Aug 17, 2018 - 2018, Obituaries    3 Comments

Francis Dillman Griffin

Francis Dillman Griffin

October 25, 1927 – August 17, 2018

Francis Dillman Griffin passed away on Aug 17th, 2018. He was born October 25th, 1927 in Bethune, South Carolina to Robert A. Griffin and Frances S Griffin. He was married to Charlotte H. Griffin for over 63 years until her passing on Dec 27th, 2012.

Frank and family moved to Merritt Island in 1965, where they became active members of the First Baptist Church of Merritt Island. He became an integral part of the Church’s special events like the Living Christmas Tree, Easter Pageant and many others, acting as their Set Designer as well as designing and constructing many other projects throughout the Church property. He also played the Trumpet in the Church Orchestra and taught special needs children with Charlotte.

Among his many life accomplishments, Frank served in the Navy for 3 ½ years being Honorably Discharged and then went to Georgia Tech graduating with a Design Electrical Engineering Degree. Frank then went to work with NASA where he had a successful career and Two Patents, and after 24 years of service retired as Chief of the Launch Control Systems Branch.

In Frank’s retirement days he enjoyed doing projects for the Church, painting Murals, Loved to Golf and mostly Loved to play the Trumpet.

Frank is survived by his sons Michael, Steven and Charles. His Grandchildren, Marisa, Allyson and Kelly and Great-grandchildren Dannikah, Leslie and Merrick as well as many other loving family members. Frank had many close friends, and colleagues. Thank you to all who were a part of his remarkable life.

Calling hours will be held on Saturday October 20th, 2018 from 1:00 – 2:30pm, at First Baptist Church of Merritt Island, 140 Magnolia Ave, Merritt Island, FL, 32952. The Memorial Service will be at 2:30pm, with a reception at the church immediately following. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to The House of Hope in care of: The First Baptist Church of Merritt Island.

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Dec 30, 2016 - 2016, Obituaries    7 Comments

Clifford H. Colpitts Jr

Clifford H. Colpitts Jr.Clifford H. Colpitts Jr. started his spiritual journey on December 30th, 2016 at 12:27 am. He was surrounded by his loving wife, Sharon, and his cats Kojack, Little Russlan, Bear, and Socrates.

Rest in peace my angel! You were not only a great husband but a teacher and soulmate.

His family will miss Cliff’s sense of humor and love of nature.


SATURDAY (1/14/2017) AT 1 PM.


(click address for Google Map Directions)



Dec 26, 2015 - 2015, Obituaries    12 Comments

John King Cole

Picture30He gave it his best shot but lost a courageous battle with cancer and COPD, he never gave up and survived longer and more than most and passed December 26th, 2015.

John King Cole, born Raleigh, N.C. at Camp Lejeune (New River) on December 5, 1943 to John M and Florence E Cole who both preceded him in death.

Went into the Navy on August 1, 1961 serving in France and Monte Carlo while attached to USS SPRINGFIELD (CLG-7).

Married Joyce Lynn Wright Johnston on November 26, 1987 in Las Vegas, NV

He was an avid sports enthusiast, playing basketball and softball most of his life well into his 40’s but still enjoyed all sports.

He was larger than life, he was not a stranger to anyone, everyone knew the “King”.

Loved to travel and gamble, would gamble on anything.

He loved his media room and his big screen TVs and was an avid fan of Western cowboy movies and NASCAR

His cars were his babies and he always kept them showroom clean at all times.  Corvettes were especially his favorites and he took exceptional pride in the many “Vettes” he owned throughout his life.

He loved “His Boys”, (the cats) Frankie, Dante and Jaxson, they brought him much joy.  He will be missed most by Frankie, who was very devoted and protective of John.

Survived by:

His loving wife Joyce Cole, Merritt Island

Son, Steven Cole, Daughter-in-law Tess Cole, grandchildren, Michelle and JR, Chesapeake, VA

Step-son, Brian Johnston, Merritt Island

Grandson, Mark Emr, Port Saint John

No services are planned, please view the memories of John’s life and
leave any messages for the family below.

