Obituaries for the week of April 29, 2021

Published on: April 29, 2021

Wilma H. Armstrong

Wilma Helen Armstrong “Nana,” 70, of Ruskin, Fla., was called home to her Lord in the early hours of April 17, 2021. It wouldn’t be fair to say that she lost her battle with cancer because she never stopped fighting. Throughout her life and still through her illness she strived to be a walking testimony of faith and love. Her resilience, her strength and her prayers fueled and continue to fuel her family’s efforts to carry on her legacy.

Wilma will forever be adored by her husband of 32 years, Glen Armstrong; her three children: Dennis Vires (Sherry) of Otway, Ohio; Tony Vires (Shelly) of Ruskin, Fla.; Roger Vires of Ruskin, Fla.; and her bonus daughter, Christen Edwards (Hampton) of Roseburg, Ore. She was blessed with six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, although she was “Nana” to many.

Here on earth, she will be deeply missed by her brothers and sisters that remain. She will be greeted at Heaven’s gate by her mother, father and siblings who went before her. Although our hearts mourn our loss, Heaven celebrates the coming home of the most beautiful soul.

Wilma was born and raised in Jackson, Kentucky, and spent her early adult years in Otway, Ohio. Hoping for a fresh start, she and her boys moved to Florida where she met her loving husband and bonus daughter. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Ruskin, where she worshipped, volunteered and shared her talents for nearly 30 years. She believed that faith, family, love and laughter were the most vital things in life. Wilma touched the hearts of many and will be greatly missed by all that knew and loved her.


Alexander R. Balleza

Alexander R. Balleza, 19, of Ruskin, Fla., passed unexpectedly on Friday, April 16, 2021, in Ruskin. Alex is survived by his father, Natividad Balleza; girlfriend, Trina Allen; two daughters, Jasmine M. Balleza (2) and Isabella R. Balleza (1), all of Ruskin, Fla.; and mother, Kerri Thompson; brothers, Mark Bach and Arthur Bach of Tenn.

Alex was a loving son, boyfriend, father, brother and friend, who brought joy to those who knew him. A viewing will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 22, 1851 Rickenbacker Drive, Sun City Center, FL 33573. A burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 23, at Ruskin Memorial Park, 204 Manatee Drive, Ruskin, FL 33570. Immediately following the burial, refreshments will be served at 819 9th St. NE, Ruskin, FL 33570.

Alexander R. Balleza, 19, de Ruskin, Florida, falleció inesperadamente el Viernes 16 de Abril de 2021 en Ruskin. A Alex le sobreviven su padre, Natividad Balleza, su novia, Trina Allen, sus dos hijas Jasmine M. Balleza (2) e Isabella R. Balleza (1), todas de Ruskin, Fla., y su madre Kerri Thompson, los hermanos Mark Back y Arthur Back, de Tennessee. Alex fue un amoroso hijo, novio, padre, hermano y amigo, que trajo alegría a quienes lo conocieron.

Se llevará a cabo una visita de 5 to 8 p.m. el Jueves 22 de Abril de 2021 en Sun City Funeral Home ubicada en 1851 Rickenbacker Drive, Sun City Center, FL 33573. Se realizará un entierro a las 10 a.m. el Viernes 23 de Abril de 2021 en Ruskin Memorial Park ubicado en 204 Manatee Drive, Ruskin, FL 33570.

Inmediatamente después del entierro, se servirán refrigerios en 819 9th Street NE, Ruskin, FL 33570.


Rosa Imelda Cavazos

Rosa Imelda Cavazos, 67, passed away April 15, 2021. She is survived by her two adult children, Reynaldo Cavazos, “Rey,” and Christabell Cavazos, “Christy”; three grandchildren: Alyssa Cavazos, Alexis Cavazos and Bella Edwards; mother, Elidia Asevedo; sisters, Gloria Amberiz, Norma Brown, Martha Garcia and Rita Asevedo. She was preceded in death by her husband, Reynaldo Cavazos Sr.; father, Tomas Asevedo; and granddaughter, Maritza Cavazos.

Rosa was born July 9, 1953, in Littlefield, Texas. In 1967, her family moved east and settled in Ruskin, Fla., where she lived the rest of her life. She was a devoted wife to her high-school sweetheart for 48 years, and she was a dedicated mother. She adored her granddaughters, and they adored her. She was a loving sister, a cool aunt, a caring daughter and a good friend. Rosa, “Melda,” will never be forgotten and will truly be missed by all who knew her.

