Stan Foster, 80, passed away Dec. 15, 2022. He was born to Alene and Stanley K. Foster, who preceded him in death. Stan is survived by his wife, Cheryl Ritchie-Foster, and a blended family with sons, David Foster, Rob Myers and Devry Cothren; daughters, Genelle Mackey and Angie Stoner; nine grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren; as well as his sister, Joy Tash.
After high school, Stan joined the Navy and served 11 years, including during the Vietnam War. He later graduated with an MBA in 1969 and worked at NASA, later as professor and dean of computer and math dept. in California. He also owned Su Casa Home Appraisal Services.
Stan left a legacy of service as a volunteer with the sheriff department, fire department and multiple boards while in California and, locally, as the first president of the Verona HOA, and later, treasurer, and Renaissance Maintenance Association Board. He continued to be active on committees within Verona. He also volunteered with CERT in Sun City Center. Stan often jumped in helping his neighbors.
Stan and Cheryl enjoyed full time RV travel, which brought them here to Sun City Center six years ago. He was an amazing all-around great guy who loved his family, his community and his country. Stan was admired, loved and respected and was a man of integrity with a delightful quirky sense of humor that enriched the lives of many and will be greatly missed.
We are planning a Celebration of Life March 18 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Sun City Center, Fla. More information to come on viewing the celebration if you are not able to come in person.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to the Sun City Emergency Squad in Sun City Center, Fla. This is an all-volunteer squad that provides free services and gives so much back to our community. The squad asks that you identify the name of the deceased and your name and address for the family to be notified of your thoughtfulness. Arrangements by Sun City Center Funeral Home, 813-634-9900.
James Robert Stearns
James Robert Stearns passed away surrounded by his family, on Oct. 17, 2022, in Sun City Center, Fla., at the age of 81. He was born Nov. 22, 1940, in Nyack, N.Y., to parents Harry and Edna Stearns. As a young man, James enlisted in the U.S Army, serving faithfully as a sergeant in the 101st Airborne Division and completing multiple tours in Vietnam. With over a decade of service he was honorably discharged and returned home to marry and raise children.
His primary occupation was that of a welder, but those who knew James knew him as a jack-of-all-trades and a man you could always count on to help you with any project you wanted to tackle. He was married to Elizabeth Stearns for 39 years until her passing in 2011.
His later years were spent in Sun City Center where he met and married his loving wife Beverly in 2013. James left a special mark on the lives of everyone he encountered. He is survived by his brother, William Stearns; his daughters, Maja Cleveland, Roberta Marvel, Barbara Wagner, Rosie Ward, Debbie Jeffreys and Pamela Pruitt; his sons, Roy Ward, James Michael Stearns, Richard Barrett II and William Barrett; his 24 grandchildren; his 28 great-grandchildren; 20 great-great-grandchildren; and his wife, Beverly Stearns, who will miss him tremendously.
A committal service with military honors will be held at the Florida National Cemetery on January 13, 2023, at 11 a.m. in Bushnell, Fla., for all those who knew James.
Robert W. Layer
Robert Wesley Layer (Bob), 94, passed away on Dec. 3, 2022, in Sun City Center, Fla. He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1928, to his late parents, Viola E. Houck and Wesley Homer.
He graduated from N.Y.U. with a B.A. in chemistry and the University of Cincinnati with a Ph. D. in chemistry.
He is predeceased by his first wife, Barbara (nee Nelson), and survived by his loving wife, Nancy (nee Hitchcock); his three children, Steven (Joann), David (Susan), Caren (Ed); three grandchildren, Erin, Joshua and Caslin; and his stepchildren, Donna (Ted), Sherry (Ray); two stepgrandchildren, Becky (Chris), Ryan (Connie); and 12 stepgreat-grandchildren.
He joined the B.F. Goodrich Company R & D in Brecksville, Ohio, where he worked 39 years as a research chemist looking for new chemicals needed for the manufacture of rubber products, antioxidants, accelerators, etc.
Bob published papers, gave technical talks, helped sales and marketing with customer visits where he traveled to interesting places in the world. He was a member of the American Chemical Society Rubber Division and won one of its highest awards, The Melvin Mooney Award, for valuable contributions to science and technology of the rubber industry. Bob was proud of his four patents and two others he worked on jointly. Bob enjoyed golfing, sailing, exercising, traveling and reading, but the love of his life was dancing and music.
The family will be having a memorial service and celebration of life at 10 a.m. on Jan. 16 at the Sun City Center Funeral Home with lunch to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Merle Gilbert Bowman
Merle Gilbert Bowman of Sun City Center, Fla., passed away on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022, at the age of 93 after a few months of declining health. Merle was born in Grand Blanc, Mich., on Dec. 21, 1929. Merle Bowman worked his entire career as an engineer at Chevrolet in Flint, Mich. He loved the outdoors and took advantage of all opportunities to go fishing, hunting, boating, camping or playing golf.
Merle was preceded in death by his wife, Phyllis Bowman, and his daughter, Karen Gary. He is survived by his children, Mark Bowman, Katherine Karl and Timothy Bowman; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and his long time forever friend, Mildred Post.
A celebration of life will be held by the family at a later date.