Browsing "2014"
Oct 22, 2014 - 2014, Obituaries    1 Comment

John Howell Higdon

johnhigdonJohn Howell Higdon, 77, passed away peacefully Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at Vitas at Courtney Springs, Merritt Island, FL. John was born in Pensacola, FL to Bodie Floyd and Anna Ethel Higdon. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Miami in 1959 and received his masters in computer science from the University of Central Florida in 1982. He worked for Boeing on the Apollo program until 1972 when health concerns forced an early retirement. As a native Floridian, John enjoyed boating in the Keys and deer hunting. Through the years John owned various sports cars. He enjoyed reading about cars as well as repairing them.

John is survived by his wife of 48 years, Betty D. Higdon; sister, Betty Lou Haimowicz (Arnold); nephews, William Cleveland Caldwell (Donna), Richard Higdon Caldwell (Margaret); niece, Kathryn Denise Carr (Kenneth); aunt, Maxine Higdon; and nine great-nephews and nieces. John will be missed by his family and friends.

A memorial service will be held in the chapel of Grace United Methodist Church, 65 Needle Blvd., Merritt Island, Saturday, October 25th at 11 a.m. Donations may be made to Florida United Methodist Children’s Home, 51 Children’s Way, Enterprise, FL 32725.

Oct 14, 2014 - 2014, Obituaries    3 Comments

Vincent (Vince, Vinny) Joseph Esposito Jr.

vincentVincent (Vince, Vinny) Joseph Esposito Jr., age 72 lost his battle with cancer on October 14, 2014 and passed on surrounded by his family and friends.

He was born in Brooklyn,  New York to Vincent and Vincenza (Jean) Esposito.  He was very patriotic and joined the Marines October 22, 1963. Returned to live in New York where he raised 2 sons (John and James), 2 step sons, (Jimmy and Robert), a niece (Linda), and several foster children. In 1980 he relocated to Pennsylvania where he continued to raise his family and successfully run a country store. He was a valued member of the community who never met a stranger and was always willing to help out any way he could.

In the 1990’s he relocated to Florida for warmer weather and to be closer to his family in Florida. Vince, being always the father, even adopted two young girls from a broken home. He could never say “no” to anyone in need. He was proud of his two grandsons, Adam and Vincent.

He was also an adventurer who loved to travel. Vince loved history, especially  museums connected to military.  He loved music, dancing, flirting and Italian food (especially if he cooked it). He loved holidays and liked to be in the middle of his family, friends, and good times. Everyone who met him remembered his smile and twinkle in his eyes.

He was met in Heaven by Jesus and reunited with his Mother, Father, and brother. He will be loved and missed by many.  Thank you Vince for being part of our lives.

Vincent Esposito

Bellino Visit Vince Vincent


Sep 19, 2014 - 2014, Obituaries    7 Comments

Susan Marie (Ruhl) Kendron

SusanSusan Marie (Ruhl) Kendron, age 58, passed away peacefully on September 19, 2014 surrounded by family and friends after a brave battle with lung cancer.

Susan loved her family whether blood or otherwise. Susan was a very unselfish and giving person who never met a stranger. Her heart was as big as the state of Florida. Susan spread that love through her actions. After raising two sons Susan took on the task of raising her grandchildren, which filled her heart with joy. Her passions in life were her family, her love of animals, Susan was seldom seen without a book in her hand, and she loved playing card game of all kinds and her love of cooking.

Susan was an animal lover who adopted and cared for MANY critters through the years. I believe that many of them adopted her.

Susan is preceded in death by grandparents William & Margaret Beard, Robert & Margaret Brown, her parents Leonard & Mary (Beard) Ruhl, Uncle Joe Beard, granddaughter Destiny Riedell Bailey and many of her beloved pets. She is survived by her husband Chuck Kendron, her sons Steven Sather and Terry Sather, brothers Bill Ruhl, Bob Ruhl, John Ruhl and Joe Ruhl, sister Jean (Ruhl) Bailey, aunt Judy Beard, grandsons Joshua Sather, Eli Riedell and Joey Riedell, daughter Chris Zubiate, daughter Aubrey Vasquez, many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, Maggie, Oreo and Lila.

