Walter R. Dunn
Walter R. Dunn was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 12, 1924, and passed away in Sun City Center, Sept. 19, 2021. Growing up the child of a World War I vet and a private duty nurse, Walter talked fondly of a simpler time of ice trucks delivering ice; passing Honus Wagner, strolling down the sidewalk and saying hello to his dad; and going to one of FDR‘s inaugurations in Washington, D.C. As a child of the depression, he learned how to fix many things himself and continued to do so throughout his life. When World War II began, he enlisted on his 18th birthday in the Army Air Corps and was sent to Miami Beach for boot camp.
After serving in Italy during the war, he found himself coming back to Miami, where he met his future wife, career, music and family. Walter was married to Merle McGehee of Cordele, Ga., for 50 years. They met while he was working briefly at Pan American Airlines in Miami. He had a 35 career with Eastern Airlines at their hub in Miami. During that time he worked for EAL’s original founder, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, and later, astronaut Frank Borman, who became the EAL president.
Simultaneously during this time, Walt established a popular dance band,”Walt Dunn and The Starlighters,” that played South Florida. He went to the University of Miami under the G.I. Bill as a percussion major, and no one loved jazz, swing, big band or Dixieland more than he did. Proud of his band, he always had top-notch side men who played for the big entertainers, i.e., Frank Sinatra, who worked the big hotels on Miami Beach at the time. Among the jazz legends that sat in on some of his gigs were trumpeter Bobby Hackett and trombonist Jack Teagarden.
For 25 years Walt played EAL’s annual 25 year party held in Miami with his big band and a cocktail band as well as Pan-American Airlines Credit Union’s annual Christmas party, held at Bayfront Auditorium in Miami. His Dixieland band played for Eddie DeBartolo’s 49’ers when they played the Super Bowl in Miami in 1989.
As proud as he was of his career and moonlighting successes as a drummer, he was always prouder of his family. His wife pre-deceased him in 1997. Mr. Dunn is survived by his daughter, Shay Gomez (predeceased son-in-law Frank Gomez), of Sun City Center, Fla.; daughter, Roslyn Brunner (husband Michael), of Sun City Center, Fla.; grandchildren, John Hosford (wife Lizza), of Weehawken, New Jersey, Allegra Scheirer (husband Dan), of Mountain View, Calif., Kelsey Brunner (husband Brian Holaday), of Ann Arbor, Mich.; great-grandchildren, Raven Peters, of Sarasota, Fla., and Abigail Hosford, of Weehawken, N.J., and Jeremy and Cameron Scheirer of Mountain View, Calif. In addition to family, Walt had many, many friends who enjoyed his lectures on the roots of jazz, whether he was teaching at Sun City Center Community College or Aston Gardens Courtyards independent living. His trio accompanied him on these lectures, and he played records, CDs, tapes and VCRs of concerts and movies relevant to the week’s topic from his private collection. When not conducting his classes, he enjoyed singing at Happy Hour on Fridays at Courtyards. All of these wonderful, musical times were most dear to him, and the friends who helped and encouraged his efforts were a great treasure to him.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Sun City Center Emergency Squad, 1009 N Pebble Beach Boulevard, FL 33573. Plans for a Celebration of Life are not finalized at this time.
Delores Jean Sleziak, April 6, 1925 – July 21, 1921
We pray in thanksgiving for the life of Dee Sleziak who passed away in Shelby Twp., Mich,. on July 21, 2021, at the age of 96, following a brief illness. She was born on April 6, 1925, in Washington, Ind. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 62 years,Ray, and her granddaughter, Tiffana Hoebeke. She is survived by her two daughters Beverly Haverkamp of Grand Rapids, Mich., Pamela Willis, and her husband Jim of Shelby Twp. Mich.; six grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; and countless nieces, nephews, and other family members.
