Obituaries for the week of June 17, 2021
Harold Arthur Geldbach
Harold Arthur Geldbach, just shy of his 98th birthday on Aug. 9, 2021, was honorably discharged from his worldly duties on June 10, 2021. As a World War II veteran who served aboard the USS New Jersey from 1943 to 1946, Harold saw action in the Central Pacific, was involved offensively in liberating the Gilbert Islands, the assault on the Marshall Islands and fought deep into Japanese waters. Born in St. Louis, Mo., on a horribly stormy night in August, Harold was delivered by a doctor who had to take a row boat down the street to get to his home birth, so, perhaps, the Navy made a logical branch of service for him! He returned to St. Louis following deployment and became a typesetter by trade until his retirement.
A long time resident of Sun City Center, Fla., and member of the Redeemer Lutheran Church, Harold was a die-hard Cardinal baseball fan, lover of a good fish sandwich and a passionate golfer. He would proudly tell you he consistently would “shoot his age.” A serious golfer and a stickler for accuracy in all things golf related, you had best bring your “A” game when you played with him. Golfing, until just a few months ago, brought Harold tremendous happiness. Sharp mentally until his final days, he could recite shot by shot, club selection by club selection, his rounds of golf with his buddies at the Sandpiper course in Sun City Center.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Ruth Geldbach of St. Louis, and his loving wife, Virginia (Ginny) Geldbach of Sun City Center, Fla., and is the last survivor of a large family of nine. It is without doubt he will be greeted to a rowdy game of cards where knuckle knocking, card slapping, trash talking (cursing involved) and Budweiser beer flow plentifully. His brothers and sisters have waited a long time for him, and that’s something because Harold hated slow play.
Also leaving behind many nephews and nieces who have loved and adored him for years, our “Unc” was a one of a kind guy who could be counted on to always have a yard game in play at family gatherings, be it wiffel ball, jarts, horseshoes or shuttle cocks flying like mad in the yard. Godspeed, sweet Unc. May your drives be straight, your putts fall center cut and you find all the fairways and greens you desire.
Captain Robert W. Wisdom
Captain Robert Willis Wisdom, United States Navy (Retired) Sun City Center, Florida. Robert (Bob) Wisdom passed away at hospice house on May 22, 2021. Bob was born on January 29, 1932, in Bloomfield, Iowa. He moved to Des Moines, Iowa, at the age of three. He graduated from Roosevelt High School and was active in high school basketball, football and other club activities. Bob was attending Drake University when the Korean War started. He applied for and was accepted as a Naval Aviation Cadet in 1952. Upon completion of the Navy Flight Training program in December of 1953, Bob won his wings and was commissioned as an ensign in the United States Naval Reserve. He was first stationed at the Naval air station in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1954, he applied for transition to the regular Navy and was accepted. He then started on his lifetime career as a regular Naval officer and aviator. Bob met and married Janet (Jan) Ruth Risvold in 1956. They were stationed throughout the United States. Jan predeceased Bob in April of 2016; they were married 59 years. Bob graduated from the Naval postgraduate school and served in several different patrol squadrons, one as commanding officer as well as two years aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Randolph. He made deployments around the world over a 20+ year career. Bob specialized in airborne anti-submarine warfare and spent many years operational flying. He started a second phase of his career in research and development at the Naval Air Station Test Center in Patuxent, Md. He tested new aircraft and airborne systems introducing digital applications. When Bob retired in 1975, the couple chose to live in Saint Petersburg, Florida. Bob flew for different small corporations and then moved to Weeki Wachi, Florida, in 1993, to spend his retirement time enjoying golf. Due to health considerations, Bob and Jan moved to Freedom Plaza in Sun City Center in 2009. Bob joined Prince of Peace Catholic Church in 2010. Bob was a loving husband and a caring uncle to his nieces, nephew and extended families. He had many cherished friends with whom he enjoyed spending quality time. Bob also had much love and pride for his country. His patriotism was demonstrated by his many years of military service and leadership. He was a Navy captain and aviator who will long be remembered as a gentleman of integrity. Bob’s family and friends will greatly miss him. Bob was preceded in death by his wife Jan; a brother, John McConnell Wisdom, of Indianola, Iowa; a sister, Joan Wisdom Bush, of Littleton, Colorado; and a niece, Carol Wisdom Myers, of Creston, Iowa. Bob leaves behind his niece, Mary (Garry) Luterek; nephew, Larry (Sheri) Risvold; niece, Laura (Tony) Abbott; numerous grandnieces and grandnephews; as well as great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews. The funeral Mass service will be held at Prince of Peace Catholic Church on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, at 10:30 a.m., followed by interment in section C1C-11 of Sarasota National Cemetery at 1:30 p.m. Please feel free to wear a touch of Red, White and Blue as a nod to Bob’s many years of dedicated military service.
