Gwen Bickler, formerly of Antigo, Wis., and Sun City Center, since 1991, passed away Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022, in Sun City Center, Fla. at the age of 94.
Gwen was born on Feb. 16, 1928, in Loyal, Wis., to the late William and Norma Tucker. She graduated from Loyal High School and in 1948 received her bachelor’s degree from UW Eau Claire. Gwen later went on to receive her master’s degree from UW Stevens Point. She was united in marriage to Claude Bickler on June 7, 1948, in Eau Claire. They were married an incredible 74 years!
Gwen worked for the Wausau School District for 33 plus years as an elementary kindergarten teacher and reading specialist. She spent the majority of her teaching career at Maine Elementary School and was loved by many, many students over the years. Formerly residing in Antigo and Wausau before moving to Sun City Center, Fla., Gwen remained involved in her communities. She was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church in Elcho, St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Wausau and Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Sun City Center. She was a member of the Wisconsin Education Association and continued her love of teaching by volunteering in kindergarten classrooms in Sun City Center. She also was a regular volunteer at Aspirus Antigo Hospital when residing at Bass Lake, Antigo.
Survivors include a son, Scott (Fran) Bickler, Sun City Center, Fla.; daughter, Suzanne (John) Juedes, of Wausau, Wis.; seven grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren. In addition to her husband and parents, Gwen was preceded in death by a son, William Bicker, and one sister.
Gwen was a devoted wife and mother, always caring for her family and putting their needs before her own. She will be remembered for her strong faith, sweet kindness to others and many talents. She was an accomplished seamstress, enjoyed playing the organ and gardening as well as baking. We all loved her delicious brownies! An avid golfer, Gwen could often be found on the Bass Lake Country Club golf course enjoying time with friends or, in earlier years, floating on a big inner tube on the lake! An exceptional woman, Gwen was loved and admired by many and will be greatly missed.
Interment will take place next summer for both Claude and Gwen at the Queen of Peace Cemetery, Antigo, Wis. Florida arrangements by Sun City Funeral Home will include an 11 a.m. funeral Mass at Prince of Peace Catholic Church on Feb. 1, 2023.
Mary Porterfield, a resident of Apollo Beach, Fla., passed away on December 26, 2022, at 92 years of age. Mary Porterfield was a retired nurse and hospital administrator. During the past five years, she was a volunteer emergency medical responder with the Sun City Center Emergency Squad.
Mary was born in Cairo, Illinois, to Ernest “E.E.” Tosh and Golda Williams Tosh on March 21, 1930. She is preceded in death by her father, Ernest Tosh; her mother, Golda (Williams); her husband John; her youngest son, Donald Lee; her brothers, Jack and Paul; the father of her children, Robert; and two nephews. She is survived by two children, Anne and Robert Jr.; a cousin, Martha (Williams); her niece, Elizabeth Tosh; niece, Carol Tosh; and nephew, Paul Tosh II.
A memorial will be held at Sun City Funeral Home on February 1, 2023, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Sun City Center Emergency Squad, 720 Ray Watson Drive, Sun City Center, FL 33573, 813-633-1411.
Jerome W. Affayroux Jr.
Jerome William Affayroux Jr., 83, was called home to our heavenly Father Jan. 17, 2023. He was born Aug. 1,1939, in Baltimore, Maryland, and moved to Sun City Center, Fla., in 2000.
Jerome is survived by his wife, Gertrude Buss Affayroux; daughter, Michele Kircher; son, Jerome William Affayroux III; grandchildren, Hope Armstrong, William Cichan Jr., Joshua Cichan’ and four great-grandchildren.
Jerome served in the Army in the Vietnam War. He retired from the postal service after 32 years. Jerome and Gert traveled the world and loved cruising with Holland America. They were married 61 years. He was an amazing, all around great guy who loved his family, his community and his country.
Jerome was admired, loved and respected. He was a man of integrity with a delightful quirky sense of humor that enriched the lives of many, and he will be greatly missed.
More information on a memorial service will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers donation can be made to Sun City Center Emergency Squad.
Reverend James Wilkie Berrien
Celebration Of Life And Remembrance Service for Reverend James Wilkie Berrien of Sun City Center, Fla., who passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, will be held on, Saturday, Jan. 28, at 11 a.m. at Mount Moriah M.B. Church, 5909 Vel Street, Wimauma, FL 33598, with Rev. Dr. W.J. Haynes officiating. The interment will be held at the Wimauma community cemetery.
The visitation for Rev. James Wikie Berrien will be held on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Mount Moriah M.B. Church, 5909 Vel Street, Wimauma, FL 33598. Arrangements are entrusted to Ray Williams Funeral Home, Rhodes & Northern, owners.
He leaves to cherish his memories his devoted wife of 62 years, Thelma Louise, and his children and grandchildren who were the light of his life.
James attended public school in Hillsborough County in old Sun City. James is a graduate of Blake High School class of 1959. Also, he fulfilled his lifelong dream of graduating from Emmaus Baptist College with his Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry in 2013.
Those who knew him will remember Rev. James for his love for the Lord, western shows and dry jokes, and he was well known to burst out singing and hollering “Yea” out of the blue. And his dedication to his friends, beloved family and, especially, those grandchildren always ensured he was at their school social functions. He was a genuine family-oriented person. His favorite song “To God Be the Glory” was his reminder to whom the honor truly belongs. He served as a guiding light to the community, family, friends and, especially, his New Bethel M. B. Church family. Doing the work of the Lord, James Wilkie made the best of all times.
Joseph J. Stafford Ill
On Friday, Jan. 13, Joseph J. Stafford Ill, beloved husband and dedicated father, passed away in Tampa, Fla. He was 69. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Marie A. Stafford; his sons, Joseph J. Stafford IV (Melissa), Evan L. Stafford (Caroline), Preston S. Stafford (Barbara); and nine grandchildren.
Joe was born in Sarasota on Nov. 4, 1953, and spent the majority of his life in the Tampa area. He was known as a quiet man who enjoyed spending time with his family. He didn’t always have a lot to say, but when he did speak, people listened, except for his wife. He was an accomplished electrician and was more than capable of handling most any situation with just a few tools he kept in the back of his truck.
He loved fishing and hunting in his younger years and never hesitated to wake his sons up before sunrise to go wet a line with him. He appreciated a nice glass of whiskey, a rare steak and he never passed up on a mid-day nap.