In retirement, Dee and Ray spent their winters in Florida, yet loved coming back to Michigan for an annual week-long family reunion in a beach cottage on the shores of Lake Michigan. She was an active member of the Prince of Peace Church and a professed Secular Franciscan. Dee was awarded the Diocese of St. Petersburg St. Jude Award for her dedication and service to Prince of Peace Parish. Dee started painting oil and palette knife painting in her 60s. When they moved to Grand Haven, Mich., she joined the art group “The Lakeland Painters.” After the move to Florida, she joined the local art group and continued her study of watercolors.
In 1994 they moved to Sun City Center, Fla.; she joined the Sun City Art Club, won several awards for her paintings and was invited to join the Phoenix Art Group. When she was not painting or cooking, Dee enjoyed playing bridge and gardening as a member of the Tillers and Toilers for many years. She was a member of the Polish Club and proud of Ray’s Polish heritage and customs. While living in Grand Haven, Dee and Ray were avid wine makers and enjoyed hosting wine-tasting sunset parties on their deck overlooking Lake Michigan.
Interment has taken place privately at Holy Cross Cemetery in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Friends and family are invited to attend a celebration of Dee’s life on Oct. 22, 2021, at a 10:30 a.m. mass at Prince of Peace Church, 702 Valley Forge Blvd., Sun City Center, FL 33573.
A Franciscan Wake Service will follow the mass.
William J. Yannotti, Jr.
William J. Yannotti, Jr., 88, formerly of Sun City Center, Fla., passed away on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. He was born in Oyster Bay, N.Y., in 1933 and is preceded in death by his wife, Pauline, his parents and two sisters.
Bill, as he was fondly known, is survived by his four stepdaughters, six grandchildren and ten great grandchildren. Bill will be missed by his family and friends. No services are scheduled at this time.
Martin “Matt” Batt
Martin “Matt” Batt died unexpectedly on Sept. 19, 2021, at 79 years of age. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Sue; his son. Jeff (MaryJo); his daughter. Kirsten (Clay) Schnelker; and his five grandchildren, Nick, Ty, Amanda, Ryan and Colin. Matt is also survived by his younger brother, Fred (Dianna) Batt. There will be a memorial service at 10 a.m. on Oct. 14 at the United Methodist Church in Sun City Center.
If you knew Matt, he may have told you that in 1960 he attended Carnegie Tech, heard the siren song of computers and soon was on the vanguard of mid-20th century computer development. He had an extraordinary and innate affinity for the science of computers; creating software proved to be Matt’s particular interest, and he quickly earned a reputation as an exceptional talent. For two decades Matt worked for U.S. Steel, where he was involved in significant software development. Subsequently, he did consulting work and when he finally retired…well, Matt never really retired. With his generous spirit he mentored hundreds of people through the Sun City Computer Club. More friends were rescued by Matt than we will ever know.
If you knew Matt, you realized he was a Renaissance Man. And when you told him that, he would deflect the compliment; “I am not that old.” True: Matt was about 400 years late to the Renaissance, but that did not stop him from signing up. Matt enjoyed the challenges of photography, but mostly Matt was an artist. He had enormous vision and the stunning talent to make it real. The most gifted people tend to be modest and, in that, Matt was no exception. His work is wildly evocative; it compels you to think and feel.
If you knew Matt, eventually, you would hear him say, “On May 17, 1969, I married Sue and thus became the luckiest man on earth.”
If you knew Matt, he might have told you he discovered a cave in West Virginia that was later named after him. So, there truly is a “Batt Cave!
If you knew Matt, you understood he was a lifelong learner, endlessly curious with an open mind and heart. He traveled the world.
If you knew Matt, his 3D humor (Dry, droll, deadly) was an ongoing gift of chortles.
If you knew Matt, his constant generosity of time and effort amazed you.
If you knew, Matt you were lucky.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to either Campaign Against Human Trafficking, Southshore, Inc., PO Box 5491, Sun City Center, FL 33571-5491, or Beth-El Farmworker Ministry, Inc., 18240 US 301 S, Wimauma, FL 33598.
