Obituaries for the week of August 19, 2021
Dennis B. Heinkel
On Wednesday, July 28, 2021, Dennis Brian Heinkel, devoted husband, supportive father and incredible grandpa passed away and is now reunited with his wife Glenda. They are together again and forever guardian angels watching over their family.
Dennis was born on Dec. 4, 1944, and raised in Hayward, Wis. He graduated from Hayward High School, Class of 1962. While attending Madison Business College, he met the love of his life, Glenda McConnaughay, of Geneva, Ill. They graduated in 1964, and Dennis followed Glenda to her hometown where they were married later that year on Oct. 17.
He started his work life at the Aurora Beacon News, was later employed by the Wurlitzer Company and spent the final 22 years of his career as the credit manager at Ideal Industries, Inc. Dennis was well respected by his colleagues and customers, very knowledgeable, a great negotiator,very charismatic and always willing to go the extra mile for the company and his customers. He retired from Ideal in 2005.
Many good family years were spent at their beautiful homes, first in St. Charles, then moving to Deerpath Road in Sycamore. The family grew through marriages and grandchildren. Retirement came in 2005, and Dennis and Glenda snow-birded between Florida, Wisconsin and Illinois. They finally simplified and purchased a condo in Kings Point, a ‘resort like’ over 55 gated community in Sun City Center, Fla., enjoying their time making new friends, lawn bowling and having their daughters and their families visit for vacations
Dennis was passionate about all sports and was a life-long fan of his beloved Green Bay Packers. If he wasn’t watching sports, you could find him in his yard, spending hours each week on the landscaping, growing beautiful plush green grass and push mowing an acre of lawn to obtain the most perfect straight lines. Everyone would comment, “This yard looks like a professional outdoor sports stadium!”
He loved and cherished spending time with his wife and family. When not at a sporting event, the family enjoyed vacationing. Camping in their pop-up camper was a family favorite for many years. He and Glenda also enjoyed their vacations together; visiting family, cruising the Caribbean and exploring Puerto Rico were a few of their adventures. The fall was his favorite time of the year, and he and Glenda hosted many chili dinners, hot dogs and smores over a bon-fire, sharing old camping stories and reminiscing about all the great times raising their family. During his three daughter’s childhood years, he coached them in soccer, attended all their sporting events and was always their #1 fan. Once his grandchildren started playing sports (volleyball, basketball, baseball and softball), he went to as many games as he could to show his support, either in person or virtually.
Dennis was not only a loving and dedicated husband, but he was also an extraordinary caregiver for his wife Glenda as she battled cancer later in life. He was her advocate and made sure she was always well taken care of, immensely loved and supported. His love for his family was undeniable, and he will be missed dearly every day.
Dennis is survived by his three daughters, Christina (Thomas) Senne of Bolingbrook, Ill., Lisa (Tim) Brewer of Pickett, Wis., and Nicole (Matthew) Figura of Plainfield, Ill., and six beautiful grandchildren, Alexandra and Gabrielle Senne, Summer, Tyler and Danielle Brewer and Blaire Figura. He is also survived by his brother, Roland Heinkel, of Madison, Wis.; a sister, Deborah Klein of Wolcott, Vt.; a special sister-in-law, Carol and George Mourousisas; along with many nieces and nephews. Dennis was preceded in death by his loving wife of 56 years, Glenda Heinkel; his parents, Roland and Luvern (Henderson) Heinkel; and brothers, Gregory and Russell Heinkel.
Dennis battled his cancer with a healthy mind and positive attitude to ensure he provided a beautiful memorial service for his wife; enjoyed quality time with his daughters and their families; and for the chance to meet his sixth grandchild, who was born in April 2021. He accomplished all his goals and spent his last summer in Pickett, Wis., surrounded by the love and support of his family and friends. The family will have a private ceremony and share beloved memories of our father at Zoar Cemetery, Rosendale, Wis., on Oct. 1, 2021. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to philsfriends.org/.
