Obituaries for the week of Feb. 25, 2021

Published on: February 24, 2021

JoeAnn Bowman

March 3, 1943 – April 28, 2020

JoeAnn Bowman, 77, loving wife and mother passed peacefully at home, April 28, 2020, under the care of Hospice. JoeAnn was born in Vero Beach to Joseph and Florence Padgett. She resided in Ruskin with her husband, Lee Bowman, and daughter Thea. Early in her career she worked at Piper Aircraft and later worked at Unique Drapery in Vero Beach as a seamstress. She was married to Lee Bowman from 1960 to 1970, and they were reunited in 2010.

JoeAnn enjoyed her time as a member of New Beginnings Fellowship Church. She enjoyed camping, fishing, RVing, bingo, flea market shopping, sewing and, most of all, spending time with her family.

JoeAnn was preceded in death by her father, Joseph Padgett; mother, Florence Hulbert; sisters, Marie and Frances; brothers: Claude, Mack and Jack Padgett. She is survived by daughters: Thea Swistara, Lisa (Bill) Langford, Sandy (Justin) Toby; son, Danny (Trish) Bowman; nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to New Beginnings Fellowship Church of Ruskin or Seasons Hospice of Tampa in JoeAnn’s name.

A memorial service will be held at New Beginnings Fellowship Church in Ruskin, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, at 11 a.m.


Lee Bowman

Oct. 6, 1939 – March 24, 2020

Lee Bowman, 80, loving husband and father, passed peacefully at home March 24, 2020, under the care of Hospice. Lee was born in Hillsborough County to Milton and Brunice Bowman. He is a lifelong resident of Ruskin and former owner/co-founder of Bowman’s Garage. He was married to JoeAnn Padgett from 1960 to 1970, and they were reunited in 2010.

Lee enjoyed his time as a member of New Beginnings Fellowship Church, where he served as an elder. He enjoyed gardening, camping, fishing, RVing, woodworking, flea market shopping, motorcycles and, most of all, spending time with his family. In his younger years he tore up the racetracks, a passion he passed on to his son and grandchildren.

Lee was preceded in death by his father, Milton Bowman; mother, Brunice Bowman; sister, Jimmie Lou Tatum. He is survived by daughters: Thea Swistara, Lisa (Bill) Langford, Sandy (Justin) Toby; son, Danny (Trish) Bowman; nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to New Beginnings Fellowship Church of Ruskin or Seasons Hospice of Tampa in Lee’s name.

A memorial service will be held at New Beginnings Fellowship Church in Ruskin, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, at 11 a.m.


Jeanne T. Collins

Jeanne Theresa Collins of Wimauma, Florida, formerly of Woburn, Mass., passed away peacefully on Jan. 3 at her home. Jeanne was 73 years old.

Beloved wife of Michael Collins; cherished mother-in-law of Tara Ann Murray of Woburn, Mass.; loving mother of Alan G Cronin, Jr. of Derry, N.H., and Jennifer Collins of Woburn, Mass.; loving grandmother of Christopher Michael Murray and Jacob Francis Zompanti of Woburn, Mass.; Timothy, Siara and Bryce Cronin of Derry, N.H. Jeanne was the daughter of the late Edward Gordan Doane and Marguerite (Hirtle) (Doane) Spears; stepdaughter of late Joseph Spears; dear Sister to Lynda Powell, Dana Spears, Phillip Spears and Mark Spears and his wife Sandra. Also survived by several loving nieces and nephews.

Jeanne loved holidays and family get-togethers, and any chance to spend time with her family was important to her. Jeanne was a devoted and loving mother and grandmother. She was very proud of her family and was excited to become a “Nana.” Her greatest joy in life was her husband Michael; her grandsons, Christopher and Jacob; and her dog Diggity.

Jeanne was known for her love of family and animals. She was feisty, yet she had a great sense of humor. She will be missed by all that knew and loved her.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jeanne’s memory to The Wellspring Church, 705 9th St. SE, Ruskin, FL 33570, or The MSPCA, 350 S. Huntington Avenue, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130.

Family and friends are invited to a Celebration of Life: 10 a.m., Wednesday, March 3, 2021, at The Wellspring Community Church, 705 9th St. SE, Ruskin, FL 33570. Arrangements entrusted to National Cremation and Burial Society, Ruskin, FL. Condolences may be expressed @


Philip B. Fleming

Philip B. Fleming passed away February 18, 2021. He was born on December 8, 1932, to James and Bernadine Fleming in Jackson, Michigan.

He earned his nursing degree from Foote Memorial School of Nursing, an anesthesia certificate from Mt. Carmel Mercy College and a B.A. from Ottawa University.

