Gretchen E. Meixner
Gretchen Emma Meixner, 99, passed away Oct. 27 in Sun City Center, where she had resided for the past 34 years. Born in Philadelphia, Pa., Aug. 1, 1923, she was the child of Frederick H. and Grace M. Mertens.
Gretchen was matriarch of a large family of more than 35 members, which included six children, 10 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and three Rotary exchange students from Austria, Denmark and Sweden.
Her beloved family will forever honor her influence as its tree grows and blossoms. Each family member was always aware she had her eyes on them.
Gretchen was a teacher, artist and dedicated friend of many. She had a quick wit and huge heart and gathered friends as one gathers berries. It would take a book to describe the breadth and scope of such an incredible being’s life.
In December 2021, Gretchen celebrated her 80th wedding anniversary with her husband, David, 98, who survives her.
Next door neighbors in State College, Pa., in 1941, she and David shared moments of solace in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor. They were married five weeks later.
A lifelong artist, Gretchen mastered painting, lapidary, stained glass, needlework and knitting. The knitting had a dual purpose as she knitted prayer shawls for her daughter’s church, “All Paths to God.” The more than 300 shawls she made were gifted to folks who were experiencing difficult times in their lives. The prayer shawls were every bit a donation of time and materials.
Gretchen was also an athlete who fondly shared memories of playing six-a-side basketball at State College High School in the early 1940s. She was a straight-as-an-arrow golfer and champion lawn bowler. She walked and walked and walked.
The first lesson taught in the Meixner family was always do for others. Gretchen was the dispatcher for Team 6 at the Sun City Center Emergency Squad for 17 years. She taught stained glass classes and lawn bowling.
Gretchen lived her life based on a motto she adopted while at State College High School, “Be gone dull care! You and I shall never agree.” That motto in years after became, “Whatever!”
In honor of her dedication to serving others and in lieu of flowers, the family wishes donations be made to All Paths to God Church, 1005 Augusta Drive, Sun City Center. A memorial service will start at 5 p.m., Nov. 14, in the Florida Room of the Sun City Center Atrium building.
Alice Marie McCoy
Alice Marie “Granny” McCoy, age 90, of Rockwood, formerly of Pikeville, Ky., and Ruskin, Fla., went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022. She was born on July 6, 1932, in Grundy, Va. She was a member of the New Vision Word of Faith Church in Rockwood, Tenn. She is preceded in death by her parents: Jake and Lillie McCoy; husband, Bony Cline; an infant child; grandchildren, Kelly McCoy and Mark McClain; great-granddaughter, Ashley Tyler; brothers, Jake Jr. McCoy and Arnold McCoy; sister, Eva Phillips. She is survived by daughters, Martha Ann McClain and Theresa McCoy; son, Bony McCoy (Karen); grandchildren, Charles McClain, Toni McClain, Shaun McClain, Kayla McCoy, Clarissa Shawnte Brazinski, Tyler Romine (Madison Reeves), Heather, Tiffany, Gabriella, Kara, Ella, Kayden, Jayden, Jakob, Liam and Micah; great-grandchildren, Carolyn “C.J.,” and Paislee, Riley; sister, Jessie Mae Blankenship; numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.
The family received friends on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the New Vision Word of Faith Church in Rockwood, Tenn.
Funeral service were on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, at 10 a.m. at the New Vision Word of Faith Church with Pastor Jimmy Willis, Bro. Bobby Lee and Bro. Charles McClain officiating. Graveside and interment services will be held on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, in the Johnson Memorial Cemetery in Pikeville, Ky., at 11 a.m. Evans Mortuary and J.W. Call Funeral Home is serving the family of Alice Marie “Granny” McCoy.
Ralph L. Seymour
Ralph L. Seymour, age 89, passed away on Oct. 27, 2022, at Cypress Creek Assisted Living Care in Sun City, Fla.
He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Thulla Mae Seymour; two married sons, Scott (Nancy) and Mark (Anna); brother, Jerry Seymour; three grandchildren, Amy Fernandez (Gerard), Greg Seymour (Lisa) and Michael Seymour; three married step-grandchildren, Kristina (Kevin) Eggebrecht, Kelli (Dustin) Bisby and Ryan (Jenn) McClure; eight great-grandchildren; and four step-great-grandchildren. Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, Ted and June Seymour, and his in-laws, Carl and Estelle Salmon.
Ralph loved his Lord, his wife and family and followed closely by his many friends, eight Boston Terriers and all sports, especially basketball. Don’t forget barbering was his passion for 63 years.
He was born on Oct. 15, 1933, in Dexter, Mo., a small town in Missouri’s boot heel. His family moved around until he finally took root in Doniphan, Mo. There he met his future wife, Thulla Mae. They married on July 3, 1953.
Ralph and Mae moved to Apollo Beach full time in 2000 where he lived out his dream, making great friends, playing pool, going on cruises, riding his golf cart and fishing. He also found time for barbering. Ralph was a barber in St. Louis for 41 years and Apollo Beach for 22 years.
He loved basketball and led his team, the Doniphan Dons, to the state championship his senior year.
He served in the Army during the Korean War and played basketball at the Fifth Army basketball tournament in Kansas City. He was stationed at Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Colorado.
In 1974 he bought his first Boston Terrier and grew to love the breed so much that he eventually raised eight.