Allen D. Meyers
Allen David Meyers, 70, of Wimauma, Fla., passed away on Aug. 8, 2021, suddenly, of COVID Pneumonia after successfully battling cancer for over five years.
He was born on June 6, 1951, in LaPorte, Ind., to Donald Earl and Emily Joyce (Shoemaker) Meyers. Allen graduated from LaPorte High School in 1970. He married Gail Wolford on June 1, 1974, in Michigan City, Ind. Survivors include wife of 47 years, Gail Meyers; son, Matthew (Megan) Meyers (Vienna, Virginia); daughter, Stacie (John) Brough (Baumholder, Germany); and grandchildren, Kaleena and Kanani of Baumholder, Germany, Olivia and Harrison of Vienna, Va.; step-grandsons, Allen (Amy), David, and Jake Brough of Scotland; and great-grandchildren, Max and Chloe Brough of Scotland. Also surviving are brothers, Brian Meyers, Daniel (Karen) Meyers and sister-in-law, Sharon Meyers, all of LaPorte, Ind. Both of his parents and his brother, Norman Meyers, have passed.
Allen was a volunteer fireman in Kingsford Heights, Ind. In 1981 he was a member of the first group of Kingsford Union Volunteer Fire Department’s firemen to be trained as a first responder. He was an Indiana State Fire Instructor with five areas of state certification. Al was the chairman for the Indiana Volunteer Firemen Association’s (IVFA) Annual State Convention in 1988, which was hosted in Michigan City, Ind., by LaPorte County’s volunteer fire departments.
Al worked at Roll-Coater and later as maintenance at the LaPorte County Court House. He continued working in maintenance when he moved to Orlando, Fla., in 1989. After moving to Tampa, Fla., he worked for 10 years at Granite Construction Company as both crane operator and foreman. His last 10 years of employment were with Wal-Mart as sales associate, cashier and Santa (his favorite job).
Allen was a ‘people person’ and really enjoyed spending time with family and friends. Al never met a stranger and was able to strike up a conversation with anyone, no matter their age or background. He had a joke for every occasion. He leaves behind so many good friends. He volunteered for a variety of groups and organizations over the years, including firefighter/instructor, coaching little league softball, band parent, hot air balloon chaser, VFW 8108 Auxiliary, Santa Claus whenever asked and a Welly (volunteer) at Wellspring Community Church.
Al has a personal relationship with Jesus and is in Heaven. He was just two months away from completing the Bible Training Center for Pastors course, which he had been attending weekly for the past four years. He had no fear of dying but was trying to live a few more years for his grandchildren who were all the light of his life. Although weakening from chemotherapy, the cancer was under good control. He had received the COVID vaccine, but the chemotherapy interfered with his antibody formation.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, 1851 Rickenbacker Drive, Sun City Center, FL 33573. Due to the current surge in the Delta Variant of COVID, his family has requested a restricted service with no in-person attendance. The service will be live streamed at https://client.tribucast.com/tcid/7658220784.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Wellspring Community Church, 705 9th St. SE, Ruskin, FL 33570, or to your own favorite church or charity in his honor. Condolences can be shared with the family at www.suncitycenterfuneralhome.com/.
Ernest J. Kociban
Ernest J. Kociban, “Ernie”, 80, of Sun City Center, Fla., passed away on Aug. 14, 2021, surrounded by his family. He was born on April 30, 1941, in Braddock, Pa., to the late Anna (Tutko) and Michael Kociban.
He grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh and graduated from Munhall High School. Ernie valued education and because of this he received degrees from Duquesne University, Villanova University and Widener University. In college he was a member of Beta Pi Sigma Fraternity.
Ernie was married for 56 years to his college sweetheart, Dorothy, and together they raised their three children, Ken, Kristen and Kiera in Hatfield, Pa. Always supporting his children, he volunteered for many different organizations, such as being president of the aquatic association and the local baseball league. Family and faith were of the utmost importance to Ernie. He was a long-time and devoted member of St. Maria Goretti Parish, where he was an active volunteer on the financial and welcoming committees. Ernie’s career was spent as a banker where he worked at various financial institutions. He retired as a senior vice president at the age of 70.