Her family would like to thank everyone at Cape Canaveral Hospital and especially the entire staff at Vitas Courtenay Springs facility in Merritt Island Florida for the care and compassion they gave to Susan.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Brevard County Humane Society in Florida or your local Humane Society or animal shelter in her honor.

Susan requested there be no funeral or memorial service for her which will be honored. Therefore, a celebration of Susan’s life will be held at Rotary Park in Merritt Island Florida on October 11th at 4:00 pm. The website will be updated with more details if that changes or if more information becomes available.

Sep 14, 2014 - 2014, Obituaries    No Comments

Martin Wendell Sowards

Untitled-1Wendell was born November 24th, 1984 in Batesville, Indiana at 10:12 AM. We had 5 years with Wendell and spoiled him rotten. He was a very precocious child, into everything. We moved to Florida in 1988. In 1989 his brother Dustin was born and they were truly inseparable. It seems like there was never a picture when there wasn’t both there.

2013-03-17 11.13.10We moved back to Ohio in 1993. Wendell was 9 years old. His independent streak started to show. Wendell loved the outdoors, any season, he was outside. As he grew, he became very competitive, so we got him involved in youth baseball and basketball. He always loved to fish. He killed his first deer at 12 years old. He loved his gokarts and motocross bikes. He scared us to death. He was always pushing life to the edge. We loved him dearly.
2014-09-16 21.54.36We moved back to the beach in 2001. He discovered the ocean and spent hours in the surf swimming and fishing. A lot of mornings he would go down to the sea early, just to watch the sunrise. Wendell made friends quickly from his personality and beautiful smile. At 17, Wendell met one of the two loves of his life, Romaine Murdaugh. He fell in love instantly. They were always together and from that time together. They gave us two beautiful grandchildren, 2014-09-16 18.53.02Morgan and Martin, who we have great joy to have the opportunity to raise. Things did not work out between the two of them, because it was a case of kids having kids, but to the very end, they loved each other totally.

He also met another woman who gave us another wonderful grandson who is an exact replica of Wendell. Precocious and wonderfully active and exciting. Wendell had so many family and friends that loved him and will always love and miss him dearly.

2010-11-10 18.43.22I can’t end without saying something about the way he could pick up an instrument and just take to it. We always loved to sit and listen to him play and both him and his brother would sing together. This is just one of the many things we are going to miss about Wendell.

RIP our beloved son.


Mar 16, 2014 - 2014, Obituaries    16 Comments

Anne O’Rourke

anneorourkeAnne F. O’Rourke, 90, of Merritt Island, passed away on March 16, 2014 at William Childs Hospice House in Palm Bay.

Anne was born April 16, 1923 in Port Chester, New York and raised in Pelham. She moved to Miami, Florida in 1957 and married Francis O’Rourke in 1958. Francis preceded her in death in April 1980. Anne worked in food service for Dade County Public Schools and later in office work.

She moved to Merritt Island in June 2010.  Anne is survived by her daughter Cathy (Reuel) Ely and granddaughters Lauren and Jennifer Ely.

Anne was a devout Catholic and loved spending time with family and friends. The funeral Mass will be held on Friday 10:00a.m. at Divine Mercy Catholic Church in Merritt Island.

Mar 9, 2014 - 2014, Obituaries    42 Comments

John David Cheever

Click Map to View Larger

On Sunday, June 1st please gather outside at 1:30 rain or shine for a two o’clock celebration of John’s life:

The Children’s Farm at The Center
12700 Southwest Highway Palos Park, Illinois 60464

When you arrive at the Children’s Farm (which is on the East side of Southwest Highway) you can walk to the gathering under the “pine trees” or a ride will be provided in wagon/hayrack.

If you would like to speak publicly about John you will be given the opportunity, and I would love that.

John LOVED to wear flip-flops. So in honor of John, please wear your flip flops on Sunday if the weather permits. Afterwards we will gather to enjoy some of John’s favorite foods, drinks and continue to celebrate. I can’t wait to see all of you and hear your stories about John.