Funeral services were arranged by Sun City Center Funeral Home. Funeral Mass was held at St. Anne Catholic Church. Interment is at Ruskin Memorial Park, 204 Manatee Drive, Ruskin, FL 33570.


Roger Fredric Meissner

Roger Fredric Meissner, 88, of Sun City Center Fla., passed away peacefully on March 31, 2021, in his daughter’s SCC home. His quick wit and tenacity will be greatly missed. He had deep love and pride in his family and was heartbroken when his wife of 67 years, Nancy Fay Meissner, passed away in August 2020.

Roger was born in Indianapolis on February 21, 1933. He grew up in Laporte, Ind., where his father owned the Meissner drug store and soda fountain. Roger and Nancy met while working a summer job during college in Laporte, Ind., and discovered that they had been classmates in the third grade; they had a lifelong connection. Following graduation from the University of Toledo, he started his career as an Army officer in Aviation Materials Command and enjoyed his first assignment in Augsburg and Stuttgart, Germany. He was awarded an Air Medal and a Bronze Star Medal for his service in numerous tours to Vietnam as a helicopter and aircraft pilot. He made models of all the aircraft he flew and was a very proud veteran, always wearing his Army Veteran cap. He completed his MBA from Michigan State University and retired as a Major.

In civilian life, Roger enjoyed a career that started with the Garrett Corporation in Los Angeles, where he worked on a joint venture with Boeing on the SST and was also a consultant to the Army Aviation Material Command on new helicopter design. He embraced the opportunity to work for the St. Louis Symphony as the controller and house manager and enjoyed the side benefit of the musical performances at Powell Symphony Hall with his wife and daughters. Roger next worked at Mosler Safe Company as the director of Capital and Fleet Management in Hamilton, Ohio. While in Hamilton, he was able to enjoy the small-town life that he remembered from his youth, serving as the president of the Hamilton Symphony and tapping his artistic side by creating award winning artwork using his newly discovered welding skills.

Once they were empty nesters, Roger and Nancy took an adventurous route by managing the largest hardware store in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, and then as the on-site manager for a beach-front multi-unit vacation rental (enjoying the penthouse view) at Indian Shores, Fla. He returned to the military as an Army recruiter in Michigan City, Ind., and Kingsport, Tenn.

Retired and using SCC as home base, he and his wife travelled extensively around the world. During his 32 years living in SCC, he enjoyed golfing and was a life member of MOAA, Silver Ospreys and the American Legion. As an active member of the computer club, he helped out many people with their technology woes and at Beth-El Ministries he helped farm workers with their taxes. He and Nancy always gave their visiting grandchildren the best Florida adventures! During his final years at Aston Gardens North and then Courtyards, everyone knew Roger as a character and jokester.

Roger leaves his two “girls,” Karen “KC” Chilton of Sun City Center and Kathy Hornak of Houston; his son-in-law and pal, Steve Chilton; and four grandchildren: Brittany “Alex” Chilton, Greg Hornak, Carley Hornak and Tyler Chilton. Roger will rest in eternity in his beloved hometown of LaPorte, Ind., next to Nancy, the love of his life. When leaving his young family for another tour in Vietnam, saying, “Toodle loo ”instead of “Good Bye” ensured we would see him again. Toodle Loo, Roger.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, if you would, please support Alzheimer’s Association at in the support, research and treatment of this heartbreaking disease.


Gary A. Murtinger

Gary Aloyse Murtinger, age 82, of Sun City Center, Fla., and formerly of Waterloo, Iowa, died on March 15, 2021, at South Bay Hospital in Sun City Center, Fla.

Gary was born on Feb. 11, 1939, in Red Wing, Minn. Gary is survived by his wife Carol; two sons, John and Joel and wife Rebekah; and three grandchildren. Gary was preceded in death by his father, mother and half brother.

Gary graduated in 1957 from Central High School in Red Wing, Minn. He graduated from Winona University in 1962 and St. Cloud University in 1965. He taught in Minnesota and became a principal in Wisconsin.