Ernie was a lifelong fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates. He loved cheering on his Villanova Wildcats in basketball and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame in football. He was known for his sense of humor, teasing you if you weren’t a fan of his favorite teams and telling a good story. Many of these stories involved wonderful memories with his family and closest friends from vacations at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware; Rock Hall, Maryland; and Capon Springs, West Virginia.
After retirement, Ernie continued to stay involved in his community by volunteering with various organizations, but his favorite pastime was spending time with his eight grandchildren, who brought him so much joy. He loved watching their sporting events or activities and spending time with them.
In addition to his parents, Ernie was preceded in death by his sister, Cynthia Ratkus.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Ann (Shiner) Kociban; children, Kenneth Kociban, Kristen Lade (Jeffrey), Kiera Mathey (Stephen); grandchildren, Zachary, Noah and Alexis Kociban, Katherine and Jacob Lade, Brendan, Anna Jane and Caroline Mathey; siblings, Marion Kociban, Elaine Hill; sister-in-law, Janet Ditmore; brother-in-law, George Shiner; many extended family members and countless friends.
A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, 702 Valley Forge Blvd., Sun City Center, FL 33573. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Ernie’s honor to Lansdale Catholic High School at http://secure.acceptiva.com/. Condolences can be shared at www.suncitycenterfuneralhome.com/.
Paul K. and Carolyn D. Mullins
The Graveside service and Military Honors will follow directly after the Celebration of Life, at Ruskin Memorial Gardens, Corner of 1st St. SW and Manatee Drive, Ruskin, Fla. A reception will follow. Location to be announced.
For those who wish to donate to a ministry that Paul and Carolyn were passionate about, in their memory, the information for a few is Water For Life, digging wells, providing clean water, saving babies, children, lives and whole communities worldwide while sharing Jesus at Life Outreach International: https://lifetoday.org/outreaches/water-for-life/ online or Life Outreach International, P.O. Box 98200, Ft. Worth, Texas 76182-8000; Rescue Life, rescuing children, orphans and human trafficking victims in several nations and ministers to their needs at Life Outreach International: https://lifetoday.org/outreaches/rescuelife/ online or Life Outreach International P.O. Box 98200, Ft. Worth, Texas 76182-8000; Reach City Church https://reachcity.com/index.php/giving/ online or 6605 Krycul Ave, Riverview, FL 33569.
For those who wish to send flowers: National Cremation and Burial Society, 308 E. College Ave., Ruskin, FL 33570, phone: 813-645-3231.
Full obituaries to follow at a later date.
Helen I. Schuster
Helen I. Schuster, 98, of Sun City Center, Fla., formerly of Galva, Ill., passed away on Aug. 12, 2021, at LifePath Hospice, Sun City Center Hospice House, Ruskin, Fla. Funeral services will be held on Aug. 28, 2021, at the Galva Chapel of Stackhouse-Moore Funeral & Cremation Services. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to South Shore Concert Band, Sun City Center, Fla.
Helen Irene Day was born January 3, 1923. in South Whitley, Ind., the daughter of Roy and Elizabeth (Bernhard) Day. She was educated in South Whitley schools and graduated from South Whitley High School in 1941. Her marriage to Donald Schuster took place on Sept. 30, 1952 in Aurora, Ill. He passed away on Dec. 23, 2016.
Mrs. Schuster was a musician. Her career began in 1939 at South Whitley High School where she played the alto sax.
She became a professional musician when she was 19 and spent 11 years on the road during the Big Band era, playing with Ada Leonard, the Quadettes, and many other bands. She was a former member of the “Rootabaga Jammers” Swing Band at Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Ill., where she played the alto sax; the South Shore Concert Band in Sun City Center, where she played flute; as well as the South Bay saxophone ensemble where she played alto and soprano sax. She attended the United Methodist Church of Sun City Center.