 Please send me an email if you might attend. We would love to see you there.


johndavidcheever1John David Cheever, age 50, passed away at his home after a brave three year battle with primary brain cancer.

John was a Director at SRAM Corporation for 25 years. He held many titles there and had an incredible, unique career with his SRAM Family.  He is either directly responsible for or has contributed significantly to a long list of SRAM patents.

John loved to fish, boat, ride vintage motorcycles, work in his machine shop, play guitar, and watch the sunsets disappear.

John is preceded in death by Dorothy (Blume) Cheever, Fred Cheever, Roman Sendera, Mary Jinkinson, and his beloved dog Winston. He is survived by his wife Janice (Sendera) Cheever, parents Thomas and Carol Cheever, and his siblings Thomas, Caryn, and Carey (Udziela) Cheever.

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Dr. Jeffery J. Raizer, Dr. James P. Chandler, Dr. MaryAnne H. Marymont, and all the faculty and staff at the Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute for the care they had given John.

I will also be forever grateful to the Cancer Support Center for the help they have given John and I throughout this journey.

A celebration of John’s life will be held in Illinois sometime in the Spring. I will provide more details, including the date and location through this webpage. When this information becomes available, an e-mail will be sent out.


Mar 4, 2014 - 2014, Obituaries    4 Comments

William “Billy” Stumpf

billyBilly Stumpf, age 52, passed away at home in Titusville, Florida, on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, with his family surrounding him.

Billy was born April 27, 1961, in Bristol, Pennsylvania. He was one of the nine children of John and Frances Stumpf. He attended the Sacred Heart of Jesus Elementary School and Lancaster Catholic High School, both located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As a young man, he was a paperboy, Boy Scout, and developed a life-long love of reading, fishing and the outdoors. Upon graduation, he was an integral part of two family-owned businesses, Stumpf’s Frozen Foods and JAS Sports Memorabilia. He spent many years devoting most of his time working in the retail and wholesale distribution aspect of the businesses and helped bring both businesses to the success they achieved.

billy's biz cardIn the late 1980’s, he moved to Florida, settling in the Orlando area. Little did he know that by 1990, he would have begun a dock-building business, “Boatdock Billy Stumpf,” becoming one of the most reputable marine contractors in Central Florida. Already an insider with established credentials, solid skill-set, and an incredibly creative mind, Bill’s knowledge and experience advanced his company into high profile municipal scopes of marine work, to include projects such as the City of Altamonte Spring’s Crane’s Roost Park, Bahama Bay Resort Dock & Cabanas and the Town of Harmony’s Deer Park, among many others. All of which are still celebrating gatherings to this day.

wedIn 1992, Billy married an Orange County elementary school teacher, Ginny, and with that, he inherited an additional family which includes step-sons Scott, Christopher (Jen), step-daughter Tracy (Wade), as well as “his” first grandchild, Brittany (then 5 years of age). As the years went by, there were additional grandchildren, April, Eddie, Brody, Sarah, Lisa, Tori, and great-grandchildren Noah,and most-recently, newborn Sophia. One more great-grand child is yet to be born in the fall, (Eddie and Randi), and, if a boy, will carry the middle name of “William.” He loved all of his “kids” because he was a big kid himself. Perhaps it was because breakfast on Sunday mornings on “overnights” at Grandma and Grandpa’s house was usually hot fudge sundaes, whipped cream, cherries and all the fixings (as long as Grandma was still sleeping!)


Three Christmases ago, Billy brought a six-week old Brindle Boxer home with him. He named her “Jazz,” short for “Jasmine.” She loved her Daddy, and comforted him as best she could. She misses him terribly.

 Billy was preceded in death by his parents John and Frances, brothers Jack, Tom (Ruth) and Rick. Billy left behind his large, wonderful family in Lancaster, brothers Robert (Susie), Edward (Shirl), and sisters Jeanne (Kevin), Mary in Philadelphia, and Joan (Anthony) in New York, as well as Godchildren George William, Andrew, and Caroline Schouten and many nieces and nephews. Billy met and kept many friends in both Pennsylvania and Florida, including “brother” Mitch Aument, and he will be missed by all of them. Special love to Ernie Heuthe for being Billy’s “friend to the end.”