Dec 5, 2015 - 2015, Obituaries    30 Comments

Todd Joseph Newby, Sr.

July 28, 1961 – December 5, 2015

Todd Joseph Newby Sr. born in Philadelphia on July 28, 1961 peacefully passed away surrounded by his family on December 5, 2015.

Since there have been so many inquiries regarding services or a memorial to Todd, according to his family’s wishes, here are the arrangements. In September of this year Todd completed an extraordinary 3-day climb to Mt. Washington in NH to raise awareness of cancer and to give hope to all cancer patients. On the anniversary of that climb in September, 2016, we will take his ashes to the summit of Mt. Washington and give him back to nature that he dearly loved. All family and friends who would like to join us will be most welcome. A Celebration of his life will follow.

Any donation in his name, Todd Joseph Newby Sr., made to the non-profit VITAS Inpatient Hospice Unit at 1100 S. Courtenay Parkway, Merritt Island, FL 32952 would be sincerely appreciated. They made Todd’s crossing to his new adventure as beautiful and peaceful as possible. He was treated with tender care and respect and the family was given the utmost consideration on the saddest days of our lives. Thank you to our incredible family and friends who are some of the finest people on earth.

Jun 6, 2015 - 2015, Obituaries    2 Comments

William “Billy” Frank Bronder

thumbsJune 12, 1930 – May 06, 2015

William (Billy) Frank Bronder, 84, died peacefully at Northridge Hospital in California with family by his side on May 6, 2015.

Dad, we will miss our talks, jokes, and laughs on the phone. Even though your daughters lived in Florida, you always remembered our birthdays and holidays and would call us. He was a caring and good hearted person. Dad, rest in peace. Heaven got a good one.

His love and passion was racing pigeons and was well known in those circles. He raced pigeons for over 50 years and was a member of the FVC San Fernando Valley Pigeon Club.

Billy was born on June 6, 1930 in New York City. He was in the Merchant Marines and US Army 82nd Airborne. He moved to California to pursue an acting career in the 1960’s. He was a proud member of SAG/AFTRA & Actor’s Equity. He had played on few television shows and in the movies. Some of the most notable movies were Wet Gold, Stand by Me, and Return to Me.

At the time of his death, he lived in Winnetka, California. Billy is survived by wife Tona Dodd Bronder, brother Charles Sr. (Suzanne) sister Patricia Albert (Frank), daughter Colleen Blount, daughter Joan Kownacki (John), stepdaughter Rhonda Pimentel (Gary “Peemie”), stepdaughter Crystal Govea (Earnest), stepson Gary Bergantino (Pam), grandchildren Charles and Christopher Walker, Michael Mitchell, Jerilee Kownacki, Richard “Richie” and Gary Hernandez, Laura Bergantino, Melissa and Jennifer Govea, and 15 great-grandchildren.

Memorial service:
Friday, Jun 26, 11:00 AM
Eternal Valley Memorial Park
23287 N. Sierra Hwy, Newhall, California


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Mar 2, 2015 - 2015, Obituaries    1 Comment

William (Bill) Richard Goins, Jr.

Bill GoinsOn March 2, 2015 at 2:10pm, William (Bill) Richard Goins, Jr. passed away peacefully due to complications from a hemorrhagic stroke. Bill was surrounded by his family at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Florida at the time of his passing. He was 59 years old. Bill was currently residing in Cocoa (Port Saint John), FL where he lived for the past 10 years.

Bill was born in Kingsport, Tennessee on July 4, 1955. He was the first born child of Mary Katherine and William Richard Goins, Sr. In 1960 the family moved from Kingsport to Fairborn, Ohio. In 1969 they moved to New Carlisle, Ohio where Bill graduated from Tecumseh High School in 1972. During high school, Bill and his friends started a band. They named themselves the “Looney Tunes” and Bill was the drummer. They kept the band together for a couple of years after high school.