Those surviving are her two daughters, Laura Gilbert, Roseville, Minn., and Carol (John) Rada, Schaumburg, Ill.; four grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, a brother and a sister.
Condolences can be shared at www.suncitycenterfuneralhome.com/. Donations may be made in Helen’s name to: SCC Presbyterian Church, 1239 W Del Webb Blvd, Sun City Center, FL 3357, in care of Leah Micklatcher.
Charles H. Reeve Jr.
Charles (Chuck) Reeve was born in Hibbing, Minn., to Charles H. Reeve Sr. and S. Charlotte Schusdedt on July 6, 1927. He was a first lieutenant in the US Army and served in Guam from 1945 to 1947. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in architectural engineering and pursued a career in urban planning. He retired from the State of Connecticut Department of Public Works in June 1994.
Charles is survived by his dear and devoted wife of nearly 20 years, Sharon Reeve. He is also survived by his brother, William Reeve, with his wife Barbara; Charles’s children with their spouses, respectively, David and Kathryn Reeve, Marsha and Paul Dodd, Daniel and Sharlene Reeve and Susan and Ralph Giliberto; two grandchildren, Maura Dodd and Conor Dodd with his wife Lena; and two great-grandchildren, Cloverleigh Dodd and Calvin Dodd.
In addition to his parents, Charles was predeceased by his beloved first wife of nearly 50 years, Rose K. Reeve, and their daughter, Mary K. Reeve.
Charles had an abiding, personal faith in Jesus Christ. He was also a freemason and served as past master for Hospitality Lodge in Wethersfield, Conn., most wise master of Rose Croix, and associate grand marshal for the Grand Lodge of Connecticut. He belonged to Scottish Rite and the Shriners, in Connecticut as well as in Florida.
Charles and Sharon shared a passion for travelling. They were blessed to visit numerous countries and see the architectural wonders he had studied in college. He also enjoyed golf, a sport he embraced eagerly in his retirement years.
Charles will be dearly missed by all his family and friends. Donations may be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children. A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, at 11 a.m. at the United Methodist Church of Sun City Center, 1210 Del Webb Blvd., Sun City Center, FL.
Antimina P. Albritton
She was born on July 12, 1924, in Saint Antimo, Italy, to the late Teresa (Iannaccone) and Antonio Pedata.
Antimina served the Lord faithfully. She enjoyed gardening, especially orchids and lilies. She also cherished spending time with her many family members and friends. Antimina was a member of Wellspring Community Church in Ruskin, Fla.
Survivors include her children, Leland Albritton (Phylis), Wallace Albritton (Elizabeth), Jean Broughton (Phillip), Howard Albritton; daughter-in-law, Susan Albritton; 17 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren; 10 great-great-grandchildren; siblings, Francesca Pedata, Maria Pedata; many extended family members and friends.
In addition to her parents, Antimina was preceded in death by her husband, Wilbur Jack Albritton; children, Henry Albritton, Tony Albritton Sr.; grandson, Tony Albritton Jr.; siblings, Giovannina Pedata, Angelina Pedata, Rosa Pedata and Aniello Pedata.
Memorial donations can be made in Antimina’s honor to the Mary & Martha House, 312 S. U.S. 41, Ruskin, FL 33570, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or at www.stjude.org/.
We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. II Corinthians 5:8.
Death for us is not a dark journey into the unknown. It is not a lonely walk into a strange and friendless place. Rather, it is a glorious transition from the trials of earth into joys of heaven, where we will be reunited with our loved ones in Christ who has gone before. Best of all, we will enjoy the presence of our Lord.
Yes, when a believer dies, the body is buried but not the soul. She has ascended!-Richard DeHaan
Condolences can be shared with the family a www.suncitycenterfuneralhome.com/.