John Alan Swain
John Alan Swain, aged 81, passed away peacefully under hospice care, following a long illness, at St. Joseph Main Hospital in Tampa, on Friday, June 11, 2021. He was born in London, England, on July 7, 1939.
John is survived by his son, Simon Swain and wife Julie Swain of Riverview, Fla.; his daughter, Zoe Swain Green and husband Michael Massengale of Apollo Beach, Fla.; step-children, Michael Pomice and wife May, Robert Pomice, and Laurie Gonzalez and husband David Gonzalez; grandchildren, Sarah Swain, Emma Green, Makenzie Massengale, Samantha Massengale, Isabella Massengale, Joshua Massey, Marisa Eckley, Hunter Eckley, Sommer Pomice, Brody Gonzalez, Levi Gonzalez and Grace Gonzalez; and three brothers, Derrick, Adrian and Andrew Swain. He was preceded in death by his dear wife, Judi Swain (2021), and his parents, Alan (1976) and Mary (2004) Swain.
Born right before the outbreak of World War ll, John vividly recalled being taken to shelter with air raid sirens blaring in London where he and his mother lived with her parents. He was six years old before he properly got to know his father, who had been away at sea with the Royal Navy since the war began.
He finished school in 1956 at Aldenham, a traditional English boarding school (founded in 1597), and began his career as a real estate agent soon after. In 1976 he moved his young family to Maryland, where he went to work as a home inspector, soon forming his own very successful company, Accusystem, with inspectors operating from Pennsylvania to Florida. He relocated to the Tampa area in 1988 and later sold the company to Sears. Forming a new company, he continued to be involved in the home inspection business right up until his death. He was an early luminary in that field, introducing many refinements that were adopted throughout the industry.
As a young man John loved jazz and (it is rumored) starred on alto sax in his early twenties in a trio that played dance gigs on weekends, only falling off the stage one time. Travel was his greatest passion. Over his lifetime he visited over 60 countries, including Mexico, Cuba, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, The Dominican Republic, Egypt, Cyprus, Morocco, Bahrain, Dubai, Madeira, Soviet and post-Soviet Russia, Ireland and almost every other country in Europe. Late in life he developed a deep appreciation for classical music and loved to watch live-recorded performances on YouTube. He also perfected a lifelong passion for fine food. Boy, did he love to eat.
John was known for his kindness, gentlemanly manner and incurable optimism, even after losing the love of his life Judi to Parkinson’s Disease early in 2021 and despite the multiple health issues that eventually brought his life to an end. His dry sense of humor was legend and largely appreciated among those who knew him well. He also loved reunions with his three brothers, who at one time lived on three different continents, and he always managed to get to wherever they had gathered to referee their rhetorical fistfights.
John will be sorely missed by family and friends, including his brothers and their extended families now spread across the globe. His life of love, adventure and ingenuity remain as an inspiration to all who knew him.
Plans for a memorial celebration of his life will be announced later.
Gerald William Kirker
Gerald served proudly in the United States Army and was a veteran of the Vietnam War. During his time in service, he received the Bronze and Silver stars.
