Obituaries for the week of July 22, 2021
She was the sixth of seven children born to Reva and Orlando Shrack in Hartford City, Ind. Theirs was a loving home despite depression-era hardship and the early death of her father when mom was eight. From a young age she was attuned to the needs of others, an important value in her family, and she often told us about the dimes her mom would give to the unemployed men who came to their door, humbly asking for help.
Mom was incredibly smart and excelled in school, becoming valedictorian and prom queen of Hartford City High School. She enrolled at Indiana Central (now the University of Indianapolis) for college, where she spent a semester volunteering as a nurses’ aide in a Native American reservation in Arizona, starred in plays and met our father, James Paul Hunter. They married in January 1954 and lived with their growing family in Florida, Texas, Massachusetts, California and Georgia. Mom was an early and avid supporter of Civil Rights during the tumult of the 1960s, opening our Atlanta home to a black family in 1968 who came to stay for Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral, and quietly espousing respect, dignity and equal opportunity for all. She was always amused by the clicks and occasional stray voices on the phone during that era, indicating that our line was being tapped by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Being a loving mother was the most important thing in the world to Mom, and guiding us to become caring, hardworking and successful adults was her life’s work. She was an intuitive, gentle and exceptionally attentive mother when we were young, always putting her kids’ needs first. As we grew older, Mom’s respect for our autonomy meant that she allowed us freedoms that helped us develop our independence. Our house was where all our friends gathered, where we played cards or electric football or Risk until way too late at night. Many of our friends thought of her as a second mom, and Paul’s best friend, Marty Cole, became a kind of honorary son to her. Mom never failed to express her pride in all of us and in all our kids and her grandchildren. Family was everything to her.
Mom had a great sense of fun. She enjoyed corny jokes and had a wonderful sense of humor. From reglazing windows to laying tile, she took on home repair projects with zeal, always laughing at her missteps and making every project an adventure. She loved playing games with us kids and with her friends, including bridge; delighted over difficult crossword puzzles; and was a Jeopardy fiend, answering almost every question up to the last day of her life. Her creativity, keen intelligence and musical gifts enriched many lives. She played piano and could find any tune by ear, and for over a decade she played guitar and sang her own original songs with The Front Porch Pickers. Her lyrics, celebrating the poignance and humorous aspects of aging, were always crowd favorites.
Mom was a delighted and delightful grandmother who took joy in playing. She would sit on the floor building Legos or making paper dolls for hours; read stories endlessly to rapt, cuddling kids; and would cheerfully dress up right along with the grandkids in band costumes to parade around the living room, tooting a recorder and pounding drums and singing the songs they’d just written together. One of us once came home from work while Grandma was visiting to discover a huge muddy hole in the backyard and two gleeful boys scooping and wallowing while she sat nearby, laughing with encouragement. Her home was filled with giant photos of her grandchildren, all of whom admired her as both a role model and a loving grandmother.
Mom earned a master’s degree in education and became a specialist in working with disabled students, especially those who struggled with dyslexia. She taught at one of the first integrated elementary schools in Houston, Texas, in the early ‘60s. Mom was a gifted and beloved teacher but left that profession to work as an analyst/adjudicator at the Georgia office of Disability Determination, where she thrived for almost 30 years, winning a national award and the affection and respect of her coworkers. Her integrity, work ethic, conscientiousness and people skills served her well there and everywhere in her life. She was proud of her work, which she initially sought because it offered the security of a pension and set hours so she could be present with us as we grew.
Mom loved to travel with her family and her many friends. She went to China as soon as it opened up to American tour groups, cruised around the Caribbean, took trains through Europe and had many adventures with Elderhostels around the US.
After our parents’ divorce, Mom managed single parenthood with grace and determination. Providing for her own needs so that she would never have to rely on anyone else was critical to her. She was proud of being able to purchase her first house, in 1976, in Decatur, Ga., and of the fact that her new financial security meant she would never need to lean on others for help. “I never want to be a burden to you kids.” On retirement, she struck out on her own for the Tampa, Fla., area, settling in Sun City Center at King’s Point. This choice was a gift she insisted on giving to her children: we knew she was safe and surrounded by friends and resources geared towards her many interests.
Infinitely adaptable, Mom thrived in Sun City Center, quickly becoming active in volunteer activities like the Nearly New Shop. Whether in volunteer or club activities or in assisting family, Mom was always the person who knew exactly what help was needed and who generously and quietly supported others. She joined the Front Porch Pickers, a bluegrass band, and there she met the love of her life, Ed Watson, who shared her liberal politics and devotion to Democratic causes, her frugality and her gratitude that they had found each other after long lives apart. Witnessing the sweetness of their devotion and kindness to each other was another gift to us kids, a love mom richly deserved that made us all so happy for her and for him.