John T. Andrews
He was always quick with the “Dad Joke,” (I swear he invented it), and he always wanted to make you smile. He loved and cared about everyone he met, always seeking the best in them. As a coach and a father, on the ride home after a game, he would always ask two questions: 1. Did you try your hardest? 2. Did you have fun?
That’s all he cared about, no matter what it was – do your best and have fun. And that’s how he lived his life, always working hard to provide for his family and always making sure we had fun.
He would always say “Making Memories!” And those are what will last a lifetime for us. If he ever “picked” on you, he would always give you a sly wink and say, “I only pick on the ones I like.”
One of his last jobs was helping disadvantaged and challenged individuals find employment and encouraging independence. No matter the situation, he always exuded a positive outlook, and it showed in the shining results of his efforts. To this day, clients still call excited to share their progress and news with him.
Always working hard — always having fun, that’s our Dad.
In addition to his parents, John was preceded in death by his son, Mark Andrews.
He is survived by his loving wife, Kathryn E. (Froning) Andrews; children, Greg Andrews and wife Andrea, Christine McEntee and husband James; grandchildren, Morgan and Mason Andrews.
John wanted to help not just people he knew but anyone. To honor and remember him, we are collecting donations for the Parkinson’s Foundation in the hopes that they can find a cure for Parkinson’s. He wanted other families to be able to enjoy each other just a bit longer — Making Memories.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation at www.johntandrews.com/. Condolences can be shared with the family at www.suncitycenterfuneralhome.com/.
Nicholas E. Wetzel
Nicholas married the love of his life, Joan Wetzel (Kaulf), on Aug. 10, 1951. Nicholas joined Joan in Heaven to celebrate their 70th anniversary together, which was three days after his passing. Nicholas joined the United States Army in 1947. He was stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska, and served as a firefighter.
Nicholas worked for Givaudan corporation for 35 years before retiring to Apollo Beach and Sun City Center, Fla., in 1988.
Nicholas had a true love for sailing, boating and the sea. He and Joan sailed many different areas, including one of their most exciting trips navigating to Cuba.
Nicholas is preceded in death by his loving wife of 69 years, Joan, as well as his brother, Robert Wetzel. He is survived by brother Robert’s wife, Helen Wetzel. Nicholas and Joan had four children and is survived by his 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 his nine grandchildren, including Mark Jr. and his wife Becky Wetzel, Maureen and her husband, Angas Smyth, Stephen McGillick, Ryan McGillick, Christopher and wife, Alaina Wetzel, Brian Wetzel, Keith and his wife, Katy Weber, Travis Weber and Carley Weber.
His six great grandchildren, whom he cherished dearly, are Clara and Ellie Wetzel, Maddie, Willow and Finn Smyth, and Sawyer James Weber.
She was born on Nov. 14, 1930, to her parents, Joe and Tillie Plaskon, in Bayonne, N.J., where she was raised. Edna was a full-time IBM employee as an administrative assistant until retirement in 1995. She then worked as a colleague with Mayor Peter Cantu in New Jersey prior to moving to Sun City Center, Fla., in 1998.
Edna raised four loving children. She was predeceased by her oldest daughter, Donna, and is survived by her children and (spouses), Carol, Joseph (Doreen), Susan (Carl); nine grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
She is also survived by her brother, Joe Plaskon, and sisters, Barbara Kately and MaryAnn Romano.
Edna enjoyed playing cards, bingo, dancing and telling stories. She touched many lives with her witty sense of humor and will be cherished and remembered for her love, encouragement and faith. Mom, we will always love and miss you until we are reunited once again in Heaven.
Family and friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Life Service on Sept. 08, 2021, from 10 to 11 a.m. at: Baldwin Brothers Funeral Home, 3825 FL-64, Bradenton, FL 34208.
Following the service there will be a brief gathering, light refreshments provided.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent/donated to Tidewell Hospice at tidewellhospice.org/.
Edna’s obituary will also be posted at: baldwincremation.com/.