Gary arrived in Waterloo, Iowa, in 1969 and began his administrative career at both Orange and Cresthaven schools. He moved to BlackHawk Elementary where he continued to work with teaming, instructional leadership and benchmarks for learning. Under his leadership BlackHawk developed a strong partnership with the University of Northern Iowa. He devoted endless hours developing the first public school and university partnership in the U.S. BlackHawk was awarded two First in the Nation in Education (FINE) awards. Gary retired in 1997 after 28 years with the Waterloo Community School District. Gary enjoyed camping, boating, fishing, traveling, singing and summers in northern Minnesota.

A celebration of life for Gary is scheduled for May 7 at 11 a.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church in Ruskin, Fla. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Sun City Center Emergency Squad or Calvary Lutheran Church.


James E. Ouellette

Aug. 10, 1936 – April 13, 2021

James Edbert Ouellette, 84, formerly of Sun City Center, Fla., passed away peacefully on April 13, 2021, surrounded by his family following a brief illness. Jim was born August 10, 1936, to Ludger and Anne Ouellette in Van Buren, Maine. He was a beloved son, husband, brother, father and friend to so many. Jim was a devoted husband to his wife Renee and an amazing father to his children, Tammy, Gail, Brian and Sandra.

Jim was a music enthusiast who enjoyed playing the piano, organ and keyboard, filling his family home with the sweet sound of organ music while his wife Renee sang along. He enjoyed family vacations, the local NASCAR circuit, snowmobiling, skiing, gardening and decorating, but his true passion was his family. Jim had an uncanny ability to spread cheer and find happiness in daily interactions, and for the last two years of his life enjoyed pampering his beloved dog Brady with daily golf cart rides.

After graduating from Van Buren High School, he began studies at Husson College and then at The New England College of Optometry. Leaving early to honorably serve his country, Jim joined the Army and was stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio Texas. He married the love of his life of 62 years, Renee Mae Beaulieu, on December 27, 1958. Following an honorable discharge, he completed his education at The New England College of Optometry in Boston and began a private practice of Optometry in Vermont, where he and his wife Renee raised their four children. He was an active member of his church and numerous community organizations such as the Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, Elks Club and the Canadian Club.

Jim and Renee retired to Florida and spent their early retirement years RV’ing with family across much of the United States, visiting with family and making new friends wherever their travels led. Jim thoroughly enjoyed people and throughout his retirement years sought out opportunities to meet and visit with people, including many years as a security guard greeting residents and visitors at his retirement community of Kings Point of Sun City Center. Jim will forever be remembered for his infectious smile, generous heart and warm embracing hugs.

Jim was predeceased by his parents and three siblings: Ronald Ouellette, Tom Ouellette and Marcella Scribner. He leaves behind his wife Renee; daughter Tammy and her husband, Ray Frieberg; daughter Gail and her husband, Ken Tully; son Brian and his wife, Beth Ouellette; and daughter, Sandra Racine. He leaves behind 11 beloved grandchildren: Bradley (Audrey), Kimberly and Nathan Frieberg; Jason (Laura) and Brandon Tully; Cameron and Savanna Ouellette; Ashley Coomes; Dustan and Taylor Whitcomb; and Krisalyn Racine; six great-grandchildren: Oliver and Patrick Frieberg, Joshua and Anna Tully and Addison and Jack Coomes; and his beloved sister Maxine and her husband, Gerald Charette.

Funeral arguments are being coordinated by National Cremation & Burial Society in Ruskin, Fla. Services will be held at Prince of Peace in Sun City Center, Fla., Tuesday, June 8, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Barre Lions Club, Sight and Hearing Fund, PO Box 211, Barre, Vermont 05641


B. Vincent Pater

B. Vincent Pater passed away on April 6, 2021, in Sun City Center, Fla., after a brief illness. He was born in Hamilton, Ohio, on October 14, 1930. Vince graduated from St. Xavier High School and Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran.

Vince enjoyed a 40 year career as an investment broker in Coral Gables, Fla. His integrity was unquestioned, and he had the respect of all who knew him. Vince was also a volunteer for The American Cancer Society for more than 20 years. He was elected President of the Florida Division in 1979. Vince retired to Sun City Center where he enjoyed playing golf with his friends.

Vince leaves behind his loving wife Sherran; two stepsons, Greg and Kirk; a sister, Mary; and many friends and relatives. A private service was held on April 19, 2021, at Sarasota National Cemetery.