He was a talented builder and built his first car at age 12. Gerald worked as a machinist first-class in Pennsylvania and Florida. He retired locally from Ringhaver.
He met his wife, Ann Marie, in a photography class.
Gerald was a member of Roamin’ Oldies Car Club and Apollo Beach Power Squadron.
He is survived by his loving wife, Ann Marie Kirker; sons, Gerald Kirker (Jerry), Michael Kirker; sisters, Donna Welsh (Ronald), Nellie Snell; niece, Rebecca Jaques; great-nephew, Daniel Jaques; many extended family members and friends.
A graveside service with military honors will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 24, 2021 at Sarasota National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his honor to the Paralyzed Veterans of America at www.pva.org/.
Marcello (Pat) Ricci of Sun City Center, Fla., has gone to play golf in heaven with his beloved wife Ann. Born in Canton, Ohio, on January 10, 1927, he was one of five brothers and two sisters. He and Ann retired to Florida in 1996 to play golf and enjoy life, and they sure did!
He was preceded in death by his wife Ann; his parents and all his siblings; and his son-in-law, Arnold Garren. Pat is survived by his two daughters and their families, Marcia Detar (Donald) of Wimauma, Fla., and Vicky Garren of Minerva, Ohio; granddaughter, Angela Eglie (John) of Homeworth, Ohio; grandson, Brian Garren (Lisa) of Ontario, Canada; as well as five great-grandchildren.
Memorial mass to be held at a later date at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Sun City. In lieu of flowers, please donate to a worthy charity of your choice.
Harold Noyes Patch
Harold Noyes Patch, a.k.a. Dan Patch, died on June 6, 2021, in Sun City Center, Fla., at the age of 94. He was born in Proctor, Vermont, in 1926, and lived with his family in nearby Pittsford. After a year in the U.S. Navy, he attended Bryant College in R.I.
He taught business at Middlebury High and there met his wife Mary, marrying in 1952. They moved to North Haven, Conn., and Dan taught at Shelton High. He became their first computer center director, ushering the city of Shelton, its school system and the students of Shelton into the computer age by directing the operation of one of the first time-share computers on the market. For 48 years, their summers were spent on Lake Dunmore in Vermont, working at Keewaydin Camp.
After retiring, Mary and Dan moved to Sun City Center, Fla. Dan volunteered for the SCC Emergency Squad and SCC Security Patrol, and for many years he orchestrated the New England Club’s annual dinner, preparing a traditional ham and beans menu for hundreds of guests. The couple enjoyed traveling in their motor coach, taking several trips cross-country.
Harold was predeceased by his wife Mary; his daughter-in-law, Susan; and all seven of his siblings. He remains in the hearts of his son Steven and wife Rebecca of North Carolina; his son Michael of Rhode Island; his daughter Alyson and her spouse Danielle of Massachusetts; as well as seven grandchildren, one great-grandchild and many nieces and nephews.
His ashes will rest along with Mary’s in Evergreen Cemetery in Pittsford and Riverview Cemetery in Wilmington, VT.
Those who wish, may contribute in his name to the Keewaydin Foundation, 50 Rustic Lane, Salisbury, VT, 05769.
He owned his own home here in Ruskin and had several collections. Tracy was a tradesman, who worked locally for Three Boys farm.
He is predeceased by his father, Douglas Bohannan; sister, Jessica Wortman; and grandparents, Don and Ella Bohannan and Loui and Brenda Jones.
He is survived by his mother, Regina Eades; stepfather Mike Eades Jr.; stepmother, Mary Bohannan; brothers; Douglas Burger, Kyle Bohannan; two sisters, Stephanie Eades, Kristine Cable; sister-in-law, Tara burger; grandparents, Mike and Sue Eades Sr.; uncle, Ron Bohannan; five nieces and three nephews.
The family will have a Celebration of Life for Tracy in August at the Ruskin United Methodist. Arrangements by Zipperer’s Funeral Home.