Feb 20, 2014 - 2014, Obituaries    39 Comments

Billy Eugene Morris

Billy E. MorrisBilly Eugene Morris was born on December 1, 1936 in La Junta, Colorado to Robert and Catherine Morris and he passed away February 20, 2014.  He is survived by his wife Barbara A. Morris of Merritt Island, FL and two daughters, Pam (John) Bruckner of Woolsey, SD and Karen Wyman (Duane Alvarado) of Merritt Island, FL and five granddaughters, Angela (Michael) Pickett of Vermillion, SD, Sarah (Nathan) Miller of Aberdeen, SD, Alissa (Jason) Orban of Rapid City, SD, Jessica Pentacoff of Merritt Island, FL and Heather Pentacoff of Rancho Cordova, CA and six great-grandchildren Noah, AJ, Keegan, Payton, Lovelynn, Katie and his two sisters Norma Lee Conover of Rocky Ford, Colorado and Barbara Blackwell of Littleton, Colorado.

Bill graduated High School in Trinidad, Colorado.  He obtained an Associate’s Degree from Pueblo, Colorado.  He was drafted in the US Army and stationed at Huntsville, Alabama at the Hawk Missile site.  He was in Sales for many years and after he married Barbara in September of 1977 they moved to Greeley, Colorado where he decided to go back to his knowledge of beekeeping, which his father taught him at an early age, and purchased Rice’s Honey Farm and together they had a blooming business for 20+ years.  When they retired in 1999 they moved to Tucson, Arizona for five years.  After Arizona, they started to travel and decided to land in Rapid City, SD where he chose to go back to work in sales for Jack’s Campers.

During their travels, he always loved to be near a beach and that is when they decided to relocate to Florida where they enjoyed walking along the beach together.  Bill had 3 B’s in his life that he loved: Barbara, Broncos, and his Bees.  Bill always enjoyed gardening, cooking and getting together with family and friends.  Bill will truly be missed by his loved ones.

“Don’t grieve for me, for I am free.  God wanted me, now He set me free.”

Jan 31, 2014 - 2014, Obituaries    8 Comments

Daphne Fay Landry

Daphne Fay Landry and Chippy the IIIDaphne Fay Landry  88, passed away peacefully in her sleep early Friday morning, January 31st, 2014 at La Casa Retirement Home in Merritt Island, Florida.  Her husband, John, preceded her in death June 18th, 1978, and her youngest daughter, Joanne,   March 15th, 2009. She is survived by her children, Mark (and Mary) Landry of Overland Park, KS, Mary Landry Lindsey (and Dave) and Susan Landry Brannock of Morehead City, NC, William Ward Landry (and Nancy) of Cape Canaveral, FL. She had seven grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.

She was born in Geneva, Switzerland, where her father, Harold Van Vechten Fay and mother, Kathryn Beadle Fay were living and working for the World Peace Conferences of Boston  following World War I.  She lived there until about five years of age and they returned to Chevy Chase, MD where her father continued working for the federal government. She attended Holton Arms High School, and Wheaton College in Massachusetts where her degree was in Psychology and English. She married and settled eventually in 1954 in Potomac, MD where she could ride Pharaoh, her horse, and raise five children, dogs and cats. During her youth she worked a summer job at a hotel in Cape May, New Jersey, and acquired a life long passion for the beach.  In the summer of 1956, she purchased a cottage just outside the then limits of Ocean City, Maryland. Summers were spent there from then on, even to where the grandchildren would come back and visit. Four of her last five years were spent in independent living by her son, Mark, in Kansas. There the owner let her happily keep her sixth child, Chippy the III, her companion Jack Russell.  When more managing care was needed Will brought her to Cape Canaveral next door to his condo unit where she could daily observe the ocean waves breaking.

There will be a memorial service and inurnment in May at the Potomac Methodist Church in Maryland, the date yet to be set.

Mom memories. Mark PDF Memories William Ward Landry PDF Grandma Landry letter Erin PDF Grandma Landry by Mike PDF Feelings and Thoughts Mary Lindsey PDF


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