Phil served in the U.S. Navy and the United States Naval Reserve.

He married Patricia Mayes on May 24, 1957. They were married for 54 years until Pat passed away. He married Annette MacDonald in 2012.

Phil worked as an anesthetist at the Hillsdale Community Health Center for 25 years. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis Club, Salvation Army. As a missionary, Phil shared his skills with the Christian Medical Society providing anesthesia for remote villagers in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Honduras.

He is survived by his five children; 15 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren, and brother, Thomas Fleming. He is proceeded in death by his wife Patricia; parents; and brother, James Fleming.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be at a future date in Jackson, Michigan.


Jim Kelly

Jim Kelly passed away peacefully at his home on Jan. 11, 2021, after a short illness. He was born in Hammond, Ind., on April 23, 1939. He married his high school sweetheart, Yvonne Evans, in 1960. They just celebrated 60 years of marriage.

After graduating from Eastern Illinois University, he took a job running a Sunbeam appliance store in Chicago, but machinery was in his blood, and he went on to DD Kennedy, selling mining cranes, road graders, loaders and gradealls. He then went on to Clark Equipment and moved his family to Merrimack, N.H., where he was N.E. manager and specialist for wheel loaders. He was offered a job as CEO with JCB of England to bring its construction equipment to the U.S. He had offices in Maryland and Toronto. The travel was intense, so he bought his own Ford Equipment Dealership in Meredith, N.H.

Jim was incredibly musical. He loved his banjo. He also played accordion, harmonica and many more instruments. We always had music at all birthdays, holidays and parties. He was a member of the Front Porch Pickers, Silver Osprey, German Club, Irish Connection and was a commodore at a yacht club on Lake Winnipesaukee and drove many years for the SCC Security Patrol. He was a member of Renaissance and loved to play golf. He worked part time for WCI and Clublink for 20 years. He loved the interaction with people and taking care of his golf carts. He will be incredibly missed by his family and friends.

Jim is survived by his wife Yvonne; son Jim, of Tampa; sister Kitty and brother-in-law Dennis, of Miami; granddaughter Shannon and her husband Jake; grandson, Sean of Denver; and three great-grandchildren: Emily, Luke and our new Kaylee.

There will be a Celebration of Life on Saturday, March 27, at Club Renaissance, 2121 S. Pebble Beach Blvd., Sun City Center, from 4 to 7 p.m.


Dr. James O. Miller

After 92 years of walking on his hands and hugging loved ones with all his might, the physical body of James O. Miller could no longer contain the exuberant spirit within and, as the sun rose on Dec. 19, 2020, with his family around him, his spirit flew into the morning, spreading his eagle wings to ride the currents of the rising warm air to his new joyful life.

Jim was born in East Liverpool, Ohio, on May 7, 1928, and was a proud member of the East Liverpool Car Barn Heathens. He graduated from East Liverpool High School in 1946 and served during World War II. He earned his B.S. in zoology from Michigan State University, his masters in guidance counseling from Kent State University and obtained his doctorate in education from Case Western Reserve. He attended Harvard University as part of his post-doctoral studies.

Jim’s illustrious career as an educational professional spanned many decades and impacted countless lives. He served the Euclid, Ohio, school system and community from 1953 to 1969 as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. From 1969-1975 he was chairman, division of education and social sciences and professor of education and psychology at Pikeville College, Pikeville, Ky. He served as dean of instruction with Butler County Community College, Butler, Pa., from 1975-1981. In 1982 Jim accepted the role of president with Northwest State Technical College in Archbold, Ohio, and retired in 1991, after leading the college into a bold new era.

Jim leaves behind him in a wake of love, his soulmate and dear loving wife, Mary Catherine Baxter Miller, of Sun City Center, Fla.; beloved daughters: Mary Elizabeth Miller Harrison (Ron), Rebecca Lynne Miller Boucher, Jane Baxter Miller (Kent Kessler), Jamie Catherine Miller Seagren (Ron); grandchildren: USMC Major Jordan Cochran (Denneny), Rory James Maguire (Jean), Jessy Caroline Maguire; and great-grandchildren Haley, Caleb and Levi. He is preceded in death by his parents, Mildred and Bernie Miller; brothers: Robert Paul Miller, Jerry Miller, Terry Miller; and granddaughter, Ryan Elizabeth Cochran Huffman.

A celebration of Jim’s life will be held sometime in the near future. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the James O. Miller, EdD, and Mary C. Miller, RN, scholarship fund with Northwest State Community College, Arrangements by Zipperer’s Funeral Home.