Ralph was a deacon at Bayless Baptist Church in St. Louis for many years. Here he made many friends that would last a lifetime.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, https://mssociety.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.search&eventGroupID=5D8E661A-FD97-846A-4224AE4CFDCC4BAA/.
Denver Joe Stutler
Denver “Denny” Joe Stutler, of Sun City Center, passed away Sept. 26, 2022, at age 79, after a brief illness. Born Aug. 4, 1943, in Charleston, West Virginia, Denny joined the United States Army in 1960. He served five years in the 82nd Airborne and throughout his life was extremely proud of his military service. After leaving the US Army in 1964, Denny relocated to St. Petersburg and began his business career, working first for Firestone and, after a few years, starting a sign business. Denny also co-owned apartment rentals in St. Petersburg. He later focused on a residential and commercial cleanout, removal and hauling business that served the Tampa Bay area. Clean Haul was based in Plant City until 2016, when Denny and his wife, Jeannette, retired to Sun City Center.
He was a member of the Egypt Temple Shrine for more than 50 years and invested much of his time in service work with the Shriners. Denny was also a founding member of the Young Egypt Shriners (YES Club). Denny and Jeannette enjoyed their retirement years, traveling to 47 states by motor home. He was a devoted grandfather and will be deeply missed by his entire family. Denny was known for his positive outlook and great sense of humor, as well as his to-do lists and his precise penmanship.
Denny was preceded in death by his parents, Edna and Ray Stutler. He is survived by his wife, Jeannette, of Sun City Center, Fla.; his sons, Denver Joe Stutler Jr., of Sarasota, Fla., and Thomas Ray Stutler, of Memphis, Tenn.; his brother, Gary Stutler, of Vinton, Ohio; and grandchildren, Ryan, Denver III, Chandler, Dean, Owen; and step-granddaughters, Jaidyn and Kaitlyn.
A Celebration of Denver Joe Stutler’s Life will be held at 1 p.m. on Nov. 19, 2022, in Sun City Center, Fla. at the King’s Point Clubhouse at 1900 Clubhouse Drive, Sun City Center, FL 33573. A light lunch will be served. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Shriner’s Hospitals for Children. Go to SouthernFuneralCare.com/.
William Guerrera peacefully passed Nov. 1, 2022, at 2:20 a.m. Bill was 84 years old. He is survived by wife, Dotty; Cynthia (daughter) and Ken Kuhn, their children, Griffin and Sawyer; Wendy (daughter) and Seth Crichton, their children, Jackson and Charles; David (brother) and Annemarie Guerrera, their children, Natalie and Mark.
A private service was held Nov. 2 at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Sun City Center, Fla. Details regarding a “Celebration of Life” will be announced.
Bill attended Bethlehem Central High School and later Oberlin College. He was a star football, basketball and baseball athlete in both high school and college.
He went on to receive his master’s degree from Ohio State University and to become the longtime athletic director at Webster High School in Webster, N.Y. While there, he coached both the football and boys’ lacrosse teams to championships. Notably, Bill founded the boys’ lacrosse program at Webster.
Bill also received numerous awards for the promotion, service and improvements of athletics at the local, state and national levels.
Other interests included travel, camping, biking, skiing and dancing with his wife, Dotty. He was an active member of both St. Andrew Presbyterian Church and Florida Presbyterian Pilgrimage.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 1239 W Del Webb, Sun City Center, FL 33573, or to Florida Presbyterian Pilgrimage, 237 Mystic Falls Drive, Apollo Beach FL 33573 (checks payable to FLPP).
Betty Jo Harrell
Terry Harrell of Wimauma, Fla., regrets to announce the passing of his wife of 50 years and eight months, Betty Jo Harrell, on Oct. 31, 2022. Betty Jo was born in Dothan, Ala., on Feb. 18, 1956. She was a retired nurse who survived small lung cell cancer and declared to be in complete remission in Oct. 2019. After seeing God work this great miracle of healing, they enjoyed the next three and best years of their lives together until she quietly and unexpectedly passed away in her sleep at home.
She is also survived by her loving son, Tim Harrell; sister, Wanda Holland (Larry); brothers, Mike Givens (Sherry) and Ronnie Givens (Carol); nieces, Angie Phillips (Chris), Amanda Pace (Joey), Amy Stewart (Brian), Corey Stewart ( Bob); and several great nieces and great nephews.
Betty Jo will be greatly missed by many other family members and friends who have been touched by Betty Jo’s warmth and laughter. A semi-private memorial will be held with family and close friends at Fellowship Cemetery in Fort Lonesome, date yet to be determined.
Dorothy “Dottie” Stengel, age 100, of Sun City Center, Fla., passed away on Oct. 22, 2022.
A native of Saint Louis, Mo., she was the daughter of Albert and Jessie Stengel. Dorothy was a member of Calvary Baptist Church. She lived in San Diego, Calif., until 1995, where she worked as a secretary for California State Highways and was in property management, buying homes, renovating them and reselling. She taught piano and was a child care giver in several hotels where she cared for the children of LA Dodgers. Dorothy was very active and independent. She was a gardener at the local YMCA where she swam daily. She was an ice dancer and an avid tennis player. Services will be held privately.
Online condolences may be left for the family at Lanier.care/. To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dorthy “Dottie” J. Stengel, please visit our floral store.