Barbara Joan Gardner
Barbara “Bobbi” Joan Gardner passed away on Sept. 12, 2021, at the Sun Terrace Rehabilitation Center.
Bobbi was born on Oct. 30, 1941, to Wanda and Edward Barszcz in Niagara Falls, New York, and is survived by her husband, Royal “Roy” Gardner, as well as three children and eight grandchildren.
Bobbi dedicated herself to helping those in crisis, and the ripple effect of her life is immeasurable. During a two-decade-long career as a schoolteacher, she decided to volunteer for a first aid squad, becoming an EMT and working her way to captain of the volunteer squad. She then worked as a county paramedic in New Jersey and as a medical director of education in a hospital in South Carolina. During that time, one of her proudest accomplishments was delivering six babies.
Bobbi then applied her skills as a CPR instructor to thousands of students. In teaching so many, it is impossible to measure just how many lives she has been responsible for saving. Bobbi received multiple accolades and awards throughout her career; but her dedication is perhaps best seen in the many handwritten letters she received from those she helped and saved.
Bobbi married her husband Roy in 1962, at the Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Niagara Falls, the same church of her baptism, communion, and confirmation. They welcomed their first child, Roy, in 1963, followed by Kathleen in 1964 and Eddie in 1965. In 1966 they got a TV, and in 1967 they went on a beach vacation.
Bobbi truly loved without condition, a quality she shared with and encouraged in her eight grandchildren: Colin, Shannon, Benny, Jake, Zack, Ryan, Claudia and Eliza.
Bobbi’s light and legacy will continue in those blessed enough to know and be loved by her.
Ronald A. Frushon Sr.
Ronald A. Frushon Sr., 81 years old, passed away quietly in his sleep on Friday, Sept. 24, at his home in Sun City Center, Fla.
Ron was born on Aug. 9, 1940, in Pittston, Pa. He was the son of Alexander and Lena Frushon.
Ron was always known as a motivated self-started who owned several businesses during his life.
Two of Ron’s greatest passions in life were thoroughbred race horses and watching The Yankee’s baseball team play!
Ron was predeceased by his father, mother and sister Diane.
Ron is survived by his wife Janice; brother Joe (wife Margaret); daughter Lori; son Ron (wife Faith); son Ed (wife Rosie); several grandchildren; and his faithful companion dog, Frushi!
The services will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Monday, Oct. 11, at National Cremation & Burial, 308 E. College Ave. Ruskin, FL 33570, with the burial service to be immediately following.
Deborah Senkeleski, 72, of Apollo Beach, Fla., passed away peacefully in her sleep on Sept. 16, 2021. She was surrounded by her loving husband and daughter. Deborah was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tenn. She was a graduate of East Ridge High School. In 1975 she moved to Tampa. She started working for UPS in 1977. In 1979 she received her barber license. In 1988 Deborah moved to Apollo Beach and opened the Apollo Beach Barbershop. Over the years she sold the business and went to work for A&M Barbershop where she was a barber for over 30 years and was affectionately known as “Mother.”
Deborah worked at UPS until her retirement in 2011 and continued to work as a barber up until the fall of 2020. Deborah loved all of her wonderful customers throughout her years as a barber and enjoyed painting, animals, gardening, driving her jeep “Big Red” and, of course, the Tampa Bay Bucccaneers. She will be remembered for her quick witted humor, hard-working ethics and love for her family, friends and many customers.
Deborah is survived by her loving husband of 25 years, Robert Senkeleski; daughter, Raven Rayfield, and son-in-law, Mike Rayfield; son, Bobby Senkeleski, and daughter-in-law, Hope Senkeleski; son, Brian Senkeleski; her sister, Glenda K. Swanson; granddaughters, Skylar Rayfield, Annabelle Senkeleski and Aurora Senkeleski.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at the National Cremation & Burial Society in Ruskin, Fla., at 4 p.m. on Oct. 9, 2021. In Lieu of flowers, the family ask for donations to be made to Ruskin’s Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort (CARE).