Mom was predeceased by her parents, her six siblings, beloved extended family members, including her daughter-in-law, Sallyann Bailey Hunter; her godson, Wesley Ford; and many dear friends. Ed Watson predeceased her in June 2020. She is survived by her elder daughter, Debra Hunter (Michael Morgan), and their children, Hunter and Victoria, of San Rafael, Calif.; her middle daughter, Lisa (Aaron Carrel), of Madison, Wis., parents to Jacob and Elijah; and son, Paul (the late Sallyann Hunter), of Atlanta, parents of Megan, Samantha (Alan Taylor), Ben and Anna.
A celebration of life will occur at the Veterans Theater at Kings Point in Sun City Center, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, at 2 p.m.
No flowers, please. We encourage you to send any donations to a nonprofit of your choice in Mom’s name.
She is survived by her husband, Paul; two stepsons, Steven and William; and three sisters, Viola Weiss, Pamela Ellis and Judith Truppner.
She retired as a property manager and moved to Sun City Center in 1995. As a volunteer, she served for over 20 years with the SCC Emergency Squad and SCC Security Patrol. Her other interests included dancing (clogging was her favorite), card playing, mahjong, golf and world travel.
Private grave side service will be held at the convenience of the family. Interment will be at the National Cemetery in Sarasota. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Sun City Center Life Path Hospice House, SCC Emergency Squad or SCC Security Patrol.
Kenard Thomas Warner
He was born on March 21, 1943, in Jackson, Mich., to the late Cecil Harry Warner and Blanche Margaret (Hall) Warner.
Kenard was a lifelong iron worker and was inducted into the Iron Workers Walk of Fame. He helped build Epcot, Disney and four nuclear power plants.
He was a member of Trinity Baptist Church and Local 397 in Tampa, Fla.
Kenard is survived by his beloved wife, Jeanne C. Warner; many extended family members; and friends.
A visitation will be held on Thursday, July 22, 2021, from 11 a.m. to noon, with a service beginning at noon at Trinity Baptist Church, 702 W Del Webb, Sun City Center, FL 33573. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the American Diabetes Association, 2451 Crystal Drive, Suite 900, Arlington, VA 22202.
David A. Johnson
He is survived by his loving wife, Rose A. Johnson; siblings, Phyllis Phagan of Brooksville, Fla., Shirley Johnson of Ruskin, Fla., Fay Broten of Devils Lake, N.D., Paulette (Palmer) Odden of Devils Lake, N.D., Alice Sogge of Maddock, N.D., Patricia Visk of Saint Cloud, Minn.; many extended family members and friends.
In addition to his parents, David was preceded in death by siblings, Wallace Johnson Jr., Burnette Stull, Robert Keillor, Cecil Keillor, Albert Keillor Jr. and Olive Kenagy.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, July 22, 2021, from 2 to 3 p.m. at Sun City Center Funeral Home, 1851 Rickenbacker Drive, Sun City Center, FL 33573. The funeral service will begin at 3 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to St. Jude www.stjude.org or to the Alzheimer’s Association www.alz.org/.
Jennifer Marie Greene
Jennifer Marie Greene, 62, of Ruskin, Fla., went to be with the Lord on July 8, 2021. She was born on Oct. 27, 1958, in Northwood, North Dakota to Marlys (Sotvik) and Peter Locken. Jennifer lived and worked in the Washington, D.C., and Memphis, Tenn., areas prior to relocating to Florida. She worked as a programmer and systems analyst for several Sarasota and Bradenton-based companies including Tropicana Products. Ultimately, she retired from Pepsi Co. in 2013 after some 25 years of service. She was an avid hockey fan, having been a hockey cheerleader in high school. She also loved the beach, fishing and boating on the Little Manatee River.
She found great satisfaction in cooking, gardening, sewing and travelling to new places, especially after her retirement. Her family and many friends will remember her as a very generous person, always willing to help out without having been asked. She also loved all children and most animals – particularly dogs and the wild birds that flocked to her garden feeders. Some of her favorite times were spent watching the Florida sunsets from the dock behind her home.
Jennifer is survived by her loving husband, Michael Stephen Greene, and son, Philip Benjamin Greene of Ruskin; mother, Marlys Antonoplos of Fargo, N.D.; sisters Elizabeth (Edward) Obregon of Grand Forks, N.D., and Mary Locken of Fargo, N.D.; brother, Dr. Peter (Christy) Locken of Paducah, Ky.; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Lindsay Nicole Greene of Brandon, Fla.; father, Jim Antonoplos of Fargo, N.D.; sister, Deanna (Jeff) Yarmo of Crystal Lake, Ill.; stepdaughter, Leesa (Ricky) Spencer of Memphis, Tenn.; and many aunts and uncles.