After high school, Bill started going to Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. There he was studying law & law enforcement. His course of study helped him to gain employment with a company called Pinkerton. At the time, Pinkerton was an investigative organization. Bill was hired to be a private investigator. One of his assignments was at a local machine shop where large machines were being stolen from the loading docks. Bill infiltrated the establishment as a fork lift driver. He soon gathered enough information and evidence for the police to make the appropriate arrests.

In approximately 1977, Bill and his friend, decided to move to Arizona. There he worked as a guard at the State prison. Bill enjoyed living the desert life, trapping coyotes, chasing road runners and shooting up cactus & rattlesnakes.

Around 1983, Bill moved back to New Carlisle, Ohio and began working for Miami Valley Shooting Grounds in Vandalia, Ohio where he became General Manager. He ran the store, indoor and outdoor ranges, and arranged competitive shooting matches that attracted some of the best skilled shooters in the states. He even had his 15 minutes of fame from being on the radio advertising the business and their events. Eventually the business changed hands and became Relo Sporting Goods. Bill was so successful at what he did, the new owners requested he stay on as General Manager.

Bill was also an entrepreneur. He started his own business, Goins Gun Service. He was well known in the area for his reloaded ammo. He also bought and sold specialty or hard to find guns and archery equipment and performed pistol testing.

Bill won many trophies & awards in competitive shooting. He was one of the best and known through-out the country as such. He was so fast & so accurate with any caliber of gun or rifle. He could cock a 9mm by quickly sliding it down & up his thigh. He was truly impressive and one of a kind.

Bill was also an avid fisherman. He and his friends would travel as far north as Michigan, as far south as Lake Okeechobee in Florida and everywhere in between for fishing. He enjoyed his Ranger fishing boats & the peace and tranquility of being on the water.

In 2004 Bill went to Florida to help his little sister out during a very active hurricane season. He decided he liked the warm weather, beautiful beaches, and ample fishing much better than the cold, harsh winters in Ohio and never left. In 2007 he started working for Target in Titusville, Florida where he continued to work until God called him home.

Bill enjoyed comedies, documentaries and educational programs. He also enjoyed reading and staying up on current events, technology, space and science.

Bill was a great story teller. He told stories with such enthusiasm, even though you weren’t there, he made you feel as though you were. His laughter was contagious. He was outspoken & outgoing, yet quiet and reserved. He would give the shirt off his back or the last dollar in his wallet to anyone he loved or considered a friend. He lived and experienced life on his own terms. Not requiring approval or affirmation from others. He was a great protector of his family.

In 2007 Bill made the most unselfish decision a person could ever make and signed up to be an organ donor. Bill left this world way too soon, but in doing so, he saved the lives of three people by donating his liver and both kidneys. He also gave another person the gift of sight by donating his corneas. In central Florida there were over 3,000 people referred to be potential organ donors in 2014, only 81 were able to give the gift of life. This just goes to show how special and unique he truly was.

Bill is survived by his parents, Mary Katherine and William Richard Goins, Sr. of Cocoa, FL & New Carlisle, Ohio, his sister, Marie Yvonne Todd and her husband, Matthew James Todd of Merritt Island, FL. His Aunts, Jenni Steffey of Kingsport, TN, Betty Dorton of Kingsport, TN, Teresa Proffitt of Clinton, TN, Reba Goins of Macon, GA, and Luella Goins of Granite Falls, NC. His Uncles, George Goins of Knoxville, TN, and Herbert Snodgrass, Jr. of Kingsport, TN, and many cousins and close friends.

Bill was preceded in death by his grandparents, Florence and Herbert Snodgrass, Sr., Ada and Kelly Goins, Aunts, Blanche Applegate Pierson, and Joan Bellamy. Uncles, Troy Snodgrass, Jack Snodgrass, Randolph Goins, Don Goins, and Johnny Ferguson. Several cousins and friends.

A visitation hour will be held on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 from 5-6pm at Island Cremations and Funeral located at 405 South Courtenay Parkway, Merritt Island, FL 32952. Immediately followed by services at 6pm.

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.


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