investing and gardening.

Due to the pandemic and safety of family and friends, no services will be scheduled at this time. Arrangements by Sun City Center Funeral Home, 813-634-9900.


Joan A. Wetzel

Joan Adeline Wetzel (Kaulf) passed away peacefully on January 20, 2021.

She was born on November 27, 1932, in New York City to John and Hannah Kaulf.

Joan married the love of her life, Nicholas Wetzel, on August 10, 1951, and they were married for 69 years. Joan worked as an EEG technician for a neurology group and several hospitals in New Jersey before relocating and, eventually, retiring in Apollo Beach, Fla., in 1988 and later moving to Sun City Center, Fla. She continued her career doing sleep studies in local Florida hospitals. She also obtained her real estate license and worked with many builders, showing model homes in the area.

Joan and Nicholas (Nick) enjoyed sailing, boating and cruises together over the years with their family and friends.

Joan had an extraordinary talent creating Bunka Art. She also had an exquisite gift as an instructor and gave much of her time teaching others her passion as an active member of the Sun City Bunka club.

Joan had a heart of gold and lived life to the fullest with her husband and their very close network of family and friends. Besides her husband Nick, Joan is survived by her son Mark and his wife, Maryanne Wetzel; daughter Susan and her husband, Raymond McGillick; son Glenn and his wife, Laura Wetzel; and daughter Carolyn and her husband, John Stuart.

Over the years, summers were spent with long loving visits with her nine grandchildren, including Mark, Jr. and his wife, Becky Wetzel; Maureen and her husband, Angas Smyth; Stephen McGillick; Ryan McGillick; Christopher Wetzel and fiancee Alaina; Brian Wetzel; Keith and his wife, Katy Weber; Travis Weber; and Carley Weber,

Her six great-grandchildren, whom she absolutely adored, are Clara and Ellie Wetzel; Maddie, Willow and Finn Smyth; and Sawyer James Weber.

We are all truly blessed to have had such a beautiful, caring , loving, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend. She will be missed and remembered always.