The family will receive guests for a visitation from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, July 23, 2021, at Sun City Center Funeral Home, 1851 Rickenbacker Drive, Sun City Center, FL 33573. A funeral Mass will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 24, 2021, at St. Anne Catholic Church, 106 11th Avenue NE, Ruskin, FL 33570. She will be laid to rest with her daughter Lindsay at Ruskin Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Jennifer’s name to the Martha and Mary house in Ruskin.
Elaine L. Bushey
In loving memory of Elaine L. Bushey, who passed away peacefully, surrounded by family on July 15, 2021. She was predeceased by her mother, Thelma Limoge, and her father, Leon Limoge; also, her brothers, Jerome Limoge and Robert (Bob) Limoge; as well as her husband, Glendon Bushey.
She is survived by her brother, Raymond Limoge (Patty); and her children, Jeanne Button, Jacquelyn Duffy, Maree Bushey (Donald Ball), David Bushey (Pamela), Steven Bushey (Tracy); her grandchildren, Jason Duffy, Angela Waseleski, Jared Hoag (Becky), Seth Hoag, Justin Bushey (Melissa), Stephanie Bushey, Katon Bushey, Cooper Bushey and Cam Bushey; and not to forget the many great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, as well as their children, too numerous to name.
Elaine was born in Milton, Vt., where she grew up, went to high school, and married a local farmer’s son, Glendon Bushey. They lived and worked on the Bushey Farm in Essex Jct., Vt., while starting a family. Her life didn’t stand still, even while raising five children. She and her husband opened a small take-out submarine sandwich shop in Milton, Vt. The business evolved over the years to become the state’s first Quick Stop. It attracted the local teens and became a favorite “hang out “spot amongst the town.
With the family grown, the business was sold, and they relocated to Ruskin, Fla., near her parents, where they purchased a small hotel. This business evolved as well. They sold it and ‘retired’ in 1982. Elaine went on to be the office manager of Bob’s Machine shop for over 10 years and continued to work into her 70’s.
She kept a home that was a popular gathering spot for all her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as friends. Many of her family followed her to Florida where they still reside.
Most notably in Elaine’s life was her devotion to Christianity. She was a member of Saint Ann’s Parish in Milton, Vermont, and just a coincidence that she joined St. Anne Parish in Ruskin, Fla. Her family dubbed her “St. Ann.” She was a devout member of the church and spent many hours assisting and preparing for services as well as volunteering in the community.
“It broke our hearts to lose you, but you did not go alone. A part of us went with you the day God took you home “
We love you Mom, Gram, GG. You will be greatly missed.
A memorial Mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 30, 2021, at St. Anne Catholic Church, 106 11th Ave NE, Ruskin, FL 33570. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a charity of your choice.
Patrick “PJ” Joseph Hough was born on Oct. 3, 1939, to Francis and Palma (Ciaraffo) Hough in Dover, N.J. He passed away on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, in Sarasota, Fla. PJ is preceded in death by both of his parents; daughters, Mary and Lisa; and son Rick. Additionally, PJ is survived by his loving wife, Janet (Johnson) Hough, to whom he was married for 60 years; daughter, Lauren “Lauri” (Tim) Gill; sister, Betty (Steve) Sadow; grandchildren, Jessica (Miguel) Borbon, Jason (Ashley) Milliron; great-grandchildren Noah Borbon, Stella Milliron and Summer Milliron; nieces, Pam (Richard) Manzione and daughter Emily, Christine (Kristofer) Krause; nephew, Ron (Kim) Meloskie; many other nieces and nephews.
PJ joined the Air Force on June 28, 1957, and received his honorable discharge as an airmen second class on Aug. 15, 1960. He then joined the New Jersey National Guard and served there for 32 years, from 1967 to 1999. He retired in 1999 as a command sergeant major (CSM), the top 1 percent of all enlisted men. At the time of his retirement, PJ was eligible to wear the New Jersey National Guard Medal of Honor, two Armed Forces Reserve medals, three Army Reserve Components Achievement medals, twenty New Jersey National Guard merit awards, four NCO Professional Development ribbons, the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the New Jersey National Guard Governor’s Unit Award and the New Jersey Recruiters Badge on his uniform. PJ served as a police officer with the Randolph Police Department and as a detective with Stanhope Police Department in New Jersey. PJ also served as a volunteer with the attorney general’s office in the Seniors versus Crime program, which aimed to protect Florida’s seniors from crime. He was also involved in real estate.
A graveside service with military honors provided by the United States Army is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, at 11 a.m. at Sarasota National Cemetery. All guests planning on attending should plan to arrive by 10:30. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that any memorial contributions be made to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children. Arrangements are with Veterans Funeral Care.