Elidia Ramirez Asevedo
Elidia (Lily) Elidia Ramirez Asevedo, of Old Sun City, Fla., passed on Sept. 29, 2021, at the age of 90. She was born to Willie Ramirez Sr. and Teresa Rios Ramirez on Sept. 27, 1931, in Kenedy, Texas. She had five brothers Charlie, Flavio, Vel, Willie, Robert and five sisters Lore, Minnie, Teresa, Lelan (Elida). Then she met our father Tomas Asevedo they got married in Kenedy, Texas on Sept. 7, 1951. She had a beautiful family, daughters: Gloria, Norma, Martha, Rita and a daughter deceased Rosa. She was a wonderful woman, wife, mother, grandmother, godmother and friend. She had 10 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren.
Elidia was the most giving, loving understanding caring woman you will ever meet. She went to Saint Anne Catholic Church from 1967 to 2013. She worked with Saint Anne Catholic Church for many years. She than moved to Bradenton area and spent the rest of her life there touching other life’s, making new friends. But still having the valuable time for her family. Mother you will be dearly missed, you touched all of us with your special beauty.
There will be a viewing on Friday, Oct. 8, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Groover Funeral Home at Mansion Memorial Park, 1400 36th Ave. E Ellenton, FL 34222. The Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, Oct. 9, at 10 a.m. at Our Lady Queen Martyrs Catholic Church at 833 Magellan Dr. Sarasota, FL 34243.
March 5, 1950 – Sept. 27, 2021
Heidi’s family is heartbroken with the loss of their most important and loved person. Heidi was a strong Christian, and we find comfort knowing that she is where she would want to be even though it is too soon for us.
Heidi is survived by her loving husband, Mike, who kept her laughing for over 49 years, her children, Michael and Danielle, and grandchildren Kayla, Mikey, and Annalyse. Also deeply missing her are three sisters, three brothers, several nieces, nephews and cousins, and many friends.
Heidi’s entire family was extremely important to her and she kept in touch with everyone. According to her, they were all perfect, especially her children and grandchildren. There was never a negative comment about any of them. Her grandchildren were the loves of her life and you could always count on seeing many photos of them when you were with her.
Being a workaholic, Heidi was still working from home full time until a short time before she left us. Yet she still found time to cook for and serve the homeless in Ruskin once a week. And she loved The United Methodist Church of Sun City Center. Her favorite outreach was with the children. Both she and Mike volunteered for the Christmas in July program and other events involving the children. The front row was her favorite place for the contemporary service where she could be seen lifting her arms in praise.
Heidi was a Pittsburgh native. She and Mike moved to Lakeland in 2001 and found their way to Sun City Center in 2012. Everywhere Heidi went, her loving, neighborly spirit was with her. She offered to help whenever there was a need and many people were happy to receive her cookies and food.
A huge hole is in our hearts and all around us. Words cannot express how much we miss her.
Remembrances of Heidi can be made as a donation to The United Methodist Church, 1210 Del Webb Blvd. W., Sun City Center, FL 33573.
James H. Liedberg
James (Jim) Herbert Liedberg, 77, of Sun City Center, Fla., passed away Oct. 26, 2020, after a long struggle with cancer.
He is survived by his wife Carol; son, Doug Liedberg (Sherri) and granddaughter Andrea of Holland, Ohio; son, Ron Liedberg (Kasey), grandson Alex and granddaughter Grace of Oviedo, Fla.; sister, Judy Zimmerman of Rockford, Ill.; nephew, Dan Johnson (Teresa), and great-nephews, Kyle and Jay, of Rockford, Ill.; nephew, Chris Johnson (Denise), and great-nephew Adam of Machesney Park, Ill.
A memorial service to celebrate Jim’s life will be held on Saturday, Oct. 9, at 2:30 p.m. at Saint Andrew Presbyterian Church, located at 1239 Del Webb Blvd. W.