Marcia J. Gehman
Marcia J. Gehman, of Sun City Center, Fla., passed away peacefully at home with her loving husband at her side on July 13, 2021.
She was born in Carthage, Mo., on Aug. 31, 1941, to Vernie W. and Nova G. Taunton. She graduated from Carthage High School, with distinction, in 1959. She then moved in 1959 for two years to San Diego, Calif., where she met her first husband, Reginald Dyska, who was stationed there with the US Navy. Upon his discharge, they moved to Detroit, Mich., in 1961. She had two sons, Troy (1962) and Greg (1963), and they lived in Southeastern Michigan until their divorce in 1978.
In 1962, she joined Ford Motor Company as an executive assistant and worked at various locations on an “as needed” basis before accepting the position of executive assistant for the plant manager of the Michigan Truck Plant in Wayne, Mich. She served in that position for several years until the plant manager was transferred and the new plant manager brought his own executive assistant. Marcia then transferred as a production analyst in the engineering department at the Michigan Truck Plant until 1996 when she was offered an early retirement buyout after 24 years of service.
In 1986 she met her current husband Nathan, and they married in June of 1988. After she retired, they moved to Brandon, Fla., and also lived in the Valrico and Riverview areas before settling in Sun City Center, Fla., in 2009.
She was preceded in death by her mother and father, as well as her brother, Kenneth Taunton, and his wife Susan of Jasper, Mo. She is survived by her husband, Nathan R. Gehman; two sons, Troy and Greg Dyska; two grandchildren, Frank and Anna Dyska.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Life Path Hospice of Sun City Center or to the SCC Emergency.
Arrangements by Sun City Center Funeral Home, 813-634-9900.
Katie Newton Easom
Katie Newton Easom, 81, passed away on July 8, 2021, in Sun City Center, Fla. She was at peace when she passed. She is survived by her children, Ellen Easom Sturgill (Barkley) of Lexington, Ky., and Eric Edward Easom (Hillary) of Menlo Park, Calif., and two sisters, Sarah Newton Dean of Shelbyville, Ky., and Martha (Polly) Newton Hopper of Shelbyville, Ky. She had four adoring grandchildren: Catherine Sturgill, William Sturgill, Jude Easom and Charlie Easom, each of whom brought her unmeasured pleasure and to whom she showed unconditional love. She was preceded in death by her husband, Omar Edward Easom; her parents, William Austin Newton and Gladys Fuller Newton; her brothers, William Austin Newton, Jr., John Thomas Newton, Andrew Bacon Newton, James Merritt Newton and Harry Norbit Newton; and a sister, Mary Agnes Newton.
Mrs. Easom was born on Sept. 15, 1939, in Shelbyville, Ky. She attended Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky., and Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky., where she earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics, with a minor in French. She later obtained a master’s degree in education from Georgetown College and Rank I from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Ky. In 1960, she married Omar Easom of Conehatta, Miss., ultimately settling in Carrollton, Ky., where she continued her career and raised her family.
She began her career as an educator in Shelbyville and after marriage, moved to Carrollton, Ky., to begin teaching in the Carroll County School District. There she served for 35 years as a classroom math and French teacher, high school principal, athletic director and administrator until her retirement in 1995. After retiring from the Carroll County School System, Mrs. Easom continued to be active in education, serving the children in her area. She was the director of the Carroll County School-to-Work Initiative where she managed grant funds to promote post-secondary employment and educational opportunities for students in the district. Mrs. Easom founded and directed the Educational Excellence Foundation for Carroll County and served as president of the Carroll County Tourism Commission. She served a term on the Jefferson Community College Board of Directors. During this time, she was also instrumentally involved with her husband in his business, Omar’s Telephone Company.
Mrs. Easom had a thirst for knowledge and was an avid reader. She was an accomplished bridge player, achieving the level of Life Master. She loved to travel, touching countries on three different continents after her retirement. She later lived in Somerset, Ky., and Sun City Center, Fla., where she was involved in the community and participated in several bridge organizations. In each of her resident towns, she became a member of the United Methodist Church. Her faith was with her throughout her life. Mrs. Easom was noted for her unyielding faith, commitment to family and community, infectious humor and strong character, all used for the betterment of her family, friends, neighbors and community.
Arrangements are by Sun City Center Funeral Home (www.suncitycenterfuneralhome.com/.) A celebration of life will be scheduled and held at a later time in Shelbyville, Ky., and in Conehatta, Miss., her final resting place alongside Omar, her beloved husband of 57 years.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Carroll County School District to establish a scholarship in Mrs. Easom’s name to benefit qualifying students from Carroll County. The scholarship fund is currently being established.